824 Ethan Allen Hwy
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Cost: $6††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Other Activities: Driving Range
We returned to this site 11 years after our previous visit because we had heard the minigolf course was completely redone.† Whereas the old course was strange, creative (and not all that well maintained) the new course is a Harris course and looks very pristine.† Thanks to it being on the newer side the carpets were in very good condition as was the landscaping and the borders.† Unfortunately the course went with the metal edged cups which are a long-standing pet peeve of The Putting Penguin.† The flagpoles (another minor peeve from a playability stand point but they did make the course look great), while new, did have some splits leading to one of us getting a fiberglass splinter (so be careful when removing!)
The holes were not that creative (many can be found on any Harris course) and the last three holes were essentially all the same putt.† The difficulty wasnít very high as after the first few holes one got the gist of what putts the course would require for a decent score.† The fifth hole was a classic loop around seen on many Harris courses, however the loop was not entirely carpeted and because of that there were some several bumps where it transitioned between the carpet and the concrete of the loop.† While the clubhouse was a bit removed from the course, the balls, putters and scorecards were nicely arranged once you reached the course.† In addition there was a side door from the clubhouse where ownership could keep an eye on the course during busy times.
While not overly creative it is nice to play on a Harris course because you generally know what you are getting on those courses.† Overall there was nothing that blew us away on the course but it was very reasonably priced at $6 and would be worth the play again if in the area.
Reviewed by Pat, Mandy and Putt
Reviewed in 2013
Belmontís Golf Range (former minigolf on site)
Cost: $4 for adults††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Other Activities: Driving Range
We didnít know what to think the first time we saw this course as we walked out of the clubhouse.† Itís set down a hill in back of the clubhouse thatís used for the driving range as well, so we didnít have any idea what we were in for.† Simply put, this course was unlike anything weíd ever seen before.
The first thing that struck us as we walked down the stairs was itís use of triggered sound effects, which we had never seen on a mini-golf course before.† For instance, when you walk on one of the steps Eye of the Tiger from the Rocky movies plays.† On the first hole, when you walk by the polar bear, it roars.† Later, when you are at the haunted house hole, spooky noises play as you enter the gate leading to the tee.† We enjoyed this new twist to mini-golf, and we also enjoyed some of the obstacles that went along with them, such as the haunted house.† These were ones we hadnít seen before.† One of the most interesting ones was an elephant that shot water out of its trunk over the hole to a bucket.† It didnít have much to do with playing the hole, but it was different.† Unfortunately, thatís all the course has going for it.†
To explain the atmosphere rating, lets start with the obstacles.† They would have been new and great looking about 10-15 years ago.† Itís obvious that no one has so much as put a coat of paint on them in years.† The same goes for the carpeting.† It was in some of the worst condition weíve ever seen carpeting on a course.† There were multitudes of bare patches throughout the holes.† Although the grounds were neatly kept, the conditions of the holes themselves left much to be desired.† Besides just the bare patches, nearly every hole was a design nightmare.† At least 50% of the holes were designed like a valley, so that there were barely any flat surfaces on which to putt.† Instead of lining up a shot, you just tapped the ball and watched it roll up and down the sides of the valleys, going where it pleased.† Most of the time it ended up within a reasonable distance from the hole, but the lack of skill it takes to play these holes brings the fun of playing the course way down.† In addition, the drainage is terrible on this course.† On the 3rd hole, we had to start about Ĺ way down because of the lake that formed in the first half after the rain of the night before.† This is also the same hole that had the random house as an obstacle, which the ball could roll under.† It was then difficult to get your ball back, because you couldnít really see where it was.† The 7th hole also had a strange design, in that there was this curved valley you could putt into that looked like it would bring you right to the hole.† Unfortunately, out of the 5-6 tries we gave the valley, the ball didnít stay in there once, leaving us wondering what the real purpose of the design was.
I almost forgot to mention the dragon on the ď19thĒ hole.† First, we really couldnít tell if you won a free game or not if you got it into the small hole right under the dragon, but we soon forgot about it once we saw what the dragon did.† When one of us putted the ball into the dragon, it moved itís wings.† When another one of us did it, it sprayed water out of its nose.† Now that seems almost cool, but envision a 15 year old mini-golf obstacle moving its wings so slow you would think it had arthritis.† In a word, it was crap-tacular (thank you Bart Simpson).
In all, these holes created a relatively average difficulty rating.† As mentioned previously, there were many holes where no matter what you did, the ball would end up reasonably close to the whole.† There were a few frustrating holes thrown in as well, where unless you hit a near perfect shot, you were doomed to never get the ball in the hole.† In the end, weíre glad we played the course once for itís unique use of sounds and obstacles, but the probability of us playing it again is very low.† At a cost of $4 though, I would suggest that if youíre in the area give it a go once, just to experience the strangeness.
Reviewed by Pat, Mandy, Julie and Putt
Reviewed in 2002
Visitor Review #1 (new Golf Performance Center)
Visitor Review #2 (new Golf Performance Center)
Belmontís Course Pictures (click to enlarge)
Putt feeling at home on an igloo†††††††††††††††††††††† Putt dreading heading into the haunted house
Golf Performance Centerís Course Pictures (click to enlarge)
For a complete set of pictures of all 18 holes visit our Flickr set.
Cost: $7 for adults
Well, the turf is brand new! Odd course. They've spent a lot of money on this center, including revamping the mini-course. Nothing terribly challenging, the few obstacles serve no purpose, the choices for directions on holes often don't make sense...sheesh.† However, my 7 1/2 year old and I enjoy ourselves here once a week...it's in our town...it's just pure putting and he is improving very fast...in fact, he beats me!!!!
Reviewed by Anonymous Website Visitor
Reviewed in 2012
Cost: $7 for adults†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Overall experience was extremely poor. Service was rude, the establishment was under construction, and it was a no frills mini golf experience, just turf and holes, no 'fun'. We were actually told next time to 'bring cash' and then hurried along without so much as a warm greeting or thanks for coming. I would not recommend this place at all. I'd rather go to Golf Quest, BBQ or another course on Route 7. At least they treat their customers nicely and are 15 minutes closer to home.
Reviewed by Anonymous Website Visitor
Reviewed in 2012