Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Centennial Lakes Park Mini-Golf – Edina, MN

My employer periodically puts together these fun events and calls them team building. And I assure you, they really are fun. You get to hang out with people you don’t work with all the time and swap stories about the people you DO work with all the time in a semi-competitive environment. We went bowling once an split up into random teams and the high scorers won some nominal prize and crap –talking rights for a week. The losers (which was my department) were forced to write and perform a rap song for the rest of the large department (don’t ask to see it, you won’t). I’ll also point out right off the bat, that the last time we did team building, there were multiple workman’s compensation claims filed, including for one person who went to the ER with a concussion and internal bleeding (I’m completely serious). We had gone curling, which involves ice – I don’t really need to explain it much more than that, do I?

First off, this place is terribly difficult to find. It’s on France Avenue in Edina, which a lot of people are familiar with. That’s not the hard part. The hard part is you have to park in the lower level of the parking garage and walk between two multi-story strip mall buildings (right by Chuck E. Cheese) and go behind the buildings and cross over a steep bridge to get to the mini-golf place. It’s an adventure just getting there.

The mini-golf course is pretty unique in that it is natural grass cut into putting surfaces which resemble fairways. There are actual tee markers on the starting area, so they can move them around and let the grass recover from damage (just like a traditional course). Also, there are no clown heads or swinging poles (twss) or loop-de-loops or bouncing off of things. You play the natural hills and valleys and turns they have cut into the fairway. Very unique experience.

The course is along a man-made pond where you can also paddleboat (rented at the mini-golf stand), so it’s actually kind of picturesque for a mini-golf course. It’s as close to a real golf course as they could make it. The facility also has a HUGE lawn bowling/croquette area near the mini-golf course. It’s a pretty nice facility honestly.

The course is much more challenging than you’d think, being as there aren’t any ludicrous obstacles in your path. There are some significant water hazards and some of the shots you must take have to be planned out so you don’t go too far or miss a turn. I was pretty impressed with this course, and not just because I really impressed my team by canning amazing putts. Seriously, why can’t I do this on the real golf course? There were a couple of burned out spots on the course, but all in all, the whole thing was in pretty good shape. But around the “tee areas” of a couple holes, you were starting on sand.

This place is pretty fun. Kind of an executive-style mini-golf course. I think I still prefer plastic penguins and tubular systems and swinging hoops, but this place is really nice.

Top 5 things about Centennial Lakes Park Mini-Golf
1. These work team building things are always fun
2. Free mini-golf
3. No one ended up with drain bamage this time!
4. Really unique approach to mini-golf
5. It’s a really well maintained facility in a cool relaxing setting

Bottom 5 things
1. Mini-golf was something Gerd and I did every chance we got and it was really tough to do and not think of her all the time
2. Since I was with work people, the crap-talking was kept to a minimum
3. It was 8004 degrees outside and very little shade (and NO beer cart girl)
4. Terribly difficult to find if you haven’t been there
5. The place is REALLY popular and packed

No comments: