Fun for all the family… we enjoyed a great afternoon at Tavira Mini golf where we met the lovely owner Luciene.
This summer sees the welcome return of Tavira Mini-Golf Park located on the main EN125, just after the big ALDI roundabout. As many of you here know, visitors and residents alike often struggle with entertainment for the whole family in East Algarve (without having to travel to Faro and beyond!)
We recently visited the quaint Park on the busy 125 to experience the popular putting pastime again. The first thing that has changed for the better is the addition of some extra fun – including a colourful bouncy castle, a netted trampoline, and even free wifi, board games and darts on the café terrace.
“We are making the Mini-golf more about all the family” explained Luciene, the new owner of the site. “It was just a mini-golf course before, so we’re trying to include kids now as well. Even the youngest of children can entertain themselves”.
In the office we were invited by Luciene to ‘choose our weapons’. – all the golf clubs are colour co-ordinated so it’s great for organising teams and competitions. Adorned with matching coloured balls and scorecards, we finished up our coffees on the terrace and made our way to first of our 18 holes of mini-golf. It was a surprisingly hot and sticky afternoon and we were a touch concerned at first about getting roasted on the course, however, we soon spotted the refreshing water mist gusting through the warm air and then felt the lovely cooling sprays hit our skin. What a great touch! There were also quite a few covered pergolas around the course, so staying cool and shaded was not a problem after all.
The course was nicely balanced for all ages and skill levels. Quite a few tricky holes for even an experienced mini-golfer, but at the same time easier routes are available for kids or first-timers.
After 8 victorious holes (I had to let the missus win one) we had a mini pit stop for a cool bottle of fizzy water – well, a Super Bock actually. I caught up with Luciene again who was preparing for a kids’ party later in the day. “Parties have been very popular so far this year” she said while laying out the chairs around the centre terrace. “Kids love having their birthday party here; there’s lots to do and plenty of space to run around. Mums and Dads appreciate it too because its fully enclosed and they can enjoy a relaxing drink whilst the kids are safe and happy.”
On the way back to the 10th tee, I noticed the trampoline was finally vacated. I knew everyone watching would love to see my well-practiced feet-to-knee, knee-to-bum, bum-to-feet routine. It had been a few years but it’s like riding a bike … I guessed; so I climbed in for a bounce. After inventing the Feet-to-knee-to-face-to-back-to-face-to-tummy routine, I decided that mini-golf, darts, and beer were more appropriate.
All in all, we really enjoyed a few hours at the Tavira Mini-golf park. Everyone was friendly and informal, and families were all happily playing together in the spray-cooled fresh air. There were laughs, music, drinks and ice-creams! As we were leaving, Luciene was giving out certificates to some of the younger kids – another nice touch. I lingered around, optimistically, at the the office door to see if I was going to get a certificate. Instead I was offered a plaster for my grazed nose. Next time I’ll avoid the face bounce on the trampoline.
We’ll definitely be back.
Mini-Golf Fun ‘Facts’
* Mini-golf pre-dates full golf by 430 years
* 6 of the world top 10 golf players played mini-golf before taking on a big boy’s golf course
* The lowest score record is held by a Chinese violinist called Shi Wa Chi Ting with 28 strokes including 7 hole-in-one’s. Her cousin Chi Ting Tu holds second place.
* In the UK, there were 3,000 new mini-golf courses in the last 2 years alone
* Women are not as good as men at mini-golf (just saying!)
Why do Golf Courses
have 18 holes?
Courses back in the 18th century had as many as 25 holes (Montrose), however in 1764 the R&A combined a few holes on St Andrews and reduced it from 22 to 18 holes …even though it was actually only 10 holes with 8 being played twice (confusing). After this time, 18 eventually became the norm. Some sources also claim that it was because there are 18 shots of whiskey in a bottle and therefore having run out by the 18th hole, Scottish golfers quit and didn’t complete the rest. Sounds about right.
* Do I need to be able to play golf?
No, its just a bit of fun, you will pick it up in a few minutes.
* Can we play a second round?
Yes, knock yourself out. You can play again as long as there aren’t others waiting
* Do I need to Book?
Normally no, just pop in when you want.
* Do you do refreshments?
Yes. Water, juices, beer, wine, some snacks and Ice Creams!
* Do you charge extra for any of the other games?
* Can we have a party there?
Yes, we regularly have kid’s birthday parties.
* When are you open?
From 12 mid-day until close. Tuesday to Sunday.
Mini-golf Inaugural Open
We’ll be holding our first Mini-Golf championship on Sat 8th September. There will be 6 teams of 4 players each. It will be a fun day with great prizes including awards for best kids, juniors, grown-ups, and seniors. We’ll post more details on our FB page closer to the time.