Grand Slam – Coon Rapids, MN

IMG_0432

Played December 30, 2012

Reviewed by Mr. Tee

Residing only a few miles west of my hometown mini-golf haunt Lilli Putt, Grand Slam is situated in yet another part of Coon Rapids that has struggled in the 21st century. The location was formerly a Red Owl grocery store in the 80’s and is connected to the now dead Coon Rapids Family Center Mall. This dumpy mall was photographed by my friend Greg Schaal and I didn’t even know that anything connected to the mall was still breathing. Grand Slam opened years after I moved away from the area and I found it in a search for local indoor mini-golf courses. The Pink Putter and I decided there was no more perfect time to play this course than on another dark and dreary Minnesota winter day.

Rating: Par – In our experience, indoor mini-golf courses have been a mixed bag of sub-par play enhanced by black lights or creative temporary artist designed courses re-inventing this almost decade old game. Grand Slam doesn’t fit into either of these molds so in that regard, it does stand out. The physical space it occupies has a high ceiling and designers took full advantage of it when building the course. The main structure is a large castle wall facade that encloses a course filled with mythical and medieval characters. As you play the course, you move around the castle wall and play across the upper levels to reach the back nine. The time between playing the course and the typing up this review initially made me reconsider my rating. Maybe this is a solid birdie? Then I looked through our pictures and notes and was reminded of all the pitfalls that led me to think that it might be a sandtrap too.

While the course incorporated its theming into the hazards and hole design, the structure and visuals lack luster. The overall medieval concept is fun but the execution of it comes off as cheap and flimsy. Hazards are broken and structures appear askew. The cups at each hole appear different due to deterioration and lack of upkeep. In the case of a few holes, there is no cup and the ball goes straight to the cement base of the building. The whole space fits in perfectly with its surrounding environment. Grand Slam attempts to dream big and create a far better than average experience but falls short. Well, that’s the news from Coon Rapids, where all the women, children and men are average at best.

IMG_0435
Hole 1 surrounded by two knights and lamp poles
IMG_0444
Pink Putter takes aim
IMG_0439
Beware: Turtle statues & sharp swords
IMG_0447
The mythical pegasus near the castle walls
IMG_0455
Hole on the upper level of the castle
IMG_0456
Bird’s-eye view of Grand Slam
IMG_0457
Grand Slam’s coat of arms?
IMG_0458
“I don’t think you should drink from there” – The Pink Putter
IMG_0460
Looks like it’s going in!!
IMG_0461
Gotta be careful not to overshoot the cup
IMG_0462
Mr. Tee taking advantage of the obvious photo op
IMG_4670
The Pink Putter keen to finish play by the 15th hole
IMG_4678
The Pink Putter getting crowded by kids at the 18th hole

Pros:

Tiered playing environment

Theme was incorporated in to the hazards

Low Price

Cons:

Many parts of the course in state of disrepair

Overall ramshackle feeling of it all

Obnoxious kids running around the course

Grand Slam Website

Nerdy Notes:

  • 18 holes, Par 44
  • Bonus 19th hole
  • $3.95 plus tax per round. Group Deals available
  • bright green rubber putter covers
  • no “final hole” that takes your ball
  • No flags in the holes. Cups varied from plastic cups to hole that goes to cement
  • Video games, inflatable play zone, batting cages, bumper cars, lazer tag and other play areas are also part of Grand Slam

You may also like