SubPar – Alameda, CA

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 3.29.41 PMPlayed on November 27, 2015

Reviewed by the Pink Putter

Mr. Tee and I spent our Thanksgiving week enjoying San Francisco and visiting my sister, Emily. We were also excited because SubPar and Urban Putt were on our radar for years before this trip. We were fortunate to get to play both of these top notch courses and found that even though the two are indoor and regionally themed, they were very different from each other.

Rating:

Hole-in-One – SubPar is all-around unique and creative. From its walls covered in hand-painted murals to the integration of Bay-Area themes into fun gameplay, you are sure to have a great round at this Alameda destination. The course opened in 2012 and has since been featured in media outlets. We really enjoyed the hand-built elements and personalized touches throughout the entire space, which we highlight in the photos below. Some of the hole themes were a bit confusing to us since we aren’t from the area, but the handy course guide on the back of the scorecard answered all of our questions. The game-play had a nice balance of obstacles, tropes, skill shots, challenges and appropriately-themed fun. Another perk is that on Friday and Saturdays nights, from 7:30pm-close, you can play glow-in-the-dark golf! And in addition to mini golf, there are slot-car tracks, pool tables, arcade games and a party room. Their website even mentions renting out the entire facility for your next event, which we think is pretty awesome.

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Heading in!

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Nifty little ball and putter holder near the restrooms.
Hole 1 - The Wind Turbine
Hole 1 – Altamont Pass Wind Turbine
Little dino hanging out on the hill.
Little dino hanging out on the hill.
Hole 2 - Freeway
Hole 2 – Interstate 880
Oakland manhole cover.
Oakland manhole cover.
Hole 3 - Delivery Truck detail
Hole 3 – Fruitvale Taco Truck
Hole 4 – Shipping Crates
Hole 5 - More Freeways!
Hole 5 – MacArthur Maze
Hole 6 - Skate Park
Hole 6 – Berkeley Skate Park
Hole 7 – Napa Valley Wine Press
Hole 8 - Race Track? Spiral?
Hole 8 – Sonoma Raceway
Hole 9 - The Amazing Double-Looped Golden Gate Bridge!
Hole 9 – Golden Gate Bridge
Hole 10 - Alcatraz
Hole 10 – Alcatraz
Hole 11 - State Capitol?
Hole 11 – SF Embarcadero and the Ferry Building
Hole 12 - Coit Tower
Hole 12 – Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower
Coit Tower detail.
Coit Tower detail.
Hole 13 - Lombard Street (front view)
Hole 13 -Russian Hill and Lombard Street (front view)
Hole 13 - Lombard Street (rear view)
Hole 13 – Lombard Street (rear view)
Hole 14 - Victorian Row Houses
Hole 14 – SF Victorian Houses
Hole 15 - The ear bud (we had the ask the guy up front about the theme of this one)
Hole 15 – The EAR (initially we were confused about what this was, but the description reads: An homage to SF’s music scene? Or maybe the tech center of Silicon Valley? Just a giant ear that makes no sense? YOU DECIDE)
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Hole 16 – Oakland Bay Bridge
Hole 17 - Drawbridge jump
Hole 17 – Alameda’s Own Park Street Bridge
Hole 18
Hole 18 – San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House
Here we are, striking a pose!
Here we are, striking a pose!
Mural Detail
Mural detail
More mural detail.
More mural detail
SubPar Scorecard
SubPar Scorecard

SubPar Website

Pros:

Unique, creative theming throughout entire space (murals, sculptures)
Fun, regionally-themed game play and hole design
Clean and well-maintained
Indoors means mini golf anytime!

Cons:

Course design/hole layout created some congestion in specific areas while you were waiting
Some themes were confusing, especially because the holes were labeled by number and not names

Nerdy Notes:

  • Prices range from $5-$10 per person and vary depending on age and day of the week
  • Other options include full facility rental for events
  • Rubber-covered putters, no flags in holes
  • Other amenities include slot cars, pool tables, arcade and party room available for rent
  • Final hole does not collect balls

 

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