Video: See York’s crazy new golf course in action, featuring a sinking ship and a man who swallows the ball

Doug Fishbone chills out with his creation, a model of stricken cruise ship the Costa Concordia
2 Jun 2017 @ 4.30 pm
| Entertainment

It is art, Jim, but not as we know it.

Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf

Behind York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square

June 3-Sept 3

Adults £3, children £2, family ticket £8

Art Gallery website

This new installation is about to open in the Artists’s Garden, behind York Art Gallery – the craziest crazy golf course you are likely to see.

Half family fun activity and half thought-provoking artwork, it features seven holes, each created by a different artist.

Just like any other pitch and putt, you try to get round in as few strokes as possible. But this game aims to make you think as well as play.

‘Absolutely fantastic’ setting

Sisters Violet and Edie from Newcastle Under Lyme try Yinka Shonibare’s football pitch

Under creator Doug Fishbone’s guidance, each golf hole has been designed by a leading contemporary artists.

They include his hole, depicting the stricken Costa Concordia cruise ship, a hoodie-wearing youth surrendering to police, and a man who swallows the ball – and poops it out.

The miniature golf course was first shown at the Venice Biennale 2015. It came to York following a successful Art Happens fundraising campaign.

“This setting is absolutely fantastic. I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to do this,” Doug told YorkMix.

“We’re delighted to be able to bring it here. It’s such a fitting and lovely spot where people can come and enjoy the outdoors.”

Raising social issues

What’s his top tip for getting round the course?

“Honestly I can’t tell you. I’ve played this a lot of times and I think I’m the worst. I stink at it.

“So don’t listen to me. But come along, play and have fun.”

Senior curator at York Art Gallery Laura Turner said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a round of golf in the beautiful Artists Garden while navigating through a provocative narrative of artwork by award-winning contemporary artists.

“The course will be great fun to play but will also raise questions about the social issues of today’s society.”

Hole-by-hole guide

1. Doug Fishbone’s SOS

Doug Fishbone depicts stricken cruise ship the Costa Concordia. Golfers must putt past a ship which embodies the leisure industry’s class divisions and indifference to its workers

2. Turkey shoot

John Akomfrah’s work centres on unarmed African Americans shot by police in the United States in recent years. Knock the ball through the legs of the hoodie-wearing youth

3. The squatter

Hetain Patel’s squatting figure represents the working class in India and is a comment on ‘industrial cultural exchange’. Get the ball into its mouth… and see where it emerges

4. Life raft

Ellie Harrison’s work is based on the idea that Britain will experience a massive influx of ‘climate refugees’ – represented by chipping your ball onto our island

5. Football cloud

Yinka Shonibare’s football pitch symbolises the African struggle for survival. You must navigate a mushroom cloud of African-styled footballs

6. Bridges of Konisberg

Eyal and Ines Weizman present a scale model of the famed mathematical conundrum, the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg. Can you play the ball across each bridge once only, a seemingly impossible task?

7. Reactor

In contrast to most miniature golf obstacles, the sculptures on Reactor’s green are crudely scaled-up, turning unassuming and everyday objects into hazards for players to overcome