Putt-putt taken to the extreme.
Mini-golf is perfect for first-time club holders and first dates. It finds the perfect balance between just-for-fun and lively competition—some, however, take it to the next level. Not golf, we’re talking extreme putt-putt. We’re exploring courses that turn the favorite kid’s game on its head with elaborate holes and—sometimes—not so kid-friendly add-ons. These are the craziest putt-putt courses in the U.S.
Top Picks for You
Pirate Island Golf
WHERE: New Jersey
With three locations in New Jersey—Ocean City, Sea Isle City, and Avalon—you’ve got plenty of opportunities to enjoy your day at the Shore aboard an 18-hole pirate ship. This mini-golf course takes you through an elaborate, pirate-themed park that includes everything from the ship, complete with animated pirates, to waterfalls, suspension bridges, caves, and more.
Peter Pan Mini Golf
WHERE: Austin, Texas
While this Austin green isn’t strictly adults-only, the night crowd tends to be 21 and over. Peter Pan Mini Golf is the city’s favorite (though not only) BYOB course, complete with giant, whimsical, sometimes weird—but hey, that’s Austin’s thing—statues you must narrowly avoid for your hole in one.
Ahlgrim Funeral Services Ahlgrim Acres
WHERE: Palatine, Illinois
What started as a way for a funeral home director and workers to pass time has turned into a full-fledged putt-putt course below Ahlgrim Funeral Services. Ahlgrim Acres, outside of Chicago in the Palatine suburb, might not exactly be a looker, but it’s definitely extreme. You’ll have to head below the funeral home—which can either be dubbed as simply frightening or eerily cool—to find this haunted-themed mini-golf course.
Par King Skill Golf
WHERE: Lincolnshire, IL
Another extreme course in Illinois can be found at Par-King Skill Golf, the self-described “world’s most unusual golf course.” In the 1960s, it was dubbed “Mini Golf’s Taj Mahal” and now boasts two 18-hole courses with some more-than-challenging holes (we’re talking 19 moving objects and seven water holes), including but not limited to their iconic “Super Looper,” a topsy-turvy challenge for putt-putters. Note: the park has a height requirement of 48 inches in order to be admitted.
WHERE: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
To begin this course, you must first immerse yourself in the lore: You’re on the way to an island when your transportation breaks down leaving you stranded on this island (that just so happens to have putt-putt). As you wait to be rescued, you must make your way around the island, defeating one difficult hole after another. Its rescue-mission-meets-putt-putt and it’s as thrilling as it is challenging.
Around the World Miniature Golf
WHERE: Lake George, New York
If you’ve always wanted to golf around the world but lacked the skill or finances, there’s no place better to head than this course at Lake George. The founder wanted to create a putt-putt course that took participants along on his travels, and what he created was an incredibly overdone (in the best way possible) course that features everything from the Taj Mahal to a rickshaw to a giant lumberjack.
KISS By Monster Mini Golf
WHERE: Las Vegas, Nevada
For KISS superfans, there’s only one course that will do the trick. Located inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino you’ll find glow-in-the-dark putt-putt featuring none other than the members of KISS. Golf up Gene Simmon’s tongue and try to avoid famous iconography.
WHERE: West Palm Beach, Florida
A part of South Florida’s Science Center, the Conservation Course gives players a chance not just to score a hole in one, but to learn about their state’s environment as they go. Each hole is named after an animal or indigenous plant with a strong focus on the Everglades. While there’s a lot to be learned as you play, there’s also a lot to see—because some lessons are best learned through visuals—like streams, flora native to Florida, and a butterfly garden.