Mini-Golf Courses for All the Families Who Love Putt-Putt
Putt-putt golf — aka mini-golf, mini-putt and even crazy golf — is a diminutive version of regular golf. It focuses on just the act of putting and takes place on small courses, often lined with obstacles. You won’t see televised tournaments or high-stakes competitions going on at putt-putt courses.
These are all about fun and offer a great way to spend the afternoon with family and friends. Miniature-golf course designers have gotten quite creative, and there are some truly impressive and unique putt-putt courses around the U.S. Today, we rank them from cool to absolutely awesome.
30. Embers Island Miniature Golf
Location: Ocean City, Maryland
The two lively courses at Embers Island are designed around a volcano and a pirate ship and are, as one might expect, pirate-themed. Players will work their way around “water hazards,” caves and other obstacles and enjoy entertaining special effects in a distinctly tropical atmosphere. Throughout the day, the volcano periodically erupts and the pirates break out into battle. Grab an umbrella because when the cannon shoots off into the water, there’s a big splash.
29. Conservation Course
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
While many golf courses focus on cartoon-like characters and colorful obstacles, this is a pared-down course, meant to help you focus on and appreciate nature. It’s located inside the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, and each of its 18 holes are named after either indigenous plants or animals in the Everglades National Park. When you’re done playing golf, you can visit the aquarium and science center for an educational afternoon.
28. The Fringe
Location: Roswell, Georgia
Families looking for a good mix of indoor and outdoor entertainment can visit the Fringe, which is a set of two 18-hole, mini-golf courses right outside of the Aurora Cineplex in Roswell. Catch a movie, and then do some putting. It’s a beautifully landscaped park with bridges, mini waterfalls and playful structures like old pirate ships and tiny clock towers. It feels like it would be found in an amusement park, thanks to all of the color and creativity.
27. Pelly’s Mini Golf
Location: Del Mar, California
This fun course sits in the beach town of Del Mar and leans into its local landscape with appropriate themes like the Ocean Adventure course, the Surfin’ Safari course and bright blue turf that looks like water. It also contains beautiful gardens, making it a pleasant place to spend the afternoon. What’s more is that it’s located across from the famous Del Mar Fair Grounds, so pop over there to check out their events when you’re done golfing.
26. Sweety’s Wildlife Preserve
Location: Lake City, Colorado
If your children are interested in learning about wild life, then a visit to Sweety’s can be an entertaining and educational day. The preserve itself doesn’t have any actual animals — just rocks and other structures painted to look like animals. They have a nine-hole, mini-golf course on site, so you can putt to the backdrop of large moose statues and stones that look like foxes.
25. The Golfin Dolphin
Location: Cape Carteret, North Carolina
The Golfin Dolphin has everything you need for a full day of fun between its 18-hole mini-golf course, go-karts, batting cages and the Sky Trail ropes course. The course, itself, features a classic sand trap for those who want something a bit more traditional, along with waterfalls and other challenging obstacles like multi-level shots and caves. It’s a great course for players of all levels, and if you’re trying to improve your overall game, you can head over to the neighboring driving range when you’re done.
24. Anaina Hou Community Park
Location: Kauai, Hawaii
When you golf at Anaina Hou Community Park, you’ll enjoy views of botanical gardens that encircle the course, boasting some of the most beautiful plants that the island has to offer. The course has some fun obstacles, including water obstacles, and thanks to the lovely weather Kauai enjoys, the course is open year-round. If you work up an appetite after your game, you can enjoy some of the many food trucks that set up shop at the location every day.
23. Ahlgrim Funeral Services Ahlgrim Acres
Location: Palatine, Illinois
This mini-golf course is admittedly not for everyone, but it could be the perfect Halloween activity. The putt-putt course was first intended to just be a place for the funeral workers to kill time (no pun intended) during their breaks, but eventually, it was opened to the public. Visitors will go underground, beneath the funeral home, to access the course. It has a perfectly creepy theme with coffins, black crows, skeletons and beyond.
22. Bigfoot Fun Park
Location: Branson, Missouri
Golfers who are fascinated with the mystery of Big Foot can enjoy this mini-golf course that’s dedicated entirely to the mythical creature. This 18-hole course is designed to mimic Big Foot’s woodlands, with hand-painted caves, enchanting tunnels and Big Foot footprints throughout, which you can follow in your pursuit of the massive animal. Most of the artwork is done by a local artist and created in UV paint so that the animals glow.
21. Mayday Golf
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
You’ll need to let your imagination immerse itself in the theme of this course. The story goes that you’ve been stranded on an island, and while you wait for your rescue, you putt. It features two 18-hole courses: Mayday Mountain and Rescue Falls. Mayday Mountain players will putt beneath the wings of the crashed Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon plane, while Rescue Falls putters go past a surging waterfall and a real rescue helicopter.
20. The Putt District
Location: Minot, North Dakota
Travel Pulse named The Putt District the No. 1 mini-golf course in North Dakota. It’s got something for everyone, with a lounge area where adults can sip on beverages or eat the renowned, locally made Pride Dairy ice cream. The course, itself, features 14 glow-in-the-dark, hand-crafted holes with all sorts of beloved and kooky characters on the walls from video game characters to submarines.
19. Glow Putt Mini Golf
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
If you’re looking for a new challenge to your mini-golf came, try a round at Glow Putt Mini Golf, where games are played in the dark and the holes are illuminated by UV lighting. All of this is set to a fun jungle-safari theme filled with neon trees, tribal art on the walls and lights flashing on the ceiling. When you’re ready to take a break and enjoy a beverage, you can take a seat in the Party Park area at bright picnic tables.
18. Duffer’s Mini Golf
Location: Wildwood, New Jersey
Fans of “Finding Nemo” will love that this mini-golf course is themed after the beloved animated film. Throughout the holes, you can find talking pelicans, a shipwreck, Bruce the shark and other iconic characters and images from the movie. Finish your day with a meal at the onsite restaurant serving up comfort classics like waffles and burgers, or challenge your companions to some games at the arcade.
17. Walther’s Golf & Fun
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Putters at Walther’s Golf & Fun can have a true tropical experience, as the course is home to some of the few banana trees in the area and plenty of lush greenery. There’s an indoor and outdoor course. The outdoor course neighbors beautiful bamboo forests and tropical flora and fauna, while the indoor course also has a fun tropical theme. This course is open year-round, and when you’re done golfing, you can head inside for some bowling or arcade games.
16. Pirate’s Cove
Location: South Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Pirate’s Cove was named “Best Family Attraction” by Boston Magazine and for good reason. Incredible attention to detail was paid to the design of every element of this fun pirate-themed course. At every turn, you’ll find life-size pirate statues, sinking ships in water structures, realistic cannons and sharks bursting through the sides of ships. It’s part putt-putt course, part amusement park. Some holes sit inside of pirate ships or in a whale’s mouth. The course is full of thrilling surprises.
15. KISS By Monster Mini Golf
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
This indoor course can be found inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It’s a glow-in-the-dark, putt-putt course featuring illuminated objects, scenery and characters associated with KISS, the band. In fact, at one hole, players putt up Gene Simmon’s famous tongue. Just steps away from the casino floor, it’s a good distraction when you’re tired of losing money at the slots.
Location: Chichester, New Hampshire
More advanced putters will enjoy the challenging course at Chuckster’s. It skips the colorful gimmicks and cartoon-like figures of many mini-golf courses for a more sophisticated yet intriguing course, full of slopes, hills and waterworks that make every hole that much more interesting. Plus, it’s the home to the longest miniature golf hole in the world — a 201-foot hole that can be accessed two ways. It also boasts 12,000 square feet of carpet and a total of nine water obstacles.
13. Chipper’s Woods Miniature Golf at Oaks Park
Location: Portland, Oregon
Chipper’s Woods mini-golf course is located inside of Oaks Park and situated by the Willamette River and the West Hills, so visitors can enjoy beautiful natural views while catching some thrills. The park itself also offers a roller rink, rides and carnival games. As for the golf course, it has 18 holes of various levels situated on lush greenery between small bodies of water.
12. Malibu Jack’s
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Malibu Jack’s is a full-service amusement park with rides, bumper boats, go-karts and more, along with its indoor mini-golf course. The golf course has a Malibu theme, with palm trees, rocky beaches, water works and giant fish painted on the walls. Don’t let its cheeky aesthetic fool you: It’s a surprisingly challenging course. Adults who need to unwind while kids play can enjoy Jack’s Restaurant, a sports bar inside of Malibu Jack’s.
11. Legendary Golf
Location: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Situated on an island that’s home to some of the most famous golf courses in the country, it’s only appropriate that Legendary Golf is ready for the pros. In fact, it was designed by professional golf architects. This is no children’s course, but rather, was designed for serious players who want to improve their game. Visitors will putt on a beautifully landscaped course spread among four lush acres and boasting 36 holes.
10. Riverwalk Mini Golf
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
The designers of Riverwalk Mini Golf took great care to have it blend in with its natural surroundings, so golfers can golf in peace without too many distractions. Bordering the Wilmington River, it has a refreshing atmosphere. As a special touch, each of its 18 holes is home to a signature Tom Burke birdhouse — each of which is a tiny replica of a real house or famous structure.
9. Around the World Miniature Golf
Location: Lake George, New York
Around the World has two intricate and thoroughly themed 18-hole courses: Around the World and Around the USA. As to be expected, the holes of each feature iconic landmarks and figures from the location in their name. The USA course has structures like the Statue of Liberty and a representation of Paul Bunyan, while the World course features a replica of England’s London Bridge, the Taj Mahal and other globally known structures.
8. Crave Golf Club
Location: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
As its name hints, the theme to this place is everything sweet. Obstacles are designed to look like giant ice cream cones, gumballs, jelly beans and more. The property is home to not one but two 19-hole courses: one two-tier rooftop course and one indoor course. And don’t worry about getting an urge for sweets because, after your game, you can visit the onsite milkshake bar or candy shop.
7. Par-King Skill Golf
Location: Lincolnshire, Illinois
If you have a soft spot for colorful, theme-park-esque obstacles and kid-friendly designs, you’ll enjoy this quirky mini-golf course. Throughout its 18 holes you’ll find 19 mechanized obstacles from clowns to mini roller coasters to merry-go-rounds and more, along with seven water holes for an added challenge. Some have called this the most elaborate mini-golf course in the country, and it’s a thrill for beginning and advanced putters.
6. Fun Spot America Atlanta
Location: Fayetteville, Georgia
Fun Spot America actually has a few locations, but we like the one near Atlanta. It has something for everyone, with batting cages, go-karts, kid-friendly rides and more-thrilling adult roller coasters. It’s also the home to a unique mini-golf course that’s designed to work with the water tower at the top of the property’s mountain. The tower creates several waterways that flow through the course, creating creeks and waterfalls, and visitors will putt around these gorgeous installments.
5. Philly Mini Golf
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Enjoy an afternoon of local history, and get some hole-in-ones at this special-themed, mini-golf course. Situated in Franklin Square in downtown Philadelphia, this course has a local landmark represented at each of its 18 holes — think the Liberty Bell, the LOVE statue and other iconic structures and buildings. It’s rich with photo ops, and when you’re done playing, you can take a stroll in the surrounding lovely Franklin Square Park.
4. Peter Pan Mini Golf
Location: Austin, Texas
While this mini-golf course is themed after a famous character who never wants to grow up, it's actually more of a grownup establishment. It’s a BYOB course that attracts the 21 and up crowd. The course is dotted with giant statues depicting famous characters from Peter Pan like Peter, of course, and Tinker Bell. The property has two 18-hole courses visitors can enjoy and has been a favorite spot in Austin for over 70 years.
3. Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf
Location: Branson, Missouri
While this mini-golf course is situated in Missouri, it’s all about Hollywood. Each of the 18 holes represents the 18 steps to fame, with paparazzi, limousine drivers and red carpets along the way. Marty McBooster, a fictional firecracker agent, walks you through the course, offering words of wisdom along the way. The course also features replicas of famous Hollywood structures like the Capital Records building and the Hollywood Bowl.
2. Winter Summerland Miniature Golf
Location: Bay Lake, Florida
Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is located inside of Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and offers a surprising twist on Santa’s toy land. Here, you’ll find Mr. Claus and his elves scattered throughout a melting winter wonderland, with candy canes, melting snow castles and snowmen as well as holiday ornaments hanging from palm trees. Think of it as Palm Beach meets the North Pole, over 18 holes of putt-putt.
1. Miners Falls Mini Golf
Location: Munising, Michigan
Miners Falls is an 18-hole, championship mini-golf course featuring nine water obstacles including a pond, a fountain, rivers, waterfalls and more. The course is also lined with red-rock formations and caves and is surrounded with lush greenery. If you need a sugary pick-me-up, there's also a delicious ice cream shop on site that offers rotating creative and seasonal flavors.