Golf courses are notorious for water consumption, pesticide use, and unforgivable outfits. There is a modern movement to correct or minimize some of these wrongs – the Audubon Society names some 2,300 golf courses in its Cooperative Sanctuary Program, and many modern courses have integrated IPM and native plants. The vast majority, however, remain a green carpeted water suck. This aspect was not overlooked by artists participating in Walker on the Green. An artist-designed mini-golf course, this project takes eco to the greens at the Walker Art Center‘s Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
While the mini-golf event has been popular at Walker since its inception in 2004, this is the first year that the center put a call out for green-themed holes. Two of the of the holes addressed the overwhelming issue of water usage. The course by Alchemy Architects obstructed the path to the hole with water bottles to poke fun at the riduculousness of contained and transported water. The other, entitled Watering Hole by Survival Design, placed the hole under a water tower filled with 186 gallons of water – the amount of water attributable to a single American golfer at a single hole per year.
Amongst the two sets of seven holes, there were some which took on issues of sustainability differently. Artist Kevin Kane created the Rimsicled Whirled of Minnie Golf, with recycled materials and the help of schoolchildren. Another hole featured a beautiful wood carving made with landfill-culled wood by Zoran Mojsiliov (pictured above). The result is an exhibition that seems to turn golfing, its practice and effects, on its head.