Stroke of Genius: The IMA’s Artist-Designed Mini Golf Course

The museum’s new bicentennial-celebrating course is on par with its best exhibits.

On May 5, the public takes its first swing at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s artist-designed mini golf course, with some quirky references to Hoosier history and culture. Here, a look at several of the holes, with pro tips from the course’s consultants, Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman of


Dick the Bruiser 
Artists: Big Car Collaborative
Indiana connection: Delphi-born Richard Afflis, a.k.a. Dick the Bruiser, was a legendary pro wrestler.
Design: A head-to-toe portrait. You hit the ball up a leg, over his three-dimensional pecs, and into his mouth.
Difficulty: Hard. The angled legs prevent a straight shot.
Pro tip: “If you hit it too hard, it could easily pop out of the playing surface.”


Shadow-Tailed Scourge
Golf1Artists: Beth and Chad Eby
Indiana connection: Squirrel migrations across the state in the 1800s destroyed untold acres of crops.
Design: A hexagon with a few ears of corn and five large squirrels.
Difficulty: Easy, if you’re first. You can sacrifice a stroke to rotate one of the squirrels—to help yourself or drive your opponents nuts.
Pro tip: “Choose your playing partners carefully.”



Golf3Lil’ Golf
Artists: Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman
Indiana connection: The hole stars Bloomington’s famous feline, Lil Bub.
Design: Up an incline with a rainbow path that leads to a portrait of Lil Bub, the hole rests between her
adorable paws.
Difficulty: Easy. But don’t hit the ball too hard, or it will rebound back to you.
Pro tip: “Follow the rainbow and trust in Lil Bub.”


Burnside’s Sideburns
Golf4Artist: Alan Goffinski
Indiana connection: Hirsute Hoosier and Civil War general Ambrose Burnside started a trend with his
unconventional facial hair.
Design: A portrait with longer turf for the famous sideburns. The hole is where his monocle was.
Difficulty: Medium—as long as you avoid the billiard-bumper buttons on his military coat.
Pro tip: “While it’s fun to hit off the buttons, it will actually hinder you from getting a good score.”