I’ve long been a fan of miniature golf, mainly because I’m halfway decent at it and it wasn’t as complicated to me as professional golf as a kid, so I’ve centered a lot of effort around creative writing works which include mini golf…you know, instead of trying to play it more/get better at it. I put together a dream list of movie/TV themed courses as a child and since reimagined them for a spec screenplay I finished a few years back (purely for myself), but ever since I went to a mini golf bar here in my home state of WI (seriously, this exists and it’s awesome: Nine Below) I’ve been wondering what a completely Star Wars-themed mini golf course would be like. So, as my site’s way of celebrating 40 years of the saga today, I took it upon myself to design a dream Star Wars mini golf course because if we can get a Jar Jar Binks Candy Tongue, how come there’s never been SW mini golf in its 40 years? So I took my many years of professional mini golf designing and playing skills (see: next to none, but who’s really counting?) to make a course which include visits to such memorable GFFA locales like Endor, Hoth, the Millennium Falcon, Mustafar, and even the dreaded Death Star to name a few. Check it out below!
At my imagined Star Wars mini golf course, not only will players fight for the top overall spot amongst their group over 9 holes, but they’ll also be taking part in the galaxy’s biggest conflicts and playing to help their chosen side, Republic/Rebellion/Resistance or Separatist/Empire/First Order, rule or save the galaxy (depending on your perspective, of course). Players will chose their side by selecting a ball whose color will be associated with each side (example: orange=Rebellion and black=Empire). To help your side win the galactic conflict by the end of the 9 holes, throughout each course there are various obstacles that can be hit to actually reduce a stroke from your own personal total score and add a point to your chosen side of the conflict (like Empire players should aim for the Ewoks and Rebellion players for the stormtroopers on the Endor hole). However, if a Rebellion player hits an Empire’s target (like say they hit an Ewok), they’ll personally lose a stroke and a point will be taken from the Rebellion as well, so weigh the risk and rewards of going after the special targets or else you might just prevent order or freedom from being brought to the galaxy (and your friends might just never let you live it down).
Hole #1 – Boonta Eve Classic – Par 5
Prove Anakin Skywalker isn’t the only human who can win the Boonta Eve Classic and putt your way to the finish line like a pro podracer (optional side bets over who buys drinks or food if they score the lowest on this course are allowed, just make sure you have a chance cube handy). Podracing mini golfers will have to navigate familiar and tricky sights through this winding course, like Mushroom Mesa, Arch Canyon, and even the Canyon Dune Turn (look out for Tusken Raiders!) on their way to first place. And in case you’re behind, Beggar’s Canyon’s infamous access ramp (no guardrails included though, because the Star Wars universe isn’t very fond of them) which Anakin used to pull ahead is an option…you just better hope the Force is strong with you (or you might find your ball out of the course and you’ll be down a stroke). Republic players will want to scare away the Tuskens on the Dune Turn to protect their fellow players, while Separatists (yes, I know they weren’t around at this time, but this is a miniature golf course so shush) should aim to take out the competition aka podracers nearby, though watch out what you hit since the Tuskens and podracers will be very close to one another.
Hole #2 – The Battle of Endor – Par 4
The Sanctuary Moon of Endor is a dangerous place for you and your fellow mini golfers’ neutral mini golf ball to be, as overwhelming Imperial forces and Ewok booby-traps care not which side you’re all on, so beware of both since they liter the path to the hole. This forest-filled course has many dangers, from AT-STs, hidden Ewok catapults, falling logs, and more, while a few Ewok and stromtroopers engaged in battle throughout the course offer Rebellion and Empire players with their latest targets. There’s one handy shortcut this hole: hit your ball into the escalator stairs to take it up into the Ewok homes in the trees, bypassing the battle to take you as close to the hole (and freedom from the war on Endor) as it gets. Just don’t get too close to the golden droid the Ewoks believe is a god, situated near the hole, or else the little furry fiends will send your ball back out into the battle you just left to get there.
Hole #3 – Malachor Woes – Par 4
The ancient knowledge on how to defeat your opponents in mini golf awaits in a mysterious Sith Temple deep under the surface of Malachor. Navigate through the remnants of an ancient battle, seemingly frozen in time, while avoiding black pits (with no bottom in sight) to make your way to the Sith Temple. Once there, work your way up to the top of the temple using the elevators and escalators covering the outside of the temple. At the top, you have the ultimate choice: go straight for the hole or attempt to gain a point for your side, where Rebellion players will want to knock Vader down to save Ahsoka, while Imperials should assist their favorite Sith Lord in wiping out his apprentice for good.
Hole #4 – Millennium Falcon Repairs – Par 5
Something’s wrong with the Millennium Falcon again, go figure, and it’s up to you dear mini golfer to help Han Solo and Chewbacca find it! That’s right, every time you play the course, the hole is in a different compartment of the Falcon and you can’t see into each room until your ball rolls through it, opening up the ceiling to reveal the new compartment’s secrets (rooms close after your ball leaves the compartment). Will you tell your friends if they aren’t paying attention about that coolant leak in front of the gun turret entrances? Or the open repair bay by the navicomputer? Or even where the hole is? Imperial players will want to make sure to knock out of the hyperdrive while the Rebellion players should help out by electrifying the ship’s hull to get some pesky mynocks off.
As a rebel, you must sneak your way to the entrance of Vader’s Castle on Mustafar to hopefully take out the Sith Lord; as an Imperial, try not to choke on your aspirations after being summoned by the Sith Lord, though you have to make it to the castle (alive) in the first place. In either players way is the planet’s signature feature: lava and hot holy mother of moons is there a lot of it! You can try to take the Imperial walkway from the landing platform (aka the starting spot) straight to the Castle, but beware of the lava on either side of the guardrail-less (surprise!) walkway. Or you can rough it out on the scorched landscape, hoping not to fall into a volcano or three littering the path. Either way, Vader’s Castle is on the high ground (seems he didn’t forget that lesson) so best of luck for making it up there with your club in one piece. Both sides of the conflict will get a bonus point per player that manages to get onto the green atop the hill and sink the ball into the hole without ever touching the walls (as Imperial players might wake up Vader if they do so while Rebel players will lose their chance at a sneak attack).
Hole #6 – The Battle of Hoth – Par 4
The harsh winter conditions of Hoth gets even worse for mini golfers as the Empire and Rebellion clash on the planet’s snowy fields, leaving players with a difficult course full of obstacles like AT-ATs (no matter how you pronounce it, style bonus for hitting your ball through its legs), wrecked snowspeeders, the Rebellion’s trenches, and even a Wampa (or two)! Imperial players should aim to take out Echo Bases’ deflector shield early on, while Rebel players will want to help their friends escape by taking down an AT-AT.
From the ship graveyards of Jakku, to a terrifying rathtar encounter, Maz’s Castle and the forests of Takodana, the frozen tundra of Starkiller Base, and the hopeful Jedi Steps to Luke Skywalker, Rey goes on quite the unforgettable journey in The Force Awakens. Now you can too in this particular course, which follows her path towards fulfilling her destiny, whatever it may be. First Order players will not want to disappoint Supreme Leader Snoke and capture BB-8 at all costs and those fighting for the Resistance need to take out the quadjumper so that, “…the garbage will do.”
Hole #8 – Duel of the Fates – Par 5
Theed’s power generator room, aka the place where Darth Maul faces Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, sure looks like a mini golf course on death sticks, no? In this crazy, winding, and hilly course, various walkways and energy beams offer no quick and easy path to the hole, making for one of the trickiest holes in the entire Star Wars course. And just when things couldn’t seem to get any more difficult, the red laser doors that prevented Obi-Wan from rushing to the aide of his Master might just get in your way of the hole if you don’t time your putt just right! Knocking Maul into the melting pit with your ball results in a point for the Republic while enemies of the Jedi will want to knock Obi-Wan down with them instead.
Hole #9 – Death Star Trench Run – Par 3
Destroying the Death Star is an event seared into the collective consciousness over the generations and decades (40 years ago this year, to be precise) since Luke first trusted the Force and made that one in a million shot. Now you get the chance to make the same shot too, as players drop their ball into a remote controlled X-wing to run the Death Star trench to the exhaust port. It won’t be easy, as gun emplacements and TIEs, including one piloted by Vader if you get that far, will threaten to squash the Rebellion’s dream for freedom. If you plan your ball’s release at the right time, you’ll blow up the Death Star and become a legend, but if you don’t it’ll just make an impact on the surface…and you’ll have to putt it in from there (the ball drops out of the X-wing at any point you hit an obstacle in the trench or are shot by the TIEs. Each player gets a chance to make the trench run before the putters can finish up the course). Regardless of the side you choose, each one gets a point for every player that can make the one in a million hole-in-one shot!
Here are a few other holes that didn’t make the cut for this article on a 9-hole course:
- On the Dagobah course there is no try, only do, do get a hole in one. If you don’t, well then, you’re probably not cut out to be a Jedi. Obstacles to avoid include: swamp monsters, creepy visions in a mysterios cave, and some really bad cooking by a 900 year old hermit.
- Jabba’s Palace/Sarlacc Pit. I mean, this one pretty much writes itself as the Sarlacc would end up being the hole, of course. Bonus points for knocking Boba Fett or Han Solo in. Also, it could be great as one of those final holes where your ball falls in and you don’t get it back/it heads back to the cashier station from there.
- Ahsoka Tano’s Trials would follow the events of her S5 arc, starting off at the detention center, jumping into the Coruscant underworld (and navigating its dark, neon-lit streets), barreling through the stark Republic courts where she is tried, and coming to an end at the bottom of the Jedi Temple steps. Since Kleenex won’t be provided, you might want to bring some if this brings back the feels.
- Investigate an ancient temple with Doctor Aphra and the murderbots Triple-Zero and BT-1! This one would be modeled after the Massassi Temples but would be a riff on opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark (much like Aphra’s introduction issue, Darth Vader #3) including giant rolling boulders and trap floors, to name a few things.
- Mortis, from The Clone Wars. There would be two paths to follow, the Light and the Dark: the Light would be a longer and very complex route (though with less chances to fall off the course) while the Dark would be shorter and less complex, including a stop at the Well of the Dark Side.
- Umbara, also from TCW, was a spot I kept coming back to as it has a lot of cool fauna that could be used as obstacles. This also makes Felucia a contender.
But the greatest challenge you’ll face is still ahead: getting through the officially licensed merchandise shop at the end without buying anything! From actual golf wear, other apparel, to the latest in action figures, novels/comics, and so much more, your wallet is no match for a store full of goodies of this magnitude! Winning side, Rebellion or Imperial, gets a discount at the store!
Hope you enjoyed some the courses I selected, and as much as I want to see something like this come to fruition, I do believe the upcoming Star Wars Land(s) might overshadow a mini golf course. That being said, this would be a much cheaper alternative, so let’s not count the possibilities out!
Share with us on Twitter you’re own ideas for a mini golf course and, most importantly, may the Force be with you on this the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars itself!
OTHER BUTLER CONFESSIONS:
The Great Reboot of 2100: Just How Evergreen is Star Wars?
“Nothing is impossible for the Force”: A Joint Retrospective on the first Darth Vader Comic Series
“I’m a Rogue Archaeologist. You Have to Expect a Little Digging”: The Many Reasons Why You Should Be Excited for the Doctor Aphra Comic Series
The Curious Case of Governor Arihnda Pryce
Dream or Force Vision: A Crazy Night’s Thoughts on Star Wars: Episode VIII
The Force Awaken’s “(Just) Let It In,” – A Parody of Frozen’s “Let It Go”
Preserving the Mystery of In-Universe History
Star Wars Ring Theory: An Interview with the Author, Mike Klimo, and Why You Should Read It
Chutes, Shafts, and Sinkholes: Star Wars and the Descent into the Underworld Mytheme
With New Eyes: The EU Reboot Changed How I View Ep. VI