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Strike it rich and Hit the JACC Putt

Passport allows golfers to travel 'Around the World in 9 holes' through Dec. 30

Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009

There is no Tiger, no Phil and no Annika (Woods, Mickelson and Sorenstam to those not up to the greens) at this golfing layout. But there is a Wii, just not Michelle Wie, and it is at the JACC, not Jack Nicklaus, but the Juneau Arts and Cultural Center.

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Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Now open for play through Dec. 30 is the popular Hit the JACC Putt "Around the World in 9 Holes." The event is sponsored by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council as a fundraising effort to repay the city for recent renovations at the JACC.

"It's nine holes of fun," JAHC executive director Nancy DeCherney said. "Last year was really great."

Planning for the second annual Hit the JACC Putt miniature golfing course began in September during the JAHC membership drive. Those donating to the drive had the option to create a hole or give to the cause.

"It's all donation," DeCherney said. "We are able to give up to $100 in materials, but the rest is up to them. People get pretty creative."

Three of the holes return. ...

Juneau Airport (created by Greg Huebschen, Nancy/Ren DeCherney, Charolette Robertson, Alan/Karen Suderman, Mary Pat Wyatt) was last year's People's Favorite award and features muskeg hazards, low clouds and rain traps.

The Beach is now titled There May Be Dragons (Bonnie, Connor and Greg Chaney), and golfers should be wary of a fire-breathing creature, a valiant knight slayed, and a wicked left slant.

Mt. Katmai has been renamed and remodeled as Mt. Fujiyama (Dan and Morgan Hopson) and includes everything from Lake Kawaguchi nestled near the mountain right down to origami peace cranes, Tori Arch, chopsticks and sushi rolls.

"Redecorating is the hardest part," Dan Hopson said as his daughter Morgan painted cherry blossoms on the elaborate set. "But my partner here is taking care of most of the details."

The Nile (Saga Artists Lawrence Place, April Rebert, and Adam Cox) features treacherous desert sands bordering the swift river and a pyramid that threatens to eat a bad shot.

Australia (REACH and Canvas artists, with MK McNaughton) features a sneaky crocodile from down under ready to gobble feeble swings.

The Amazon (Bill Hagevig, Lauren Looper, Kim Buchanen and crew) is a world wonder winding among dangers to a treasure hole.

Chunnel from London to Paris (UAS' Ariel Rolfe, Robin Gilchrest, Marquam George, Deb Munsell, Suzanne McGee, Joe Conttreras and Sheldon Seslar) features a chance to put a shot past staunchy English guards through Big Ben, off the queen's head and under the Eiffel Tower on your route to the hole.

The Caribbean (GCI' Betsy Allen-Matthew and Jermaine Matthew) features a driving range view of palm trees and a sand trap you want to lay in, complete with gold coin treasures, sea shells and cell phones.

Holland (Bing Carillo, with support of AEL&P and Big Brothers/Big Sisters) is a tulip-tip-toeing fun-wonder as bright colors and working windmills will make even the crankiest slicer giggle with glee.

"I've made my hole more colorful this year," Bing Carrillo said. "There are no tricks to this, I just want to make sure the ball goes through."

Last year the event raised more than $3,000. Visitors are given a passport at the door to check off each hole played and then are asked to leave a vote for their favorite course.

"Last year there were a couple of impossible holes," DeCherney said. "We try to tell people to take a par-6 and move on to the next hole, the point is to have fun. What I really liked about it last year was how many multi-generational groups there were; grandparents, parents, college kids, little babies ... it was just a nice time."

And for those who aren't up to walking nine holes, there also is a Wii-golf 10th hole, the next best thing to indoors since, well, miniature golf.

Putt hours are noon to 9 p.m. until Dec. 30, closing early on Christmas Eve and staying late for Black Light Night on the Dec. 26 from 9 p.m. to midnight.

• Contact Klas Stolpe at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.



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