You call this mini-golf?

The Brooklyn Paper
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What the putt!

Visitors to Marine Park’s new miniature golf course were asking that question when they realized the latest edition to the local links surrounded them in Japanese horticulture — instead of common mini-golf themes like clown faces, boats and windmills.

And it appears to be a conspiracy on the federal level!

“The government told us we can’t have anything carnival related,” said Felicia Gentile, events coordinator for the course. “As much as we would have loved to bring that stuff here, we were told we can’t.”

Gateway National Recreation Area officials freely admit they held some sway over the humdrum theme of the Brooklyn Golf Center’s new mini-golf course, but say they never brought the hammer down against traditional carnival-themed designs that are as common to miniature golf as bright colored balls.

“We did not dictate or mandate what type of theme the miniature golf park should follow,” Jennifer Wolfe, a spokeswoman for Gateway, told us. “We just wanted it to be tasteful and compliment the natural landscape so it would represent the park.”

The result — a very pretty, but pretty boring “bonsai theme” that melds with the greenery of the 18-hole course which recently opened to rave reviews off of Flatbush Avenue across from Aviator Sports.

“It seems to work well,” said Gentile, who told us that the U.S. government put the kibosh on clown faces, King Kong statues or windmills like the one Homer and Marge Simpson conceived their son, Bart, in a classic episode of the Fox TV series, “The Simpsons.”

Gentile said guests have been asking about the lack of carnival ornamentation, but that hasn’t stopped them from having a good time.

Yet circus and carnival themes may be going the way of the dodo, anyway.

According to an article posted on, more and more mini-golf courses have “dignified themes of country clubs, tropical greenery and miniaturizations of landmarks.”

“Theming is going to a lot of really heavy landscaping, lots of water and plants,” Ron Shook, director of planning for Leisure & Recreation Concepts of Dallas, Tex., told the Web site. “A few still have structures and animals, but I think the trend we see is a lot more going for the family environment — a cooling atmosphere with flowers and plants.”

Sorry, Homer. I guess you and Marge will have to get busy somewhere else.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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