You might want to sit down before you read this next sentence.
I reckon Caddyshack may well be the Isle of Wight's best minigolf course.
Let me add a few caveats before you rush off to Shanklin Seafront.
By now, we've played our way round 11 minigolf courses on the Isle of Wight. Some no longer exist, such as the adventure golf course with the aeroplane in Shanklin and the older concrete course at Sandham Gardens. Let's take a moment to remember those we have lost.
There are also at least three we haven't tried, including the Aztec course on Sandown Pier, the Peter Pan course on Ryde seafront and the one with the dragon at Calbourne Mill.
So, the first caveat is that we might not have played on the best minigolf course on the Isle of Wight.
The next caveat is that Caddyshack won't be the best for every occasion. If you want a lovely sea breeze and a bit of sunshine, then you'll prefer Dino Islands in Sandown or Jurassic Bay/Pirates Cove in Shanklin. They're all good courses which have puffing volcanoes, dinosaurs and rivers of red water/blood. I would say they are all a little bit easier than Caddyshack.
The final caveat is that there are more charming minigolf courses than Caddyshack.
Rylstone Gardens and the course at Puckpool are both old fashioned courses with old fashioned prices (roughly half the price of Caddyshack, which is about £6 each). Those courses look like they were built by a pipe-smoking grandad with a flat cap, a big garden and a workshop.
So why is Caddyshack our new favourite?
Firstly, it's a terrific rainy day activity. A sea breeze is lovely on the right day but Caddyshack is better for a torrent during October half term.
Secondly, Caddyshack is wonderfully varied and carefully thought out. Most holes have two or three ways to be completed.
There's the basic route which our four year old managed by randomly bashing away with a tiny club.
Then there's the very tricky route for the dads who want to achieve a hole in one. My favourite was the drum-themed hole where the ball bounces along four drums with a satisfying "BOING!" noise. The drumroll effect when you get it in is a bonus.
There's a skateboarding hole, a snooker hole, a windmill hole and a roulette hole. There's a cool blue light section where our eight year old managed a hole in one. Personally I'd have some pumping choons in this corner as it has a nightclub vibe.
As an aside, I think this part has replaced an old driving attraction in the arcade which was looking well past its best.
For the record, I scored 53 and my eight year old rival scored 58. We add on our ages to our scores, so she won by an embarrassingly large margin.
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