Miniature golf, or garden golf as it is also known, is a long-standing tradition in Hells Canyon byway country. Those of us who grew up frequenting Wallowa Lake know that a game of miniature golf there is an important part of the daily routine. And, with four courses to play (including a shiny new course that just opened this year), each with their own unique character and challenges, there is no shortage of opportunity to sharpen your skills.
In La Grande, Riverside Greens, located on Fruitdale Road right next to Riverside Park, also offers fun play in a country setting. Now, La Grande offers a second miniature golf course – one where you can play year-round. Called Putter’s Gulch, the indoor course has an Old West theme, with nine holes set in and around the storefronts of a western town. Players enter the course though the Putter’s Gulch Gold Mine and play their way through the Miner’s Store, Bath House and Mortician’s Office. The compact course is all about fun and joins the laser tag and game rooms in offering great entertainment in a family oriented setting.
Maridell Center is housed in the former La Grande Elks Lodge at the corner of Washington Avenue and Depot Street in downtown La Grande. When Jeri and Jay Mackley bought the building in 2010, their goal was to create a place people of all ages could go to play games and socialize. The Center includes a restaurant, Wild Hart Hideaway, a game room with pool, ping pong, foosball, air hockey, and a Wii entertainment center, plus the elaborate laser tag set. A large banquet hall and a smaller party room are available to rent for events, meetings and special occasions.
For more information about Putter’s Gulch and Maridell Center, go to www.maridellcenter.com or call 541.963.2023. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 3 to 9 p.m. Be sure to watch the website for news about the Center’s annual haunted house. Jeri Mackley is developing the elaborate theme and story line and gearing up for a long run this fall.