Played July 17, 2013
Reviewed by the Pink Putter
On our drive to Chicago for Pitchfork music festival last summer, we made our traditional midway stop at the Wisconsin Dells. Growing up on the east coast, I come to think of the Dells as the Jersey Shore of the midwest. Like the boardwalks of Wildwood and Ocean City, it’s chock full of water parks, chintzy t-shirt and fudge shops and of course, mini golf. After walking from our classic 60′s motel to grab a quick bite downtown, we sought out the first of two courses we’d play that night, Timber Falls. We had seen a number of billboards in town trying to sway us there, boasting “kids golf free” in giant text. The view of the main entrance, with its bright lights and waterfalls, stood out from the main road. Unfortunately, like most things in the Dells, once you get through the fancy front door it’s quantity over quality.
Par – Timber Falls is comprised of four courses in one, so the property is quite large. It’s got lots of trees, water features and great lighting for nighttime play. The entrance is impressive with its neon signage, oversized water mill, faux rock formations and cascading water. Just inside the entrance is a small petting zoo where you can buy food to feed the animals including ducks, goats and a donkey. In fact, the highlight of the course was an adorable baby goat standing on a donkey’s back just next to Hole 1. It was probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. But beyond the facade, the play is just average. The terrain undulates up and down, thus integrating a series of staircases into the landscape. While the course makes some use of the different levels through hills and pipe play, it certainly had the potential to be used more creatively. Based on the fun look of the entrance, we expected comparable kitsch on the inside as well. However, obstacles were limited to rocks and some water play. The turf was in rough condition on many of the holes and the overall play was just mediocre, leaving this course just short of a Birdie.