Congo River Adventure Golf (Kenosha, WI)
June 9, 2007, afternoon
I had absolutely lit up Congo River in our previous, and first, visit, but perhaps that was just beginner's luck, because I struggled mightily this time out. Last time I had recorded two aces on the front nine en route to an 18; this time I limped to one-over, bogeying the second, doubling the fourth by missing two short putts, and needing birdies at six and seven just to claw back to within reach of par. Alma struggled on the first two holes, opening with a 4 and 5 to shoot to five-over, but she was even the rest of the way and four back at the turn. Then, while I continued to struggle, she came flying in - while I parred #12, she birdied, and then she parred #13 while I made double-bogey thanks to the ball rolling back to me twice. She tied me with a birdie at #16, but then I took it back with a birdie at #17... and then, unbelievably, I missed two more short putts and finished with a double-bogey four at #18. Alma made par and walked away with the victory. She earned it - her 20 on the back nine was as good as my try at it last year on the way to 38 - but my putting abandoned me in a few places and left me feeling annoyed at myself and a little bitter at the Congo River turf, which had seemed much more navigable in 2006.
July 14, 2006, evening
Driving back from a day trip to Milwaukee, Alma and I realized that this course was right off the highway, so we decided we might as well check it out. It's a decent little course; not mind-blowingly awesome, but very playable, which is nice. The par of 45 was not super-high but quite reasonable, especially for the degree of difficulty on most holes. I recorded just two bogeys, at the 8th and 15th holes, and notched holes-in-one at the 3rd and 6th; Alma put in aces of her own at the 8th and 10th, and closed with an ace at the 18th (which featured an actual water component to the hole, as a little channel of water ferried your ball to the green). I did exceptionally well, I think, for never having played the course before, carding just four scores of 3 and nothing higher (two were bogeys and two were pars). Alma and I both got eagle 2 at the par-4 14th, which I think is the only par-4 hole I've ever seen on a mini golf course (and it really didn't need to be, I would say). Other than the holes-in-one, the shot of the day was Alma at the par-2 first hole - after her drive came up short and left of the green and blocked from direct access by an obstacle, Alma bounced a shot around the obstacle, off the wall, and into the hole to save par. She ended up at +8, which is pretty decent considering that four of those shots over par came on one problematic hole. I went 18 out and 20 in for a 38, -7 and my lowest score in relation to par since I started keeping track.