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I’m sick of the bar scene, hate waiting for bowling lanes and lost my voice singing karaoke. Is there an alternative night out I can try?
Yes! Dyker Beach Golf Course hosts a glow-in-the-dark, booze-fueled golf night every Thursday through the summer. For $30, you get two balls, access to the course all night, a drink and some neon accoutrements.
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I’m intrigued. Tell me more.
After fueling up in the outdoor party tent—a pseudo-club experience with a cash bar, trance lights and disco ball—players make their way to the first illuminated tee box to begin five holes of unique pitch-and-putt golf. This is not your typical golf outing: The “rules” entail a mandatory shot or beer between holes four and five.
Okay, I’ve got a buzz going. Where’s the first tee?
Unlike the pitch-and-putt courses in Flushing Meadows and Jacob Riis Park, this one isn’t lit from above. Instead you’ll use a glowing ball and flagstick as well as LED targets. Picture a dark field with glowing flagpoles sticking out of the ground and five tee boxes (where you start each hole) cordoned off by those illuminated wands used to guide planes on the runway at night.
Sounds trippy. How do you play?
Three of the course’s full-length holes are divided into five pitch-and-putt holes; shorter than regular golf, these 90- to 140-yard holes require only a single club, a wedge and a putter (bring your own or rent for $3). Three of these short holes are shot toward flagsticks on the green, and on the other two, you aim at LED targets arranged in the fairway—they look a bit like Christmas lights laid out on the ground in circles.
So most of the course is dark except for the ball, flagstick and targets? Isn’t it hard to see?
It’s hard to see anything after five shots of vodka, so what’s your point? Actually, the balls glow pretty brightly, but the undulations in the green and the lie (the immediate area around the ball that can vastly affect the shot) are tough to make out, and trees look like dark swaths against the night sky. A nearby building shines light on one of the holes, but try to line up your visit with a full moon. All in all, it is a bit difficult to see, but this isn’t the PGA Tour.
But I’m training for the Tour and need to get my practice in.
If you’re a serious golfer looking to improve your nocturnal game, Cosmic Golf isn’t for you; the LED-powered ball is a bit heavier than normal, and the kitschy rave theme won’t earn points with the country-club crowd. Rather, it’s intended for those who want an unusual night out with friends. “We wanted to ham it up and offer the community a fun way to enjoy an evening outdoors,” says Dyker Beach Golf Course general manager James Hallquist. “This course is a great resource that usually completely shuts down at night, and we wanted to take advantage of it.”
You had me at glow-in-the-dark balls and vodka.
We know we did.
Cosmic Golf: Dyker Beach Golf Course, Seventh Ave at 86th St, Dyker Heights, Brooklyn (718-836-9722, golfzing.com/cosmic-golf-brooklyn). Thu sunset; $30. Through Sept 2.