9. Hurl Rock
, 3:53 p.m.
A green. A rock. A sunken cup. The 15th hole is as spare as the stage in a Beckett play. At the end of the green is the cup. Behind the cup is the rock. No doglegs, no dips, no rises, no looming Buddhas, no overhanging octopus tendrils. Just pure nihilistic minigolf. "This should be a cinch," says Moskowitz. It's not. His shot skirts the cup and stops behind the rock. He settles for a 3. As does Diliberto. As docs me. And you thought Beckett held the patent on the grim futility of human endeavor.
10. Pirate's Watch
, 4:47 p.m.
Moskowitz wants to know what to call the red fort on 7: "A cave? A structure? A historic edifice?"
According to his calculations, I'm averaging 3.27 strokes per cave, 4.16 per structure and a brilliant 2.09 per historic edifice. Moskowitz punches in more numbers and adds, "Your stroke average in historic pirate edifices is 1.87!"
"If this isn't an edifice," I say hopefully, "I don't know what is." I card a 2, a bit over my average, but not enough to give me an edifice complex.
11. Jungle Lagoon
, 5:55 p.m.
I look out across the tranquil waters and think back to the only round of maxigolf I've ever played—at the Konkola Golf Club in Chililabombwe, Zambia. The scorecard warned in bold letters, BEWARE OF CROCODILES ON 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 17,18, and noted, A BALL COMING TO REST IN A HIPPO FOOTPRINT MAY BE LIFTED AND DROPPED IN THE NEAREST POSSIBLE POSITION TO PROVIDE MAXIMUM RELIEF.
The signs on this course warn: "No beating your clubs against the carpet." Who needs to? These jungle cups are only slightly smaller than the divots hippos leave; ostriches could nest in them.
Moskowitz, infected with jungle fever, aces 1, 2 and 5 en route to a game-winning 35. "If I can't beat you guys in a jungle," he says, "I should get out now."
12. Captain Hook's Adventure
, 7:05 p.m.
Diliberto stands on the 18th green smiling to himself like a man who has just made a perfect putt. He has. Wielding his plastic-headed putter like a freebooter's cutlass, Diliberto makes short work of the Lost Boys course—which pretty well sums up my back nine. Tied for the lead, I enter a kind of never-never land on 10. By the time I emerge, I've recorded one double and two triple bogeys. It's enough to make you believe in bad fairies.