Private and Public Policy Reviews for the Disabled

A Glowing Report

By Stephen Rex Goode, BSW

Glowing Greens is a blacklight miniature golf course in downtown Portland, Oregon. It’s in the basement of a building. The motif is pirate. You know you’re at the right place by the almost life-size pirate chained to the door outside.

As a place to go for developmentally disabled (DD) adults, it’s wonderful. The course is fairly easy, though not always well designed. The artwork, sounds, and aesthetics are the thing here. You don’t really care that much if you win or lose. It’s just fun to do the course.

Because of the black light, not only the course glows in the dark, but you, your ball, and your club all do as well. For people with vision limitations, it can be a challenge, but the glow in the dark actually helps. For an extra dollar, get the 3-D glasses. It takes it to the next level of fun.

Here’s a tip. With the 3-D glasses on. Stand and look at anything on the course. Lean to the left. Lean to the right. Watch how things move with those glasses on. It’ll blow you away.

For wheelchair access, there is an elevator. The course is fairly level and a wheelchair can get into most of the nooks and crannies, depending on its width. True of just about everything.

Suggestions to Glowing Greens for improvements for people with disabilities:

  • Let attendants play for free. It seems like you’re giving it away, but there’s a sizable population of DD adults in the Portland area. You’ll increase your business in two ways.
  1. Even if you’re letting the attendant in for free, more DD adults will be able to access the course during your off-peak hours, which seem to be weekday afternoons. For attendants, mentoring DD adults is their livelihood, which means they do it during the day when other people are at work. If you allow attendants to play for free, more will bring their clients to you. Some clients can’t access your kind of facility without their mentor.
  2. Families and friends of DD adults are grateful to establishments for making the above accommodation and will patronize your establishment to show their support.


  • Put some kind of fixture around the course for people who have difficulty standing or walking without a break. Other miniature golf courses have benches and such. Find something that matches your motive and let people have a place to sit here and there.
  • Install an automatic door at the front. The elevator is helpful, but if you can’t get past the front door, it doesn’t matter.
  • Make the fixtures on the course movable. A lot of them seem to be, but outline where they go in chalk so someone can put them back if need be.

It’s a great choice for community inclusion supports. It’s fun, easy to use, and accessible by public transit.


Be the first to like.

Leave a Reply

If your comment is a support question, please post it at the forums.