Putt’er There – Como Park, St. Paul, MN

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Played on September 6, 2014

Reviewed by the Pink Putter

Putt’er There has been a course on our docket for many years, but for no good reason we put off playing there until a beautiful Saturday this past September. It was an extra good day for me because I won by quite a bit (which rarely happens against the highly skilled Mr. Tee). This course has been family owned and operated for over 50 years. In 1999 it went through a major makeover which transformed it from 9 holes to a full 18.

On a somewhat related note: In one of our favorite books, Miniature Golf, there are two pages with photos from a “Fairway Golf Range” in St. Paul, MN. This course no longer exists but may or may not have been located where Putt’er There is today. After much research, I’ve learned some of the story and know the two courses were at least close to one another. Fairway Golf Range (or Fairview Golf Center as I’ve seen it called) was owned by a man named Norbert “Norb” Anderson, a gifted golfer who sadly passed in January 2013. Norb began manufacturing fiberglass animals in 1972. He partnered with Jerry Vettrus to form a company called Sculptured Advertising, which would later become the infamous F.A.S.T. Corporation in Sparta, WI – best known for it’s fiberglass graveyard. Although Norb was eventually bought out of the company, he managed to keep a heard of animals, many of which ended up at his mini golf course as well as a black angus that was paraded annually for the Minnesota State Fair. A few Google searches brought up a slew of news articles (like this and this) reporting on a number of his animals that have been stolen and returned over the years. I wish I knew more as to Fairview Golf Center’s exact location and history. If you have any information to add to this story, please write me at acoupleofputts@gmail.com!

Rating:

Par – Putt’er There is your classic, run of the mill mini golf course. It’s nestled in Como Park between the conservatory, zoo and picnic areas, which makes its location favorable for a weekend outing. As far as the play, it’s got a handful of classic yet modest obstacles and tropes including a loop, rocks, a windmill, some water play and a chintzy castle (which the video below will show you was not well secured to the putting green). So while you won’t see larger-than-life fiberglass farm animals, you will find a pleasant and quick afternoon outing at a very reasonable price.

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Reasonable prices with the option of 9 or 18 holes.
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Mr. Tee at the street car-turned-ticket office.
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Mr. Tee getting ready to turn the corner.
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Rocks!
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Aiming for the straight shot.

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We love classic windmills.
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Mr. Tee next to the pond.
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Some water play.
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More rocks!

Putt’er There Website

Pros:

Conveniently located next to other family friendly attractions (zoo, conservatory, Como Town Amusement Park, picnic areas)
Option to play 9 or 18 holes at reasonable prices
Some classic obstacles and tropes
Relatively clean and well-maintained

Cons:

Short holes that make for quick play time
Everything at this course (obstacles, landscaping, theming, etc.) is a bit underwhelming
No course par listed on scorecard

Nerdy Notes:

  • Rubber covered putters
  • 18 holes with option to play first 9
  • $2.50 for 9 holes, $5 for all 18
  • Tee-off mats
  • Plastic balls
  • No flags in holes
  • Final hole collects balls with chance to win free game

 

 

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