A new, artist-designed, miniature golf course on the grounds of the Cranbrook Art Museum is aimed at attracting more metro Detroiters to a pristine, underutilized greenspace in Bloomfield Hills.
The course will be open from 11 a.m. to sunset, Wednesday through Sunday, May 25 through Sept. 25. Each of the nine holes, plus a bonus 10th hole, takes inspiration from creative elements of Cranbrook’s campus and history, including landmarks as well as art and furniture designs by alumni of Crandbrook’s Academy of Art.
Some of the course’s holes have interactive elements. One plays musical notes and one is Skee-Ball inspired, while another, arranged like a life-sized foosball table, encourages competitors to move pieces around and attempt to block golfers’ shots.
Cranbrook public programs curator Lyla Catellier said the grounds are always open to the public, but many aren’t aware, and the mini golf course was devised as a means to bring attract more people to the space.
“Our director, Andrew Blauvelt, was really looking for a way to bring a lot of people to campus who might not necessarily see themselves as contemporary art museum viewers,” said public programs curator Lyla Catellier. “Also, there are lots of people who come to campus but don’t even know that the art museum is here. The grounds are pretty underutilized over the course of the summer but, of course, it’s when they’re the most beautiful.”
Before or after playing a round, visitors are encouraged to wander the expansive grounds and gardens and enjoy the museum.
“This was a way for us to invite people, and we really hope it becomes a feeder into the museum also,” said chief curator Laura Mott. “We’re kind of tucked away location-wise, but we have these amazing grounds, and it couldn’t be more idyllic. When people come here, they really feel comfortable to play and engage, and we really want to make a very welcoming space here for Detroit and the community.”
Tickets for “Cranbrook on the Green” are sold by time slot, and include free admission to the galleries and other exhibitions on view at the museum. They can be purchased online at cranbrookartmuseum.org/mini-golf through Sept. 25.