Putt-putting around? Plans not up to par? Perhaps you need to get out of the hazards and redefine what it means to go clubbing with a round – or two or three – of mini golf. The D.C. metro area has lots of options with the usual obstacles, but there are extraordinary offerings, too, such as glow-in-the-dark mini golf and golfing among history. Whatever draws you out of your hole, you’ll find a way fore-ward at one of these courses.

Photo: Linda via Flickr

Mini Golf Course at East Potomac 
One of the oldest continually operating mini golf courses in the country, this place is on the National Record for Historic Places. It opened in 1931, but don’t worry, it’s undergone renovations a few times since then. Situated between the Washington Channel and Potomac River, the course offers scenic views as well as a fun time. Note: Moms, dads and grandparents play for free on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparents’ Day, respectively.

Cost: $6 for ages 18 and under and 60 and older, $7 for adults 19 to 59
When: See website for seasonal dates and times
Where: 972 Ohio Dr., SW
Online: golfdc.com

Monster Mini Golf
Get glowing with this monster-themed indoor glow golf facility. The four locations in the D.C. metro area feature animated props, an in-house deejay and arcade rooms, in addition to private party rooms in case you decide to make this a group outing. Other activities include mini bowling and a laser maze.

Cost: $9.98 to $10.98 in Chantilly, $8.99 to $9.99 in Columbia, $9.99 to $11.99 in Gaithersburg, $8.99 to $10.99 in Towson
When: See website for locations’ hours
Where: 14130 Sullyfield Cir., Suite G, Chantilly; 7351 Assateague Dr., Suite 380, Jessup; 9116 Gaither Rd., Gaithersburg; 1969 E. Joppa Rd., Parkville
Online: monsterminigolf.com

Fairfax County Park Authority Mini Golf Courses
Several of this government agency’s parks have courses to challenge growing golfers. Burke Lake Park’s course ($5 to $8) has clubs to fit kiddos as young as 2. Make a day of it and rent a canoe to take out on the lake or pair mini golf with a 10-minute ride on the mini train. Jefferson Falls Mini-Golf ($6 to $8) features waterfalls, while Oak Marr Mini-Golf ($5 to $8) sits near soccer fields and a nine-hole par three real course.

Cost: $5 to $8
When: Check website
Where: Check website
Online: fairfaxcounty.gov

Photo: Glowgolf at Leesburg

Glowgolf at Leesburg
Do a swipe with the lint brush before you head here to grab a club. The cost includes up to three rounds of indoor fun. For an extra fee, channel your inner Tom Cruise circa 1996 (“Mission Impossible,” people) and try to make it through the Laser Maze Challenge without touching them.

Cost: $10/adult, $8/kid ages 5 to 12, $5/kid 4 and younger and seniors
When: See website
Where: 1601 Village Market Blvd., Space F-100 (Leesburg, Va)
Online: opryglowgolf.com

Laurel Golf Center
Take a swing at the mini golf course here and navigate obstacles and fountains as you go. If you’re looking for something more professional after your inspiring round, check out the golf range ($6 for a bucket of 52 b alls) or sign up for a Junior Golf Clinic, offered weekend mornings for ages 6 to 17.

Cost: $7/adult, $5/senior citizen, $4/kid 12 and younger for 18 holes; $9/adult, $8/senior and $7/kid for 36 holes
When: Monday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and holidays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: 9801 Ft Meade Rd. (Laurel, Md)
Online: laurelgolfcenter.com

Splash Park and Mini-Golf of South Germantown
Part of Montgomery County’s Parks Department, the 18-hole course with natural and manmade obstacles sits next to an awfully tempting water park that might be too good to bypass when the temperature heats up again.

Cost: $4
When: May 27 to Sept. 4 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 18056 Central Park Circle, Boyds
Online: montgomeryparks.org

Miniature Golf at Bohrer Park
Handicapped- and stroller-accessible, the course has hole locations that change every day. Try to snake past a lion and pose for a selfie by the city’s only waterfall.

Cost: $6/resident, $7/nonresident, $5/resident 55 and up or $6/nonresident 55 and up
When: Seasonal, check website
Where: 514 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg
Online: gaithersburgmd.gov

Photo: Dulles Golf

Dulles Golf Center and Sports Park
Good for kiddos 3 and older, the 18-hole has 10 replicas of famous lighthouses, including those in Assateague and Cape Henry, Va. There’s also the more typical stuff like fountains, moguls and stone traps.

Cost: $9/adult, $7.50/ages 3 to 12, free for 2 and under
When: Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: 21593 Jesse Ct. (Dulles, Va)
Online: dullesgolf.com

Topgolf Miniature Golf
Come for the two mini golf courses and stay for Topgolf U Juniors, a class ($29) for beginner and intermediate budding golfers who want to up their game in a high-energy environment. Or grab a bite at the onsite restaurant. The kids menu offers mini hot dogs, chicken tenders, grilled cheese and a cheeseburger. Adults can munch on brisket grilled cheese, pulled pork sliders or wings and wash them down with beer or wine. Leave room to try the injectable donut holes: 24 cinnamon-sugar holes that you can fill with with chocolate, raspberry or Bavarian cream. Note: Topgolf has locations in Loudoun and Germantown, too.

Cost: $9/adult, $7/kid ages 12 and under
When: Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to midnight
Where: 6625 S. Van Dorn St., Alexandria
Online: topgolf.com

The Magic Putting Place
Choose from two courses here. The Magic Castle features a – wait for it – magic castle and saw mill, while the Windmill course has – wait! – a windmill and shade trees. Family-friendly music serenades you as you go.

Cost: $4 before 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; $4.50 before 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, $5 after 6 p.m.
When: Seasonal – call 703-257-7888 for details
Where: 8902 Mathis Ave. (Manassas, Va)
Online: magicputtingplace.com

NOVA Parks Mini Golf Courses
Five of the locations this organization runs – it represents Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax – offer mini golf. The 18-hole course at Fountainhead Regional Park ($3/player) has a wooded setting, Upton Hill ($3.50 to $6) touts itself as having “one of the area’s most interesting miniature golf layouts in Northern Virginia,” and Treasure Island Mini Golf at Pohick Bay ($3/game) has a pirate theme.

Cost: $3 to $6
When: Check website
Where: Check website
Online: novaparks.com


Do you have a favorite putt-putt place? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

-Stephanie Kanowitz