acoupleofputts

The minigolf adventures of Tom and Robin.


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Walker’s Artist-Designed Mini Golf – Opens Today!

Don't Blow It!

Don’t Blow It!

This summer’s Artist-Designed Mini Golf at the Walker Art Center is now open and you can play it through September 1st! The course features 18 holes, some favorites from last year as well as a handful of new designs, including ours! Here are some images of our design, “Don’t Blow It!” which is the final hole that collects your ball. And of course, we’ll be playing this often so look for a thorough review in the coming weeks.

Our rendering.

Our rendering.

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Full view of the final hole.

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Spiral ramp detail.

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Coin slot detail.

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Final 18th!

 

 


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Chula Vista – Wisconsin Dells, WI

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Played July 18, 2013

Reviewed by the Pink Putter

Part of the deal from the 60′s style motel that we stayed in at the Dells was “Fee waterpark tickets!” Upon check-in, we were handed day passes to Chula Vista, so on our way out of town we figured it’s free, why not stop by. As we should have expected, the park was small, underwhelming and crowded. But hey, you get what you pay for. We quickly tired of waiting in long lines for a 20 second thrill, so made our way to the nearly empty mini golf course.

Rating:

Par – This vaguely southwestern themed course is set in the middle of the water park, thus it’s surrounded by an array of water slides. The greens were clean and fairly well-maintained, but the play was just average. There were a handful of faux sand traps, water obstacles, and one or two holes with pipe play (that I can recall). The decor was slightly above average and consisted of faux rocks, bright blue water and storage sheds guised as adobo styled houses. However, it would have been more interesting if the adorning architecture was more directly linked to the play. On the afternoon that we played, it was very hot and sunny out and the course didn’t have any shady retreats or easily accessible drinking water. If you get into Chula Vista for free like we did, I’d say give the mini golf a shot. But the course costs $6.95 plus tax to play in addition to the waterpark’s regular $30 admission price, in which case I’d say pass this one up.

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Walker Artist-Designed Mini Golf 2014: We’re in again!

We are excited to announce that the Walker Art Center is doing another artist-designed course this summer and we are thrilled to once again be a part of it. This year’s course is comprised of a few favorites from last year (including Tilt-a-Putt, Gopher Hole, Move-Your-Hole, 18-holes-in-one and Rock! the Garden) as well as 10 brand new hole designs from Minnesota artists, architects, designers…and us!

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Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf & Family Fun Center (Pirate’s Challenge) – Wisconsin Dells, WI

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Played July 17, 2013

Review by Mr. Tee

The Wisconsin Dells is your typical tourist trap where everyone is competing in gaudiness and size so it makes sense that we immediately went from Timber Falls 4 course 72 hole play-land to the sprawling 5 course 91 hole Pirate’s cove. And we only had to walk half of a block to get there. If you’ve ever been to the Dells then you’ve likely seen a billboard or some signage boasting the size of this place. We’ve reviewed nearly 50 courses but oddly enough, this is the first review of a course by this national chain of “original adventure mini golf” courses. It’s only our second review of a pirate themed course. I remember seeing a number of Pirate’s cover chain courses as a kid on family trips so finally getting to play one was an exciting opportunity.

Rating:

Birdie – Typically we like to play and review every course in an establishment if they have more than 18 holes but 91 holes was a bit too much for us after an already exhausting day and run of the mill experience at Timber Falls. Five full courses plus an extra hole is impressive but size isn’t everything. This is an above par course but there was no notion of considering it for a hole-in-one rating. Maybe I’ll change my tune once I play one of the other courses but I was disappointed by the notion that the most challenging course wasn’t even that difficult. I’m by no means a great mini golfer but I was easily able to get a par score for the entire course on my first attempt on what is considered their “toughest course”.

The greens play fast and are immaculately maintained but the lack of hazards or obstacles related to theme was a let down for both of us. They had treasure chest themed garbage cans and all sorts of signage but thats about it. I’m certain we’ll play here again with the Dells being a nice stopping off point on road trips to Chicago but as you’ll see in the pictures and videos below, it’s just short of a next level mini golf destination.

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Timber Falls Mini Golf – Wisconsin Dells, WI

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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.

Rating:

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.

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We’re on TV!

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We were featured on MN Original as part of a piece on last Summer’s Walker Art Center artist designed ‪mini golf‬ course. The video also features curator of the course Scott Stulen. There is a great piece on MN Original about his work as well.

 

 

You can watch our video in the Twin Cities on TV with the times below. First airing is on Sunday night.
Date           Time       Channel
3/30/2014    6:00       PM 2
3/30/2014    10:00     PM 2
3/31/2014    7:00       PM SW MN
3/31/2014    1:00       AM SW MN
3/31/2014    7:00       AM SW MN
3/31/2014    4:00       AM 2
4/3/2014      9:30      PM Life
4/4/2014      3:30      AM Life
6/9/2014      7:00      PM SW MN


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Par-King Skill Golf Red Course – Lincolnshire, IL

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Played on June 3, 2013

Reviewed by Mr. Tee

The Pink Putter summed up why we made a special effort to play Par King. This is one review where even the pictures and videos don’t tell the full story of how special it is. This Midwestern mini golf mecca is the epitome of what we like in mini golf. Our east coast road trip was book ended Par-King and Vitense. Between the two you have the five best courses we have played to date.

Rating: 

Hole-in-one - It doesn’t get much better than this. It’s the Magic Kingdom of mini golf hidden in the burbs of Chicago. No repeat holes, paths to the cup that include motorized elevators, massive fiberglass characters and challenging play. The only criticism I had with the experience was the music. A playlist of tepid jammy late pop rock that included Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Black Eyed Peas, and Ben Harper attempted to throw me off my game . While this musical combination is a perfect recipe for me wanting to jam a scoring pencil through my ear drums, it couldn’t get in the way of the most spectacular mini golf we’ve played to date. If you’re looking at building a mini golf course, Par-King is a perfect starting point of reference.

 

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