Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mini Golfing: It's All The Same, Only Time Passed

On a lazy Saturday afternoon, my family went miniature golfing at Willow Brook Miniature Golf Course in Greensburg. As a kid, I had played this course on summer afternoons with my neighborhood play friend Janie. When our summertime boredom skyrocketed, her Dad would drive us to Willow Brook for a round of golf. It cost 5o-cents to play 18 holes in the 1960s. I am not sure what it cost now. My son Jason used his debit card so I’m sure it’s much more these days.

I don’t remember bringing my children to Willow Brook. They preferred Caddy Shak in Donegal. This Laurel Mountain family fun center also had bumper boats, go carts, and batting cages. Willow Brook doesn’t have any of that stuff, just the miniature course and a driving range. It’s strictly golf.

Jason gave little Brianna some help with hole #1. After that, there was no holding her back. At four-years-old, she had no patience waiting on the rest of us to play the holes. She played through on her own under the watchful eyes of five adults. We enjoyed watching her seriously line up her putt, then give a triumphant “I did it!” when the ball rolled into the cup.

I bragged to Jason a bit about his little sister Suzie – 2005 Champion of the Tyler, Texas Women’s Mini-Golf Playoff. He responded with an evil sounding, “Oh, yeah.” Sibling competition kicked into high gear throughout the game. Lisa, our family accountant, kept score reminding the rival brother and sister of who held the lead. In return, we took turns scooping Lisa’s golf ball out of the cup, something that no woman who is seven months pregnant needs to be doing for herself. Grandma Helen quietly watched all this hole-after-hole. She had passed on the offer to play with us.

Nothing had changed at Willow Brook in nearly 50 years except for maybe a fresh coat of paint on a few of the wooden structures. The rotating windmill blades still knock a ball off course. If the momentum isn’t just right, balls will roll back to you from the yellow loop-de-loop. And, rarely can you putt across the bridge without plunking a ball into the water below.

Brianna was the first, and not the last to send a ball into this water hazard. She came back to our group for help. Absently, I said to the kids, “Just grab the ball scoop. It will be resting on the rail of the bridge.”

I think they were amazed that I was right. I knew it would be there because nothing had changed at Willow Brook. Time had only passed.

Are you are curious about the outcome of our tournament? Suzie succumbed to keen pressure and came in dead last. Jason won. Brianna scored a hole-in-one, with her Dad’s help, on the 18th hole winning a coupon for a free game on her next visit.

August 9, 2008

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