Hit the links, batter up or start your engine

Go Play


Instead of trying to beat the heat this weekend, why not fuel it with a little friendly competition? Whether on a miniature golf green, in batting cages or around go-cart tracks, you can show off your skills and indulge your competitive side.

While Baltimore might not be known for its miniature golf, there are several places to practice your swing before the family vacation. Columbia Sports Park offers a standard no-frills 18 holes for $7, while Stansbury Golf & Sports Park in Dundalk has a similar low-key course for $5. Both parks also offer batting cages, with 15 swings for about $1.

If 18 holes leaves you wanting more, Rocky Gorge 4 Seasons in Laurel runs a Monday-through-Saturday special featuring all-you-can-play golf for $4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The course is packed with interesting holes, including a baseball theme, along with one of the world's longest holes. Visit the Web site rockygorgegolf.com to print out mini-golf and batting-cage coupons.

More advanced players may want to try Mitchell's Golf Complex in Reisterstown, which features three separate miniature-golf courses in addition to a nine-hole course and a covered driving range. The $6 "championship" and "monster in the pine," courses showcase several tricky water obstacles, while the $4 basic course is intended for young children and beginners.

Boasting one of Maryland's most difficult 18-hole mini-golf courses, Laurel Golf & Recreation Center specializes in professional golf lessons and clinics. At $6 for adults and $4 for children, the course is not your typical "putt it through the windmill" type of place, according to daytime manager Frank Gay. "The course is a challenge, and you have to really read the green in order to do well," he said.

If roaring engines are more your speed, Go-Kart Track Inc. in White Marsh offers tracks catering to young children as well as adults. Go-Kart also features one of the cheapest miniature-golf courses around, at $2.50 for a round of 18.

Because of the rising expense of gas, driving the go-carts has gotten a bit pricier. Fifteen laps (about four minutes) cost $5, although more rides can be bought at discount prices.

Where to find the fun

Columbia Sports Park

Miniature golf, batting cages, arcade, skate park

5453 Harpers Farm Road Columbia Call 410-715-3054

Go-Kart Track Inc.

Three go-kart race tracks, 18-hole miniature golf

10907 Pulaski Highway White Marsh Call 410-335-6393 baltimoregokarts.com

Laurel Golf & Recreation Center

Miniature golf, driving range, pro shop, batting cages, softball field

9801 Fort Meade Road Laurel Call 301-725-4646


Mitchell's Golf Complex

Three miniature golf courses, nine-hole golf course, covered driving range

301 Mitchell Drive Reisterstown Call 410-833-7721 mitchellsgolf.com

Rocky Gorge 4 Seasons

Miniature golf, batting cages, driving range, arcade

8445 Old Columbia Road Laurel Call 301-725-0888 rockygorgegolf.com

Stansbury Golf & Sports Park

Miniature golf, batting cages, driving range

7900 Stansbury Road Dundalk Call 410-282-6600

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