Fore! really cool mini-golf courses to try

No ho-hum putt-putting here. You can venture to the Congo, play a “championship” course, learn some trick shots, have a glow party and more. Each course is “hole-in-one” fun. So, scramble the kiddies and grab your caddy—it’s golfing time!


How about taking the kids on an exotic expedition? Congo River Golf and Exploration has two 18-hole courses overflowing with adventure. Each course winds around a waterfall-fed river. You’ll brave rickety bridges, trek a steep mountain, come face-to-face with a giant Tiki mask and putt on a “floating” green. Search for hidden “artifacts” (QR codes that you scan into your device) and earn prizes. 

Don’t worry about mosquito nets, but pack sunscreen. There is little shade on this course. Great for golfers of all ages. Keep in mind there are stairs, uneven walkways, high ledges and bridges, so strollers should stay back at “camp.” 

1325 N. Barrington Road, Hoffman Estates; (847) 843-1778.


Play like a champ at Wilderness Falls Mini-Golf. This rustic-themed mini-golf course has two 18-hole courses. Putt across a 35-foot waterfall and “play through” Big Foot’s Cave on the Bear course. Bear is also home to the Chicago Mini-Golf Championship. Go ahead, walk in the footsteps of mini-golf greatness! 

If climbing is more your style, “fly” over to the Eagle course, with its 40-foot “mountain.” On the last hole race against your foursome to sink your putt first. The winner walks away with bragging rights. Perfect for golfers of all ages.  

145 S. Clow International Parkway, Bolingbrook; (630) 378-8888.


What do Mount Rushmore, roulette and roller coasters all have in common? Par-King Skill Golf! This quirky course is an eclectic collection of outrageous obstacles, wacky water hazards and trick holes. Hole-in-one? Who cares! Golfers have more fun tracking balls as they whiz, whirl and wind through a unique assortment of 19 moving obstacles. Watch your ball ride up an elevator in the Sears Tower, spin through the Rocket Ship, spiral around the Roller Coaster. Or take a chance with the Lucky Roulette. This throwback course only accepts cash. Golfers must be at least 48 inches tall. Great for older kids and teens. 

21711 N. Milwaukee Ave., Lincolnshire; (847) 634-0333.


Don’t let a rain delay take you off course. Putting Edge brings all the fun of mini-golf inside for a “glowing” good time. This indoor, illuminated course is lit with black lights. Everything glows in the dark—scenery, holes, golf balls, even the golfers! Along with clubs and balls, golfers get glow bracelets to wear. 

The course spans two floors and takes golfers through a series of themed luminescent rooms. “Dive” into the murky depths of the sea, “play” with monkeys in the jungle or “joust” the mysterious dark knight in the castle. Hole 17 is a trick hole that twirls the ball through an oversized Aztec calendar wall maze before dropping it on the green. The 18th hole is Skee-Ball meets golf. 

Fun tip: It’s possible to sink a hole-in-one on all 18 holes. Challenge the kiddos and see who can shoot the most “aces.” Keep in mind, it is dimly lit to boost the glow. Better for kids who are not afraid of the dark.  

4105 N. Harlem Ave., Norridge (in the Norridge Commons Shopping Center); (708) 457-8377.

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