The mini-golf course at Sandy Bottom opened this summer. Here’s my review as a “serious amateur” mini-golf player:
The course is thoughtfully designed, and takes great advantage of the natural site for an upsloping front nine and generally downhill back nine. The course does a good job of challenging the advanced mini-golfer, while remaining fun and accessible for novices.
On the front nine, pace is important to avoid the trap of the opening putt simply returning to the tee area. Fortunately, the designers placed some longer-pile turf to permit a safety zone. New players will want to look out for some of the more challenging holes to avoid the course limit of six strokes per hole. That is, the best advice on a challenging hole is often not to go straight for the flagstick, but instead to aim for an area that will permit a later putt at the flagstick.
The side bumpers are brick rather than the boards common on franchised Putt-Putt courses. So the results of bank shots are a little unpredictable — but often a bank shot is the best strategy for setting up a par.
The Bridgewater course is beautifully landscaped, more so than most commercial mini-golf courses. This will lead to some challenges keeping fallen leaves off the carpet surface, but the carpet was well swept on the day I played.
Par on the course is 44 (21 on the front nine, 23 on the back.) If you shoot a genuine 44, you are an accomplished mini-golfer. Standard par is 2, but the more challenging holes designated with a 3 par are 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 17 and 18.
Naming rights for the course go to the first person to ace every hole for a perfect 18. Based on my test round, it will be a long time coming.
For further information, check the course’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BridgewaterMiniGolf/