Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf & Family Fun Center (Pirate’s Challenge) – Wisconsin Dells, WI

2013-07-17 11.02.43

Played July 17, 2013

Review by Mr. Tee

The Wisconsin Dells is your typical tourist trap where everyone is competing in gaudiness and size so it makes sense that we immediately went from Timber Falls 4 course 72 hole play-land to the sprawling 5 course 91 hole Pirate’s cove. And we only had to walk half of a block to get there. If you’ve ever been to the Dells then you’ve likely seen a billboard or some signage boasting the size of this place. We’ve reviewed nearly 50 courses but oddly enough, this is the first review of a course by this national chain of “original adventure mini golf” courses. It’s only our second review of a pirate themed course. I remember seeing a number of Pirate’s cover chain courses as a kid on family trips so finally getting to play one was an exciting opportunity.

Rating:

Birdie – Typically we like to play and review every course in an establishment if they have more than 18 holes but 91 holes was a bit too much for us after an already exhausting day and run of the mill experience at Timber Falls. Five full courses plus an extra hole is impressive but size isn’t everything. This is an above par course but there was no notion of considering it for a hole-in-one rating. Maybe I’ll change my tune once I play one of the other courses but I was disappointed by the notion that the most challenging course wasn’t even that difficult. I’m by no means a great mini golfer but I was easily able to get a par score for the entire course on my first attempt on what is considered their “toughest course”.

The greens play fast and are immaculately maintained but the lack of hazards or obstacles related to theme was a let down for both of us. They had treasure chest themed garbage cans and all sorts of signage but thats about it. I’m certain we’ll play here again with the Dells being a nice stopping off point on road trips to Chicago but as you’ll see in the pictures and videos below, it’s just short of a next level mini golf destination.

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View from the parking lot
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Wide selection of balls includes option to pay extra to use sparkly balls
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Details of the options. We went for Pirate’s Challenge 18, their toughest course.
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Pretty straight forward shot but I’m looking like I got a bit too much sun in.
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Shallow cup
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Sundial at the top of the course.
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One of the more creative holes on the course.
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Moving right along. Path leads to bridge to the 2nd half of the course.
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Tiered pipe play
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Two routes to the cup. Looking to see what’s ahead.
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One of many large waterfalls but not a ton of water play across the course.
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Bridge and jump shot opportunity
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Bumpy final hole

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To the winner goes the spoils. We both ended up with ice cream but couldn’t find a name plate that worked in the gift shop.

Pros:

4 full 18 hole courses and one course of 19 holes making it the largest mini golf course around
Variety of courses appealing to players of various skill levels
Winner of each playing group gets a free ice cream cone
Immaculately maintained greens and landscaping
Wild array of ball choices

Cons:

Not nearly enough kitsch / pirate’s theme to actual play
Too few obstacles
Toughest course wasn’t all that challenging

Pirate’s Cove (Wisconsin Dells) Website

Nerdy Notes:

  • Pirate’s Challenge (this course) 18 holes, Par 46. Three other courses are 18 holes and Par 36. Captain Hook’s is 19 holes and a Par 48.
  • Prices vary on the number of courses / rounds you play. Look for online deals
  • Children ages 4 and under play for free with at least one other paid admission
  • Special deals available through various area lodging partners and retailers
  • Wide and shallow cups
  • No tee off matts
  • No flags in the holes
  • 6 hole stroke limit. Maximum group size is 4.
  • Option of normal metal non-rubber covered putters
  • Additional attractions includes family fun center (giant chess, jumping pillow, pedal carts and more), playland, arcade, large sundial and ice cream shop.

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