Published: 06:00, 17 July 2021
Tens of thousands of golf fans have been flocking to Kent as The 149th Open comes to the county.
Sandwich is hosting the tournament, where the world's top players have been competing for the Claret Jug at the Royal St George's Golf Course.
Crowds of up to 32,000 have turned out each day of the championship, which ends tomorrow (Sunday).
It is the biggest sporting event hosted in Kent this year, having been postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even One Direction star Niall Horan was seen at the tournament during the first full day of the competition.
As well as being a boost for the visitor economy and hospitality businesses, the return of The Open to Royal St George’s is the perfect showcase for the county.
And for those not wanting it to come to an end, there are plenty of ways to get your golfing fix at mini-golf and adventure courses across Kent.
Rachel Appleyard, owner of the Sittingbourne Golf Centre in Church Road, Tonge, said there are a number of fun ways for the whole family to get into the sport and enjoy it.
She said: "Golf, now, is for anyone, quite literally. We've had kids come along as young as two with their parents and have a try and, since March last year, there has been a massive uptake and it's across the board: children, girls, women, men, everybody."
At the venue, people can have golfing lessons, play a normal game of golf or foot golf.
Rachel said: "We are a starting centre and a learning centre. If people want to learn to play golf or improve their game, they will come here. It's perfect for beginners, children and parties."
The golfing venue’s driving range is also being refurbished and extended, while new facilities are being added including an 18-hole adventure golf course, a children’s play area and two sports pitches.
Its new adventure golf course is planned to open to the public in time for the October school half-term this year, while the revamped driving range is set for the end of the year.
"There are fun ways for people to get into the sport," Rachel added. "We see a lot of people who try foot golf, then make their way onto the driving range and then start going out onto the course." For more, click here.
Other places to get your golf fix include Mr Mulligan's Dino Golf in Tonbridge – an 18-hole family friendly course for all ages, which is open every day of the week.
The Jurassic Park-style golf adventure course opened in 2017, with a fascinating water feature, mysterious objects and giant prehistoric creatures.
Part of Mr Mulligan’s Adventure Golf, which has other locations around the country, the leisure site is the perfect venue for group birthday parties, corporate events and family days out. For more information, click here.
Pirate Cove Adventure Golf at Bluewater is described as being a "swashbuckling adventure day for all ages".
There at two 18-hole courses and players are invited to climb aboard Captain Jim’s pirate ship or adventure around the smugglers' caves, where legend says Captain Jim has hidden his treasure.
Meanwhile, off the course, the adventure can be continued with a pirate boating experience. For more, click here.
Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate is an 18-hole mini-golf course surrounded by rockscapes, plants and water features.
It overlooks Westbrook Bay and is described as a "skill-based course, with natural hazards that is both challenging and a fun day out for all the family". For more, click here.
There is also Lillyputt Mini Golf in Broadstairs, which is open daily from 10am.
According to its website, it has a "championship-designed", heritage mini-golf course, based on Arnold Palmer’s original designs and complete with a windmill.
It also has a seated tea garden and sheltered outdoor café. For more, click here.
Quex Adventure Golf in Birchington-on-Sea is open weekdays from 10am-4pm, and weekends from 10am-5pm, from April to September.
And then, from October to December, from 11am-3pm weekdays, and 10am-5pm on weekends and during school holidays.
Pricing is £6.50 for a child, £8 an adult, £25 for a family ticket of two adults and two children and £28 for a group of four adults. For more, click here.
Last, but not least, is Cinderella Crazy Golf in Hythe.
It offers 18 holes of golf, with all sorts of bumps and hazards to challenge players, and if a player manages to beat Hole 18, they'll get a free game.
For those looking for something a little more serious to test their skills, it also has a nine-hole pitch and putt course. For more, click here.
Meanwhile, a free crazy golf course opened in an unlikely place in 2019.
Rochester Cathedral became home to the most holy, nine-hole course in Kent, when The Adventure Golf challenge was set up in the place of worship's medieval nave.
The theme was bridges and each hole was accompanied by a different model including a mini Rochester bridge and Dartford Crossing.
It was paid for by Rochester Bridge Trust, the charity which runs the town's river crossings and it hoped it would encourage young people to learn more about the engineering behind bridges and boost church congregation numbers.
An escape rooms in the county is also set to open an adventure golf course.
Prison Island, in the former Zee Bar in Maidstone High Street, has 23 rooms with Crystal Maze-style tasks and puzzles for punters to complete.
Brothers Mike and Chris Knell, who run the business, are looking to expand their remit to include an adventure golf course with a bar area.