3459 Oakton St.
Skokie, IL 60076
As an avid miniature golf fan, I am always looking for the hardest of the challenges when it comes to this great sport, and when I had saw that the site "Popular Mechanics" rated the Traveler's Quest as one of the "8 Dastardly Mini-Golf Courses You Must Play Once" (https://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/sports/g1595/8-dastardly-difficult-mini-golf-courses-you-must-play-once/?slide=8) I knew that I had to go. I only played the Traveler's Quest course, not the 9-hole Kid's Quest (which looked like a miniature golf course built around a playground, which probably would have been fun for the kids).
Now, for the review for one of the "dastardly" miniature golf courses in the country. We paid for a round of golf and the attendant gave us tokens for our balls and told us to pick up our putters around the corner. The golf balls were sorted by color into gum ball machines where you would insert your token into the machine with your desired color, and then a ball would spit out. You could obviously see that the majority of the balls were pretty old and looked worn out. And with the randomization of the type of ball that you could get, I was not really a fan of the gum ball machines, as a worn out ball is most definitely not desired and could impact your overall game. I fortunately, received a relatively new ball from the gum ball machine. Picking out our putters was also an interesting process, as most of the putters were pretty worn out too. The head of the first putter that I grabbed was not perpendicular to the shaft of the club (as in the club head was angled slightly from years and years of use), which I found to be completely embarrassing for a course advertised to be of such high caliber.
The course did indeed have a practice putting green (which I can always appreciate), so the golfer can get acclimated with the speed of the greens and the depth of the cups of the holes (more on the depths later). The Traveler's Quest course was around-the-world themed, featuring holes represented from all seven continents (including Antartica). The course was pretty unique, with lots of split levels and drops, but with most of the focus on each hole with the landmark of the world that was being featured. The first hole featured the "large cities of America" with a Statue of Liberty and Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). However, the Willis Tower was missing its iconic antennae, so it looked like three differently sized black painted boxes stacked next to each other. The seventeenth hole was by far the most difficult, which was African themed, and it featured an elephant (who's feet and legs were obstacles) and a hippopotamus (where the hole was inside the hippopotamus's mouth). The most challenging aspect of the hole was that the hole could only be accessed by one side, as the hippopotamus's mouth was blocking the majority of the hole.
Probably the most difficult aspect of the course: the par.
The majority of the holes had a par of two, when I feel like (as well as my
fellow competitors for the day) felt that at least some of the holes definitely
should have been a par three. Also another unforgiving
characteristic of the course was the merciless shallowness of the cups of the holes.
The depth of the cups was as unforgiving as a nun in a catholic school, where
anything hit the slightest bit off speed (especially too fast) was not going
into the hole. Overall, the course was fine. Pretty unique with a lot of the
landmarks from around the world, but the condition of the equipment (the balls
and putters) really earned some negative points from me. Still the course is
pretty impressive, considering that it is a park district ran complex.
Reviewed by: Andrew Rifkin
Reviewed in: 2019