The Greens

Best Miniature Golf Course, August 2006

Miniature golf long ago made the leap from sport to kitsch. The game became secondary to the amusement, a goof played on worn carpets amid the requisite windmills and pirate ships. What if miniature golf were more like golf in miniature—the real thing, merely shrunk? What if it were played on manicured grass, with genuine water hazards and sand traps, outside the nerve-jangling confines of the kiddie entertainment center? You would have to drive to The Greens  in Valencia, a revolutionary collection of exquisitely landscaped par 3 putting holes.  There are three 9-hole courses to choose from, and you get to play for $5 per person. Every obstacle is natural, except for the buckets of beer most duffers lug across the course.