Rolling over the naturally hilly landscape, the bright-green turf of Statler’s Fun Center’s miniature-golf course winds around the center’s 1,528-foot go-kart track. Engines roar as racers 10 or older zip through the over-and-under bridge’s tight turns or give their lead foot free rein on the straightaways.
The soundtrack of purring motors underscores high-stakes games of miniature golf as players putt their way through deviously landscaped greens, expertly maneuvering the cave with a hidden waterfall and defeating the final hole guarded by squatting gophers. An air-conditioned snack shop provides respite from summer heat with cool drinks and an arcade full of excuses to hang out indoors, such as the classic air-hockey table and skee-ball.
Putt-Putt Fun Center's diminutive diversions pack a full-size dose of afternoon entertainment for fun-seeking families and putt-putt enthusiasts alike. Grab a putter and whack dimpled balls into 18 holes spread across three mini golf courses. Play the angles and employ your secret mini swing to achieve that satisfying ball-in-cup clink while keeping score in pencil, an erasable alternative for situations requiring mulligans or tactical alterations of your opponent’s stroke numbers. Children 5 and younger can play at Putt-Putt Fun Center for $1, so feel free to bring the entire family for a relaxing day of club swinging.
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For many years, the scariest thing about golf has been the Sansabelt pants. With today's Groupon, trade gentle golf claps for screams of putting panic: for $15, you get four rounds at Monster Mini Golf in Marietta, a $30 value. Come once by yourself and save the other three passes for when you have the hiccups, or bring three friends and see who has the strongest stomach for fun monster statues.
If you’re like most people, seeing another windmill boringly swooping its blades on a standard miniature golf course makes you secretly long for glow-in-the-dark zombies. Monster Mini Golf has heard those silent screams and created a fright-filled attraction perfect for couples, kids, adults with kids, and adults unafraid of sharing a fun evening with Dracula. Monster Mini Golf’s owners created most of the oversized monsters that stalk their greens and constitute the course’s obstacles. The creatures glow under ample black lights, and range in monstrosity from animated cuddliness to Bella-Lugosity. Kids of all ages are able to appreciate Monster Mini Golf's kitschy post-structuralist take on the play of difference between signifier and signified.
The links consist of 18 holes spread over 12,600 square feet, and the focus of the course is on challenging angles. Monster Mini golf offers just the right level of challenge to entertain both kids and adults. The Marietta branch opens its creaky doors from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Check Monster Mini Golf's website for upcoming holiday hours.
Monster Mini Golf also offers themed party rooms, such as the Haunted Mansion; a quarter arcade; and traditional arcade challenges, including skee ball and glowing air hockey. Success at these monster-supervised games offers not only personal fulfilment, but also the thrill of having conquered death incarnate. Plus you win prizes. While playing, be sure to listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, “W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio),” whose live, on-site DJ hands out prizes for goofy reasons on the links.
CityVoters name Monster Mini Golf as the best mini golf site in the Atlanta area, and Yelpers give it five stars:
- It’s fun! It’s indoors, so can be played year round! The price is right and staff is very accommodating. – prs0, Cityvoter
- Monster Golf totally rules…The kids had a blast! Good times all around. I’d highly recommend this as an alternate for kiddie birthday parties or a cute, fun date spot. – lee y., Yelp
- The 18 spooky holes surprise golfers with challenges and tricks…They play GREAT music…Hopefully this one lasts! – Amy S., Yelp
Totaling a little more than 2,500 yards laid end to end, the nine holes that constitute Maple Crest Golf Course's rolling hills challenge players to exhibit deft control in order to master its relatively short layout. Big hitters who can keep the ball in play enjoy wide, open fairways, but overzealous strokes may fly out of bounds or enter into orbit, forcing a difficult re-entry through the atmosphere and onto the 5,000-square-foot greens. The par 3 sixth hole forces players to hit their tee shot into a narrow opening above a ravine, and the par 5 ninth hole—the course’s longest at 464 yards—protects its multitiered green with trees and uphill lies.
Course at a Glance:
Eighteen-hole, par 68 course
Total length of more than 5,000 yards from the back tees
Named for the sunny yellow birdsfoot trefoil flowers strewn throughout the course—sprouted from seeds that fell off hay wagons rumbling through years ago on the fields of the former Buffalo Creek Farms—the championship golf course at Birdsfoot Golf Club enchants golfers with rolling hills and country charm. The links-style front nine give way to a back nine whose fairways open over hills, inviting golfers to pull out their drivers and whack dimpled orbs with the club-swinging gusto usually reserved for cracking eggs into an omelet pan. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlights the course’s 465-yard third hole as one of the 18 best public holes in western Pennsylvania, citing its mounded fairway, which doglegs left and challenges putts with a downhill, sloped green. As carts zoom from one hole to the next, they traverse a path where bogeyman faces carved by a local artist peer from tree trunks. When players finish their rounds, they can unwind in a clubhouse where ghosts from its former life as a farmhouse offer advice on covertly changing scorecard results.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 7,034 yards
Course rating of 74.4
Slope rating of 137
See an interactive course tour
Designed by Mark Ormison in 1897, the fairways of Bob O'Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park sprawl over 51 acres and invite linksmen to frolic among foliage that has been flourishing for more than a century, while also gazing out on metropolitan views. Players find themselves challenged right from the get-go with a second hole that is also the toughest, but can strive for birdies at holes 8 and 17 to recover. At the 11th hole, golfers encounter a quirky rectangular green, whose geometric origins are likely found in a house having occupied the space long ago. The course is managed by the local charity The First Tee Pittsburgh, which strives to encourage good character, values, and healthy life choices in children through the game of golf, and proceeds from the course benefit its programs.
Before hitting the course, players can hone their form at the course’s driving range in good weather, take lessons with a Class A PGA professional, or strengthen their swings at the Full Swing simulator, which tracks ball flight, speed, and distance in real time. The simulator offers high-definition projections of more than 35 notable courses, including Pebble Beach, Oakmont Country Club, Pinehurst Country Club, and Harbour Town Golf Links, and lets golfers sharpen their swings in the dead of winter without fear of losing a limb to frostbite or abominable ground squirrels.
Course at a Glance: