Whether it’s the tiny town buildings, flowering gardens, or obstacle-like oddities that capture one's imagination, Putter's Pride evokes an ambiance of adventure as guests traverse its three 18-hole mini golf courses. From a toilet seat left ajar to a pink windmill and a purple dragon protruding from the turf, the unusual hole designs keep golfers guessing and scratching their heads with their clubs as they match putts with opponents during a round, which takes about 45 minutes. Around the greens’ edges, streams splash down tiered stone waterfalls, colorful blossoms overflow from wooden flowerboxes, and farm animals look out from the side of a pink barn to referee putter swordfights to determine the authenticity of an alleged hole-in-one.
The whimsical decor facilitates fun at birthday parties, where guests can chow down on their own snacks and cake around multicolored picnic tables before hitting the pintsize putting grounds.
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.
Haystack Mountain Golf Course bears many features that remind players of the history of the land beneath their golf spikes, a history that stretches way back before a tee ever pierced it. An original 1850s settlers' shack still stands on the 240-acre plot, as does an early 1900s horse barn?which today stores golf equipment now that horses have been replaced by golf carts. And then of course there's Left Hand Creek and Haystack Mountain itself, home to the Arapahoe tribe and hardscrabble settlers in the 19th century.
Today, golfers enjoy those same pristine views of Haystack Mountain and the Flatirons as they play the nine-hole, links-style layout. Left Hand Creek bifurcates the course and comes into play on four holes. A scant 2,153 yards with a par of 32, the course is a scenic place for beginners to take up the game and for their more seasoned counterparts to work on their touch on the greens.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 32 course * Total length of 2,153 yards from the back tees * Two sets of tees per hole * View the scorecard
With very few trees on the course, golfers' views of the Rocky Mountains—which soar across the western horizon—are seldom obstructed at Saddleback Golf Club. The open terrain also makes the lengthy, 7,090-yard layout more manageable, as golfers can consistently reach for their driver off the tee. Even with an open expanse, golfers are constantly challenged, as most of the course's greens are heavily fortified with sand and grass bunkers, and two holes—the par-three 4th and the par-four 16th—feature de facto island greens, almost fully wreathed by water hazards. Simply reaching the putting surface does not guarantee a good score, as the course's large, multi-tiered greens will make for many long, hard-to-read putts. To prepare for the round, golfers can take a flyover tour of the course.
Though the course is a serious challenge, Saddleback Golf Club encourages golfers of all stripes to enjoy their time on the links. While the scorecards at most clubs include a recitation of basic rules and etiquette, Saddleback's card strikes a much more laid back tone, imploring players to "have phun" and "kick your ball if you hit a bad shot," while reminding them that "scoring is optional." The carefree vibe extends to the Club's instructional programs, where golf pros pass on birdie-hunting wisdom and caddie scolding tactics.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course designed by Andy Johnson * Length of 7,090 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.5 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 130 from the farthest tees * Five tee options * Scorecard
Framed by the distant peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Coal Creek Golf Course twists and turns 6,879 yards of fairways and greens through a gauntlet of ponds and mature trees. One of 10 different holes in which golfers encounter water, the par-4 6th is regarded as Coal Creek's most difficult hole, featuring the layout's narrowest fairway, a pond to gobble up drives that veer left, and towering trees to block out any shot that strays to the right or gets adopted by a hungry squirrel. The par-4 18th hole offers a fitting end to the round with a tricky, 425-yard dogleg right crisscrossed by the waters of Coal Creek. The course also boasts a staff of PGA professionals who can help clients add length to their drives or learn how to change a golf cart's tire in lessons offered for players of all ages and abilities.
Course at a Glance:
Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Gateway Park Fun Center combines the splendor of its natural backdrop with a variety of manmade attractions. Fresh mountain air courses through the 18-hole mini-golf course and whips the hair of go-kart racers on a track more than 2,100 feet long. Guests with unstable hairdos can retreat inside, where an arcade loaded with games such as skee-ball and NFL Throw—along with an inline hockey rink—make the park a year-round destination.