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Writer and photographer Garrick Ramirez, photo

Best Hip Mini Golf Courses in the West

Posted by Garrick Ramirez on June 19, 2018
Subpar Miniature Golf Alcatraz Hole, picture
Photo credit
Photo Courtesy of Subpar Miniature Golf
Photo caption
Putt through the maze of Alcatraz while looking out on the real deal.

If your idea of golf involves windmills and candy-colored balls, you’ll love the creative miniature golf courses popping up around the West. More Rube Goldberg than Lee Trevino, the latest iterations of the retro pastime feature clever, fantastically designed holes such as gargantuan guitars from rock icons Kiss and a boxing match between San Francisco’s tallest skyscrapers. Plus, today’s courses bring country club perks to the greens with craft beers and food truck-style fare to be enjoyed as you putt. With less golf claps and more spirited fun, these hip links will get you rolling.

San Francisco

You’ll feel like Godzilla putting your way through San Francisco at the new Subpar Miniature Golf in Ghirardelli Square where city landmarks comprise an 18-hole course housed within the 1864 Woolen Mill Building, a manufacturing site for Union soldier uniforms during the Civil War. Scoot your golf ball down twisty Lombard Street, try to avoid getting stuck in Bay Bridge traffic, and enjoy an Alcatraz hole with views of the real thing outside the historic building’s windows. An outdoor patio features those same dazzling waterfront vistas plus lawn games and a picnic area for post-game eats and drinks.

At the soon to open Stagecoach Greens in San Francisco’s Mission Bay, you’ll sip spiked Arnold Palmers while navigating a 18-hole outdoor course with immersive, set design-worthy holes. The front nine take players back to the Old West where they can step inside a rollicking saloon and putt through a pioneer graveyard. The remaining holes reflect modern day San Francisco in a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots-style duke out between the Transamerica Building and newly built Salesforce Tower. And true to techy city life, you can reserve your tee time via a Stagecoach Greens app. The course is just one feature of Parklab Gardens, a new four-acre, open-air space that welcomes the public with food trucks, games, and a cabana-lined beer garden. Opens early July 2018.

Read More: What We Love Now in San Francisco

Kiss Mini Golf Las Vegas, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Erik Kabik for Rio Hotel & Casino
Photo caption
Rock out to Kiss while you maneuver through oversized guitars, towering boots, and a massive replica of Gene Simmons, bright red tongue and all.

Las Vegas

For those who want to putt and roll all night, head to Kiss by Monster Mini Golf at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. While classic Kiss tunes play overhead, players rock their way through a glowing, black light-illuminated course featuring oversized drum kits, towering dragon boots, and the make-up adorned mug of Gene Simmons whose extended red tongue acts as a putting ramp. In addition to a memorabilia-filled museum and arcade, the course features a rock-and-roll chapel where happy couples can be wed by officiants dressed as the Kiss member of their choice.

Flatstick Pub Mini Golf Course, photo
Photo credit
Photo Courtesy of Flatstick Pub
Photo caption
Weather, sunlight, and thirst aren't a problem at this indoor course at Flatstick Pub in Seattle's Pioneer Square.

Seattle

With over 30 taps of Washington-brewed beers and ciders at Flatstick Pub in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, it’s little wonder barrel-like kegs serve as the primary obstacles and throughways of the pub’s challenging, 9-hole indoor mini golf course. You can also try your hand at Duffleboard, a Seattle-themed, mini golf-shuffleboard hybrid where players roll balls past Bigfoot and the Seahawks and into the highest point hole. Afterward, chow down on guisado tacos with savory fillings such as braised beef brisket, potatoes and chorizo, and mushrooms with creamy poblano peppers. Pups are welcome, and can score you $1 off pints during a weekday evening “Yappy Hour.”

Read More: VIP Weekend in Seattle for Music Lovers

Hotel Deluxe 19th Hole Mini Golf and Beer Garden, picture
Photo credit
Photo Courtesy of Hotel Deluxe
Photo caption
Finish your round with a frothy drink in the beer garden at 19th Hole.

Portland

Taking its name from the colloquial term for après-golf drinks, the 19th Hole in Portland features a colorful collection of canned beer, wine, and cider—the largest in the city—to match the multi-colored golf balls of its compact outdoor course. A summertime feature of the adjacent Hotel Deluxe, the family-friendly beer garden is dotted with nine simple putting greens, umbrella-shaded picnic tables, and yard games including cornhole, Giant Jenga, and Pop-A-Shot basketball. There’s also a food cart dishing up street food-style grub such as burgers, Mexican corn on the cob, and Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwiches.

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