acoupleofputts

The minigolf adventures of Tom and Robin.


Leave a comment

Country Inn Mini Golf – Two Harbors, MN

DSC_5513

Played on October 17, 2014

Reviewed by The Pink Putter

On the second half of our fall day trip along scenic Highway 61, we stumbled upon this strange mini golf course at Two Harbors Country Inn. To pay for our round, we had to enter the hotel lobby. It was sort of ominous, as it was a cold, cloudy afternoon and there was nobody else on the course. But we enjoyed playing this colorful, oddly kitschy, retro feeling course.

Rating:

Par – The course had a lot of twists, turns, hills, bumps, ramps and interesting obstacles. It was also a bit shabby and certainly not the most scenic view of Highway 61. Many of the obstacles were in need of a new coat of paint, small repairs and could be easily moved around the greens to different locations. Objects like the log cabin and deer made sense as regional themes, while we’re not quite sure how the others fit in. A number of the holes would have been impossible to score a hole-in-one on and my preference is to at least have a chance. Nonetheless, this was a pretty fun stop that I would recommend if you are in the area, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to play again.

DSC_5515

Mr. Tee knocking on the door.

Continue reading


1 Comment

North Shore 9 at Adventure Zone – Duluth, MN

DSC_5464

Played October 17, 2014

Reviewed by Mr. Tee

The North Shore of Lake Superior is a popular tourist destination especially during the Fall months. The view of the majestic lake coupled with the array of colors bursting from the tree line and pleasant weather draw people from across Minnesota and the rest of the world. It’s lovely and worth your effort to check it out sometime. I try to get up there at least every two years. Bob Dylan, northern Minnesota’s most famous export, even name checked the the highway that most of the attractions reside on one of his most famous albums. The Pink Putter and I decided to take a day off of work to take in the sights and on the way up, we took a stop-off in Duluth to check out the mini golf options. It seemed fitting that the only course open was inspired by a former golf course that “was designed and built in the in the late 1800’s, along with Skyline Drive and the Incline Railway” on the North Shore. And they had skill cranes and so how could we say no?

Rating:

Par – The idea behind the theme of the course was good in theory but the reality missed the mark. Adventure Zone tried to hide the tall walls and to create an immersive environment within the larger entertainment center but the way they skinned the walls was quite odd. The scenes were so absurd that it could be funny in an ironic way if it was executed better. You can see the pictures below to get a better sense of what I’m talking about. The actual play featured numerous common tropes like lighthouses and loops with a fairly wide variety of play. None of the holes were very challenging or long but were fun nonetheless. We would have liked more for more holes on the course but $3 isn’t too shabby for some fun. For those not familiar with Duluth, it gets absurdly cold in the winter so having an indoor mini golf option is nice.

Continue on for more photos!

Continue reading


2 Comments

Burgeri – Doha, Qatar

IMG_7150

Played on March 12, 2015

Reviewed by Mr. Tee and The Pink Putter

On the morning of Festival Day at Tasmeem Doha, one of our fantastic students, Mahmoud Masoud, came running in to tell us that the night before he had accidentally stumbled upon another mini golf course in Doha. We jumped right to it and grabbed our putters. Mahmoud drove us to Aspire Park and upon arrival, we discovered a small, temporary, fenced-in nine hole course. It turns out it was part of a promotion for a restaurant, Burgeri, an American-inspired burger and hot dog joint. Buy anything at the restaurant, and you got to play a round for free. We may have found that out after we bum rushed our way on to the course. No one knew when it was installed or how long it will be up for, but we’re sure glad we got to experience it. One thing we do know is that these 9 holes and a short-lived course at Katara popped up after our visit in the Fall of 2014. Imitation is the sincerest form of flatterry and it’s good to know that the enthusiasm from our Fall visit to VCU-Qatar spread beyond the campus.

Rating:

Par – While we were surprised to find this little gem in Doha, it doesn’t compare to the uniqueness of the student-designed course at VCUQ. However, what it lacks in playability, it does make up for with classic obstacles. Like many things in Doha, it doesn’t all make sense. Why don’t the windmill arms go all the way down to cover the opening? Why is there a curve and a hump just beyond the bridge? What is that yellow and red box? While we don’t have all the answers, we are happy to see this is a genuine attempt at sharing the game of mini golf with Doha.

More photos below!

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Tasmeem 3ajeeb! Artist-Designed Mini Golf – Doha, Qatar

DSC_7031

Played the week of March 8-12

Reviewed by Mr. Tee and the Pink Putter

Last November we made the trip from Minneapolis to Doha to work with the graphic design students of VCUQatar on the design and prototyping phase of their very own indoor mini golf course. After we left, we got to see the progression of the design and build via social media. We were thrilled to return at the beginning of March this year to see and play the final course as well as enjoy the workshops and speakers of the Tasmeem festival. In fact, we even led our own workshop where we worked with a group of six students to design and build one last hole for the course. We already featured our creation so we wanted to review the other 9 student creations.

Rating:

Birdie – We may biased, but this regionally-themed course is the only one of its kind in Qatar, and for that matter, in the Middle East. The students did a fantastic job of combining good design and fun game play with ideas and themes that are relevant to their lives including transportation, water consumption, workers rights, musical instruments and desert culture. From a dueling roundabout to a hole that traverses down a flight of stairs, the students literally took the game of mini golf to the next level. There were some functionality and construction issues that came up while we played and those are the little things that kept us from giving it our highest score, a Hole-in-One. We also want to give incentive to the students to continue to work and build more beautiful and playful objects that top this fantastic course. We’d give anything to play it again and to hang out with the wonderful new friends we made at VCU-Qatar.

Below we do a thorough photo review and include videos of each hole in use.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

#minigolfmiddleeast: A Course in Progress

vl22v_3vhMSmdAtx0wVyPRcPmoHRT-gZkEeW2dtmj9U

Before we post our review of the VCUQ Artist Mini Golf for Tasmeem Doha, we wanted to show some behind the scenes photos. A lot of work went into the creation of these holes and as Makers, we think the process is just as interesting and exciting as the final thing. Thank you to Michael Hersrud for sharing these photos with us. Enjoy!

5BZEYFaSZQJmVH9-3bBELTnFF1UtGTI5C0CnlnPzQzA 8_YMjUUeJjX5zQyGpm2Y6GqEBBEQBt5gSaF7GMBb1yc Continue reading


1 Comment

Hole-in-One: Exquisite Corpse Mini Golf at Tasmeem Doha 2015

DSC_7123

In addition to just designing and playing mini golf, our roles at the 2015 Tasmeem Festival were as speakers and workshop leaders. For four days we directed a workshop titled Hole-in-One: Exquisite Corpse Mini Golf. The original idea was to have students prototype three different holes in three days that all of them got to build and edit. But we decided that it’d be more fun to use three days to build one final, more developed hole to finish off the course the students had worked so hard to make last fall (review of that coming soon!) So we arrived in Doha with a design, a blank canvas really, that our workshop participants could help build, edit and alter as they saw fit.

DSC_7095

Our design was inspired by the Pearl Monument on Doha’s Corniche. We also added in a classic jump, as this was something none of the other holes incorporated.Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 5.43.59 PM

Just a few hours into Day 1 of the workshop and our students had decided they wanted to turn the Doha skyline into monsters (perfectly tying into traditional exquisite corpse games) inspired by their professors, who just so happened to be the four Tasmeem Co-Chairs. They came up with a silly narrative about the “Clam Monster” who was eating the eyeball of one of the skyline monsters and the rest was just hard work.

Animated titles at the end of the video care of the brilliant Barcelona based boutique design studio Mucho.

More photos below

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Highway 8 Revisited – Forest Lake, MN

DSC_5204

Played on October 8, 2011, Re-played September 20, 2014

Reviewed by the Pink Putter

We played Highway 8 back in 2011 and put up our review in early 2013. At that time, the course was completely run down and overgrown, but we could still see the charm that it once had. In July of 2013 we got an e-mail from Roxanne Simons, the current owner of Highway 8, explaining to us how the course had fallen into disrepair as her sister Joanne, the previous owner, had breast cancer and sadly passed in 2011. She informed us that she moved back from Seattle to take over the course and had recently put a lot of work into refurbishing it. We were touched that Roxanne reached out to us and invited us to come back and play. It wasn’t until September 2014 when we made our way back to Highway 8, but we we’ve been set on giving it a re-review for quite some time.

Rating:

Par – Highway 8 was built in 1989 by the Schroeder family and was taken over by daughter Joanne in 1993. Since our visit in 2011, the course underwent significant changes. I’ll let the before and after photos do most of the talking, but it’s clear that Roxanne and her brothers put a lot of TLC into remaking the course and giving it a country theme. With new boards, obstacles, moving parts and landscaping, you almost wouldn’t recognize it as the same place (with the exception of a few of the holes which they saved). While the cost has gone up from $2 a game to $4 a game, this is still a modest price for a full 18 holes. The play is varied and fun, with lots of kitsch and many classic tropes. And while this course doesn’t have quite the grandeur of some of our Hole-in-One favorites like Par King and Vitense, it certainly has lots of local character and charm with room to become even better. Highway 8 is a strong Par and I highly recommend that if you are in the area, you stop for a round.

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.