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For your inner `In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'.

Byline: Best of . . . The Register-Guard

So many college freshmen have an open door policy when they first live on their own that we hardly can consider creepy dorm rooms public enough to contend for Best Way to Have Fun in Black Light.

Black light connotes a certain psychedelic or nightclub vibe. But black light is also popular in amusements designed for children, such as county fair rides, haunted houses and science displays.

It's also popular for paintball, but we shot down that activity because we weren't in the mood to be splatted.

Team Best of ... sought a wholesome way anyone could have some fun in ultraviolet light (which reminds you to put teeth bleaching strips on your shopping list). We donned our best-lint free and gleaming-white duds and ventured into the city for the closest thing to neon heaven we could find.

Our team had a great time at cosmic bowling at Strike City Lanes on Highway 99. But the black light doesn't come on until after 9 p.m., and the place only offers pin-knocking-aglow two nights a week.

Firs Bowl on River Road remedies the late-night issue by offering "cosmic" bowling from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays, but we wanted to find something you could do any day of the week.

There's only one place we can think of that has it all: GlowGolf at the Gateway Mall.

At first this cavernous, dark hole-in-the-wall near the Cinemark 17 movie complex might seem uninviting. But we promise: Once you walk inside, you will be completely absorbed by the radiating seascapes on the walls and the frog statues painted neon orange.

There are two courses to play, and the price of admission allows you to play both. The orange course is less challenging than the green, allegedly.

As we lined up our first shot, a group of teenagers passed us and one charming young man said, "You're going to miss." He may have been rude, but he was correct. Bless his Simon Cowell-in-training heart.

But playing mini-golf with the phosphorus from our detergent lighting up through our denim is not about being good; it's about being transported to another world. In this universe, 2-year-old girls with putters have the same chance as we do to get a hole-in-one on the 18th hole.

In fact, it's nearly impossible not to get a hole in one on 18. But if you hit the orange hole, you get a coupon for a free round.

Both courses have a volcano where you have to roll the ball uphill to get it in the eye of the volcano. On the first round, we used our maximum seven strokes before giving up.

Then we discovered the secret to better GlowGolf. Throughout the space are contraptions that advise you to place only golf balls inside. We were suspicious the apparatus would take our ball and not give it back, but we chanced it anyway.

Voila! Balls went in dull yellow and faint pink and came out the other end glowing like the sun.

Our scores improved dramatically after this discovery. Overhead, a green tiki mask looked down at us with approval.

If you mess with the color settings on your monitor, you can read the Best of ... archive in black light. Find it at www .registerguard.com/bestof.

BEST WAY TO HAVE FUN IN BLACK LIGHT

GlowGolf

What: Two miniature golf courses with neon obstacles under black light

Where: Gateway Mall, 3000 Gateway St., Springfield

Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How much: $8 for adults, $6 for students

Phone: 747-9188

The downside: Teenagers hang out there talking loudly
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Title Annotation:Reviews; Miniature golf course sheds some black light on the best way to take a shot in the dark
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 9, 2007
Words:632
Previous Article:South grads rise again on stage, screen.
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