There’s something wonderfully relaxing about a round of Putt Putt. Hitting a colourful ball (green, blue, yellow, red, or whatever other colour it may be) through a grassy obstacle course – avoiding water holes, sand pits, and various walls and constructions – is incredibly fun. Even the name is fun to say – Putt Putt – and though others may refer to the game only as mini-golf and respond with giggles, stares, and eye-rolls to our South African term, it is worth remembering that the name derives from an original American company. But no matter whether you call the game Putt Putt or mini-golf, the goal’s the same – to have F-U-N!
Cape Town’s Putt Putt course is located on the Sea Point promenade, only two metres from the roaring Atlantic Ocean. It’s a pretty epic location for a Putt Putt course – fresh sea air and ocean spray on the one side, luxury apartments on the other, a small maze as a neighbouring activity, and the heights of Signal Hill and Lion’s Head in the background. The view would be enough to relax after a long day (or week) but the game just adds that special something.
Putt Putt is attractive to a range of people – families, the elderly, couples, friends, the chilled, and the competitive who strive for those Hole-In-Ones. I’m certainly not one of those. I would love to be great at the game. I have dreams about the elusive Hole-In-Ones (though these are more in terms of wishful thinking right before I actually swing the putter), but, honestly, my track record is rather lacking. Yes, hitting a Hole-In-One may be exciting, but so is laughing about failing miserably to get the ball into the simplest hole and narrowly missing it a gazillion times.
Winning may be great, but, as is said of all sports, that’s not the point. And if it can be true of any other sport, then it certainly must be true of Putt Putt. F-U-N is the name of the game – to let go, enjoy a round with the people you love, laugh about your failings, smile at your victories, and, in my case, enjoy the stunning view. If a cheerful round of Putt Putt doesn’t register as one of the ultimate relaxing and fun activities for young and old, then I’m not entirely sure what will.