Grab a ball, a club and a scorecard—we’re going mini golfing! 

Text and photos by Briana Duffy

GOLF IS A GAME THAT REQUIRES PATIENCE, accuracy and a little bit of luck. This was what I learned after I spent a day hitting five different miniature golf courses on the island.

Mini golf is deceptively difficult. It looks like fun, oh look a pirate! And with its supercolorful, fun-loving, cartoonish decor, the course should be easy, no?


Some of these courses are challenging enough to make Ricky Fowler grind his teeth. But fear not, dear readers, I have played each of these courses: Goofy Golf, Pirates of Golden Galleon, Pirate Island, Tee Time and Ocean City Adventure Golf and have ranked them on a skill level of one to five clubs, one being beginner and five being the equivalent of a Master’s Champion. I’ve also given the time it took to play the course, the average par, and rated the theme of the course.

So next time you head out with your family, you can choose to put on your hoody or your green jacket.

tee-timeTEE TIME

Address: 7th & Boardwalk

Course Time: 40 minutes

Par for Course: 40, average par 2

Skill: 2/5

This course ranked near the easiest skill level. Even with 15 moving obstacles, it was one of the easier ones I played that day. There were families in front and behind me, both with two young kids (think ages three and five). I felt like I was a little too old to be there, but it was still so fun! My favorite hole, my first hole in one of the season, was hole number two, an eight foot replica of Lucy the Elephant. Anyone that knows the Jersey Shore knows Lucy, the giant elephant in Margate. I got a kick out of an elephant being in the middle of the hole. You will too.
Theme: Two clubs way up! Right next to Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, Tee Time goes along with the theme of a childhood summer down the shore. The course was designed by the original owners, Dorothy and Richard about 40 years ago. Dorothy hand painted the characters seen around the course. A lot of love and time went into it. With bright colors, moving obstacles and a life-size replica of Fred and Wilma Flintstone in their foot mobile, the creativity at Tee Time is sure to excite and hold interest of those that aren’t into actual golfing.



Address: 112 E 9th Street

Course Time: 40 minutes

Par for Course: 40, average par 2

Skill: 3/5

On the first hole, par 2, my dad got a hole in one, I got par and my mom’s golf ball ended up in the bushes – giving us an idea of what we were in for. For the most part, the holes looked straight forward, but there was an angle you couldn’t see from the tee. Whether it was in front of the hole, next to it or behind it, it made for a very competitive evening. The course was set up so it went back and forth between easy and harder holes.

Theme: “Arrrgh!” said a little girl to her grandma behind us as she got the ball in the hole, in the spirit of the pirate theme. Pirate Island is right off of the Ninth Street bridge as you enter the island. Set nowhere near the Boardwalk, this was the calmest course. It also had an unbelievable view of the sunset. The pirate theme was outstanding – there was a lifelike ship in the middle of the course with a huge waterfall next to it, a wobbly bridge that you had to cross to get from one hole to the next and skeletons all over the course. They nailed the pirate theme.


Address: 112 E 9th Streetpirate-isalnd

Course Time: 75 minutes

Par for Course: 44, average par 2

Skill: 3/5

This course was all over the place with skill level. Brother and sister, Riley and Nathan Klennan battled it out as my family played. Nathan, the older brother finished the third hole with a birdie, while Riley bogeyed. It was clear that age was a factor in the outcome of their final score. Riley didn’t let this get her down, she was still smiling the whole time.

Theme: Ahoy, mateys! Pirates of the Golden Galleon lets you turn in your sword for a club, as you take on 18 holes on a pirate ship. The course spills out onto the Boardwalk, looking as if an actual pirate’s ship had wrecked there. Plus there’s a huge pirate overlooking the scene.

GOOFY GOLFGolden Galleon

Address: 920 Boardwalk

Course Time: 45 minutes

Par for Course: 42

Skill: 2/5

There were some holes that were tricky, like my favorite where you had to get a ball up the ramp to a monkey that was slam dunking a basketball. I know that sounds crazy, but it was so much fun. This course had a great youthful energy, there was a mix of brothers taunting one another and a family of three little girls behind me giggling and helping one another. Geared toward a younger age group, it was still fun for a group of 20 year olds.

Theme: Hole in one for creativity! This course has nearly every animal imaginable, so naturally my friends and I posed with a lion, snake and polar bear while waiting for the group in front of us to finish up. An amazing amount of detail went into designing such a cute and enjoyable course.


Address: Plymouth Place & BoardwalkOC Adventure Golf

Course Time: 60 minutes

Par for Course: 40, average par 2

Skill: 3/5

“My ball went off the green every hole, but I never lost it! I liked that,” said my sister Alyssa. She and her boyfriend, Brendan Loveland, came with me to the course and our competitive juices got flowing. The best part about this course was that the holes got harder as it went on. There was one with a water obstacle in the middle that you had to maneuver around. My sister’s ball went right in the water! Brendan started off the game with a hole in one, making us think this course would be a breeze. Forget that – Alyssa and I both got over five on two holes that were par twos. A fun and competitive course.

Theme: This course is just like you’re teeing off in Augusta. I think it’s more appealing for an older crowd. Kids might get bored and just want to go to a course with gorillas in a helicopter or a giant pirate in the middle. That said, I loved this course for its simplicity. Dave, the manager of the course, told me that it’s the only course on the island that is professionally landscaped, keeping the turf looking brand new. It’s a competitive course, but the laid back energy and music from the next door waterpark made it very relaxing.

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