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Art on the Green Makes Putt Putting on the Shores of Lake Austin Fun

published on May 15, 2012

Austin is well known for its unusual art fixtures, but this spring at the 12-acre Laguna Gloria grounds on the shores of Lake Austin, quirky art is taken to a whole new level as local artists, students, architects, and designers worked to create the masterfully interactive 9-hole art installation/putt putt golf course known as Art on the Green. The course utilizes its natural surroundings and allows participants to interact and engage with art in a playful and meaningful way. 

The exhibits ranged from the marvelously absurd: 

Boozefox’s Rodent of Unusual size hole (formally named Nutrioppossumus) at Hole 7 came with a magnificent back story that involved a class of biology students who were swallowed up and discovered in its bowels. Of course, most people will recognize the R.O.U.S. from Princess Bride, and an outdoor afternoon in Austin can sometimes feel like the fire swamp, but there certainly were noticeable differences between the movie monsters and the one on the course. Most notable were his giant, yellow teeth and gaping mouth waiting for participants to shoot their balls, while the other side of his fur covered body plops out the ball onto a field of droppings.  

Bob Wade’s Chicken Ranch (Hole 4) brings art full circle as a piece that Wade originally created for Laguna Gloria in 1976, incorporating yard art and live chickens. Thirty-six years later he created what looks like one of the easiest holes on the course…as long as the monster-sized chicken allows the ball to pass. 

To the provocatively postmodern: 

laguna gloria artThoughtbarn’s Polygolf (Hole 1) is “a multi-faceted, undulating surface designed to challenge amateur and professional putters alike,” which is code for: this hole is insanely hard! It was constructed from 72 individually laser-cut plywood pieces that all work in unison to keep your ball as far from the hole as possible. But it looks really, really cool. 

And a little bit in between: 

Hole Number 8 was by far the most difficult. The group Go Sculpture Go was made up of UT students who referenced other artists to create their conceptualization of land art, The Five Wonders of Land Art. It’s one of the most odd and intriguing holes on the course, but also the most impossible to actually sink a putt. 

The exhibit packs it in this weekend, with Sunday, May 20 as its last day, but that still gives art-goers and putt putters plenty of time to check it out. Hours for the green are Tuesday 12-8pm, Wednesday 12-4pm, and Thursday through Sunday 10am-4pm. Green fees are $8 for non-members ($4 for 12 and under). Twilight Tuesdays (4-8pm) include half price fees. On Friday, May 18, visitors can play the course for half price, in celebration of the Association of Art Museum Directors’ Art Museum Day. 

Walking onto the grounds of Laguna Gloria is almost like walking onto a posh Beverly Hills home’s yard; water, trees, and natural beauty surround distinguished architecture and an air of class. Many Austin luxury homes in the area also emit this vibe, and the Austin Realtors at Regent Property Group can help those searching find that perfect vibe for that perfect new home.  

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