The 9 Toughest Mini Golf Holes


Taking golf way too seriously is sort of a hallmark of hitting a rock with a stick and chasing it.

And why should things be any different just because you are aiming to hit the ball into a clown’s mouth?

There are approximately 5,000 mini golf courses across the country—that’s a far cry from the 25,000 that existed pre-Great Depression in the early 1930s but still an awful lot of tiny greens inhabited by dragons, lumberjacks, princess castles and pirates. The US ProMiniGolf Association hosts regular competitions including the Masters and the US Open where players from across the country compete for purses up to $20,000 and the chance to be on Team USA to compete for world championship titles.

Until you’ve seen grown adults putting through a windmill with $20Gs on the line, you haven’t lived.

Should you be thinking it’s time to take your game up a notch with that $20Gs of inspiration, we’re here to help. The following is a custom nine-hole mini golf round featuring the best holes in the country using a rigorous judging criteria of creativity, difficulty and, most importantly, fun. Repeat our round enough times and you’ll be playing with the pros in no time.

* Please note soft serve, visors and high fives not guaranteed at all locations.


Canton, Connecticut

Guten tag! This family owned and operated half-acre course is as authentically Swiss as the cheese. Practice your distance putts on the 18th hole which is a 7 1-foot-long alpine meadow full of flowers. Come for the goats but stay for the yodeling.

 CREATIVITY: 5/5 · DIFFICULTY: 4/5 · FUN: 5/5 


Irondequoit, New York

While mini golf courses in the US are concentrated in Florida and the Carolinas, Myrtle Beach specifically, NY state actually has about 75 registered courses including this little gem that opened in 1930 and is one of the few to survive the Great Depression. Practice your short chipping on hole 15 where you actually need to clear some fairway to make it to the green.

 CREATIVITY: 3/5 · DIFFICULTY: 4/5 · FUN: 5/5 


Madison, Wisconsin

Vitense is the No. 1 rated mini golf course in Wisconsin for good reason and our number one pick for the most interactive course on this list. If the dangerous water hazards and risky obstacles throw you for a loop at least there are fun slides, monorails, lighthouses and tunnels to explore. With two outdoor courses and one indoor course (for training in those cold Wisconsin winters), you really can’t go wrong here, but the double-decker giraffe hole is quite a challenge.

 CREATIVITY: 5/5 · DIFFICULTY: 5/5 · FUN: 5/5 


Ocean City, New Jersey

Congo Falls is the only course on this list to label itself as Adventure Golf, think Indiana Jones meets Augusta. There are three different 18-hole courses complete with caves, waterfalls, animated gorillas and nice ocean views to soothe your non-golfing sidekick. The best hole on this course is the 18 where all three courses converge on one mega hole in spectacular grandeur.

 CREATIVITY: 4/5 · DIFFICULTY: 2/5 · FUN: 5/5 


North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The Hawaiian Rumble claims to be the toughest mini golf course in the world and maybe they are right, after all this is the home of the annual Masters tournament. If the erupting 40-foot volcano doesn’t scare you then the rolling greens, water hazards and lengthy shots are sure to. While the best hole on the course appears to be under further review, #8 is the rumored winner.

 CREATIVITY: 4/5 · DIFFICULTY: 5/5 · FUN: 5/5 


Tega Cay, South Carolina

While you’re in the Carolinas, stop into Mr. Putty’s Fun Park, the official host of the 2019 US Open. Hole #5 happens to be the longest mini golf hole in the Carolinas at an easy 111 feet. If that causes you to pull a “Happy Gilmore,” don’t worry, the 19th hole—a pretty nice beer and wine garden—is sure to put you at ease or, after a particularly bad round, you may opt for axe throwing.

 CREATIVITY: 4/5 · DIFFICULTY: 5/5 · FUN: 5/5 


Pinehurst, North Carolina

This ultra-exclusive mini golf course opened in 1916 and shares its home with one of the most prominent golf courses in the USA, Pinehurst. While it may not be full of obstacles and water hazards, the greens are comparable to its big brother Championship course, fast, tricky and tough to read. The #2 might be the most deceptively difficult hole in all of mini golf. It looks to be a 31-foot straight flat approach. It is not.

 CREATIVITY: 2/5 · DIFFICULTY: 4/5 · FUN: 5/5 

Hole 8: PAR-KING

Lincolnshire, Illinois

In operation since 1955, Par-King has trademarked itself as the world’s most unusual golf course and in the 1960s it was christened as “Mini golf’s Taj Mahal.” Currently between the two 18-hole courses there are 7 water hazards and 19 moving obstacles to keep you on the brink of tossing your putter into said water obstacles. The greatest hole on this course is none other than the Super Looper, a roller coaster that could be mistaken for a Six Flags ride.

 CREATIVITY: 4/5 · DIFFICULTY: 5/5 · FUN: 5/5 


Las Vegas, Nevada

Time to shake things up for your final stop. Like most things in Las Vegas, this course is far from ordinary. You don’t have to be a KISS fan to enjoy this 13,000 square-foot glow-in-the-dark mini golf course (but if you aren’t, you should probably go listen to “Destroyer”). Complete with a live DJ, arcade games and, of course, some glowing tongues, this course does not disappoint. Just don’t get hustled.