Spooky, undead monsters and lively tunes combine to create a jovial atmosphere inside Monster Mini Golf's 10,000-square-foot, glow-in-the-dark course. As players navigate the 18 mind-boggling holes, a DJ spins tunes to awaken tone-deaf monsters, occasionally doling out prizes to golfers for reasons ranging from "craziest hair" to "smoothest celebration after a hole in eight." And after a wacky session of putting, guests can flex their thumb muscles inside a decked-out video arcade lined with both classic and modern games.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
A deep breath of fresh air awaits at Putts & More, where a green and tranquil setting fosters family-friendly recreation. Leafy bushes flourish around the runways of an 18-hole course where players focus on sinking tricky putts or casting a distracting shadow in their opponent's line of sight. Alongside the course, guests can peruse the farm stand?a joint effort between Putts & More and other community groups?to get locally grown flowers, fruits, and vegetables, or they can always nab hot dogs and candy at the snack bar.
With an All-Day Pass in hand, merrymakers can limitlessly enjoy Mel's Funway Park's go-karts, batting cages, mini golf, driving range, laser tag, and laser maze. Motor around Mel's go-kart track, which tests rubber-burners with tight turns and a bridge. David Ortiz admirers can emulate Big Papi in Mel's batting cages, featuring a replica of the Fenway Park's Green Monster and pitches from 45 to 85 mph. Golf gurus can tap orbs around two mini-golf courses, or sharpen their power-drive on the driving range. Show off your laser-firing accuracy or settle trading disputes with the Galactic Emperor Zorgo by dueling in the laser plex, where fog and black lights fill the futuristic arena. Mel's laser maze presents an electrifying challenge, as calm contortionists achieve victory by maneuvering around 36 beams of emerald light.
The nine-hole course at Northampton Country Club was carved into the countryside in 1898. Four sets of tees make each time-honored hole manageable, whether a player can hit the long ball or prefers to throw the ball toward the green. A river comes into play on two holes, and the wide fairways cut through regions of dense forest that can ensnare errant balls.
After a round, players can head to the recently renovated clubhouse to dine at the 19th Hole bar and grill and regale fellow visitors with tall tales of booming drives and the 3-foot putt that got away.
Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par 35 course * Total length of 3,041 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 69 from the back tees * Course slope of 119 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
Donald Ross, America's first great golf course architect and designer of legendary loops such as Pinehurst No. 2 and Seminole Golf Club, had a way with the land. He seemed to be able to bend the earth to his will. Where lesser architects might have just laid down a bunch of green yoga mats, Ross punctuated the landscape with subtle, artful flourishes – such as crowned “turtle back” greens and deep bunkers – that were perfectly integrated into the landscape. These nuanced touches can be witnessed at Orchards Golf Club, a 1922 Ross creation. The famed designer splayed the 18-hole course across 160 acres of terrain marked by dense forest groves and an enduring mystique, attributes that earned the course hosting duties for the 2002 NCAA Women's Championship and 2004 USGA Women's Open Championship.
Course at a Glance: