With the height of his career 230 million years behind him, the 20-foot T. rex followed a path typical to many retirees: he decided to hit the golf course. Since 1958, the bright-orange behemoth has kept watch over the sixth hole at Route 1 Miniature Golf & Batting Cages, dazzling visitors with his twin rows of gleaming incisors and spot-on Bob Hope impersonation. But the toothy star isn’t the only creature challenging players on this classic putt-putt course. Players must map their swings to navigate a roaring lion, yawning hippo, and towering gray elephant before testing their luck on the 18th hole, where only the most precise putts can succeed in ringing the siren and winning the player a free game.
Adjacent to the mini-golf fairways, four batting cages pitch balls at speeds of more than 85 miles per hour, and an arcade challenges players with classic video games, including Ice Ball. Come cool-down time, guests can usher in a sweet finish to their afternoon by storming the Dairy Castle to seize one of 26 flavors of Richardson’s ice cream, including black raspberry and maple walnut.
At Paradise Mini Golf, friends and families guide colorful golf balls through an 18-hole oasis of zigzagging putting greens and tropical obstacles. The course’s river exposes orbs to the treachery of a flowing stream on multiple holes, and a 35-foot-tall tree house gives local birds a chance to cheer on putt-putters or stock up on nourishing golf balls for winter's hibernation. After a round, golfers can stop by the koi pond and feed the fish at the feeding station or visit the ice-cream stand. Visitors looking to expand their golf game beyond the mini domain can drop by the Paradise Driving Range to hone lengthier swings.
At the center of The Water Hazard Mini Golf's three-acre course, a 35-foot geyser erupts, knocking away incoming golf balls and sprinkling sun-baked putters with a refreshing mist. The expansive course owes many of its obstacles to the natural layout of the Holliston landscape. Flourishing bushes sit between holes and three large ponds break up the terrain while giving golfers glimpses of the sunbathing turtles and soft-shoeing frogs dotting its banks. A waterfall system nearly 500 feet in length also meanders throughout the property. Rolling hills, ridges, and a grand 120-foot slope also challenge golfers. The Water Hazard Mini Golf also features a full-service concession stand, which serves hot dogs, hamburgers, and homemade ice cream from Bliss Dairy.
Visitors to Mel's Funway Park can try their hand at two 18-hole mini-golf courses before speeding and swinging their way through the go-kart track and batting cages, which feature a replica of Fenway's Green Monster and slow- and fast-pitch machines that can reach speeds of up to 85 mph. Inside, a laser plex hosts games of laser tag, while other visitors attempt the laser maze, a web of 36 lasers that participants must avoid to keep from triggering the alarm and receive their cat-burglar certification. Funway Park has also partnered with Woodman's Restaurant to recharge empty body batteries with fare from a renowned and award-winning eatery.
With its storybook coves, rushing rivers, and waterfalls, it might be easy to confuse Captain’s Cove Adventure Golf for some sort of exotic resort. The capsized ship near one of the holes, however, may break that illusion quickly. The adventure-themed mini-golf course surrounds visitors with nautical artifacts, including lighthouses and a maritime lookout platform fashioned like the ones found in old ship masts or Jimmy Buffet’s living room. On hot summer days, the abundance of trees provides golfers with plenty of shade as they traverse the well-kept 18 holes.
At Mulligan's Island Golf & Entertainment, 60 covered hitting stalls look out onto 11 acres of target areas, a sprawling configuration that helped earn the facility a spot on Golf Range Magazine's 2011 list of top 100 ranges. Golfers can use the driving range's 20 heated stalls to practice during off-season months without worrying about cooler temperatures stiffening their swings, or they can invest in lessons that use digital teaching methods such as computerized swing analysis to lower handicaps. A USGA-rated course tests participants with nine holes of regulation-size golf, while an 18-hole pitch-and-putt short course and two mini-golf courses help golfers calibrate aspects of their short game. The practice mecca also tests swings at 10 batting cages that feed baseballs and softballs at adjustable speeds to suit both little leaguers and professionals fishing for compliments.