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Happy Miniature Golf Day!

Today is Miniature Golf Day, a great time to get out and enjoy a great, family-friendly game.

Mini golf has been around for more than 100 years, originally known as “chip and putt,” regulation golf’s short game. Starting in the mid-1980’s, a newer adventure-style course became very popular, usually consisting of 18 themed holes that featured challenges, including spinning windmills, large sloping hills, waterfalls and more. Course names became as exotic as the courses themselves, evolving into the big names we recognize today, including Congo River, Pirate’s Cove and Adventure Island.

Because it’s easy for anyone to play, mini golf has become hugely popular, especially in the summer months and at vacation spots around the country. What’s better than a trip to your favorite ice cream stand and a round of mini golf?

Below are a few of our favorite mini golf courses that show just how wild, crazy and fun the game can be.

Hollywood Drive in Golf brings back old horror and sci-fi flicks of the 1950s. Photo by Universal Orlando

Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk is inspired by old horror and sci-fi flicks of the 1950s. Photo by Universal Orlando Resort

Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal Orlando Resort (Orlando, Fla.)

Hollywood Drive-In Golf has 36 holes of golf that capture all the fun of the hilariously silly horror and sci-fi movies of the 1950s. Both themed 18-hole courses, The Haunting of Ghostly Greens and Invaders From Planet Putt, immerse you in cutting-edge interactive elements and special effects. Putt your way through a cemetery and a flying saucer, under a giant spider, around a 30-foot robot, into the basement lab of a haunted house, and more. With the LED lighting, you can play day and night.


Ripley’s Mini Golf is right in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Photo by Smoky Mountain Navigator


Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini Golf (Gatlinburg, Tenn.)

Located in Gatlinburg, Tenn., Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini Golf has 36 holes divided into two courses. The first course has a farm theme and the residents (cows, pigs, horses) will both boo and cheer you along the way. The second course is a throw back to the days of Davy Crockett, which blends in perfectly with the Great Smoky Mountains setting.


Around the World offers a tour of the globe in a fun round of mini golf. Photo by Lake George Mirror Magazine


Around the World in 18 Holes (Lake George, N.Y.)

Want a mini golf challenge while visiting China, France, and South America? You can have all that at Around the World, located in the popular upstate New York vacation destination Lake George. Consistently rated as a top mini golf course, Around the World offers a fun, challenging and educational experience. In addition to traveling the globe in 18 holes, players can also do some domestic sightseeing on their second course, Around the USA in 18 Holes.


Congo River Golf offers a safari-themed 18 hole course and a  chance to feed alligators! Photo by Congo River Golf

Congo River Golf offers a safari-themed 18 hole course and a chance to feed alligators. Photo by Congo River Golf

Congo River Golf (Kissimmee, Fla.)

On this 18-hole African explorer–themed course, players can feed live gators hot dog pieces on a pole and play themed golf holes that feature splashing waterfalls, boats and the wreck of a long-lost expedition airplane. In addition, the attraction features gem mining and an arcade, as well as paddle boat rides!


Pirate Island Adventure Golf is the top rated mini golf course in New Jersey. Photo by Jersey Shore Hot List

Pirate Island Golf (Sea Isle City, N.J.)

Ahoy! This 18-hole course features talking pirates, pirate-themed music and a jungle. A trip across a swinging bridge and an 18th hole played on a 40-foot-long wooden pirate ship await players, who can try and win a free game by dropping their ball in a three-hole drop box. This course has been ranked the top mini golf course in New Jersey for the past 17 years, establishing itself as a premier family fun destination.




Featured photo of mini golf course courtesy of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Mini Golf Course.

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