Rochester Cathedral has come up with a novel way of bringing in the visitors this summer: installing a minigolf course in its nave. A spokesperson for the Kent cathedral said the course will bring putters into what “might be a previously unvisited building”. While some Catholics are teed off by the idea (one describing it as a “sacrilege against God”), for minigolf fans like me it is an excellent opportunity to play another unusual course – of which there are some sensational ones around the world. Here are 10 of the best.
1 Ahlgrim Acres, Palatine, Illinois
Hidden beneath a funeral home in Chicago is an extraordinary minigolf course where mourners can take their minds off bereavement by putting through a coffin, under a moving guillotine and through a haunted house.
2 Priština Golf, Çagllavicë, Kosovo
Possibly the hardest minigolf course in the world, Kosovo’s only course, a few miles south of the capital, stretches the definition of the term “mini”. In a desolate field surrounded by stray dogs and overgrown fields lie 18 of the longest minigolf holes I’ve ever played. The course record is 47; I shot 90-something.
3 Championship Adventure Golf, New Brighton, Merseyside
The crazy world of minigolf
Ever wanted to walk up the 18th at St Andrews, or test yourself on the famous “island green” 17th at TPC Sawgrass? Just over the Mersey from Liverpool, you can live your dream of being a pro golfer on a course featuring reconstructions of the world’s most famous holes. If the pressure is too much for you, there’s a more relaxed second course based on Wirral landmarks.
4 Bubbeljungle Golf in the Dark, Leiderdorp, Netherlands
In case the minigolf itself is not compelling enough, this glow-in-the-dark indoor course is also an interactive mystery story. Someone has kidnapped a famous singer, Diva Laguna, and it’s your job to rescue her. Collect clues as you putt through the dark, and deliver justice on the final hole by driving your golf ball into the villain’s mouth.
5 De Midgetgolftuinen, Lage Vuursche, Netherlands
Deep in a picturesque wooded setting lie three very different styles of minigolf course in one complex: one with a hard surface, one with a gravel surface, and a grass course with extremely long holes. Putt through hollowed-out logs and down a helter-skelter; get bonus points for passing through croquet hoops.
6 Lexington Ice & Rec Center, Kentucky
Another three-in-one location, with the courses based on the Bible. On the Old Testament course, you have to avoid obstacles such as the tree of knowledge, climb Jacob’s ladder and scale Mount Sinai, the hardest and highest volcano-style hole I’ve ever seen. Then follow the star to Bethlehem on the New Testament course and watch as water turns into wine on the third – miracle-themed – course.
7 Hastings Adventure Golf, East Sussex
Known as the UK’s home of minigolf, Hastings also has three courses – a classic one complete with the obligatory lighthouse and windmill, an adventure course with totem poles that spit water at you as you play, and a tricky pirate-themed course. It hosts the World Crazy Golf championship every year and will host minigolf’s British Open in September.
8 Adventure Minigolf, Prague
The 22-hole course is located in a barely signposted warehouse on an industrial estate on the outskirts of the Czech capital. Clearly a passion project by its owner, the first 17 holes are crammed into a small space – at one point you have to putt uphill to the floor above – before the course spills outside for another five holes. It’s a lovingly designed and cleverly crafted course – if you can find it.
9 Minigolf Knokke-Zoute, Knokke-Heist, Belgium
Full of expensive restaurants and designer clothes shops, Knokke-Heist is the closest Belgium has to the Cote d’Azur – so it’s no surprise that the town’s minigolf course is perfectly turned out. The elegant red-and-white colour scheme, the perfectly manicured greens and the smell of money in the air can make you forget you’re playing a children’s game.
10 Kungälvs Bangolfklubb, Sweden
This course, just north of Gothenburg, hosted the World Adventure Golf Masters this year. It can throw up some generous scores – during the tournament, the eventual winner shot a world-record round of 19. If you want to work on your handicap, this could be the place to come.
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