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'You Have To Experience It': Minnetrista's Big Stone Mini Golf Offers A One-Of-A-Kind Hole-In-One

MINNETRISTA, Minn. (WCCO) -- It's a hole-in-one that's one-of-a-kind.

A golf course that's not as it seems. In this week's Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen takes us to Big Stone Mini Golf for a "round" of surprises.

Mini golf courses are notoriously bizarre. But in Minnetrista, the peculiar, little putting greens are neighbors to goats, chickens and even a few man-made animals.

"It does work," Bruce Stillman said. "It's hard to explain it because you have to experience it."

When Stillman bought this 17-acre site, it was a hay field. As a lifelong artist he envisioned a sculpture garden, so he grew one. Much of the art is made out of second-chance materials, including a rhinoceros made out of repurposed Harley Davidson mufflers.

There's even an artist in residence from Russia who makes sculptures out of old tires.

"Here's our 'Tire-annosauraus Rex,'" Stillman said.

The dinosaur shares its territory with Bigfoot, a wooly mammoth and even a fish monster. And just feet away, golfers try to play through their own odd obstacles.

Finding Minnesota Big Stone Mini Golf
(credit: CBS)
Big Stone Mini Golf sculpture
(credit: CBS)

"Going through the turned-over boat over there was a lot of fun. That was my favorite part," said Lila Hill, a 10-year-old mini-golfer.

"Kind of looks like a church or a cathedral, and we call it 'Holy Ship,'" Stillman said.

It's an upside-down steel ship with holes cut in it.

Here, it's really the golf ball that goes on a journey. One of the holes is a lazy river. On another, you have to try and jump the ball over a stream and bounce it off a rock. At least there's no sand trap.

Big Stone Mini Golf
(credit: CBS)

"I got a hole-in-one," said Lane, a 4-year-old first-timer. "I hit it and then it just flew in."

"It's a fun experience and there's a lot of Minnesota artists and, you know, Minnesota pride. You get to see mostly local work," said Bruce. "People just enjoy themselves here and that's the important part."

There are about 50 sculptures at Big Stone Mini Golf. For more information on how much it costs to play and when they are open, click here.

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