1710 N Farm to Market 1626
Buda, Texas 78610
Cost: $14 (10 for Vets, Military & Seniors)
We have played a lot of interesting courses over the years, with unique and “educational” themes, such as the Bible at Lexington Ice Center or flora/fauna at Kauai Botanical Gardens, but a World War 2 themed one is definitely a first for us. As far as we know, it’s also a first anywhere in the world as well. When we first heard about it, it did seem to be a somewhat morbid theme to center a minigolf course around as it doesn’t scream “fun” that people are expecting on a minigolf course. However, we did appreciate the philosophy around making history more interactive for kids and families.
Starting with the theming, they did a pretty good job of providing the major points of the conflict and history without diving into the more difficult pieces (concentration camps, nuclear bombs, etc) or even doing a well-meaning but ultimately a bit tone deaf hole around something like the Holocaust. We know by staying away from that it will paint a less full picture of the conflict but the museum tends more toward a factual military history versus a “rah, rah America” view so it works. Most of all the work they put into the portrayal of everything, from the design of the holes to the informational placards and the other art around the course was amazing. Each hole was well designed to fit what was being explained and they covered a lot of the conflict including multiple fronts and also had holes celebrating aspects such as women and African Americans in combat. In general, if you have a good sense of history and know most of the basics, you won’t walk away with a ton of new WWII knowledge but there are some interesting tidbits along the way that you might not be familiar with. For those with less insight, or kids just learning about, it is a good overview of the major conflicts.
However, despite the hole design being unique to illustrate aspects of the war overall they weren’t too different in terms of gameplay. Many were straight, or straight-ish shots where your biggest concerns were the speed and the heavy breaks on many holes. That’s the biggest drawback of the course – a lot of it is built on a sloping hillside and there’s some pretty severe breaks to handle when taking into account the length of the holes. The course also has some pretty steep “rough” along the edging and just recently got some limestone bricks in many places to help keep the ball on the course. For a good putter getting the speed dialed in can be tough and in a lot of areas you’re either short with a long second putt or in that steep rough which almost always leads to an extra putt. The par 60 reflects this and we could see where it might be a difficult/frustrating course for some kids to play. There are also some holes that really seem to be much more challenging than needed (the D-Day hole 11 for example is a true Par 5 that can be frustrating) and the overall design could be dialed down by like 20% and still be a challenging course but have enough buffer for family fun. That being said there are some holes on the course that do provide decent ace opportunities and a couple more that have them there with a little luck. Pat came in at 9 under par his first time playing through but it does probably play closer to par for most folks. Another good point is that with holes as wide as they are, they have established very clear starting points for each hole.
The cost of admission is about average for a course that size and does include admission to an additional small museum in the iconic Quonset hut that serves as the welcome area to the course. The theming even extends to the bathrooms!
Our overall assessment is that this is a course that is definitely worth a visit at least once for the experience. It probably wouldn’t be a course that we played often due to the length and difficulty but we could see ourselves visiting once a year or so if we lived in the area to tackle the challenge.
Reviewed by Pat & Duffer
Reviewed in 2022
Course Pictures (Click to enlarge)
See more pictures in our Flickr album.