My wife works during the week and rarely gets to have time by herself at home on the weekends – so I’ve taken to giving her a few hours each weekend in which she can luxuriate in a bath, catch up on her favorite series, or chat with her friends on the phone. It makes her happy and one of the best pieces of advice I was given before marriage was the simple “Happy wife, happy life”. It’s not just me that needs to find something to do though, we have an intelligent and active 7-year-old that usually wants to get involved in whatever her mama is doing – so the two of us will frequently head out on adventures together to give Mama a break. It’s a win-win-win. My wife gets some much-needed time to herself, my daughter gets to get outside of the house on her weekend and I get to spend time with my daughter having fun on Oahu.
Back in February, I decided it was time that Sophia learn how to golf. I had fond memories of mini-golfing with my father when I was a kid in the 1970’s, so I was almost as excited as she was when I told her my plans. Oahu has four putt-putt courses. Tiki’s Family Fun Center in the Dole Cannery offers a small glow putt course; there is another small glow-putt in the Windward Mall; Bay View in Kaneohe has a standard outdoor miniature golf course; and then there is Tropics Miniature Golf near Pearl Ridge Mall in Aiea which offers 9-holes in the great outdoors. We opted to go to Tropics because it was rainy on the Windward side and sunny in Pearl City.
There are a couple things you should know before you go. 1) This is an old course and while it is fun, it’s not a fancy-pants working windmill or flashy designed course. Many of the holes are falling apart and some of the trick shots (for example, the challenging hole on the volcano) don’t give you any advantage if you hit them. 2) There is a lot of foliage around the course and we got bit by a few mosquitos, so bug spray is a good idea. 3) Most of Tropics is shaded but it can still get pretty hot because of the lack of a breeze – make sure you bring water or go in the evening.
The facility is clean and all the people who work there are very friendly. This is cheap family fun with admission at $9.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids 3-7 years old. Kama’aina and military save a buck off the general admission and kids under three play for free. Admission is good for unlimited play on the day you go – so this is really one of the best bargains going on Oahu. The food at Tropics is good and fairly priced but nothing to rave about – still, it’s nice to be able to get a hot dog, slider and tater tots, or a variety of snacks on site. There are bathrooms on site, located right behind the food/ticket booth.
As I mentioned before, it’s an old course and not everything works exactly like it is supposed to but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. We played two rounds for a total of 18-holes. Par is either two or three but we both managed to hit a hole in one at least once and both dogged it on the challenging 6th hole to end up well over par (our house rule is five is the maximum you can score). We lost one bright pink ball somewhere in the jungle rough but the girl in the booth gave us a new ball with a smile and no problems. Since my wife wasn’t with us, we were able to have hot dogs, chips and a soft drink for lunch (Mama doesn’t let us get away with that kind of junk food when she is with us!)
When we got home, my wife was happy to see us and insisted that next time we bring her along when she heard how much fun we’d had. We have been back many times since…and Mama enjoyed it too.