If you are looking for an hour or so of fun and a place with eye-pleasing landscapes, then Mountain Run Mini Golf is the place for you.
The newly opened mini golf course offers water views on nearly every hole and a typical water hazard on others. No true gimmicks, just 18 holes of a challenge and a periodic surprise or two as well.
“If you go around and you play different mini golf or Putt-Putt’s, our approach was mini golf. We only have an acre-ish, so our approach was, it’s not pirate themed, it’s not Scooby Doo, it’s mini golf and it’s contoured such, that we tried to make it feel like you’re on a golf course, but it’s a mini golf course,” co-owner Tim Conder said. “I feel like we’ve accomplished what we set out to do as far as creating a mini golf course.”
The course is packed into the hillside near the intersection of Rt. 1 and Mountain Road. It shares the same parking lot with the Earth, Wood and Fire restaurant and other businesses.
Conder, who is in ownership with Brian Hartlieb, says the idea came about two and a half years ago. “His (the landlord) original intent was to build a water feature in that area so that the folks sitting at Earth, Wood and Fire, on the patio, wouldn’t be looking at a dirt hill, they’d be looking at a water feature, be it a water fountain or a waterfall, it never came to fruition,” Conder said. “When we heard that, we were looking at the spot, Brian and I started thinking, what could we do there, and his son Wyatt Hartlieb tossed out mini golf and we never looked back after that.”
So, construction began about two years ago.
The course opened in August and it’s been fairly busy. “I have seen some repeats already, a lot of families, we’ve been pretty steady. It’s nice having Earth, Wood and Fire and Rita’s here too, to make it a whole day event,” employee Abby Hartlieb said. “You get dinner, you can play mini golf, get your Rita’s. It’s really nice being part of the shopping center to do all those three things. Just makes it a nice, either evening or day time, event.”
Holly Hillebrenner and her three young children from Forest Hill were repeat players. “They really like this mini golf course because it’s got a lot of extra water features, it’s the newer one around and they love playing mini golf,” she said.
Nicholas, 9, Kayley, 7, and Caroline, 3, were all smiles as they ended their round. “Very age appropriate, they can all play the course. They’re all able to do all the holes easily and they have a good time with this one,” Hillebrenner said.
The course is definitely playable for all ages and like most golf courses, mini or real, most have a favorite hole. For the Hillebrenner kids, it’s hole 11.
On any mini golf course, water is usually a bad thing. Same can be said here, except hole 11. Players, especially young kids, are seemingly encouraged to putt the ball into the moving water. The ball, which floats, streams down the water and seconds later, it re-appears on the green in a direction toward the hole.
“They’re favorite hole is the one where they can hit it and it rolls down the stream and then it picks back up on the end of the course. They’ll play on that one over-and-over,” Hillebrenner said.
The Pasterfield family was close behind and 11-year old Logan liked hole 11 as well. “That was really neat. Thought that was cool, futuristic because a lot of our putt-putts just don’t have that, so that was really neat,” Logan said. As for the entire course, Logan added, “It was really creative. It wasn’t just hit the ball into the thing, you could do different things to get farther down. There’s not much putt-putt in my area so this was really neat. I enjoyed it a lot.”
The Pasterfield’s, from Perry Hall, were making their first trip to Mountain Run. “I think it played really well, it has a lot of neat features, different features, interesting lays of the greens. It was a lot more fun than some of the other basic courses,” father Ryan Pasterfield said.
Daughter, Lily, an eight-year old, took a mulligan on that 11th hole when her first putt didn’t result in the ball finding water. “I’m not really the best, but it’s nicer because a couple of weeks ago, my grandmother brought me to another putt-putt place, it was nice, so I had a little more practice,” Lily said. “I feel like this one was harder because the one my grandmother takes me to, there’s only like 10 holes, this one has way more than usual.”
Yes, Mountain Run offers a full 18 holes. A 19th hole was still under construction.
"I like this one, it was hard enough in some spots, it had some easy one’s too. I think it was hard enough, it wouldn’t be boring coming back again, mother Jenn Pasterfield said. “I think they did a really good job designing and planning it out in the space that was available and really working each hole into the next one so they’re not wasting a lot of space.”
Both Ryan and Jenn agreed that no two holes were the same and they planned to come back and play again. The family was headed to Earth, Wood and Fire for lunch.
The course has water on many holes and views of it from any hole. A large water fall and fountain greet players at hole three, while players find another fountain at hole five. Mulch, rocks (big and small) and a variety of plants and trees decorate the landscape perfectly.
A large water wheel highlights hole nine, and hole 12 has a pair of fountains. Hole 13 forces players to jump over water, while hole 16 will draw your ball to the water if your putt is too, hard and long.
The course does have several handicap accessible holes. Holes one and two and holes 12-18.
“I would say that the response has been super positive, people have been repeating the play and we haven’t even advertised yet. I think the response is very positive from the local area and we want to start pushing it out so that people from further away; we’ve already gotten people from Baltimore City, Glen Burnie, Columbia, York, Pa., and we haven’t even advertised,” Conder said. “We put out one video on Youtube and it went viral. It’s got like 100,000 views and 12 or 15 thousand shares.”
Mountain Run is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Cost is $10 per player 13 or older; $7 for children ages 5-12 and under 5 are free. Seniors 65 and over, military personnel and first responders play for $6.
There is a maximum of five players to a group.