This Beach Town Just Introduced a Mini-Golf Trail With 30+ Courses

This Beach Town Just Introduced a Mini-Golf Trail With 30+ Courses

This Beach Town Just Introduced a Mini-Golf Trail With 30+ Courses

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This Beach Town Just Introduced a Mini-Golf Trail With 30+ Courses

For destinations around the US that have a lot of a similar type of business, it’s not unusual to find marketing campaigns that group them together into so-called “trails.” For example, California’s De Portola Wine Trail or the Kentucky Bourbon Trail both have maps of their respective wineries and distilleries, making the process of visiting multiple businesses into a game, complete with stamps and prizes.

But if you’re a family traveling together, a non-drinker, or just like your trails to be a little more active, there’s an East Coast destination you may want to bump up a little higher on your travel list: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

myrtle beach mini-golf - family on course

Myrtle Beach has long been a popular mini-golf destination. Photo: Visit Myrtle Beach

The popular beachside town recently announced a new “Myrtle Beach Mini Golf Trail,” highlighting more than 30 mini-golf courses. The courses are along the “Grand Strand,” a 60-mile stretch of beach that runs along the South Carolina coast. Guess will check in at each course, eventually earning digital points they can spend on items like T-shirts, hats, and stickers. The trail pass is available online, and fortunately, it’s not an app, so there’s nothing to download. Once you enter your information online, you’ll get a “pass” sent via text message. You’ll check in at each course using location data on your phone, and boom — points acquired.

Myrtle Beach is known as the “Mini-Golf Capital of the World,” and courses go all-out when it comes to impressing guests. Courses have everything from giant volcanoes that explode every 20 minutes to fake crashed planes to an indoor mini-golf adventure where you’ll have to send your ball into a 360-degree rollercoaster spiral. The Myrtle Beach Mini Golf Trail includes both putt-putt and mini-golf courses, though the distinction between the two is pretty blurred.

myrtle beach mini-golf popstroke course

PopStroke is one of the most traditional “putt-putt”-style courses in Myrtle Beach, with less of a reliance on novelty obstacles. Visit Myrtle Beach/Doug Thompson Photography Inc.

Traditionally, putt-putt golf has fewer novelty obstacles and is more focused on putting skills. Putt-putt courses normally looks like small golf courses, where the main obstacles are sand traps and water features. Mini-golf, conversely, makes use of everything from windmills to dinosaurs, with quirky elements that are more about luck and timing than the quality of your putt. But both types of courses are on the Myrtle Beach Mini Golf Trail, and with several dozen courses in the area, neither fans of putt-putt nor mini-golf will hurt for options.

In the US, mini-golf first became popular around the Great Depression, when people were looking for smaller and more affordable ways to have fun. That coincides with Myrtle Beach’s rise as a tourist destination in the 1940s, and mini-golf was a perfect attraction to build for family fun that didn’t take a lot of space. And it also doesn’t hurt that Myrtle Beach has balmy weather and never gets too cold, making mini-golf a year-round activity (as is real golf, too).

Where to go for Myrtle Beach mini-golf

Myrtle beach mini golf - ripleys

Ripley’s has a neon-colored indoor mini-golf course every bit as wacky as you’d expect from the brand. Photo: Visit Myrtle Beach

You can find the full list of mini-golf courses in Myrtle Beach at this link. Pirate- and adventure-themed courses are by far the most popular, with eight of each available.

Depending on who you ask, the town’s Jungle Safari Mini Golf may be the oldest still-standing course in Myrtle Beach. Jungle Safari Mini Golf is more in the style of a putt-putt course, save for the life-size jungle animals positioned around the course’s 18 holes. If you’re not sure if mini-golf is your thing, you may want to check out the course at the Broadway Grand Prix Family Race Park, since it also has multiple Go-Kart tracks and an arcade with nearly 100 games.

Mount Atlanticus Minotaur Golf (yes, you read that right) has a mythology theme across its 36 holes. It’s famous for the “legendary” 19th hole, where guests to make a hole-in-one across a skinny piece of land above a water trap win a lifetime pass to the course. For something slightly more unusual (or if it’s raining), consider heading to the mini-golf course inside the Ripley’s Believe it or not. Ripley’s Crazy Golf is neon, wild, and has some goofy holes that seem like they barely abide by the rules of physics.

Most courses in Myrtle Beach are fairly affordable, ranging from around $10-$20 per person. Some courses allow you to make your tee times and pay in advance online, while others are old-school: Just show up, choose what color ball you want, and get ready to play. 

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Hi, I’m Steven, a Florida native, who left my career in corporate wealth management six years ago to embark on a summer of soul searching that would change the course of my life forever.