Skyway Open 2014 – Minneapolis, MN


Played February 22, 2014

Reviewed by Mr. Tee

Minnesota winters are not the most pleasant, but this year’s has been officially miserable. I’m finishing this review on a day where we are celebrating 24 degrees (Fahrenheit for our friends outside the US) as warm. Fortunately, the Skyway Open once again proved to be a ray of sunlight amongst the sub-zero temps. If you’re interested in the history of this annual temporary course/fundraiser event, you can look at our review from last year and our guest review of the 2012 course. We’ll let the photos do most of the talking for this year.


Hole-In-One – Like last year’s course, the designs, play value and quality of construction varied greatly. Yet despite these differences, six of the 19 holes drew their main inspiration from the Mill City Ruins / Stone Arch Bridge. If you aren’t from Minneapolis, this iconic view of the downtown is chock full of history and is an extremely  popular summer destination. In 2012, the Pink Putter did a massive public art piece across the bridge, so we are quite familiar with the area. It makes sense as a theme to transport players to a happy place  and the landscape lends itself to a slew of game play designs. While this theme was a touch overused, the play of the six holes varied enough to distinguish them from each other.

Between the number of strong hole designs and high level of fun, this year surpassed our 2013 experience. Numerous holes had a wide array of paths, tunnels, obstacles and challenges that would make for fun over multiple rounds. Unfortunately, the course was only up for three days. We’ll let the photos below do most of the talking. Our only major qualm was the structural fragility of a handful of holes. We stopped by to photograph and see what the course looked like on opening night and by the next afternoon, several of the motorized features were no longer spinning. I’m willing to overlook this because we appreciate the level of ambition displayed throughout the course that was lacking at times last year, especially considering this is only a one-weekend event..

We included photos of every hole minus #10. You can find this hole in our video of this course.

hole 1 and tom
Hole 1 – Stone Arch Bridge / Mill City Ruins and Mr. Tee
hole 2 windmill
Hole 2 – Opening night a motor was controlling the windmill but when we played you could manually move the windmill. Pink Putter used this to her advantage. I shot a 5
Hole 3 – Through the Spokes and into the City
Hole 4 – Tangletown. Lots of different roads including one to off the course as you can see in the video above
Hole 5 – A slight adjustment from last year’s hole #9 ( Flat surface. 2nd with Mill City Ruins theme.
Hole 6 – Rules for playing. You play riding a rolling inchworm.
Hole 6 – The Pink Putter guiding the ball to the hole.
Hole 7 – Mill City Ruins / Stone Arch design #3. Starts with pachinko game and ends after ball goes through one of four paths.
Hole 7 – View of start and finish
Hole 8 – Fourth hole using Mill City Ruins theme. Several paths to the hole.
Hole 8 – Mr. Tee puts it in the pipe at the end of the Stone Arch Bridge
Hole 9 – Famous Grain Belt Brewery Sign. When we saw it at the opening, the sign would flash when the ball got in the hole. It didn’t work when we played day 2.
Hole 10 – Mini golf meets Skee Ball. Option of using putter or rolling it with your hand.
Hole 10 – Two paths led to hole-in-ones. Other goes near the deflated Metrodome or Guthrie Theatre. Stone Arch / Mill City theme #5
Hole 12 – Pink Putter starting the ball off in the famous Witches Tower of Prospect Park
Hole 13 – Homage to the colorful benches you can see around Minneapolis
Hole 14 – Explanation of the design
Hole 14 – Routed cardboard in shape of Minneapolis
Hole 15 – Repeat of Hole #2 of last year (
Hole 16 – Design by architecture students at the U of Minnesota. Stone Arch / Mill City design #6
Hole 17 – Long single wooden path design by Dunwoody Institute students. Looked nice but least fun to play.
Hole 18 – Dueling labyrinth race tracks to get to the hole. Kinda janky. Design by Art Institute MN students.
Hole 19 – This was a challenge to find but we were rewarded with a massive gingerbread house for our efforts in finding the hole. There is a ramp up to a putting area on the other side of this.


Unique game play on a number of holes
Impressive level of detail for a weekend-long, temporary course
Consistent Minneapolis theme
Less holes repurposed than in previous years
Money goes to the Boy and Girls Club of the Twin Cities


Repetitive use of the Mill City Ruins / Stone Arch theme
Several holes had hard to play / flat surfaces
19th hole was challenging to locate
Several holes with motorized obstacles or features were not functioning on day two.

Nerdy Notes

  • 19 holes, Par 57. Every hole is a par 3.
  • Cost: Opening Event, Fri. 2/21- foursomes are $160 (includes after party ticket) or $35 per individual at the door; Sat. 2/22 and Sun. 2/23- $20 adults, $5 kids
  • Each hole has balls and putters for use at that particular hole
  • The route of the course varied significantly from 2013 to 2014 but it has started each year in City Center with three of the holes on the ground level.
  • The annual charitable goal of the U.S. Bank Skyway Open is to raise money for The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.

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