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Press Releases Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf Returns May 22-September 1

Minneapolis, March 31, 2014—The sweet spot of summer lies between the Open Field and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf. Expanded to an 18-hole course, players will encounter some old favorites-roaming holes, a glittering rock and roll soundscape, a gopher hole vortex, and garden gnome foosball. Even seasoned players on the artist-designed circuit will have to work to stay under par thanks to some surprising new holes including a gum ballmachine, a chicken coup and a rendition of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain.

Don’t let the choice between a round of putt-putt and a wander through air conditioned contemporary art galleries drive a wedge between you and your loved ones: every ticket includes free gallery admission (up to $14 value).

Walker on the Green features the Dog House serving all-beef hot dogs and beverages. Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf is copresented by mnartists.org.

Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf
Thursday, May 22–Monday, September 1

Open every day, beginning May 22: Thursday–Saturday, 10 am–10 pm; Sunday–Wednesday 10 am–8 pm.

Mini golf is extremely popular. Please expect a wait time, which may be longer in the evenings and on weekends when the course is busiest. For weather-related and course closure information, call 612.375.7697. Free for ages 6 and under with a paid adult. 9 Holes: $12 adults, $10 students ($9 Walker members, and children ages 7–12) Full Course: $18 adults, $15 students ($13.50 Walker members, and children ages 7–12)

Course A:
Hole 1: Curling Club
Paul Hedlund

Inspired by the Winter Olympics classic, this hole propels you to avoid the stones and brooms as you bring your ball to the “button.” Matching outfits aren’t necessary for your team to enjoy success on this curling sheet.
Designed by Paul Hedlund.

Hole 2: 18 Holes in One
David Lefkowitz and Stephen Mohring

18 Holes in One, by David Lefkowitz and Stephen Mohring, is a physical manifestation of an overlay of all 18 legendary greens as Augusta National Golf Course, home of the Master’s Tournament. The result will thrill and challenge both the novice and seasoned mini-golfer alike. With 18 potential targets in their sites as they approach the undulating surface of the composite structure, they will encounter a non-linear spatiotemporal golfing experience like no other.

Hole 3: Putt-Pong
Trevor Anderson and Barry Kudrowitz

The fast pace of ping-pong and careful strategy of putt-putt come together in this unique juxtaposition. It’s up to the golfer to decide how to play: are the paddles an advantage or obstacle? Launch your ball over the net and into the hole to score a winner. Is success about speed? Or thoughtful strategy? In the case of this hole designed by Trevor Anderson and Barry Kudrowitz, it’s both.

Hole 4: Putt R. Mutt
Sarah Burns

Pay homage to Marcel Duchamp’s readymade Fountain as you guide your ball to the end of the urinal. Per Duchamp, “the creative act is not performed by the artist alone,” so go ahead and tee up.
This hole by Sarah Burns is designed to be challenge.

Hole 5: Guess What? Chicken Putt!
Brian Fewell and Cami Applequist
Designed by Brian Fewell and Cami Applequist, Guess What? Chicken Putt! takes players inside a chicken coup. Putt up to Henrietta, but avoid hitting her eggs and chicks. If you can get this chicken to lay an egg in three strokes, you’ve made par. But there’s a fox in this henhouse, so watch out. If he eats your ball, you’ll have to start over.

Hole 6: Gopher Hole
Locus Architecture

Gopher Hole, designed by Locus Architecture, challenges golfers to combine chance, putting skill, and physical analysis. The hole combines a converging chute, an elevated centripetal cone, gopher tunnels, and an obstacle laden putting green. Can you predict where your ball will pop up?

Hole 7: Move Your Hole!

Deceptively simple in design and appearance, Roaming Hole Gardens by Makesh!t transforms the familiar mini-golf experience with a crucial twist: the hole roams. By moving topiary plugs from one hole to another, players change the object of the round for everyone, thereby altering the competitive and strategic landscape. The course’s artificial trees, shrubs and flowers are not merely aesthetic adornments but mobile equipment. To play, you need to learn only one new rule: “On your turn hit your ball OR move the hole.”

Hole 8: The Uncertainty Principle
Kenneth Steinbach and Dave Denninger

Control is only an illusion in our unpredictable world! Aim for one of the eight holes spiraling up the track and let the Uncertainty Principle take over. Though it may seem random, there’s a subatomic force at work. The words of theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg will guide you in your quest. Designed by Kenneth Steinbach and Dave Denninger.

Hole 9: Don’t Blow It
Robin Schwartzman

Don’t Blow It! Designed by Robin Schwartzman integrates a sloped jump shot with an oversized gumball machine. Take careful aim at the oversized gumball machine. Get the ball into the coin slot and watch it traverse down a spiral, but there’s only one chance. Miss the perfect hole-in-one and it simply disappears!

Course B:

Hole 1: Tilt-A-Putt
David Wulfman, Dave Hultman of Dave Hultman Design, Tyler Hultman of Hultman Machine, and Britta Olson

Putt up the ramp and guide the ball to the elevated playing surface. After teeing, abandon your club and steer the control arm to pivot the playfield like a labyrinth. Guide your ball through the maze toward the “hole in one,” located at the field’s center, avoiding other traps along the way. If your ball falls into a trap hole, add the stroke count from the bin and resume play. Only the “hole in one” delivers the ball to the 1-stroke bin.

The artists would like to acknowledge material contributions from Team Powdercoating for the frame’s surface finishing and Par Aide for the gift of the ball washer.

Hole 2: Take It to the Grave
Holly Seekstra

Designed by Holy Seekstra, this par-2 hole represents a cemetery, featuring artificial turf, a cemetery gate and fence, gravestones, a crypt, and a grave shaped scoring hole. It’s a high stakes game in order to bring your ball to its final resting place. Aim for the crypt, and don’t let the gravestones get in the way. There’s no resting in peace, though—pick up the ball and head to the next hole once you’ve met your maker here.

Hole 3: Garden Gnome Foosball
Nicola Carpenter, Susanne Dehnhard Carpenter and Bryan Carpenter

A mash-up of mini golf and foosball with garden gnome strikers is presented by Nicola, Susanne and Bryan Carpenter! The course first makes a half circle turn assisted noisily by submerged wheelbarrows, a continuous mild incline raises the ball to flat playing field upon which the player and/or friends of the player may help the ball to its goal via the gnome strikers. Will the garden implements be helpful or hazardous on your journey through the artificial foliage to the gooooooooooooooooal

Hole 4: Stargazer
Jess Hirsch

Stop craning your neck to stargaze—look down at this accurate rendition of the Northern Hemisphere’s summer sky. Finding Polaris, the North Star, is your key to success, though the wanderer will find joy in traversing the cosmos … and racking up strokes. Dodging the big dipper and scooting over Draco, Polaris, the North Star, is the destination winning hole is the key to success for this hole, designed by Jess Hirsch.

Hole 5: Rock! Garden.
Aaron Dysart

Riffing off the multiple meanings of rock, Rock! Garden by Dysart will require bank shots off colorful, glittery fiberglass rocks that will contain musical instruments (xylophone, tambourine, drum, taunt strings). The hole borrows its layout from iconic Zen rock garden while its aesthetic stems from the flashy finishes of musical instruments. Players will have to unleash their inner rockstar to gain the enlightenment of a birdie.

Hole 6: Snake Bite!
Kyle Fokken

Be tempted by the snake in this garden. Aim for the rattler’s gaping mouth to get the ball spiraling down its coiled body. Celebrate success by shaking its tail when a player makes the ball into the hole. Designed by Kyle Fokken

Hole 7: Holey Lighted
Jeffrey Pauling and Tyler Whitehead

Holey Lighted by Pauling and Whitehead is a hole that calls into question the nature of nature. By using digital fabrication techniques and a nonorganic material, the hole attempts to recreate the sensation of a shaded canopy in summer, while the player navigates multiple folded steel planes. The constructive forces of nature help inform the overall form, structure and experience.

Hole 8: Be A Sculpture!
Nicola Carpenter, Bryan Carpenter, Susanne Carpenter and Sean Donovan

Be A Sculpture! Invites people to engage with mini-golf in a different way. You become the obstacles for your friends! Taking cues from sculptures found in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, place your feet on the colorful footprints and become a sculpture yourself.

Hole 9: Right on Cue
Kevin Weeden

Unconventional thinking can lead to great rewards! Billiards was invented to be a form of indoor golf. Like those innovators, turn your club on its head and transform your putter into a pool cue on this hole designed by Kevin Weeden. Aim for the hole and avoid the corner pockets—they’ll cost you a stroke. Move to the green for your final shot.

The Dog House

Fuel your competitive spirit at the Dog House featuring a selection of all beef Vienna dogs on soft pretzel buns. Cool off with a refreshing beverage.

Dog House
Thursday–Saturday, 11:30 am–8 pm
Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 11:30 am–5 pm
Closed Monday

Mini Facts about Mini Golf
Miniature Golf has a long, strange, and fascinating history. One of the few truly American art forms, it has evolved from “fake” golf, literally a substitute sport for Scots and Englishmen transplanted to countries lacking their rolling green hills to a sport that rivaled baseball and the movies in popularity. Mini golf moved from being the savior of the American economy, threatening to replace movies as the nation’s fifth largest industry, only to be placed alongside comic books and pools halls as the perpetrators of the corruption of America’s morals. Regardless, mini golf has endured, always reflecting its unique and quirky history.

The 1920s, with factors such as the suffragette movement, prohibition, and new levels of prosperity and leisure time, allowed for the game to evolve from its 1916 origin as a short game of regulation golf to what we now think of as classic miniature golf. It was an era of fads—flagpole sitting, dance marathons, and hot-dog-eating contests. Garden Golf, as it was then called, began in earnest in 1926 in two separate parts of the country. Offered as a diversion for overwrought executives during their lunch break, New York City hosted over 150 courses on building rooftops. At the same time, a resort opened on the border of Georgia and Tennessee as a sort of fantasyland for millionaires. Designed by a woman (women couldn’t be architects at that time), the course’s obstacle andhazard-laden features were patented as Tom Thumb Golf.

Indoor and outdoor courses soon caught on. Most were lavish affairs, often with caddies and open late into the evening so folks could stop by for a round after a night at dinner and the theater. They were a society affair, played by visiting European aristocrats and famous Hollywood stars. A course was even installed in the American Presidential Summer Camp. The crash of 1929 was the impetus for the next era of Garden Golf. Few people could afford to run the courses with their former country club-like atmospheres in these lean times and courses became more ragtag, created on abandoned lots with scavenged objects for the obstacles. Often know as Rinkiedink golf, the game only gained in popularity during the Great Depression. The courses were unique and offered cheap diversions. The 1950s are the era that produced most of the courses for which our ideas of the game were formed. Miniature golf became a calm and wholesome family activity rather than the craze of the earlier years. The new courses were located in post war suburbia, most often the shopping strips. To increase the entertainment factor, many of the more animated and trick hazards were added—the courses became more challenging, requiring both skill and timing.

Courses tend to reflect their geographical locations—west coast courses are influenced by Hollywood, grandiose and are fantasy-filled, while East Cost links are smaller, often reflecting historical, literary, or artistic themes.

The sport is now played around the world, and the World Minigolf Sport Federations (WMF) boasts clubs in 24 nations.

The many names of Miniature Golf over the years: Plantation Golf, Wacky Golf, Putt-Putt Golf, Miniature Golf, Goony Golf, Garden Golf, Carpet Golf, Fun Golf, Midget Golf, Goofy Golf, Pint-Pot Golf, Tom Thumb Golf, Mini-Golf, Pigmy Golf, Half-Pint Golf, Jolly Golf, Lilliput Links, Rinkiedink Golf, Adventure Golf, Peewee Golf, Runt Golf.

Unusual Locales
Miniature golf course have been located in graveyards, using the tombstones as hazards, The New Hampshire State Prison, The Lincoln State Hospital for the Insane, ocean liners, New York penthouse rooftops, empty corner lots, greenhouses, and churches.

Annotated History of the Putting Green
Although other materials such as compressed feathers, oiled sawdust, carpet, clay, hard sand, sponge mixed with cement, and a green dye called “Grassit” were used, these were the industry standards.
1920: Natural grass
1925: Cottonseed hull mixed with oil spread upon a sand foundation
1940: Goat hair felt (concocted out of goat hair and vulcanized rubber)
1960: Indoor/outdoor carpeting and AstroTurf

A 1930s Los Angles course had a live bear cub as an obstacle. They trained him to go after the balls dipping them in honey.

In The Colossus of the Roads, Karal Ann Marling said miniature golf was “the very last of the goofy fads of the twenties.” She also noted that all the fads of the 1920s made participants feel larger than life.
The Above Facts and History are courtesy of John Margolies’ Miniature Golf.

Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf


Designed by Kyle Fokken, a full-time mixed-media sculptor, Snakebite! draws interpretive comparisons between the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the Garden of Eden. Not many snakes coil in on themselves, which is why Fokken chose the southwestern serpent for his main figure. Aim for the rattlesnake’s gaping mouth and watch and listen as your ball makes its spiraling descent, echoing a sound similar to a rattle. Fokken also cites a family influence: “It’s something I can show to my kids and they won’t get bored. I suppose my son influenced the design a bit because he likes creepy, crawly things. I think a snake is an appropriate choice for the father of a little boy.” Families can also appreciate the cacti dotting the landscape, which complete the effect of this fantastic hole.

Kyle Fokken

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

Garden Gnome Foosball

Photo: ©Walker Art Center