golf is one part sport, one part visual art, and one part magic.
Many of us have fond memories of our favorite childhood putt-putt
course, and our own children continue to find delight in knocking a
golf ball through quirky, imaginative obstacles. Area courses offer
families physical activity and relaxed time together for no more
than the price of a movie.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Also check with your local park district; some maintain their own
miniature golf courses and charge reasonable rates.
Par-King Skill Golf's slogan is affirmed by
Golf Digest: "Par-King might be the most creative miniature golf
course in the country." Located in
Lincolnshire, Par-King (21711 Milwaukee
Ave.) was among the first to combine elements of an amusement park
with a golf course. In business since the 1960s, Par-King offers
two 18-hole courses with challenging, whimsical holes such as
replicas of a vintage elevator and the Statue of Liberty, and a
12-foot looping wooden roller coaster. They are open weekends only
beginning the second week of June. Because most of the holes
involve moving mechanical elements, players must be at least 48
inches tall. Cash only.
The Putting Edge
(4105 N. Harlem Ave., Norridge) offers 18 holes of a
glow-in-the-dark musical world that encompasses ocean depths to
rain forests; medieval times to Aztec jungles. Be sure to look at
"What's Glowin' On" on its website listing
current specials and events. They have an online game that's fun to
play and gives a preview of what to expect.
Golf your way through the circus at
Rocky's Fun House Miniature Golf in Waukegan, just three miles
from Six Flags Great America. Rocky's (2411 Grand Ave.) boasts a
16-foot moving Ferris wheel, Big Top, trapeze artists, elephants
and a wacky mirror room. This indoor 18-hole, glow-in-the-dark
course is part of an arcade complex. Golf every Wednesday for just
$3 or earn a free game by making a hole-in-one.
Novelty Golf in Lincolnwood (3650
W. Devon Ave.) offers two 18-hole courses with diverse and fanciful
statuaries-everything from a fairy castle to Snoopy's doghouse;
Lady Liberty to Frankenstein; a giant rooster to a seal balancing a
ball on its snout. Novelty Golf caters to families and children of
all ages and sizes and offers a second game discount. There are
batting cages, a game room, a picnic area, and concessions at the
Bunny Hutch. Cash only.
Get ready for an
out-of-this-world experience at Space Golf in Orland Park
(15611 S. 94th Ave.). Alien Planets, giant robots, flying saucers
and space creatures wait to test your skill at this 18-hole course.
Music, lasers and other high-tech special effects lend drama to the
experience; optional 3-D glasses and alien laser blasters (for kids
8 and up to "zap" aliens) add to the