When you think of mini-golf, you probably think about kid-friendly times with the family. There are, however, some courses that cater to wilder sensibilities. Designed around hard rock and black lights, ancient ruins, or a fire-belching “active volcano,” these courses provide unique, trippy, and even thrilling experiences worth planning a vacation around. From the the neon of the Vegas Strip, to the oceanfront kitsch of Myrtle Beach, here are the trippiest mini-golf courses in the U.S.
Kiss by Monster Mini-Golf (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Nestled toward the back of the ’80s-tinged Rio casino on the edge of the strip, the Kiss by Monster Mini-Golf course is the perfect Vegas experience between hangovers. The neon infused black light course is also an homage to Kiss, which means you putt around massive electric guitars, and finish the course put dropping a hole-in-one up Gene Simmons’ tongue. Add in the Kiss museum and arcade attached to the course and this is a great way to kill a few hours as you wait for the hair of the dog to take its effect.
Molten Mountain (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
There are a number of ways we can think of to make mini-golf more exciting. But honestly, a 50-foot-tall active volcano wasn’t one of them. Molten Mountain has two tropical themed courses, one of which is actually inside of the course’s centerpiece volcano attraction. Every half hour, the volcano erupts, spewing real flames, which helps you learn to focus on your short game regardless of what natural disasters might get in your way.
Wild Abyss Mini-Golf (Wisconsin Dells, Wis.)
With a name that sounds more like an awful fate for hobbits than a mini-golf course, this course combines everyone’s natural fears with neon 3-D fun for the whole family. If the course based on sea creatures is too much for you and whatever recreational substances you are currently enjoying, the pirate course might be a safe alternative that doesn’t trigger your Jaws PTSD.
King Putt (Henderson, Nev.)
In addition to legalized prostitution and machine gun ranges, Nevada also runs the game when it comes to black light mini-golf courses. Though it is about a half-hour drive from the Strip and its buffets, many customers report that King Putt is a must-see. In addition to black lights, sensors and interactive objects are employed to create thrills with mummies, serpents, and other “Egyptian” attractions.
Hollywood Drive-In Golf (Orlando, Fla.)
Few mini-golf courses in America have the budget of the visually stunning course at Universal Studios’ Orlando CityWalk. Hollywood Drive-In Golf is an homage to old-school Hollywood genre films, from B-movie sci-fi to low-budget horror. Whether you’re hitting balls into UFOs or through haunted houses, this is sure to be one of the most enjoyable mini-golf experiences you’ll ever have.
Urban Putt (San Francisco, Calif.)
While not as flashy as some of these courses, Urban Putt is just as trippy as any black-light-and-fog-machine-heavy super course. This course is located inside a home in San Francisco’s Mission District and focuses more on elegant tricks of physics than spectacular FX. The holes here feel more like science experiments than traditional mini-golf holes. The house is populated with windmills, model trains, and spiraling wood work. Urban Putt, with its quicky, hip, historical bent is sure to be unlike any mini-golf experience you’ve ever had.