We are a golfing family. And by “we,” I mean everyone except me. My husband was a golf professional at a country club for 15 years, and he has passed his love of the game on to our boys. But even a non-golfer like me can mini-golf! So, this summer we decided to check out some miniature golf courses for fun we all can enjoy. And although I haven’t yet been able to conquer the ever elusive hole-in-one, I do think I’ve scored with my family thanks to these outings.
S. Naperville Road & E. Liberty Drive, Wheaton
This Wheaton Park District mini-golf course is located right next to the skateboard park. It is a beautiful 18-hole course and has lovely prairie plants around it. Although it doesn’t have crazy obstacles, it is a nice, well-tended course. Each week they offer some good family deals.
Monday: Kids Day – $1 off each child; Tuesday: 2 for 1 Day – Two rounds for the price of one. Wednesday: Grandparents Day – One grandparent’s admission is free per paid grandchild.
Good for: Beginners or those looking for a laid-back setting for your golfing adventure.
Cost: $5 for ages 15 and under; $6 for ages 16 and up (non-residents)
North Avenue, West Chicago
Part of Carol Stream Park District, this course is railroad themed and is a simple, yet well done, course. Adding a fun twist on this classic game, you can take advantage of the “Mischief Spinner”: on certain holes, you are given an extra challenge. For example, taking the first putt with your eyes closed, or having an opponent stand on the course as an extra obstacle.
Something else that made this course stand out was that some holes had two target holes available – neither was the “right” hole; you could go for either one. Since there was no signage indicating this, it was a little confusing at first when trying to figure out which hole to aim for. This course has lots of fun family evenings throughout the summer and great deals to save money. (Who doesn’t love that?) There are too many to list, so be sure to check out their website.
Good for: Those who will enjoy adding a greater challenge or just changing up the game a bit.
Cost: $5 for ages 3 and up
Pershing Ave & Rt. 53, Glen Ellyn
This course is part of the Glen Ellyn Park District and is located in MaryKnoll Park. It’s a very nice course. It has two full 18-hole courses with various scenic obstacles — and lots of water. At Holes ‘n Knolls, you can play all 36 holes for the regular fee. So it’s basically buy one, get one! Concessions are also available. A fun upcoming event to note: Moonlight Madness is held in September and October — nighttime mini-golf in which only the ball and cup are lit up!
Good for: Those with longer stamina and the desire to play more mini-golf.
Cost: $5.75 for ages 13 and under, $6.75 for ages 14 and up
75th Street, Woodridge
A fun-filled course, this is by far the best one we visited! Lots of fun obstacles and challenging and creative holes fill the course, which is built into the side of a hill. Lost Mountain is privately owned, compared to the others which are owned by park districts. The quality of this course is high and as a result, it is very popular. During peak days and hours, be prepared to wait! A word of advice: the wait on the first 5-6 holes was long, but our play sped up as we went through the course. We loved the holes that led to another level of the same hole — there was even a three- level hole. And pay attention to the signs — you never know when you will get a tip!
Good for: More adventurous and advanced mini-golfers.
Cost: $7.50 for kids 12 and under; $8.75 for ages 13 and up
Oaklawn Ave., Elmhurst
Unfortunately, we weren’t impressed by this course which is part of the Elmhurst Park District. It is very simple and seems to lack the care needed to keep it as a top mini-golf course. Especially considering it was the most expensive park district course, I would recommend going elsewhere.
Cost: $7 for all ages (non-residents)
Earlier this summer we had a birthday party at Holes ‘n Knolls and the kids all had tons of fun! Most of these courses will accommodate birthday parties. Many have a party room or pavilion nearby, if you choose to use it for after golf celebrating. Leave the party planning to them — it’s a win for the kids and a definite win for mom!