You’ve heard of a shot in the dark, but how about a hole-in-one?
Miniature golfers took to the greens Sunday at the opening of Monster Mini Golf in Gaithersburg. The monster-themed, glow-in-the-dark 18-hole miniature golf course is indoors, making it the first of its kind in Montgomery County.
Franchisee and Germantown resident Frank Thanicatt runs the business at 9116 Gaither Road. The former office space was refitted into an 11,000-square-foot golf course, with extra space for 25 arcade games, like pinball and air hockey, and two party rooms. Thanicatt picked Gaithersburg as the location because it is centrally located in the county and because the Gaither Road building suited the facility’s need for indoor space, he said.
A grand opening celebration will be held Nov. 17 from 3 to 6 p.m., and will include give-aways, contests and a raffle.
Thanicatt said he chose to open the mini golf course after noticing a lack of activities that families and children could both enjoy.
“We have such a strong population here of people who are looking for fun things to do on the weekend,” he said. “There is so little for parents and kids to do together.”
What makes the attraction so unique, according to Thanicatt, is the interactive experience. While customers are playing the links, a DJ spins music from within an in-house radio station and holds contests with prizes.
“At traditional mini golf courses, you go to the counter, you pay, and then you’re on your own,” he said. “Here, we are actively engaging the players.”
As for the course, it is designed to have a par three on most holes and is handicap accessible. Golfers are given glow-in-the-dark clubs and golf balls to use while playing.
“There’s a lot of obstacles in the way,” Thanicatt said, “like monsters in your path, curves you have to walk around, and things that may pop out and disrupt your concentration.”
Because the course is inside, it will be open year-round. The course is open Tuesday through Thursday from 2 to 9 p.m., Friday from 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. One round of golf costs $9 for adults and $8 for children.
Monster Entertainment, which operates as Monster Mini Golf, is based in Providence, R.I., and currently has 30 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
Christina Vitagliano started the franchise with a single location in Connecticut in 2004. She operates the flagship Monster Mini Golf location in Las Vegas, which has a theme honoring the band Kiss.
Columbia is home to the only other Monster Mini Golf location in Maryland.