5 Best Mini Golf Courses in the US

Do you love the thrill of a hole in one that rolls right through the mouth of an alligator? How about hitting a brightly colored golf ball through the blades of a windmill without striking a single one? Then, a vacation tour of the best miniature golf courses in the United States sounds like a sure bet. After all, don't most holiday spots have a mini golf course anyway?

Miniature golf was all the rage back in the 1920s when NYC had more than 100 roof top courses. The Depression forced the somewhat wacky recreational activity onto the verge of extinction. However, it had a resurgence in the 1950s and hasn't let up. There's even a National Miniature Golf Day held annually on the second Saturday in May.

If you'd love to compete in a mini golf championship or just enjoy the fun of some putt putt golf on a sunny day, here are five of the USA's best.

Pirate Island Golf, New Jersey

The boardwalk in Ocean City is a miniature golf lover's paradise. Take your pick from Medieval golf to pirate golf to shark golf and everything in between. If you've got the time, try them all. Don't miss Pirate Island Golf. This one isn't on the boardwalk and is worth the walk. Ahoy!

Par-King Skill Golf, Illinois

If you adore mini golf with a twist, head to Lincolnshire, Illinois to play "The World's Most Unusual Golf Course" at Par-King Skill Golf. Holes include a roller coaster, the Sears Tower and a really creepy clown. You know the two 18-hole courses have to be absolutely amazing if kids have to be 48 inches or taller to pick up a club. Cash only to play.

Putz N Glo Black Light Mini Golf, South Dakota

If you're in the neighborhood of Mount Rushmore, stop in Rapid City, South Dakota and play at Putz N Glo. It's miniature golf in the dark. Spend the whole day and do the three play; mini golf, gemstone panning and the Miner's Maze. Now that's an awesome day.

Around the World Miniature Golf, New York

Lake George in New York is an excellent summertime vacation spot. It is also home to one of the oldest and coolest mini golf courses in the US. Take a trip around the world on your 18 holes or opt for 18 holes around the United States. Or go mini golf-crazy and do both. After all, you're on vacation.

Ahlgrim Acres, Illinois

Bet you would never put miniature golf together with a funeral home. Well, Ahlgrim Acres in Palatine, Illinois did. A nine-hole mini golf course is in the basement of a funeral home. Not surprisingly it features a coffin and a mausoleum. And yes, people are dying to get in.

*Dawn Miller is a freelance writer and mystery author. She lives in New Jersey.