Roaming Hole Gardens: A miniature golf concept


This is an excerpt of a MakeSh!t proposal submitted for artist-designed Mini Golf at the Walker to take place in summer 2013. Fingers crossed! UPDATE 1/9/13: WE’RE IN.

CONCEPT: Once (maybe twice) in lifetime, something happens that transforms a favorite pastime forever. For the sport of Mini Golf, that time is next summer at the Walker Sculpture Garden. Roaming Hole Gardens (RHG) employs the game’s familiar assets and rules but with one crucial twist: the target hole roams. In lieu of taking her usual shot, a player may instead relocate one of 6 topiary plugs into the open hole, thereby opening a different hole—a new target!—for the round. The new hole becomes everyone’s object—that is until another player chooses to move the hole instead of swinging for it. With this deceptively simple change, the sport attains a mind-blowing new level of challenge, strategy and competition while remaining easy enough for anyone to play.

MATERIALS: 6 life-like mobile topiaries are made of outdoor-grade plastic for durability and ease of management. Each is anchored in a welded metal pot that allows it to be moved easily from one hole to another. The arrangement of these artificial trees, shrubs, grasses and bouquets evokes a manicured English garden, reinforced by the symmetrical course design. Other materials are tried and true mini golf: astroturf, plus simple walls and interior obstacles made of bent metal.

PLAYABILITY: Players are greeted at the hole’s start with one rule: “On your turn hit your ball OR move the hole.” The party’s first player may take a shot at whichever hole is then open (subject to the whims of the previous group) or use his turn to move the hole. RHG’s simple design means you are never more than a shot or two away from the target hole. But depending on how merciless your opponents are, it could take several more swings to finish (we recommend a 6-shot limit). Once any player sinks the hole, she collects her ball and stands by as others complete the round.


>> Silver Jews — K-Hole
>> Patti Smith — Pastime Paradise


  1. I have recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work. “If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.” by Hal Borland.

    • Jake said:

      Thank you for interjecting, Louis Vuitton Purses. We thought a lot about trees in our mini golf proposal discussions—Big or small? Real or fake?—and ultimately chose to use plastic imitations of smaller plants. Trees do make splendid company, per Mr. Borland, but as roommates they are high-maintenance and known to make messes they don’t clean up. A few I know are deadbeats, in fact. I hope this helps you.

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    You know what, Louis Vuitton Luggage? It was my pleasure. And not as much effort as you might think! I wrote this up in under an hour while partly drunk. And I really can’t take all the credit—the other guys helped (minimally).

    P.S. Calling them “articles” flatters me, but may go too far. I think of them more as “vignettes” or sometimes “hastily conceived nonsense.”

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      Thank you for your service, Forex Peace Army. Do you golf?

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