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Oliver: Library’s Mini Links Golf Outing a sure sign of spring

Melting snow. Budding trees. Sprouting bulbs.

All signs of spring.

Another one for me is the Mini Links Golf Outing at the Woodstock Public Library, and each winter I happily await its arrival.

The fifth annual event, which transforms the library into a 18-hole miniature golf course, will take place Friday and Saturday at the library, 414 W. Judd St., Woodstock.

Golfers follow a course that traverses all three levels of the library. Highlights include putting into the elevator and dealing with a variety of obstacles, including sand and water. Really.

In the past, holes have included spirals, jumps and crazy twists. Some have used ductwork, skateboards and potted plants. There’s even been a “money” tree.

How do I know this? Because I’ve played the course each and every year the event has been held. And I wouldn’t miss it.

This year, the Friends of the Woodstock Public Library have added a Friday night event, Library After Dark, which will include the Mini Links course, hors d’oeuvres and drinks. This special event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Attendees for Library After Dark must be 21 or older, and the cost is $25 per person. Tickets must be bought in advance at the library.

Families still can hit the links on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The last tee time will be at 3 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 8 and younger. Tickets may be bought at the door.

As in years past, golf professionals from the Bull Valley, Woodstock, Boulder Ridge and Prairie Isle country clubs will play a round in the afternoon. Those who beat their scores will win prizes.

Golfers even can win a (model) car if they make a hole-in-one on a designated hole. For the record, I’m 0-for-4 on that one. Maybe this is my year.

Attendees also can enter a raffle for some sweet prizes, including a Tower of Games, golf accessories and a Page for a Day for state Rep. Jack Franks. Raffle tickets cost $1 each or six for $5. Winners need not be present to win.

If you can’t make it to the Mini Links event, you still can enter the raffle, which is going on at the library all this week.

All the proceeds go to help the Friends organization add “extras” for the library. The group has provided activity kits for the Children’s Department, bought books on CD, and provided online subscriptions. The group also provides the maintenance costs for the library’s saltwater aquarium.

Last year, the Friends paid for an amazing mural by artist Kristin Plansky to go around the aquarium. You should check it out.

If you have questions about this year’s Mini Links, visit or call 815-338-0542.

So what sort of fun will the Friends have for us this year?

I can’t wait to find out. I hope to see you there.

• Joan Oliver is the assistant news editor for the Northwest Herald. She can be reached at 815-526-4552 or by email at

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