Par-King miniature golf is a classic style miniature golf
rather than mountain style. We've been going there since I was a child. I
believe the current course was built in the mid 70's but there was an older
version from the 50's that the obstacles were built for. Some great pictures of
the course here.
Reviewed by: Eva Migon
Reviewed in: 2009
Technically it's not miniature golf, it's skill golf; only novices call it miniature golf here. Self proclaimed as the World's Most Unusual Golf Course. Originally built in the late 50's/early 60's, this course offers the most variety from hole to hole. From roller coasters, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Sears Tower, Merry-Go-Rounds, and casino roulettes; this course has it all. Definitely has the most bells and whistles and really embraces old time fashioned miniature golf. One of the best courses hands down, however it gets a ton of traffic, and the other courses in the Chicagoland area don't receive as much hype as Par-King. The Par-King is still a great and unique miniature golf place that no one can find anywhere else, but I still believe that I have some legitimate grievances (not that the place only accepts cash, but legitimate complaints).
One can obviously tell that some great care and effort is applied every year to make sure the place is in amazing shape: the obstacles are repainted every season and new greens are put in every year. First, I am a firm believer that all miniature golf courses should offer a practice green so the golfer can get properly acclaimed to the speeds of the greens; which the Par-King does not have any practice greens whatsoever. My second complaint of the Par-King is that a lot of luck (and not so much skill) is needed to be successful at some of the holes. The golfer needs much skill and precision (with direction and speed) to properly hit his or her ball unto the "desired" ball path, but still the outcome is extremely randomized and the ball may not even be closer to the hole (especially on the red course with the Super Looper roller coaster and the Willis Tower holes). These "desired" ball paths, which require a considerable amount of skill, most of the time does not reward the golfer as the hole should. And finally my biggest criticism of the Par-King Skill Golf, is the last holes on both the black and red courses: the roulette. It is so infuriating to me, I feel like that it should be a bonus "nineteenth" hole to return your golf ball, rather than the hole to finish your round. The name of the place is Par-King SKILL GOLF, however no skill at all is needed (only luck) for the roulette. It is especially infuriating for myself, after a great seventeen holes, the roulette can completely ruin your final score with a six; or it can save the golfer who has been playing extremely poorly with a zero or a one from the roulette, which is extremely bogus and very unfair. I would advise not even including the eighteenth hole in the final tally of your scores with your fellow opponents, as the roulette hole score is solely based on luck. Disregarding all of my complaints, this place is amazing and is a great miniature golf gem for the Chicagoland area and is a must play for a mini golf fan.
Reviewed by Andrew Rifkin
Reviewed in 2019