Friday, March 16, 2012

An ace by Tommy Thayer gets KISS By Monster Mini Golf off to a rockin’ start

Steve Marcus
Kiss band member Tommy Thayer poses with his ball after hitting a hole in one on his first try during the grand opening of Kiss by Monster Mini Golf at 4503 Paradise Road Thursday, March 15, 2012.
By John Katsilometes/ Las Vegas Sun
Tommy Thayer is the lone golfer in KISS. He’s an 11 handicap, very good for any amateur player, and excellent for any rock guitarist.
But even Thayer is lost as to where to place his ball for the first-ever shot on the glow-in-the-dark, 18-hole KISS By Monster Mini Golf miniature golf course.

“I think you put it there, in the middle,” says Jay Beckman, the director of golf at Southern Highlands, who is joining Thayer in a quick three-hole competition on holes 16, 17 and 18.
Beckman then points to a pad on the ground reading “16,” inlaid with three ball-sized indentations. He says to Thayer, “Try there, I think.”
Neither player knows where the hole is positioned, which is somewhere on the other side of the giant guitar placed a few feet in front of that pad. There is indeed a hole, painted day-glow orange, at the exit of the big instrument. The idea is to putt the ball through the mouth of the guitar … and hope for the best.
Thayer strikes the ball firmly. It vanishes in the darkened recesses of the guitar. Everyone looks at each other, then we hear the unmistakable “plunk” of a golf ball dropping into a cup.

“Hole in one?” Thayer asks. The astonished group of onlookers nods energetically.
“Wow!” Beckman says.
Longtime KISS fans will find it appropriate that the first shot at the KISS-themed golf attraction was indeed an ace, recorded by the band’s current Spaceman.
Thayer winds up taking Beckman, who oversees the course Thayer usually plays on his visits to Las Vegas, by two strokes over three holes — Beckman needed two shots just to cover the lengthy Gene Simmons tongue on the 18th and closing hole. That’s how it started Thursday afternoon at a crammed-with-VIPs opening event at KISS By Monster Mini golf.
“I don’t take my golf as seriously as my music,” Thayer says upon finishing his abbreviated round. “Even the pros know not to take the game too seriously. If you do, you’re in trouble because no one ever masters golf.”

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