Walker Artist-Designed Mini Golf 2017 – Minneapolis, MN

Played numerous times between June and October 2017

Reviewed by Mr. Tee

This is now the fifth iteration in the current run of artist-designed mini golf courses for the world renown Walker Art Center. Four new holes were added to the collection of mini golf creations that have been carried from the 2013-2015 iterations of the course. A selection of 9 holes from 2013, 2014, and 2015 was added to the rooftop of the Walker in 2016 due to construction in the sculpture garden. Since there were no new holes last year, we didn’t give that version an actual review even though we played it numerous times. This year, 5 past artist-designed holes plus the 9 from the rooftop were brought back to join the newly commissioned designs. In full disclosure, our Block Party design was one of the four selected this year and four past holes were attributed to us, Mr. Tee and/or The Pink Putter (Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman).

Rating

Birdie – The return of mini golf to the always popular sculpture garden was a big plus and its new location is more prominent and visible to visitors from far and near. We took advantage of ample opportunities to play the course throughout the season with friends from all over. Mini golf in an idyllic must-see Minnesota landmark is an essential outdoor activity. Colorful designs and varied play have been the hallmark of all of the artist-designed courses at the Walker over the years. While the new location of the course places the 18 holes in better space, the topography and adjustments to new and old holes provided several frustrating outings for us. Overall, it’s an above average course and mini golf experience. We’re hopeful the Walker can provide a future hole-in-one level experience in 2018.

Over the bridge to the new location for the course in the garden
Michael and Polie from Doha were in town!

Hole 1 – Tale of Two Cities. Designed by Jordan Hedlund
Hole 2 – Reflection of Choices by Chris Crammer
Ali Elababby and our friend Maggie’s dad
Designer, Chris, and Michon Weeks, designer of Ball Aboard, taking advantage of the selfie opportunity
A reconfiguration of our Don’t Blow It hole design featured in view of the classic Claes Oldenburg “Spoonbridge and Cherry” and the new “Hahn/Cock” by Katharina Fritsch
Return of Thrillo Brillo. Mr. Tee playing with our friends Matt and Shona
New green shoes and final year for this hole
Putt R. Mutt initially set up without the guide rails making it unspeakably challenging

Duchamp hole adjusted with suggested guide rails
Hole 13 – Ball Aboard. The Pink Putter with designer Michon Weeks
Green and blue light rail options to the cup
Minneapolis or St. Paul? Always Mpls!
More pool balls added to Right On Cue
Hole-in-one for Ali!
New friend Schweta tries on the ball for size during her first game of mini golf ever!
Brilliant illustrations for the 2017 year course created by Allegra Lockstadt and Vadim Gershman

Pros

Brightly colored designs
Variety of play and possible interactions with each hole
Ideal location for additional fun in the sculpture park, museum, or downtown Minneapolis

Cons

Grading of the ground where the holes were located in relation to the structures made for some frustrating play
New tweaks to Putt R. Mutt, Right On Cue and a few others didn’t work

Nerdy Notes

  • 18 Holes, Par 55
  • Rubber covered putters and a wide variety of color balls. No flags in the holes. White plastic cups.
  • $19 adults; $16 students; $15 Walker members and children ages 6–12. Free for ages 5 and under with paid adult. Every ticket includes free gallery admission (up to $14 value) for each golfer.
  • Open June through October 2017

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