Thrown for a loop

Published 8:45 am Friday, August 6, 2010

A boy putts his yellow ball into the cup at the Big Island Rendezvous mini golf course at the Freeborn County Fair. -- Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

Mini-golf course hasn’t changed in at least a decade

The 10 iconic mini golf holes at the Freeborn County Fair have been around for as many years, challenging players and raising money.

For the past six years, the course has been run by the Big Island Rendezvous, with the money raised helping fund grade schooler’s fieldtrips to the event.

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The cost is $3, but free if you get a hole-in-one.

“That’s very popular with the kids,” said Sandy Hanson, course organizer, of the hole-in-one challenge.

The course’s most iconic hole is number five, a straight shot to the hole with a tire in the center making a loop. The ball must have enough momentum to make it all the way up and down the tire to the opposite side of a wooden obstruction.

Don’t think Hole Five is the hardest, though.

On the eighth hole, the cup is atop a metal hill, making putts nearly impossible to some.

Drew Folie, of Lake Mills, had aced the hole earlier in the day but shot a 16 during his current round at the time.

While the course’s iconic holes haven’t changed in years, its worn felt and chipped wood obstacles continue to be part of its allure.