My Favorite Miniature Golf Courses in the Boston, MA, Area
by Eric H.
Four score (or more) and many years ago, miniature golf was a main part of our childhood. The unofficial family miniature golf tour took us to Main St. in Hyannis with its comfortably shaded miniature golf course, Route 1 in Saugus, Mass. (with that stupid, giant orange dinosaur peering at Route One), and Route 9 in Natick, Mass. (the heartless former Putt Putt Golf with no silly talking whales or windmills; just greens with annoying hills and angles).
Way back then, playing on greens was more fun than eating them, and perhaps still is. The chance to play miniature golf followed by soft serve ice cream afterwards was indeed a staple of childhood.
The three miniature golf courses that stick out most in my mind have little to do with the high-tech, state-of-the-art, expensive, heavily-advertised miniature golf courses of today. Those high tech courses, in their own right, are quite impressive, but the traditional mini golf course that has stood the test of time has a soft place in my heart, to this very day. They are:
Golf on the Village Green, Natick, MA -- Creating a golf course with a colonial theme is indeed arevolutionary idea. For more than 40 years, Golf on the Village Green has become a local miniature golfing legend with its American history re-creations and creations including the Old North Church, Paul Revere's House, a huge American eagle, Minutemen statues, Massachusetts State House, murals of Colonial figures, and Faneuil Hall. Plaques at each hole lend historical facts and background Patriotic music sounding somewhat tinny on speakers round out this creatively laid-out golf course that offers a medium challenge level. We do wonder what a trash giant kangaroo trash receptacle and ceramic swans with painted flowers are doing in Colonial America. Golf on the Village Green, 315 Worcester Road (Rt 9)., Natick, MA. Tel. (508) 653-4671
Hago Harrington's, Stoneham, MA -- You have to love a miniature golf course named Hago Harrington's. Named after the 1920s NHL hockey player (which, of course, is always correlated to miniature golf) this traditional miniature golf course offers all the typical bells and whistles like the windmill, wishing well and colonial house where you need to hit the ball underneath in the middle. It's not much of a challenge, but the aura of yesteryear and families having fun just like they did here more than 50 years ago make Hago Harrington's a sentimental favorite. It's the ultimate just-what-you-expect-from-a-miniature-golf-course. Hago Harrington's, 160 Main St., Stoneham, MA. Tel. (781) 438-2024
Billy McGolf, Dedham, MA -- Did Frederick Law Olmstead create the landscaping here? In reality, no -- he really wasn't into miniature golf. The absolutely beautiful waterfalls, flowers, and fishpond provide a lush background for some challenging holes with hills and obstacles that might have Tiger Woods snap his golf club in half. Billy McGolf is relatively new and sports a hokey name, but harks back to a more traditional look of the best miniature golf courses of yesteryear -- pride of ownership, clean, not too glitzy and friendly. McGolf's primary business is its state-of-the-art driving range and golf instruction. Billy McGolf, Route 109 Dedham, MA. Tel. (781) 326-9616
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