In the middle of the 20th century, miniature golf courses in the United States commonly used gigantic representations of otherworldly characters to attract customers. Figures from fairy tales standing several stories high drew in crowds of people willing to pay for a chance to putt next to these characters over on astroturfed courses. Over the past 50 years, many of these cartoonish courses have slowly fallen into disrepair or disappeared entirely. But there are a few exceptions, including Peter Pan Mini-Golf in Austin, Texas. Opened in 1948 by the Dismukes brothers (Glenn, Jack, and Clifford), Peter Pan has been a continuously family-owned and operated business for more than seven decades.
Just outside Downtown Austin on the south side of the Colorado River, you can identify Peter Pan from South Lamar and Barton Springs Roads by the massive brightly-colored Peter Pan and Tyrannosaurus Rex sculptures that tower above the clubhouse and nearby McDonald’s. Inside the course, you’ll find tattooed fairies, ants singing on tacos, and a big blue rabbit among the many delightful sculptured figures and features. There are two 18-hole courses, East and West, each chock full of the quirky charm that Austin, Texas became famous for in the 1990s. It epitomizes the “Keep Austin Weird” vibe.
The clubhouse sells snow cones, but it’s one of the few mini golf courses around that allows you to bring your own food and drinks (including alcohol as long as it is not in glass containers). On a given night, you might see a group of 20-somethings dragging around a cooler full of beers, families, and people on first dates.
In 2020, the course played host to the filming of the first season of a Rooster Teeth YouTube series Hardcore Mini Golf.
Know Before You Go
BYOB. You can bring your own cooler and drinks, including beer if you wish but glass is not permitted. Pets are allowed on the course as long as they are leashed. The courses are open every day, except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas day but subject to weather conditions. This course is not ADA/wheelchair accessible due to stairs that lead up to the clubhouse and between several of the holes.