I openly admit that my experience on full 18-hole golf courses is limited to very limited. I tried my hand at a full round of golf at Laguna Oaks Par-3 just weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised at how beginner-friendly the course was. And at how totally terrible I was not. My interest in honing my driving and putting skills has since peaked and I’ve even made a few trips to the driving range. But this week, it was back to basics for me. In an effort to return to my comfort zone and basking in my putting glory, I decided to hit Campbell’s Miniature Golf Course in Rio Grande. When I arrived, I was reminded of my experience on the sprawling par-3 course. Campbell’s is home to Cape May County’s largest miniature golf course! Unlike the typical Jersey Shore mini golf course, Campbell’s is laid out with natural-looking greens, ponds, waterfalls, sand traps, and beautiful trees. Where were the huge fiber-glass pink elephants or the rainbow-striped zebras? But just shortly after the first hole, I realized how peaceful and professional this natural scenery made me feel.
Campbell’s course does not include any “trick” putts and staff recommends that players putt as they would on a regulation PGA green. In fact, Campbell’s is home to one of the most challenging putting courses in the county. I found this out the hard way as I hit five strokes on the first, six on the second, and five again on the third. While my game improved over the course of the next fifteen holes, I was most definitely challenged by the course’s sand traps and water hazards. I am not ashamed to say that yes, I did lose one ball to the water to the left of the wooden bridge. Ultimately, I lost to my older sister in a crushing defeat. But as a full-service stop for family fun, Campbell’s had just the thing to lift my spirits…After a short trip into their ice cream parlor, I had the perfect ice cream treat to console my wounded ego.
Beyond the sprawling 2-acre 18-hole course, Campbell’s is also home to a crabbing pond and Cape May County’s largest screened-in paintball field where all the necessary supplies for a full game of classic paintball or paintball laser tag can be rented. Can’t decide on just one of Campbell’s outdoor recreational activities? No need. The Golf and Crab combination special includes admission to the crab pond, equipment, 18 holes of golf, and a choice of a small ice cream or water ice. For chippers and putters out there, Friday “Family Night” features a $5 per person special on mini golf for families up to six people. On Wednesday “Senior Day”, senior citizens can try their hand at this professional putter’s course for only $5 per person.
For another unique miniature golf destination, check out Duffer’s of Pacific Avenue in Wildwood. With its own lighthouse and a sandcastle big enough for a human king, the Duffer’s golf experience is definitely magical and memorable.
By Megan Kummer