why whirlyball is the greatest thing in the world

Bumper cars, whiffle balls and flinging it across a closed off room in an attempt to try to get it into a circle with a 20 inch diameter. That’s why it’s the greatest thing in the world. Or at least in the top 100 greatest things in the world.

First a visual:

It’s a shaky video, but playing WhirlyBall isn’t exactly the smoothest thing in the world!

See, Amelia and I first saw this building, which used to be an old movie theater, slowly developing into this WhirlyBall place and we had no idea what it is. My wife, who would probably choose to marry Google instead of me if it were legal, looked it up and saw that it was quite possibly the coolest thing in the world… except it just wasn’t open yet.

Time passed, probably years and years, and it was time for my Bachelorish party. Jenni tried to get a group together, but finding a time in the summer where 10 people are available isn’t kind of tricky… and I didn’t really give her that big of a list to begin with for people that I wanted to spend my last single days with. So, we didn’t get a chance to try it out then.

And then finally, our friend Andy drafted 10 people and WHIRLYBALL WAS ON.

Basically, you split into two teams. One team shoots on one end and vice versa. The wiffle ball gets passed from player to player (or launched down the court) with lacrosse like scoops. The end goal is to hit a circle that’s several feet off the ground. It sounds easy and I suppose it could be, except there’s not a lot of people that can accurately aim a wiffle ball on a regular basis, you know?

If you have a WhirlyBall location in your area, go do it. As Kristin yelled to me on Sunday while we were ramming into each other, it’s impossible not to smile the entire the time you’re playing. Our team got smoked three out of four quarters on Sunday, but you laugh and smile the whole time. It’s a relatively safe game, but there is some random jarring when someone t-bones you with their bumper car, or if you’re like me, and ram the steering stick into your inner thigh at least once each time you play.

There’s one in Chicago, the Detroit area, the Kansas City area, and I’m sure a few more places. If you have the opportunity, it’s absolutely worth it. We’re doing it monthly-ish and it’s absolutely worth every single cent.

mini golf review: lilli putt mini golf

I’m missing two reviews – one in Bloomington and one in Edina – but I’ll get to those. Tuesday, we had our fourth week of mini-golf league at Lilli Putt Family Entertainment Center. We were actually pre-golfing, because the three of us weren’t available to go on our normal night, which is tonight. I’ve always gotten coupons and seen Groupons regarding golf carts for sale in BC, as well as for Lilli Putt, but never made it out there because they are too far away.

Their website was put together by me when I was drunk in 1999… or at least it looks like it. I found out how much it costs and where it’s located and that’s all I really need from a mini golf joint’s website. I was hoping for some animated .gifs telling me it was under construction, but to no avail. They also have coupons online… that expired August 8, 2012.

So, we got there around  7pm on a Tuesday and actually had to wait in line for a bit before we got to take the course. It was a nice night, so no big deal. And we got to talk about this while we waited:

I asked the course attendant (?) what was going on and she said they needed to clean out the pond. The clumps of moss would have given it a way had I just looked a little closer. There were a ton of water hazards throughout the whole course, which obviously makes it a bit more difficult, but it was also pretty fun! It was the first time all season I’d hit my ball into water (multiple times) and I wanted to be mad, but I couldn’t really. How could you when you saw things like this?

It’s a castle! With some very impressive mason work! And a man peeking out of it from the other side! It was a challenging course for sure. Lots of obstacles, water hazards, moss hazards, rock traps, and even garden hoses. It looked as if several people got a little testy on some holes. There were divots everywhere, which took some effort because this was some high quality indoor/outdoor carpet with cement underneath.

These were my favorite holes (and that’s not as awkward as it sounds):

The larger of the two ponds had overflowed. It made for an extra special little water hazard!

A spiral. For a mini golf hole. We’re pretty sure whoever built this course was mad at the world on some of these holes. This roundabout bad boy wasn’t quite as hard as we thought it’d, but we did get dizzy going around it.

One more picture:

No, that’s not a snake, like I’d originally thought it was. It’s just a loose electrical cord. Completely safe.

Towards about hole 12, Jenni had to go to the bathroom and we started smelling cleaning product – Lysol, Fabulouso, something to cover up the smell of dead bodies, we couldn’t really tell, but my nose hairs were in the process of becoming singed.

Address:
1349 Coon Rapids Boulevard Northwest
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
However, check change-of-address-online.com to see if they have changed their address.

Phone:
(763) 755-1450

Hours:
Daily 10am – 11pm

Cost:
$7.00 for 18 holes for an adult. ATM on site!

Misc:
Also onsite: a small arcade, bumper boats and a go-kart track. Also lots of teenagers from the surrounding northern suburbs. Mosquitoes all around anytime you played near the Larvae Ponds.

mini golf review: adventure gardens mini golf

Last Thursday was the start of our mini golf league! There are 19 of us and every two weeks, we go to a different mini golf location and try our hand at some putting. I frickin’ love mini golf. I probably like it more than bowling. That’s how serious I am about it. When my brother and I were kids, we were trying to figure out a way we could build our own mini golf course in our grandparents’ field. I don’t think we told them of our plans to be billionaires. But if we had, I’m sure they would have let us.

Anyway – last week’s inaugural mini golf league season opener took place at Adventure Gardens Mini Golf in Richfield. I’d never been there before, despite having drive past it while on Portland several times and continually telling myself I should at least visit https://www.mygolfnus.com/ to see what is being said about it. Their website hails it as “18 holes of miniature golf surrounded by attractive gardens, landscaping, waterfalls, ponds and streams.” Except there was no running water anywhere and the only ponds were made up of collected rain water. Disappointing to say the least, because I do love some waterfalls. This is supposed to be the waterfall:

I’m not sure how well maintained the course is overall. There was one hole where the cup had come up over the astro-turf, making it impossible to get the ball in without making it jump. That same hole also had some type of wood that didn’t really support the weight of a full grown (albeit overweight) adult next to the hole. There was way too much give in that tiny piece of plywood for my liking and possibly my safety!

Other than the missing water attractions and the fact that one of the employees had to use a leaf blower to get a ball unstuck from one of the holes, it was a super pretty course! There were rabbits visiting us from time to time and tons of gorgeous flowers. There aren’t any windmills or dinosaurs or other gaudy things you have to hit you ball around, but the par 2 on some of these holes will definitely give most people a challenge!

I don’t remember what par was, but I shot 14 over and was in the top three of our league. I’m coming after you, Bubba Watson.

Address:
6335 Portland Avenue South
Located on the west edge of Vets Memorial Park
Parking lot entrance at 64th & Portland Ave

Phone:
612-861-0668

Hours:
Monday–Friday, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Saturday–Sunday, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Cost:
$7.25 for 18 holes for an adult. They do take credit cards.

Misc:
You can protein up on milkshakes before you play at their snack bar. There are also nachos.