There are no windmills with blades obscuring the holes at the Science Museum's Back Yard Mini-Golf course. It's not tacky like that. Using a theme of earthscapes, it is educational instead. It also takes the term "water hazard" to a whole new level—or multiple levels—on a couple of the nine holes that will see your ball cascading down a waterfall or through a micro-sized city drainage system. Yes, this 30,000 square-foot course (what are you calling "mini"?) is teeming with tricky and inventive streams, channels, and tunnels that not only challenge your putting abilities, but will also inform you of how real-world water systems work around the planet. Some of the more impressively engineered obstacles include the hydraulic jump on the third hole where golfers send their ball down a quick and shallow spillway, which then meets with slow, deep water, creating a jumping effect that bounces the ball like an inflatable raft on rapids. Hole number four, dubbed "City Storm Sewer," is a tough lesson in water pollution, following contaminants back from a river, through the sewer system, ending at the source: the front yard of a city house. If you're interested in playing golf, but not seeing the rest of the museum, drop by after 5 p.m. and get a special golf-only sticker at the box office for only $5.
July 1-Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., 2009

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