Played on March 17, 2013
Reviewed by Mr. Tee
Seven of the last eight years I’ve broken out of my winter hibernation to travel south to Austin, TX for SXSW . After taking in a week of music that I documented at MNartists.org, I was ready for a sunny day filled with mini golf. Fortunately, Austin has a gem from the mid-20th century in Peter Pan Mini Golf. Located south of Downtown near the Auditorium Shores Park and Barton Springs, it’s a course that fits nicely in the heart of the action in this creative town. Photos of the course were featured in John Margolies’s amazing 1987 book Mini Golf that myself and the Pink Putter picked up. So I had a good sense of what I was getting in to.
While the Pink Putter didn’t make the trip with me to Austin, I used playing the course as an opportunity to connect work and play. As part of my day job, I coordinate alumni activities for former students of a music college and after mentioning the course to a number of alums from around the country I was able to put together a good crew. My playing companions were three drummers, one guitar player and a student who did live sound/production/DJing for Vice at SXSW: Roberto, Kris, Nick, Woody, Scott and I took this course on during St. Patrick’s day in the blazing sun. Fun ensued.
Hole-in-One – 1940’s Post-depression United States witnessed the second big boom for the game of mini golf. New courses being built featured cartoonish animals that drew customers off the road and on to the course. Peter Pan fits the bill of this golden period of mini golf and it’s classic style offers a glimpse in to the history of the game I love. Few courses from this time remain. Heck, few courses remain from the 80’s boom of mini golf. From the neon sign to the ATM with the dial-up modem sound, Peter Pan takes patrons back in time. The most impressive part of this course is that despite being 55 years old, it is impeccably maintained. The obstacles all had a fresh coat of paint and there were no issues with playability. The five of us had a blast on this course and I can’t wait to tackle the more challenging west course next year! I’ve known for years that Austin is a city filled with incredible music, art and food culture; now I add mini golf to the list of highlights for this Texas town.
Well maintained greens and obstacles
Kitchy 50s design
Ability to bring beverages on the course
East course play was overly simple at times
- Two 18 hole Courses (East & West)
- East Course Par: 41. 5 Stroke limit
- Black rubber covered putters
- Cash and checks only. Cash machine didn’t work and it used dial-up to try to connect to it’s network. This was kinda awesome even if it wasn’t functional.
- Adults & children 6 and over: One course $6. Both courses $9. Children 5 and under: One course (18 holes) $4. Both courses (36 holes) $7
- Beverages welcome! “Feel free to bring a cooler, but no glass containers please.” Mr. Tee was not able to take in this bonus feature after a long and hard Saturday evening.