Miniature golf is an affordable activity for young and old and sometimes a stopover in a fantastic setting. The game has been around since the 1920s and today there are several thousand courses in the United States that run the gamut of features from kids to adults. A small number, meanwhile, are known for their out-of-the-box vanities. Even the most unusual courses are a relative godsend. For $15 or less, players can enjoy whimsical sights that, unsurprisingly, add to the challenge of the game.
Car park is called the most unusual golf course in the world, perhaps for good reason. The 18-hole course was once considered the “Taj Mahal of mini-golf” when it opened in the 1950s. The course still features a dazzling array of movable obstacles, including a roller coaster, a golf balls, a carousel and a castle, all of which provide a challenge for the most seasoned mini-golfers. Oh, and don’t forget a visit to Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty. Admission starts at $14.
Fantasy Gardens is designed for all ages with courses adjacent to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. One course features whimsical scenes and music from the classic movie “Fantasia,” and the other is a scaled-down version of a regular golf course with water hazards, sand traps, and sloping greens. Smithsonian Magazine calls this miniature course one of the toughest in America. The price is $12 for children and $14 for adults.
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
North Myrtle Beach is considered the mini-golf capital of the world and hawaiian rumble delivers an epic distraction that challenges even the most seasoned gamers. A 40-foot volcano frequently erupts, shaking the course and shaking players. The 18-hole course is a tropical paradise, with live parrots that might otherwise be found on the Big Island of Hawaii. This course also hosts the annual MiniGolf Masters. The cost is $16 per person.
Lake George, New York
Around the World Golf has been a popular destination for putt-putt enthusiasts for over 50 years. There are two 18-hole “routes” that players can choose from – a trip around the world or a trip around the United States. At each hole, golfers find replica attractions associated with various locations, such as the New York City subway and a Dutch windmill. One game costs $9.50.
Golf can be a religious experience for some, and this mini golf course takes that belief to the next level. Lexington Ice Center includes three 18-hole courses grouped by biblical themes: Old Testament, New Testament and Miracles. Visit Mount Sinai and Jonah the whale and cross the parting of the Red Sea. With Bible verses located at each hole, players can truly pray to hit a hole in one. Unlimited course play is $11.50.
Portland and Beaverton, Oregon
The 18 holes Brilliant greens is an indoor blacklight fantasy for all ages. Go on an adventure with animated skeletons and underwater journeys, or visit an alien land, all in spooky fluorescent lighting. Adults play for $14 when reserved online.
This course combines interactive art with tasty food and drink and a 14-hole mini-golf course. The unique “Somnambules” exhibition at Urban putt features tiny light-up figures that respond to visitors’ hands. The course is also known for its gourmet menu, making it a popular destination for dates and family reunions. The game is $14 for adults.
Hollywood drive-in golf is an 18-hole course where players step into a cinematic experience of the 1950s. The course design is based on scenes from old horror and science fiction films. (Note to families: the course is advertised as suitable for all ages.) Some fun effects include giant spiders and space worms, plus a towering alien robot. This course is one of the more expensive options at $19 for adults.
Myrtle Beach, SC
The 18 holes Mayday Golf is one of the star attractions of this mini-golf mecca. The premise here is that players crash landed on a golf course on a deserted tropical island. The course takes them on an exploration of the island, passing by waterfalls, mountains and other island sites. Then suddenly, a rescue helicopter looms overhead. It’s $13 for ages 5 and up.
We’re not sure it can get scarier than Acres of Ahlgrim. This short nine-hole course is set in the basement of a working funeral home, and the most notable features include a guillotine and a mausoleum (not real ones, though). The course isn’t open when a real burial takes place, but the haunted theme is sure to send players a chill or two. Call ahead for prices and hours.
For 74 years, the people of Austin have fought Peter Pan Mini Golf for old school fun. For $8, hit a ball through Peter Pan himself at the entrance, then follow a course with a cast of unique characters like a colorful turtle you can climb on and a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex that has become a landmark from Austin.
This class will have you seriously wanting to rock and roll all night long. This 3,000 square foot KISS-themed course, located in the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, features an 18-hole glow-in-the-dark indoor miniature golf course with never-before-seen KISS video and props. When you’re done playing, discover hundreds of pieces of KISS memorabilia that you can’t see anywhere else, like an original KISS pinball machine from the 70s and guitars from band members.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
This newly renovated Classes, located in the Wilderness Hotel in Wisconsin Dells, has huge tropical aquariums where you can observe all types of sea creatures while you play. It’s $6 to play.
There’s more than one option for golf in Myrtle Beach, which is probably an understatement. This Classes has a volcano over 50 feet high that erupts every half hour with fire and steam. There’s also 18 holes of air-conditioned mini golf if you can’t stand the heat (or the lava).
Professor Duffer A. Hacker was a renowned explorer who led expeditions over 100 years ago. Classes is designed to make you feel like you’re right there with him, hunting for gold and diamonds. Board a mining car and drive up a mountain to reach the first hole of the course, then follow the professor through an 18-hole expedition.
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