Confession: I LOVE mini golf.
(Not to be confused with real golf, which I am terrible at.)
Something about this whimsical game is such classic fun. Whenever I travel, I seem to always end up on a mini golf course. And usually, those basic courses have seen better days…
So when I heard about a world-renown mini golf course right here in the Twin Cities, I knew I had to check it out!
Enter Big Stone Mini Golf and Sculpture Garden.
Big Stone Mini Golf in Minnetrista, MN – Some of the best mini golf anywhere!
So here’s the scoop on Big Stone Mini Golf…
Local artist Bruce Stillman used to be a commercially successful sculptor, and he spent years selling high priced metal art to wealthy art fans.
Then, in 1991, he bought a dairy farm near Minnetonka. The area inspired him to try out landscape and environmental art. One thing led to another, and pretty soon Bruce Stillman had built himself a stunning 7-hole mini golf course. Right in his own backyard.
Naturally, he decorated those holes with his works of art. Metal sculptures that used to sell for up to $36,000 now lined a mini golf course that could be enjoyed by anyone with a few bucks!
The result amounts to what’s basically mini golf’s version of a permanent art installation.
Forget the cheesy windmills and plastic rocks. Everything at Big Stone is created with nature’s ingredients. Massive tree trunks, moving metal sculptures, a curvy brick wall that’s an ode to The Spiral Jetty, and even an upside-down boat with stained glass portholes.
I can guarantee you, you’ve never played a mini golf course like this!
Big Stone Golf in the New York Times
The whole thing is so impressive that this Minnesota attraction has been featured in The New York Times!
Back in 2012, a reporter played a round of mini golf with Mr. Stillman himself. Then, he wrote Big Stone a glowing feature in The Times, which you can still find here.
Originally, the course featured just seven holes.
After a steady expansion, the course now features 14 holes total and is a Par 56.
- Dead tree forest (Par 5)
- Banking on Mound (Par 3)
- Wind mill (Par 4)
- Arbor viney (Par 3)
- Wiggley worm (Par 5)
- Eye of the donut (Par 4)
- Crow de sole (Par 4)
- Holey ship (Par 4)
- Pumpkin patch (Par 4)
- Across the universe (Par 4)
- The spiral (Par 5)
- Shoot the rapids (Par 3)
- Pachinko (Par 3)
- Gently down the stream (Par 4)
My Impression of the course
I’m not sure what I was expecting when I first played Big Stone Mini Golf, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that aside from the obvious beauty, the course actually plays really well, too!
Each hole is designed in a way that perfectly balances challenge and fun. Some holes are legitimately difficult. Others seem to offer a little help, with greens that subtly slope towards the hole in a forgiving way.
At no point was I overly frustrated, and yet at no point did I feel like things were too easy. Mixed with the natural beauty of the area, and this is a fantastic mini golf course!
In fact, I’d confidentially call it the best outdoor mini golf course in the Twin Cities!
(You can check out my other picks for the best mini golfing the Twin Cities here.)
Big Stone Sculpture Gardens
If you head back to your car after your ball rolls “gently down the stream” (the name of the course’s last whole, where balls float down a river never to return) then I have some bad news for you. You’re missing half the fun!
Your ticket to Big Stone Mini Golf also grants you access to walk around the outdoor sculpture garden. This beautiful area meanders along for acres, and it’s home to some truly unique and amazing sculptures!
You’ll see abstract kinetic metal sculptures, pigs flying airplanes, giant woolly mammoths, and even realistic bronze statues. Totally recommended!
Don’t forget the farm animals!
Also located on the grounds are tons of fun animals:
With the highlight definitely being “Goat Mountain” – a place where goats lounge around near a unique take on the famous Minneapolis cherry spoon.
Big Stone Mini Golf and Sculpture Garden FAQs:
Here’s some more info you might find helpful.
Big Stone Mini Golf is in Minnetrista, MN, which is near Minnetonka. In total, it’s about 40 minutes from Minneapolis and 50 minutes from St. Paul.
Big Stone is usually open from May to October, although sometimes the course opens early in April and closes late in November.
Big Stone Mini Golf is open daily from 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM (or sundown, whichever comes first).
Their hours page lists a phone number to call if weather is questionable.
Price / How much Big Stone Mini Golf costs:
A round of golf costs $12 for adults and $10 for kids.
Keep in mind that they don’t accept credit cards. Cash or check only!
One cool things about the price – ticket sales here help support Big Stone Advancing Arts, a nonprofit that supports the local Minnesota art community.
Some readers claim they found Big Stone Mini Golf Coupons on Groupon, although I haven’t personally seen this.
PS – Shopping Groupon through the Rakuten.com cash back portal can save you up to 10% on Groupon purchases! As an added bonus, you’ll get a free $10 just for signing up through that affiliate link of ours!
(Note: An affiliate link means we may earn a commission at no cost to you.)
- Website: Big Stone Mini Golf and Sculpture Gardens
- Address: 7110 County Rd 110 Ext W, Minnetrista, MN 55364
- Phone: 952-472-9292