Mini Pin-Hunting: Parkway Mini Golf
Signature Hole #10
Bigger isn’t always better, and Parkway Mini Golf is a gem among giants.
Although it’s physically small, Parkway Mini Golf fits an entire indoor course above the Parkway restaurant in Bethany Beach. Playing 18 holes in a small space requires some creativity for the designers — and the players. The complex angles and narrow lanes call for skill and tight swings. A solid shot will send the ball bouncing like a pinball game.
“I don’t think people realize it takes some time,” said owner Dana Banks.
“If you’re creative, you can get a hole-in-one,” added employee Aaron Guy.
To demonstrate, Guy deftly aimed the ball up a ramp to bounce off the wall, fly into a small enclosure and ricochet into the cup. The hole is normally hidden behind a maze of angles.
Known since the mid-1980s as the rooftop Golfin’ Dolphin, the golf course reopened several years ago in the building’s second story.
The course is growing into an eclectic walk down memory lane. Large art pieces and paintings decorate the walls, while Banks incorporated elements from the old Golfin’ Dolphin into the course itself. Players putt around replicas of dolphins and the old Bethany Beach water tower.
The course’s signature hole, according to Banks, features classic keepsakes including a wide yellow piece of metal, twisted into a loop-the-loop. Hole No. 10 whirls the ball to bounce off several walls and down an alley to the cup.
Banks said the course is not as “flair-y” as some places, but it the antique charm makes the course good for all ages.
The course is laid out in a U shape, so all holes are easily accessible from a single pathway.
“You don’t get stuck in it. You can start anywhere,” said Banks, noting that student golfers also practice their short game at the course.
Parents and visitors can also watch players from an elevated seating area, where there are several board games and a free book exchange.
As an indoor course, Parkway Mini Golf offers something few resort-area courses have: air conditioning. The climate control is especially popular on hot or rainy days.
Parkway Mini Golf is located at 114 Garfield Parkway and is open daily throughout the summer. All games cost $6.