Cris and I took advantage of the nice weather the other day and went over to Philadelphia’s Franklin Square to play a round of miniature golf. I had wanted to play there for a while, but this was the first time for both of us on the course. Half of the course’s 18 holes are Philadelphia themed, which was the real attraction for me. It’s mostly pretty standard fare; Liberty Bell, LOVE sculpture, and the Art Museum steps. I would like to have seen a couple more non traditional entries, maybe Eastern State Penitentiary or something in the Italian Market, but I can’t really argue with choosing the iconic selections since I presume the main audience for this is out of towners who wouldn’t pick up on lesser known locations. The cost is $8 for adults. I chose a green ball, Cris went with yellow.
We both agreed that the best hole was #2, Philly Music Legends. The hole itself is pretty straightforward, nothing other than a few curves and embankments and some records stuck into the turf. The goal is to hit the ball through the records. But the best part was when we walked up and some speakers began to play “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now”, getting us pumped up for our round of golf. Nothing like a little McFadden and Whitehead to get going. The Ben Franklin Bridge (Hole #7) was also a highlight of the course, and it’s kind of neat that the actual bridge is right behind you as you are putting your way through a miniature replica.
I was somewhat let down by Hole #16, Philadelphia Sports. No stadium replicas, no Mike Schmidt or Dr. J, really nothing other than little banners of all the local sport franchises. Kind of a let down, especially considering what a huge role these teams inhabit in the psyche of the average Philadelphian. I also had some issues with Hole #12, the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The hole itself was fine, but I had a problem when I hit my ball up the ramp and into a chute and it never came out. I was then forced to stick my arm up a narrow PVC pipe and fish around for it. Not really a big deal, and it actually added an exciting element of danger to the course. That may be an exaggeration.
Miniature golf is what it is and the course at Franklin Square was fine for a leisurely 45 minutes of putt putt. I would recommend it to locals and tourists alike. I do hope that in the future they may update some of the course and get some new symbols of Philadelphia into the mix.