“Where’s the last hole?” I asked my husband, Nash. “In here,” he said. I had thought this little building was merely decorative. It was certainly beautiful. As I entered, I marveled at the murals on the wall, which depicted glimpses of Anguilla’s rich heritage—salt picking and production, boat building and fishing. But in the second room, I spotted the final hole a few feet away through the doorway. I smiled at the ingenuity and creativity of the design. Hole 18 would determine who would walk away with boasting rights. Despite a few wild and wide swings at some of the other more challenging holes, I felt a renewed sense of confidence and exclaimed, “I can win this!”
My husband chuckled at my exclamation, as I was trailing in points. But it was the first day of 2015, and anything seemed possible.
The Anchor Miniature Golf Course is owned and operated by Matthew Webster and family. It is part of the refurbished Anchor Complex in Island Harbour, Anguilla, which also comprises sea salt bottling operations, a gift shop and a snack area.
When I arrived earlier that day, I had gone in search of Mesha Irish. I found her in her grandparent’s traditional home, now the gift shop and information centre. As she helped a customer, I wandered around the store looking at mortars and pestles, t-shirts, caps, and bottles of sea salt—the Anchor Complex’s primary business.
According to the brochure, the salt “adds to the flavours of your favourite dish and originates from the crystal clear waters of Anguilla.” Here, the salt is professionally packaged and distributed to shops and supermarkets.
When Mesha was free, I chatted with her about the golf course. After a month and a half (the course opened on November 17, 2014), it was already popular with locals and visitors. Mesha told me that the locals were blown away by the transformation the property had undergone, and more than one visitor had said that the course was one of the best they had experienced.
I soon could relate. Playing and walking around on the course reveals the thought, time and love that went into its design. The course is well manicured and accented with a waterfall, bridges and pools of water. Each of the 18 holes is unique and offers a different challenge. The layout is fluid, and the sounds of water and music add to the soothing atmosphere. The course is perfect for friends, families and couples. It is wholesome, alcohol-free entertainment.
That night, I led the first three holes and then started to trail a bit behind. At some holes, my enthusiasm got the best of me and I missed the ball completely. Many times, I came close to the hole but underestimated my strength. It didn’t matter. Nash and I were having fun and enjoying the magic of the first day of the year at this beautiful miniature golf course, which felt like the perfect escape.
The moon shone brightly, and Nash and I were the only players on the course—so, of course, we stole a kiss.
Then, we were at the last hole. A big part of me still wanted to win. My first stroke brought me through the building and onto the greens. With my second, I made the hole. “Did I win?” I wondered eagerly. I lost by three points. The good news is that that this was only our first game.