acoupleofputts

The minigolf adventures of Tom and Robin.


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We Make a Big Announcement on “The Wrap”

In conjunction with the re-airing of the MNOriginal episode featuring the Walker’s 2013 Mini Golf (showing this Sunday at 6 and 10pm on tpt2), we were invited to the studios of Twin Cities Public Television to be featured on The Wrap, Almanac’s post-show web-exclusive segment. You can click on the photo below to check out the video.

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And yes, you heard the Pink Putter right, we have been invited by Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus in Doha, Qatar to participate in their biennial international art and design conference, Tasmeem Doha! The 2015 edition will focus on the theme of ‘playfulness’ by using an Arabizi word ‘3ajeeb!’ (ahh-jhee-b) which is a common expression meaning “strange in a strange way, cool in a cool way, and slightly weird in a slightly weird way.” We are so excited to be Artists-in-Residence this November to help the students design and fabricate a mini golf course that they will finish before March. We’ll then get to go back to Doha for the conference in March to see (and play!) the completed course.

When we started this blog we didn’t think we’d be featured by anyone, let alone on a popular Minnesota TV program. Now that we’ve been given opportunity to talk about our love of the game with people from around the world in the Middle East we’re on cloud nine. Stay tuned for lots more information and blog posts about this adventure!


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Round1 – Osaka, Japan

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Played May 27th, 2014

Reviewed by the Pink Putter

During our time in Japan, we took a 2.5 day excursion out of Tokyo and down to Kyoto and Osaka. Admittedly, we didn’t plan this part of the trip out so well and I was under the weather for its duration. Regardless, we were on the hunt for mini golf and after some internet searches we found out about Round1.

From what we can tell, Round1 is a sport and entertainment chain local to Osaka. You pay by the hour and have unlimited access to bowling, billiards, basketball, volleyball, archery, batting cages, tennis, roller skating, arcade games, indoor fishing(!), reading rooms, karaoke and more. This location also had a full floor of pachinko and another of skill crane games. We went first thing on a weekday morning, so it was really quiet. We paid for one hour and it was around $20-$25 each.

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Burn Golf – Yokohama, Japan

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Played May 24, 2014

Reviewed by the Pink Putter

As part of a fellowship that I received this past year, Mr. Tee and I found ourselves in Tokyo for 2.5 weeks visiting amusement parks, children’s museums, themed restaurants and mini golf (all in the name of research, of course!). With a culture chock full of cute kitsch, it’s surprising that mini golf isn’t big in Japan. We looked hard and managed to find only one course in all of Tokyo, well actually Yokohama, and another in Osaka (review to come).

Yokohama is known as “Minatomurai” or “City of the Future.” It’s home to Nissan headquarters, an amusement park, a beautiful Chinatown, the Anpanman Children’s Museum, a cruise ship port, the Cup Noodle Museum, Sweets Cranes and Burn Golf. If you don’t know the area, Burn Golf, or as some signs read “Bahn Golf”, was a bit tricky to find, but the view alone is worth the journey. Lucky for us, our friends Hideo and Danielle joined, and guided, us in the adventure. In case you are looking, it’s on the roof of a mall just across the street from the Cup Noodle Museum.

Rating:

Birdie – While playing overseas was certainly a unique experience, this course fell just above average. The classic tournament style layout reminded us a lot of Tee Time 2 in Stone Harbor, NJ, which we also gave a Birdie rating. The rules here were slightly different, each hole had small divots built into it so that if your ball lands outside the painted line, you were directed place your ball on the divot to start your next shot. There was also a rule about getting your ball past the red line on the first shot. The rooftop was windy and the view was amazing. Everything was clean and just a little faded from being out in the sun.

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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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