In the park
Impossibly difficult: Discovery Green's new mini golf course is more art thanputt putt
The art of sport just got a little more . . . hole-y.
The Sarofim Picnic Lawn at Discovery Green has added another contender for the unofficial title of Best Urban Family Attraction to its lineup — a nine-hole miniature golf course.
But the new Insperity Golf Experience, adjacent to the drought-defunct Gateway Fountain, isn't your average putt-putt party. Local artists made creative contributions to each of the nine holes — curated by Galveston Arts Center founder Clint Willour — resulting in a masterful exhibition of living, breathing, athletic artwork.
We see you squirming. Talking about it just isn't good enough for you. You're wondering what it's like to actually play a round of mini golf smack dab in the middle of the fourth-largest city in the United States.
Well, we're about to become the subject of your envy. Because we tried it, and we lived to tell all about it for your reading pleasure.
So we feel plenty qualified in saying this: If you're expecting a plain ol' putting experience, get your head out of the bunker.
In fact, you ought to dash those competitive, hole-in-one hopes before you even grab your putter, and focus on the innovative, interactive local art on the green.
Don't let this tiny version of a Tiger Woods playground fool you. The Insperity Golf Experience, while themed around the concept of golf, isn't really about the sport after all.
Before you dub us naysayers, be advised that we tried it ourselves. And with holes like the aptly-titled "Infinity," designed by The Art Guys' Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing, you'll never, ever make that shot. Scout's honor. Unless vertical surfaces are your specialty, you'll have to settle for appreciating the hole for what it is — an incredibly fun concept.
Let's take Anthony Thompson Shumate's caricature of a pinball machine, "The Galactic Forfeit Cowboy Lounge," for example. Sure, there's a hole at the end of that spring-launched experience, but how many times in your life have you played pinball with a golf ball? The artsy idea itself is too glee-inspiring not to hope that you never, ever win this pinball game.
The fun isn't in the end goal at this hole — or at any of the nine, for that matter — but rather, in the journey of simply getting there.
Embarking on a round of nine at Discovery Green, you may find yourself repeatedly scratching your head, wondering, "How will I sink this putt?"
But logic and art don't always align, and there's plenty of joyful wonder to putt around downtown this fall.
The mini golf course/art exhibition is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays, until Nov. 27. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids 12 and under.