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Take a Tour of Walker on the Green
Artist-Designed Mini Golf in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf, 2013

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Walker delivers Walker on the Green, a fresh round of miniature golf, now through September 8, 2013. Designed by area artists, architects, engineers, and putt-putt connoisseurs, the two eight-hole courses include 15 novelties ranging from garden gnome foosball to a geodesic dome housing miniature versions of the Walker building and the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Can You Handle This?

Robin Schwartzman and Tom Loftus

Robin Schwartzman and Tom Loftus not only create mini-golf holes, they review them. Our resident experts and authors of the blog A Couple of Putts crafted their hole around a giant yellow watering can spilling into a field of whimsical daisies. The hole presents hidden challenges in its looping ramp combined with an element of chance to delight and frustrate players. Pro tip: Even if you don’t clear the loop, your ball will likely find its way onto the green via a daisy bounce.

Move Your Hole!

Makesh!t (Lucas Alm, Justin Heideman, Aaron Marx, Jake Nassif, Craig Phillips, Paul Schmelzer, and Witt Siasoco)

You’ve got a choice—either aim for your hole or block your opponent by moving a mobile panel to switch the hole they’re aiming for! Move Your Hole! by Makesh!t tweaks the rules of conventional putt-putt. “To us, an artful take on mini golf isn’t just reskinning a windmill,” says Makesh!t’s Jake Nassif. “We want to shake up how you play. Twist the traditional means toward a new, more competitive dynamic. Change the hole and change the goal.”

Gopher Hole

Locus Architecture

The Locus Architecture team challenges golfers by combining chance, putting skill, and physics through a series of chutes and a ball-gobbling gravity well. “We’ve had our hands on a lot of materials over the past two decades (from custom, concrete countertops to everything that goes into making a residence), but never fiberglass resin. Admittedly wandering into uncharted territory, fellow mini-golf artist Aaron Dysart was kind enough to share his insights with us.” Pro tip: Watch for the false trap holes on the green, your target is the hole in the upper-right corner.

Le Bagatelle de Bagatelle

Karl Unnasch

Admitted pinball nerd Karl Unnasch conceived this hole as a game board known as a bagatelle. It’s played as a tribute to the pivotal history (circa 1770s) in which French parlor games of skill developed into gambling games of chance in an era of opulence and excess. The playing field, which re-creates a small-scale version of the Chateau de Bagatelle and its accompanying gardens, contains numerous hidden passages resulting in various outcomes to your score. Pro tip: The interior of the chateau holds the path for a hole in one, but it’s pure chance.

Earth Avenues

Stormi Balise, Bryan Thoen, and Kyle Potter

Putting up a steep incline, your ball drops into a sub-garden ant world and rolls through tunnels before spilling onto the green. A careful aim and delicate touch is required to master this challenging hole. Pro tip: The smaller hole will drop your ball in position for an easy birdie.

Ames Room

University of Minnesota ARTS 3390/5390 Site, Environment, Community Class (Instructor Chris Larson. Students: Kacie Covington, Emma Gallenberg, Andrea Gredvig, Candice Hafalia-Yackel, Rebecca Hoffmann, Chen Hu, Elena Lavorato, Andrew Luellen, Mary Jane Mansfield, Sara Nichol, Jordan Rosenow, Woody Stauffer, Kirby Tebeje, Jessica Trebil, Laichee Yang)

The first of two holes developed and created as part of the University of Minnesota ARTS 3390/5390 Site, Environment, Community Class. Both holes cleverly shift scale and present perfect Instagram opportunities. The distorted Ames Room design utilizes theories of perceptive psychologist Adelbert Ames to create an optical illusion of depth, distance, and variance in size for viewers. The effect is particularly convincing from the fixed vantage point of the attached viewfinder. Document and share: #amesroom. Pro tip: To get a proper shot of the illusion have someone stand on the lower portion to the back and someone stand to the front on the upper portion.

Swarm

Alyssa Baguss and Alison Hiltner

Alyssa Baguss and Alison Hiltner created Swarm by heating and melting greenhouse-grade sheeting over a geodesic half-dome, to produce the alien landscape. The shining orbs within create distorted mirroring of the structure and, the artists joke, might detour players from meddling as they resemble security cameras. Pro tip: Early tests indicate a bit of spin on the ball can increase chances of the elusive hole in one.

18 Holes in One: Collapsing the Masters Narrative

David Lefkowitz and Stephen Mohring

18 Holes in One is a physical manifestation of an overlay of all 18 legendary greens at Augusta National Golf Course, home of the Master’s Tournament. With 18 potential targets, this hole appears deceptively easy, but the lush turf and rolling terrain provide hidden traps. You may putt through the fairway or attempt a riskier chip onto the green. Artists David Lefkowitz and Stephen Mohring swapped traditional golf cups for drains with a slight nod to Robert Gober. Pro tip: The grey box adjacent to the fairway can be an aid in chipping unto the green.

Tilt-A-Putt

David Wulfman, Dave Hultman of Dave Hultman Design, Tyler Hultman of Hultman Machine, Britta Olson

Tilt-A-Putt scales up a marble labyrinth game to create a massive, yet maneuverable playing surface. The on-ramp requires a perfect mix of power and control, too hard or too soft will return your ball to your starting point. With careful and patient control, this is one of the more obtainable holes in one on the course. Pro tip: Place the ball to the front of the tee box grass to increase your chances on a clean entry.

Holey Lighted

Jeffrey Pauling and Tyler Whitehead

Created by designers at local firm Cuningham, Jeffery Pauling and Tyler Whitehead’s Holey Lighted leveraged their knowledge of structural engineering to create a plasma-cut, steal-lattice canopy. The 1,000-pound finished structure mimics the natural canopy of tree cover and can withstand winds up to 90 mph, uplift or over turning! Pro tip: Use the geometric forms as opportunities to slow your shot to help keep from overshooting the green.

Mega Golf

University of Minnesota ARTS 3390/5390 Site, Environment, Community Class (Instructor Chris Larson. Students: Kacie Covington, Emma Gallenberg, Andrea Gredvig, Candice Hafalia-Yackel, Rebecca Hoffmann, Chen Hu, Elena Lavorato, Andrew Luellen, Mary Jane Mansfield, Sara Nichol, Jordan Rosenow, Woody Stauffer, Kirby Tebeje, Jessica Trebil, Laichee Yang)

Part of the charm of mini golf is the playful relationship to scale. Mega Golf, the second hole designed by U of M students, embraces this connection by inverting players’ relationships to both the game and garden. Enter into the giant golf ball and putt around, through, and over a scale model of the Walker campus complete with the Spoonbridge and Cherry and Jim Hodges’ boulders. The careful observer will notice the hole placement on the course in relation to its placement on the campus. Pro tip: Sometimes going around the block is a better strategy than a shortcut.

Zen Rock (The) Garden

McGrill Art Associates, Sarah Balk McGrill, Wesley Thayne Petersen

“Step into our Zen Rock Garden. Use the cascading obstacles to travel the river toward enlightenment. Few can achieve the True Bliss of a hole in one, but all may gain peace through the journey.” The McGrill Art Associates team of Sarah Balk McGrill and Wesley Thayne Peterson created Zen Garden with hopes of soothing players with the natural elements and directional chi of wood grain and combed sand. Take in additional chi playing on all sustainable materials and recycled products. Pro tip: Careful examination attention to the geometry can lead to a birdie on this hole.

Rock! Garden.

Aaron Dysart

Aaron Dysart’s musical Rock! Garden contains more than 10 pounds of glitter spread over fiberglass rock forms. Each rock conceals a musical instrument, including a snare drum, a cymbal, and a Fisher Price xylophone. The sparkling rocks make a playful reference to both the Jim Hodges sculpture and the Walker’s annual summer music festival. Pro tip: The snare drum provides a bit of extra spring for a properly struck shot.

Garden Gnome Foosball

Nicola Carpenter, Susanne Dehnhard Carpenter, and Bryan Carpenter

Perhaps the cutest hole on the course, Garden Gnome Foosball offers two games in one. After putting up the concourse, players can drop their putters to engage in a game of foosball with adorable foot-tall gnome strikers. “Mini golf and garden gnomes both share a kitsch factor,” says Sean Donovan. Pro tip: Encourage your fellow players to give you a “gnome assist” to lower your score.

Be a Sculpture!

Nicola Carpenter, Bryan Carpenter, Susanne Carpenter, and Sean Donovan

Twister meets mini golf. Be a Sculpture! invites each player to become a sculptural obstacle. Upon each turn, players may shift their position, strategizing how to best thwart their opponent’s progress. Pro tip: Think of shoes as opportunities for bank shots.