Best Miniature Golf

Arizona Maxi-Golf

Arizona Maxi-Golf offers way too much to deserve the usual diminutive "mini." Nothing about Hugh Taylor's Concord Lanes is understated. He's transformed a bowling alley into a family-fun empire by expanding it to include batting cages, beach volleyball and a climbing wall. But the Maxi-Golf -- constructed over a three-year period at a cost of more than $3 million -- is the real lure of these nine-plus acres of over-the-top South County merriment. Taylor has seasoned his creation with a Southwest theme: The course wanders through a desert playa of Taylor's mind, highlighted by sculptural oddities including large carved Indian figures (one wearing what appears to be fishnet stockings). Holes carry golfers up a rock outcropping, behind a waterfall, through a 75-foot rattlesnake, by a (yikes!) badger in a tube and into a teepee that puffs smoke when the final ball sinks. Taylor claims this is the only facility of its kind in the country, and, after visiting, we believe him. A round is guaranteed to provide an evening somewhere between kitsch and nostalgia, somewhat surreal and definitely one of a kind.

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