Five Zaniest Mini-Golf Courses in the U.S.

Mini-golf is a favored pastime for many Americans. Some people look to mini-golf to improve their short game on the green, while others just go for the social experience and fun factor. Here we'll be featuring courses that speak to the latter group. For these thrill-seeking mini-golf purists, the crazier the attractions and obstacles, the better. The courses on this list represent some of the wildest ideas in mini-golf.

5. Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, Nationwide
Pirates Cove Adventure Golf on Great Yarmouth seafrontl, one of many attractions at the popular English seaside resortAdrian Buck/Alamy​

Pirate's Cove is a mini-golf chain with a pirate theme. Courses include rope bridges, waterfalls, and, yes, coves. You'll also find pirates, and lots of them, complete with the ships they'll use to sail away with the bounty that your day of fun will provide. Pirate's Cove also runs a fundraiser called Putting for Patriots that supports charities who benefit wounded veterans.

4. Kiss by Monster Mini-Golf, Las Vegas, NV
KISS! Monster Mini-Golfwwarby/Flickr​

Monster Mini-Golf is a chain of glow-in-the-dark courses with monsters set to greet you at every hole. That's right, it's dark and there are monsters. The Vegas location features a Kiss-inspired course, complete with a full arcade, rock-inspired lighting effects and lasers, giant flashing guitars, whirling disco balls, and more. They even have their own wedding chapel — because, Vegas.

3. Ahlgrim Acres Community Room, Palatine, IL

Located in the basement of a funeral home, the Ahlgrim Acres Community Room houses its own small mini-golf course and arcade. The course was built by Roger Ahlgrim in 1964 as the result of a brief debate surrounding what to do with the excess room in the basement. The 9-hole course has a guillotine, a water trap, a mausoleum, and comes with the strict assurance that it's never to be used during business hours.

2. Mayday Golf, Myrtle Beach, SC

Mayday Golf - North Myrtle Beach, SC from Jonathan Richey on Vimeo.

So-called "scenario golf," Mayday Golf presents patrons with a fun backstory to their game; golfers were on their way to a golf outing when their plane crashed on a deserted island. Now, stranded and alone, there's nothing to do but pick up the clubs and play through the course. Mayday Golf is replete with scenery you'd expect to find on a tropical island, including overhanging palm trees, rivers, and waterfalls. Your broken-down plane is visible atop a rocky outcropping during play, as is the rescue helicopter that's come to find you, should you successfully make your way to the finish.

1. Par-King Skill Golf, Lincolnshire, IL
The view from the entranceAndrew Huff/Flickr

The self-described "World's Most Unusual Mini-Golf Course," Par-King Skill Golf boasts a variety of zany obstacles. Par-King has two 18-hole courses with 19 moving obstacles, including a giant pink castle, a 1950's-style sci-fi rocket ship, and a variety of coaster tracks that flip and zoom your balls every which way. At only $8-$9 per person, golfing here is an experience you don't want to miss.

Bonus: Lexington Ice Center, Lexington, KY

Biblical mini-golf is certainly unique enough to qualify for this list. However, it remains too zany to even rank. At Lexington Ice Center you'll find three courses, each named after the Old Testament, the New Testament, and "Miracles." Each hole is inspired by a bible verse, and causes you to attempt things like hitting your ball into Noah's Ark or parting the Red Sea with your putt.

Kevin Lankes is a freelance writer and author of four books who's lived in four out of the five NYC boroughs. He's toured the country, lived on couches, joined secret societies, and survived cancer. Kevin has credits in a variety of outlets and publications, and provides content to corporate clients and individuals alike.