23. McLean Medieval Village
, 3:37 p.m.
Catapults, a battering ram and a sorcerer's cave make this jerry-built course the most Pythonesque in Myrtle Beach. And our path, like that of King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is blocked by obstacles: severely tilted ramps and embankments; bumpers staggered at 45-degree angles; treacherous plateaus flanked by deadly dips.
I joust on the flecked-blue green with a crusader's zeal. I vanquish the ramps. I conquer the bumpers. I scale the plateaus. My 37 puts me six strokes from the lead, the closest I've been since Inlet Adventure, our very first course.
Lapsing into seriousness, Moskowitz says, "Laying out a miniature golf course must be a lot like making political commercials." He has produced tons of mayoral, gubernatorial and even presidential spots. "There are thousands and thousands of candidates all over the country, but there are only four messages. There's crime, taxes and education, which is not really education but education reform. There's also jobs, which is now new jobs, better-paying jobs and sometimes new and better-paying jobs."
"Which is why miniature golf is just like life," says Diliberto. "There are only a handful of themes."
"Exactly. Politics, life and miniature golf are one and the same. The courses fall into similar genres, and within any genre there are minute differences. The one difference between politics and miniature golf is strategy and tactics." As Moskowitz speaks, his hands are constantly on the move, the long fingers combing the air. "Miniature golf has neither. It's like hockey: You're just dumping the ball into the zone."
24. Pirate's Cove
, 5:04 p.m.
Moskowitz is leaning against a thatched hut near the 12th hole. "I'm not really tired," he says. "I'm exhausted!"
Moskowitz has that unmistakable minigolf blankness that occurs when one game begins to blend with the next. He's trying to remember just what he did when, during this long, long day.
His bright orange ball rolls through a hollow and down a tunnel, then lazily winds down a path and into the cup. "Haven't we played this hole before?" he says.