The pressure’s mounting. Everybody’s staring. You take a deep breath. Block out the spectators and the distractions. You strike the ball with care and precision, following through to give it pace. You’re sure it’s going in. And then…the ball crashes into the windmill.
Even if your experience on the putt-putt course isn’t quite so dramatic, a tour through the holes always makes for some good family fun. Whether your crew is super competitive and playing for bragging rights, or just working up an appetite before a few scoops, we’ve got your guide to the city’s top greens.
Blue river, green course—what more could you ask for? Pier 25 at Hudson River Park offers a nicely landscaped course open for late afternoon and nighttime golfing during the week and all day on weekends. (North Moore Street and West Street, pier25.com)
Up for a challenge? Pick one of the two 18-hole courses at Randall’s Island Golf Center. These courses are perfect for families that are a little more serious but still looking to have fun. (1 Randall’s Island, 212-427-5689, randallsislandgolfcenter.com)
Weave around the waterfalls and streams at Flushing Meadows Golf Center’s low-key mini golf course. Each of the 18 holes has a par of 2 or 3 and is great for young kids, especially at night when the course is fully lit. (100 Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, 718-271-8182, golfnyc.com)
Unwind from an intense day of scientific exploration and see if you can outwit gravity on the loop-de-loops of the Rocket Park Mini Golf’s 10-hole course at the New York Hall of Science. (47-01 111th Street, Queens, 718-699-0005, nysci.org)
A trip to Staten Island Go-Karts will feel like a full-throttle adventure as you cross bridges, hike up hills and navigate sand traps along the 18-hole course. (215 Schmidts Lane, 718-982-5576, sigokarts.com)
The free Figment 2012 MiniGolf Course at Governors Island gives players an arcade-themed treat at each hole—all of which boast funky and innovative designs by artists. (Governors Island, 212-440-2200, newyork.figmentproject.org)
The Brooklyn Golf Center expanded its options last summer to include an 18-hole mini golf course, with welcoming landscaping and a driving range for ambitious putt-putters to get some practice hits. (3200 Flatbush Avenue, 718-253-6816, brooklyngolfcenter.com)
BEYOND KIDDIE CLUBS
Forget the windmills—for families interested in arcing their golf game to the next level, The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers offers camps, lessons and driving ranges for all ages and ability levels. (Pier 59, 23rd Street and Hudson River Park, 212-336-6400,
Perfect your swing at the CityParks Junior Golf Center in Brooklyn, a new state-of-the-art facility that offers free golf instruction to city kids between the ages of 7 and 17. (7th Avenue & 86th Streeet, 718-259-2999, cityparksfoundation.org)
For other green venues to maximize those golf swings, click here.