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Hear Philly: Family Fun At Center City’s Mini Golf Course

Franklin Square. (Credit: Dan Majka.)

Franklin Square. (Credit: Dan Majka.)

majka Dan Majka
Dan Majka is a web editor and service aide at KYW Newsradio...
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By Dan Majka

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Franklin Square is filled with fun for the whole family, but perhaps nothing is more popular than Philly Mini Golf.

“The golf course is a great feature in Franklin Square. People really love to come and explore the city while playing mini-golf.”

Amy Needle, president and CEO of Historic Philadelphia, says when creating the course, it was important to make it as true to the city as possible. With golfers putting their way through many of the town’s favorite icons, it’s right on par.

“You putt through records and hear the sound of Philadelphia. You go through Elfreth’s Alley, you putt over the Ben Franklin Bridge from New Jersey into Philadelphia. You can putt through the Love sculpture, through the Chinatown Friendship Gate, up the Art Museum steps and into the hole.”

Needle says while each hole is unique, some definitely prove to be more difficult than others.

“One of the most challenging holes, and this speaks to Philadelphia sports, is our sports hole, which has representation of all of our favorite sports teams here in the city. But it’s definitely one of the hardest holes. You have to get it down a long green and then up a little hill. Not many people have been able to get a hole-in-one on that one.”

Whether they can score an ace or not, golfers usually have their favorite holes.

“My personal favorite is the hole by the Boathouse Row buildings, because that hole has a water element to it, and so to get a hole-in-one, a good way to hit the ball is to actually get the ball into the water and then it comes out on the other side and can sometimes land in the hole. So that’s actually a really fun one on very hot day.”

And Needle says visitors will finish their round of golf at one of Philadelphia’s most historic icons.

“We decided we, of course, would want to end the golf experience by putting the hole through the crack in the Liberty Bell and landing in front of Independence Hall. That’s the way every visitor lands and the bell does ring if you get it into the crack.”

And no matter what your score is, Needle says mini-golf is great experience that attracts people of all ages.

“I think mini-golf is sort of a great thing for little kids to start playing. I’ve heard stories of families who allow their teen and tween kids to hop on SEPTA and come down to Franklin Square for an afternoon golfing because they really love it. We know it’s a great date night thing to do.”

For the some of the bigger fans of miniature golf, Needle says Franklin Square is often home to mini-golf tournaments.

“Corporations or just groups of people who want to get friends and family together and have their own mini-golf tournament, people who come to us and want to book the golf course for their own private event, whether it’s a bachelor party or some other sort of event, corporate outing, and people can do that.”

And if you’re looking to save a few bucks, Needles says stop by Franklin Square on May 10 for National Mini-Golf Day.

“On that day, you can celebrate by buying one golf ticket and getting one free. We thought ‘who knew there was a National Mini-Golf Day,’ but since we have a golf course, we need to celebrate.”

For more information about Philly Mini Golf in Franklin Square, visit historicphiladelphia.org.

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