Miniature golf with Hawaiian twist returns to Libertyville
Libertyville, IL 6/14/12 Aloha Fall Mini Golf at Peterson and Rt. 45 has just reopened with private ownership. Sean Crawford, 12 of Wilmette, far rights hits a long putt from the rough and nearly sinks it. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Aloha Falls
SPECIALTY: 27-hole miniature golf course featuring a Hawaiian theme
LOCATION: Libertyville Sports Complex, corner of Route 45 and Peterson Road
COST TO PLAY: $8 for adults, $7 for children (12 and under) for 18 holes
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
CONTACT: (847) 549-3630, www.alohafallsgolf.com
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:02AM
Mini-putt golf is back at the Libertyville Sports Complex -- this time with a Hawaiian theme.
Earlier this month, the new Aloha Falls Miniature Golf Course opened at the sports complex at the corner of Route 45 and Peterson Road. The 27-hole course features obstacles and changing green elevations with a man-made waterfall running through the middle.
Chicago entrepreneur Ryan Tracy had been looking for a location for a miniature golf course in the Chicago area and, after driving through Libertyville one day, noticed the then-shuttered village-owned course at the sports complex, which closed in late 2007.
Tracy was able to work out a rental agreement for the property with the village this spring, and after extensive renovations, opened the new Aloha Falls miniature golf course on June 7.
Tracy decided on a Hawaiian theme with the waterfall, tropical-style landscaping and sand between holes because it was different than most traditional mini-golf courses.
“I’ve seen a lot of Western type mini-golf courses, but not a lot of tropical courses,” he said.
Aloha Falls is one of only a handful of miniature golf courses in Lake County. There is another outdoor mini-golf course in Lincolnshire and a glow-in-the-dark indoor course at the Westfield Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills. There are also courses in Long Grove, Highland Park and Waukegan.
Tracy said business at the Libertyville course has been steadily picking up as more people become aware it’s open.
“We’re starting to get the word out,” he said. “We had a really great Father’s Day. I think we had about 200 to 250 people come through on Father’s Day.”
Tracy plans to do some special promotional events throughout the summer to raise exposure of the course. For example, during the upcoming Dog Days of Summer weekend, from July 6-8, the course will allow pet owners to bring their dogs with them as they play the course.
He said the miniature golf course also has an indoor party room and can host birthday parties, corporate functions, fund-raisers and other special events.
Joe and Julie Bjorn of Mundelein played the Aloha Falls miniature golf course for the first time last week. They previously played the former village-owned course before it closed a few years ago.
The Bjorns said they don’t play regular golf but like to play miniature golf and are glad to have a course to play locally.
“Miniature golf is just a friendly little competition,” said Julie Bjorn.
“This is fun for a local course,” said Joe Bjorn, saying his favorite feature is the waterfall. “I always like playing a course with some kind of water feature.”