IMA Artist Mini Golf – Indianapolis, IN


Played October 30, 2016

Reviewed by Mr. Tee

The intersection of art and mini golf is close to our hearts and the opportunity to consult and build for the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 2016 artist designed and constructed miniature golf course was truly a treat. Labeled by some as a hub city and others as flyover country, Indianapolis unveiled creative treasures with each return visit. Our involvement began with the call for artists and finished in October with two days of play and the de-installation of our own hole, Lil Golf. We’re thrilled to be returning to the IMA in 2017 with a new mini golf creation but before we move forward, let’s run voyage through the 2016 course.


Hole-in-One – By far our favorite of the artist-designed mini golf courses we have played to date. The eclectic mix of style, design, and play highlight the unique history of the state of Indiana and the many talented artists who call the state home. The unifying theme of Indiana in celebration of the state’s Bicentennial worked out better than we imagined. Vonnegut, Dick the Bruiser, D&D, Willie the Whale, and former US president Benjamin Harrison. The parade of characters, places, and games brought us on an adventure that we wish we could have experienced more than just once.



Hole 1 – Shadow Tailed-Scourge by Chad & Beth Eby. The “Great Squirrel Invasion”. You can shift the little critters to help you on the path to the cup.
Extra larger squirrels. Photo courtesy of the IMA.
Hole 2 – Lil Golf by us with help from Lil Bub
IMA staff Suzy (right) & Ashli (center) playing a creation they helped fix and support all Summer.
Hole 3 – The Grid by Quinn Kummer, David Corns, and John Stoughton of Team B from Cincinnati. Our new Canadian friend Jake takes on this super challenging hole. Stroke limit was hard not to get.
Hole 4 – The Bruce Where-Are-They-Nauman? Monument to the Sons of Indiana (Metal Gods) by Colin Nesbit. Indiana art and rock legends collide. Photo courtesy of the IMA.
Impressed by how well this hole sustained audiences throughout the Summer. Photo courtesy of IMA.
Hole 5 – Hoosier Woodworker by Herron School of Art & Design students and faculty. Simple and straight forward wood covered bridge utilizing varying types of playing surfaces.
Hole 6 – Benjamin Harrison by Martin Kuntz of Creative Works, Inc. of Mooresville, Indiana— a company that has directed mini golf installations for numerous clients. Incredible build with a secret path behind the fingers on the ramp.
Love how this one looks and plays. Don’t know if a hole-in-one was possible which was my only qualm with the design.
Hole 7 – Welcome to Wonderland by Brandon Schaaf of Know No Stranger, and Megan Hart. The retro amusement park theme is lovely and something we dig. The play and build could use some work but overall it turned out well.
Hole 8 – Dick the Bruiser (Right in the Teeth) by Jim Walker and Brent Lehker of Big Car Collaborative art org. Old school wrestling legend in putting form. Impressed how well it held up and played.
Full view of this mini golf meets wrestling creation. Photo courtesy of the IMA.
Hole 9 – Cardinal 200 by William Denton Ray. Stunning looking hole nodding to the race car reputation of Indy. Glad it will be back in 2017.
Hole 10 – Enigmatology by Hannah Barnes and Suzanne Dittenber. NY Times crossword puzzle editor and Indy native Will Shorts is the inspiration for this hole. Excellent use of the dot on the “i” for the cup.
Hole 11 – Back Home Again by Quincy Owens and Luke Crawley. You can use the ball mallets to play “(Back Home Again In) Indiana”. See the video below.

Path to a hole-in-one through the middle of the slightly shorter chimes
Hole 12 – Burnside’s Sideburns by Alan Goffinski of Big Car and Know No Stranger. Civil war colonel with a fun facial hair pattern.
Creative mix of playing surfaces to make this more difficult than it looks at face value
Hole 13 – Covered Bridges of Indiana by Scott Shoemaker. Best of the holes using a bridge in the theming. No shot at a hole-in-one.
Ashli getting a better vantage point for her 2nd putt
Hole 14 – Vonnegut Doodles by Brian McCutcheon and Athletics NYC. Perfectly odd and exciting monument to one of my favorite writers. The frustrating flat and smooth playing surface was easy to overlook given all of the other fun distractions.
Numerous easter eggs and modeled after Vonnegut’s studio. Photo courtesy of the IMA.
Hole 15 – Poplar Mechanics by Gautum Rao. Colin, builder of hole 4, looks on to this colorful and well-constructed maze.
Suzy mugging with Gautum’s brightly colored trees. Photo courtesy of the Suzy Slater.
Hole 16 – Landmarks by Herron School of Art & Design senior students from the Visual Communication Design program. Take a straight path to the cup over the bridge and across a racetrack while running the risk of falling off the course.
Hole 17 – The Dungeon Masters’ Tournament by Josh DeBonis and Nikita Mikros of BumbleBear Games of NYC. This is a view of the initial and complicated D&D-like rules. Wish I had the chance to play this hole a bunch. Also, beer!
Amended rules after this hole became a huge bottleneck.
Various levels of play and characters. Photo courtesy of the IMA.
Satisfying sound of the ball falling into the coins and jewels was a brilliant addition. Blown away by how all of the elements came together on this hole.
Hole 18 – Willie the Whale. Landmark from the Indianapolis Zoo’s past. Quincy Owens and Luke Crawley of Owens + Crawley LLC put in a ton of work to get this on site and functional for mini golf. Fun way to end a magical course. Photo courtesy of Suzy Slater.
The Pink Putter on top of the leader board. Way to go Robin!
Souvenirs to commemorate the course
Fun buttons (or badges if you’re British) to show off your love for the course

IMA Course Overview

Mini Golf at the IMA by the Indianapolis Star

10 great courses to celebrate mini golf’s centennial by the USA Today


Wide variety of challenge for skilled and unskilled players across the course
Colorful and inventive visual design using the theme of Indiana
Playful and fun overall experience
Well built and maintained artist-designed course
Most satisfying temporary course we’ve played to date


Design flaws on a few holes made them slightly more challenging than they should be
Nerdy Notes

  • 18 holes, Par 54. Robin (The Pink Putter) had the best score in our group with a 50.
  • Free with paid admission to the museum. Admission prices vary. On free days or movie nights, mini golf is $8
  • Rubber covered putters. Wide variety of colored balls.
  • Several holes will return to the 2017 IMA course. TBA!

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