Orchard Golf Center allows patrons to channel their inner Trevino on an illuminated outdoor miniature-golf course. Players can wind their way through 18 holes defended by mounds, curves, water hazards, and a confused hockey goalie. The miniature-golf course is well lit to accommodate evening bogey evaders and games played during total lunar eclipses. In addition to small-scale fairway festivities, Orchard Golf Center hosts a snack bar and a pro shop stocked with golf apparel and accouterments.
A pirate ship casts its shadow over the green corridors of Pirates? Cove mini golf course, setting the scene for golfers to enjoy a round of swashbuckling putt-putt. The 18-hole promenade also winds past geysers, waterfalls, and trickling streams.
Ben and Ari's accommodates competitors of all levels with a full arcade and pizza kitchen flanked by two 18-hole miniature-golf courses. Both courses mimic the terrain of their larger long-game counterparts, but eschew the giant windmills in favor of dips, bends, and wandering streams that swallow wayward golf balls. The fairways also wind around the centerpiece of a working waterfall, which trickles in the background of live bands during summer festivals and fundraisers. During the winter months, players stay warm in the glow of the arcade, which houses 45 nonviolent video games that allow kids to enjoy simulated road races. The arcade also encompasses a pair of scaled-down bowling alleys that make strikes and spares a feasible goal for pint-sized rollers.
Navigate the skill-taxing 18-hole course while steering clear of numerous rocks, water hazards, and sand traps, which golf balls covet for their naturally exfoliating properties. Before or after hitting the mini-links, guests also can head to the bank of 11 batting cages that collectively feature six baseball pitching machines, four slow-pitch softball machines, and one fast-pitch softball machine. The fully automatic system tosses baseballs at speeds from 40 to 85 mph, giving even seasoned baseballers cause for perspiration.
The saga of the world-famous Putt-Putt chain dates back to 1954, when founder Don Clayton opened his first course in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After the hole-in-one, Don started selling franchises the next year, and now his miniature empire counts the Louisville Putt-Putt Fun Center among its ranks. Three 18-hole indoor courses test mini golfers' mettle with distinct challenges and themes. On one course, a waterfall scintillates soothingly, and on another, animals stand watch and try to store errant golf balls for winter's semipermanent nap. An arcade tests hand-eye-screen coordination, and an outdoor party pavilion hosts birthday parties and events.
Opening its first fairways in 1926, Hillview Country Club prides itself on a charming course that envelops golfers in an emerald ecosystem replete with L93 bentgrass fairways and smooth, fast-moving greens. Players must contend with tree lines along the fairways and several water hazards as they corral golf balls over the 6,495-yard Robert Simmons design. Before a round, players can warm up at the practice facilities, which include a driving range with natural-grass hitting stations and a short-game area. The chipping green allows for approaches from up to 75 yards away, precisely the distance of Jack Nicklaus’s bathroom putting green.
Course at a Glance:
* 18-hole, par-72 course
* Total length of 6,585 yards from the back tees
* Course rating of 71.4 from the back tees
* Course slope of 120 from the back tees