Forget doglegs and sand traps. Pirate ships, fire-breathing dragons, erupting volcanoes, outhouses, aliens and waterfalls are far more challenging obstacles to contend with on golf courses.
Whether you like to shoot birdies, sink holes in one or just come up par for the course, it’s time to grab your putter, line up your ball and play a round (or two) on some of the best mini-golf courses in the United States.
Best Mini Golf Courses—Orlando, Florida
Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf
If you have first-time golfers in your family, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf provides a great introduction to the game. Putt your way through five amusing scenes based on the beloved animated film Fantasia. Standing in the way of you and the holes will be mischievous broomsticks, flowing fountains, hippos in tutus, spinning ostrich and plenty of musical wonder.
Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWal
This mini-golf course is a throwback to 1950s drive-in theaters, with two options to choose from: single feature (18 holes) or double feature (36 holes). Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk allows you to putt through movie-inspired scenes filled with little green men and props from classic horror films like cemeteries, giant spiders, space worms and labs in the basement of haunted houses.
Best Mini Golf Courses—Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Molten Mountain Miniature Golf
Looming over the horizon on the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach is a 50-foot active volcano that erupts every 30 minutes. Be sure to challenge your family to a little friendly competition on this exciting course. Avoid the fire and steam and you just might putt your way to victory. If things get too heated, you can head inside to cool down. Molten Mountain Miniature Golf also offers 18 holes of air-conditioned mini-golf.
Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf
The Dark Ages are calling you to test your skills on a medieval mini-golf course of epic proportions. Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf, located at Broadway at the Beach, is a family-friendly putting experience that will have you wandering into a cave, through a castle, onto a boat and face-to-face with a fire-breathing dragon. Be brave and embark on a journey of fun through this kingdom.
Best Mini Golf Courses—Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Don’t come to Hillbilly Golf expecting to putt around a flat surface. This course is at the top of a mountain — 300 feet up to be exact. And you have to ride rail car to get there. Two courses meander down the mountainside, both scattered with hazards like stills, outhouses, lush foliage creeping onto the playing field and rocky walls closing in beside you.
Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf
To get to the first hole, you’ll have to take a mining train to begin play at this Pigeon Forge mini-golf course. You’ll be putting around the Smoky Mountains so expect your expedition to include caves, waterfalls and yes, a pirate ship, temple and volcano, too. Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf is an exciting trek across the same paths this archaeologist followed in search of gold and diamonds.
Best Mini Golf Courses—Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
Avast, mateys—Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf offers five courses of swashbuckling fun. Blackbeard’s 18 is the easiest course a features a large waterfall. Captain Kidd’s 18 is a wee bit more challenging with a cave to go through. Pirates Lookout 18 is scenic with mild hazards. Captain Hook’s 19 ramps up the difficulty level with a myriad of obstacles. For the ultimate round, cross a bridge and tackle the Pirate’s Challenge 18.
Timber Falls Adventure Golf
There’s only one place in the Wisconsin Dells where you can play mini-golf in the shade: Timber Falls Adventure Golf. Choose from four different 18-hole courses surrounded by the tumultuous waterfalls and jagged terrain of this spectacular wilderness area. The experiences along the shores of this Wisconsin playground are family-friendly—so play two courses, or maybe them all.