Following a tremendously successful first summer, we are bringing mini golf back for 2017. Bring your family for a whole summer of putt-putt fun featuring brand new courses. This year, we invite you to explore the Natural World with courses centered around animals, geology, and bodies of water. Some of them will remind you of your own backyard, full of cardinals and squirrels, others will take you on an exciting African safari, and others are more educational focusing on important issues like climate change.
Like last year, IMA members get exclusive access to the mini golf and can play all summer long. The 18-hole course is included with general admission and open during regular museum hours.
So whether you were meaning to go last year and missed your chance, or played every day last summer, make sure you come this year to see how you stack up against the new holes. Read on to see what exciting courses await you.
To Bee or Not to Bee explores nature’s greatest pollinator, the honeybee, and brings attention to the frightening decline bee populations have seen in recent years. Designed by mini golf gurus, Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman, players will have to navigate their golf balls through a beehive in order to find the honeycomb hole.
Stroll Gardens brings the miniature to mini golf with a fun play on Japanese gardens. These gardens are famous for appearing bigger than they are thanks to the careful landscape design. This hole, created by Kevin Bielicki, draws on those same ideas of using pathways and natural objects to create a larger feeling of place.
A Forest of Sound invites you to putt with your ears as well as your hands. Artist and science teacher, Luke Crawley, bills his hole as a sonically interesting experience. Journey back to some of our species’ earliest attempts at creating musical instruments with this hole that’s sure to drum up some fun.
2058: the first mini golf hole without ice is a journey to what the future might look like if glaciers continue to melt as a result of climate change. Golfers will have to navigate past several icebergs full of mirrors and transparent panels that will show how changing conditions have affected our world. Luke Crawley teams up with Greenwood artist Quincey Owens for this course.
Pond Life features a replica of Paramecium Caudatum, an extremely common single-celled organism found in fresh and salt water. Designers Beth and Chad Eby had to enlarge the little guy up a little to make this golf hole playable. Growing no bigger than a quarter of a millimeter, you’d need 168 Caudatum’s just to equal the length of your golf ball. At 10-feet long, this hole is the perfect length for putt-putt and learning more about this creature.
Shadow-Tailed Scourge. Those cheeky squirrels are returning for more of your corn. Beth and Chad Eby are bringing back last year’s hole for more squirrel fun. The hole harkens back to the “Great Squirrel Invasion” of 1822 when a westward migration of squirrels decimated crops in Indiana. Golfers will have to putt around five giant squirrels in order to find the hole.
White River Putt. Generally, golfers do their best to stay out of water hazards, but on this hole, its strongly encouraged. Alan Goffinski has created a hole replicating the White River watershed and players will move their golf balls down the various tributaries that make up the Indianapolis-area river and stream network.
The Carpet is Hot Lava is, in the artist’s own words, “adorable doom.” The hole depicts a giant triceratops being submerged by lava with an erupting volcano in the background. Artist Martin Kuntz said the hole design hearkens back to his childhood and tries to capture the destruction and chaos in a light-hearted way.
15-1, designed by Colin Tuis Nesbit, will transport you to the days when Indiana was covered in prairielands. This unique environment use to cover 15 percent of the state but that number has since been reduced to just one percent. Learn more about prairies and the grasses indigenous to Indiana and see what is being done to conserve what prairieland is left in the Hoosier state.
Stumped shows golfers that a tree can provide life to its surrounding ecosystem even after it dies and begins decomposing. While standing, trees are usually a bane of golfers, this hole, created by students of Noblesville High School’s Sculpture II class, will give participants a new appreciation for trees. This hole will show the wealth of natural wonders a fallen tree gifts to the world.
Cardinal 200 is a mashup of Indiana’s state bird and Greatest Spectacle in Racing that celebrates all things Hoosier. A totem-like Cardinal sitting on top of an Indy Car is the main feature of this hole. A crown made out of corn and 1816 painted on the tires completes the Indiana theme. Artist William Denton Ray is a native Hoosier and hopes to share his state’s heritage with this piece.
Jungle PARadise is also from the mind of artist William Denton Ray. This hole takes players on whimsical jungle journey where they will encounter a geometric giraffe, an elephant in a top hat and a playful monkey. Be careful on this course! The hole is carefully guarded by the king of the jungle himself.
Poplar Mechanics invites golfers to take a quaint, shaded stroll through a forest inspired by Indiana’s state tree, the Tulip Poplar. Created by artist Gautam Rao, this hole celebrates Indiana’s woodlands and attempts to recreate the experience of walking through the forests of Brown County.
Putting Around Africa takes golfers on a tiny tour of Africa and features some of the animals, pictographs, and signage someone might see in the African bush. Try not to disturb the yellow-billed hornbill as you attempt to putt across a rickety, wooden bridge and keep an eye out for Africa’s own ring-tailed lemur.
Reflections in the Forest will give golfers another respite from the summer sun thanks to carefully placed tree canopies as players navigate past tree stumps and limbs. Artist Suzy Slater says the course is a reminder of how important and magical trees are. Inspired by acreage from her own family farm, this course recreates the feel of the forest on a golf course.
Canyonlands after traversing all over Indiana and Africa, why not make a stop in Utah? Designed by Sam Welch, a ceramics teacher and avid outdoorsman, this course pays homage to the rich red-orange sandstone featured in most of Utah’s state parks. Will players try to traverse the canyon ridge path, or take their chances in the river below?
WaterPLAY is not a hole for those who prefer a smooth putting surface and manicured greens. Designed by Jason Wolfe and Veronica Vela to look like an Indiana wetland, this course has an undulating playing surface littered with fish, cattails, and rocks. Golfers who manage to putt through those obstacles will have to deal with a beaver lodge in order to find the hole.
Geology of Indiana derives its inspiration from the Geologic Record in Indiana, represented in the bedrock geology and fossil record. Golf balls will roll over a hand-drawn cutout depicting millennia in both bedrock geology and surficial topography. Designed by Brent Aldrich, players will have to navigate past a mastodon skeleton, the largest creature in Indiana’s fossil record, before putting into a limestone cave.