Volcano Falls Mini Golf – Loves Park, IL

Played on July 18, 2016

Reviewed by Mr. Tee

The drive to Chicago from Minneapolis is one I’ve traveled more than I can count. From 2007 – 2016, I regularly traveled with friends to the annual Pitchfork Music Festival to take in new and interesting music. Since 2012, this trip has included numerous mini golf stops along the way in Wisconsin and Chicago. One course that had eluded us for years was located little over an hour outside of Chicago in Rockford, Illinois on the I-90 tollway. We’d speed past Volcano Falls as we were coming or going always with the thought to play but never finding the time. After seeing the “For Sale” sign in front in 2016, we had to stop. We drove by the course in July 2017 and it was still in operation so fingers crossed it sticks around.

Review:

Birdie – I vacillated back and forth between giving this a Par rating and a Birdie. It helped that I experienced this course with two dear friends, Aundrea and Nils. I’m a sucker for an oversized volcano and faux-Hawaiian theming incorporated into the environment. Circumambulating the perimeter made for a near-religious experience on what turned out to be a lovely day. Ultimately, I gave this joint a generous review in hopes that the lovely people of Loves Park (or people traveling to and from Chicago) support this course like nearby Rockford hometown heroes Cheap Trick. Keep this place alive so at the very least I can play the Palm course in the future with The Pink Putter.

Entrance into new territory
My friends indulged me in a selfie. Thank you!
Let’s roll
Aundrea starting things off
Shape could be a face or…
Are we having fun yet!?
Halfway there
Hmmmm…
Stair shot!
Waterfall overflows on to the course
Just tap it in!
The Palm Course can be seen on the right side of the photo
Another view of the Palm Course. Bit less exciting looking than the Volcano course.
Nils giving the lay of the land
Practice green?
Inside the arcade
Nils with buddy en route back to Minnesota at a stop off in the Wisconsin Dells

Volcano Falls Website

Pros

Large volcano provides immersive environment
Hawaiian theming includes faux-lava side walls
Two 18 hole courses
Arcade / Go-Karts
Well maintained greens

Cons

No obstacles
Relatively standard hole layout and design

Nerdy Notes

  • Volcano Course: 18 Holes, Par 47. Stroke limit – 5.
  • Volcano Course $7.50, Palm Course $6.50. Volcano Combo (10 arcade credits, round of mini golf, and One single bridge or rookie go-cart ride) $16. Unlimited wristbands available between $25-35
  • Rubber covered putters and colored balls. No Flags. White plastic cups for each hole.
  • “If ball enters water, do not attempt to retrieve. Get new ball from attendant”
  • “Players are responsible for any damage to course or equipment through carelessness”
  • Palm course is handicap and stroller accessible
  • Arcade, Lazer Games, Go-Karts, Batting Cages, and food options are available

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