& The Javnas
PO Box 3028 Ashland, OR 97520
Science Theme Mini Golf
Mini golf is a fun, interactive way to teach many various sciences. I propose to build and
operate a miniature golf course at ScienceWorks Museum
at my own expense. I ask the
Board to consider the following details.
Various Science exhibits demonstrating various scientific principles using a golf
Mini Golf at Scienceworks Museum can:
• teach about Science in a fun, interactive way
• attract more new visitors
• attract more repeat visitors
• generate an additional stream of income with little or no initial cost
• increase food concessions income
• enhance the visibility and attractiveness of the Museum from the street in the near
Sherylgolf.com is advising on the profitability of 9 v. 18-hole course in Ashland market.
There are other activities for youth and families in the south Rogue Valley, but relatively few.
These include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival,
which sells 50,000 tickets per year. Theatergoers are overwhelmingly over 50 years old, and
Caucasian. Throughout the nine-month theater season, student groups account for less than
10,000 festival-goers. There are several other theaters in Ashland, one in talent, the Britt
Music Festival in Jacksonville,
and the Ginger Rogers auditorium in Medford.
The Mount Ashland ski Park,
river rafting, the YMCA, skate parks in Ashland, Talent, and Medford. There are two bowling
alleys in Medford and numerous golf courses. About 10 miles North of Ashland, at the county
fairgrounds in Central Point, there is are two 18-hole mini golf course as part of The Rogue
Valley Family Fun Center.
RVFC Brochure attached.
This complex also includes bumper boats, go carts, a large arcade, and batting cages. In
other words, rent and maintenance costs are very high. Open all year, Summer hours
through September 14th are Monday through Thursday 10 am to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday
10 am to midnight, and Sunday 10 am to 10 pm.
The Scienceworks Museum served 50,000 visitors in 2005. Admission is five dollars.
Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Museum is located
across the street from the Ashland middle school.
The population of Ashland is 20,000 persons. Enrollment at Southern Oregon
is about 5000 students. During the summer term there are far fewer students.
The Medford Metropolitan statistical area is one of the fastest growing retirement
communities. The population of Ashland is also aging and school enrollments are declining,
due partly to high housing costs, and young families moving a few miles North to Talent or
Additional demographic data is available from:
Southern Oregon Regional Services Institute
521 South Mountain Avenue
Ashland, Oregon 97520
Rebecca Reid, Director
The Southern Oregon Regional Services Institute (SORSI) is an Affiliate Data Center for the
U.S. Census Bureau. SORSI collects regional data, including census materials, social and
economic profiles for communities in the region, and University generated statistics and
research on regional activities and issues. SORSI's resources are available to all students
The Proposed Co-venture
1. The Principals provide all the equipment necessary to operate a mini golf course.
including turf, putters, balls, scorecards, etc.
2. Dan Shaw provides all equipment necessary to operate the Science Golf course and is
wholly responsible for its day-to-day operation.
3. The principals will establish a formal legal entity such as a corporation for contract, tax,
and other legal purposes.
4. Scienceworks leases the location to the principals, for a period of 50 years, at $1 per year.
5. 10 of proceeds go to schools.
6. The Principals and Scienceworks split the remainder 50-50.
Projected income is based on hours of operation, price per play, attendance, weather, and
other factors considered below.
Hours of operation
Science golf would initially be open only during Museum hours: Wednesdays - Saturdays 10
to 4 p.m. and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. Evening hours 4 - 10 pm, beyond the Museum hours
are highly desirable. If the golf course operates beyond Museum hours, then separate
restrooms will be required.
Evening lighting will not impinge on neighbors.
Adult and children's admission $5 for the 9-hole course, will increase if and when additional
9-hole or 18-hole courses are added. Playing may play as long as they like during non-peak
The peak summer season for an outdoor course is May 15 - September 15, about 120 days
per year. In the future, to extend the number of days of operation per year, the 60-foot
diameter circle design enables cost-effective weather sheltering to be installed.
Playing a typical 9-hole game takes about 30 minutes. However play-through time may be
somewhat longer, due to golf holes being in fact science exhibits which invites comparison
and repeated tries. Some holes are designed to return balls to the tee. (See the Skeeball
image.) The circular design of the course allows players to begin at any hole, reducing
waiting which may offset some extended playing time.
An example of a hole that can be played in two or more different ways. One way to squeeze
18 holes into the space of 9.
During peak hours, 50 people or more may play per hour, so projected income is $250 during
peak hours. Assuming a 9-hole course open 7 days per week at 30% capacity from 10 am - 6
pm and at 55% capacity from 6pm - 10 pm. daily total would be $1.150, or $34.500 monthly:
$138,000 in the first four months. At 35% and 65% of capacity during off-peak and peak
hours, totals are $162,000 for the 4-month summer season. If only 180 games are played in a
day, 4-month total is still $54,000 for a course open 7 days per week.
If the course is closed Monday and Tuesday as is ScienceWorks. adjust these numbers by
After recovering construction costs, incomes are divided:
$54K = $5,400 schools + $19,440 SW + $29,160 DS
$162K= $16,200 schools
If at some time in the future science golf chooses to extend its hours, access to restroom
facilities would be required.
It is important to science golf to have permission to sell concessions that do not compete with
the museum concessions.
This design will continue evolving up to the last minute.
The ScienceWorks Museum, on two major arterial streets, East Main and Walker, and across
from Walker Elementary School and Ashland Middle School is seen as ideal.
Nine golf holes are encompassed within a 60 ft. diameter circle.
At the center of the circle, a fountain is surrounded by benches, and streams flow out in the
four directions, dividing the circle into quadrants. Each quadrant represents a distinct
ecosystem, marshy, woody, desert, and volcanic, with appropriate rock types and vegetation.
See the enclosed drawing.
This compact design minimizes construction costs, minimizes impact on ScienceWorks
property. The small, circular footprint minimizes environmental impact, to be located adjacent
to a sidewalk located anywhere on the property, within 400 feet of a fire hydrant. Placing the
first circle tangent to the ScienceWorks property line, and at least 70 feet from any
obstruction readily allows for expansion to 18 or 36 holes.
Three additional circles of nine golf holes can then be located adjacent to the first nine, in a
cloverleaf pattern, if and when expansion becomes desirable.
The course could be located on either side of this unofficial driveway.
The Scienceworks property slopes only about four feet over the entire area.
The Club House is approximately 10' x 15', suitable for cash register, concessions, and
storage of putters, balls, etc. It will be located at the point of the ‘raindrop’.
Putters and balls enough to operate an 18-hole golf course.
Play proceeds clockwise from the entrance at the South, players walk around a small pond
between each quadrant. Holes are designed so that they can be played two different ways:
left or right, over or under. After going around nine holes, players can replay the same nine
holes in a different way. Because of the science component, golfers may proceed more
slowly than at a normal mini golf course.
Benches and tables in each quadrant allow for people to comfortably watch, wait,
Construction design services will be obtained from Harris Mini Golf.
Harris has built hundreds of golf courses that meet these criteria:
• beautiful landscape design
• fun to play repeatedly for people of all skill levels
• drains within 10 minutes after rain
This hole designed by Harris shows a nice integration with the water features.
Dan Shaw provides all equipment necessary to operate the Science Golf course and
is wholly responsible for its day-to-day operation.
ScienceWorks leases the location to Dan Shaw for 40 years for $100 per year.
10 of proceeds go to schools.
Dan Shaw and ScienceWorks split the remainder 70-30.
To the extent practical, the design will minimize the environmental impact, by minimizing
impermeable ground cover, using drought-tolerant plants, and using local materials, for
Nine Science Golf Course Holes
1. Table Rocks
Two golf holes, one atop each of the horseshoe-shaped Table Rocks. Shows layers
of geology. Properly oriented relative to their actual location. Also demonstrates exaggerated
2. Crater Lake
The golf hole is on Wizard Island. The "lake" is not water; putt across the surface,
which shows depths.
Or, perhaps, with no water in the lake, play across the bottom.
3. The Solar System
Golf among the planets. Shows the order of the planets, discusses actual and exaggerated
4. Square-Hole Drill
A drill bit of a particular shape will drill a square hole. This square hole with the revolving 'drill
bit' is the obstacle the golfer must putt through. Scholarly mathematical explanations can be
Exploratorium Cookbook III, Recipe No. 201, Square Wheels, describes the same principle of
5. Newton's Cradle
Demonstrates momentum transfer, impulse momentum… could be used to tee off, and also
as a ‘hole’ or ‘goal’.
6. Loop the Loop & Downhill Racers
Loop the Loop
A ball hit with sufficient forces rolls through a 360-degree loop. If the ball is hit with slightly
less force, it may fall into any of several chutes that sends the ball on alternate paths.
This is also an excellent hole to use the digital protractor putter.
A lesson plan for loop track at:
Or, release the ball from different heights on a slope. Use balls of different weights.
Demonstrates potential energy, conservation of energy.
Nice web demo of the toy.
7. Crazy Putters
We are obtaining and constructing putters modified in various ways.
This putter, with a digital protractor, allows precise adjustment of the putter swing, and
Two different views of a prototype of a putter hinged in two places. The hinges are shown
bending in two different planes, but alternatively they could bend in the same plane.
This putter is designed to improve the “feel” of the putt, for greater accuracy of force applied.
Scientific basis and experiments described at:
The holes are designed to be integral with the principle the putter demonstrates. One side of
the hole is fashioned after the arcade game, Skeeball.
Notice that Skeeball has a ball return and reservoir (lower right), a feature which will also be
built in to some science golf holes.
Additional materials on moment of inertia in putters can be found at
8. Crazy Balls
Balls of various shapes, sizes, weights, materials, etc. possibly including balls filled with
different fluids. Will a frozen golf ball bounce higher? Demonstrates chaos. Center of Mass,
laws of motion
9. The Pool Table
The Law of Reflection also applies to sound waves bouncing off objects as echoes.
Construction expenses are likely to approach $100,000. This includes design, plans.
permits, surveying, grading, pumps, electrical, and landscaping.
Additional expenses include science theming. For example, cost and maintenance for the
Square Hole Drill which has a moving part, and construction of crazy putters. Equipment such
as putters and balls is in hand.
By leasing from ScienceWorks, land costs are minimized.
Operational expenses will be minimized by owner operating the course.
Marketing expenses in first year $10,000, then declining to $5.000. Initial expenses limited to
website, and printing, and distribution of brochures, or other marketing ephemera. No
Office/ Club House Equipment and Supplies
$10,000 includes cash register, minor furnishings, various small office supplies such as
printer ink, at a rate of $500 / month
$500 / year
$1500 - $3000
$5000 - $8000 (sherylgolf.com)
The marketing plan emphasizes close collaboration with Southern Oregon University in
particular, Peter Wu of the physics department, and other schools in the Rogue Valley.
Other Museums using Sports to Exhibit Scientific Principles
Science Museum of Minnesota
Kids build "mini-mini-golf" courses to learn about science.
South Florida Science Museum
The St. Anthony Falls Laboratory-based National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics
sponsored the nine-hole miniature golf course. Throughout the golf course, visitors will travel
from the highlands of North America to the Gulf of Mexico, learning about drainage basins,
erosion and other surface processes.
The Exploratorium has a web page about the science of baseball, which demonstrates how
sports can be a great entree to teaching and learning science.
http://www.exploratorium.edu & http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/
Daniel Shaw is a long-time resident of the Rogue Valley with school-age children. Mr. Shaw
owns Rosetta Publishing company, and he has had an ongoing involvement in education,
youth, and community development for 30 years.
Larry has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Cornel!. He is the inventor of the award-
winning toy, Astrojax. (He is not the Larry Shaw Ph.D. who used to work at the
Astrojax demonstrates principles of planetary/orbital motion, rotational dynamics,
friction, and centripetal force:
Larry is also a patent agent.
Joe is a graduate from the University of California at Berkeley. Joe invented the toy,
"Using Euler's equations of motion - and several assumptions - one can show that as
the disk loses energy, the soaring pitch produced by the rolling point of contact
increases towards infinity, as the inverse square root of the angle alpha." Numerous
articles on the physics of the toy have been published in peer-review journals.
Jim Hand has experience building exhibits for Scienceworks and has agreed to advise.
Paul Kay is working with Scienceworks on their hydrology.
Tom Hitchcock is designing the putters Hitchcockdesign.com.
The Exploratorium Cookbook III
References to Golf in The Sporting Life:
Air is a real drag
suppose you have got a smooth ball moving slowly through the air, maybe at about the speed
of the softball in a game of slow pitch. The air moving around the ball would look a lot like
this. The air flows smoothly separating in front of the ball and coming back together behind
the ball. When air closes up behind the ball it helps squirt the ball forward, like a watermelon
seed squeezed between your fingers.
When the same smooth ball moves a little faster, the air does not flow all the way around to
the back of the ball. Instead, it breaks away from the surface informs a pocket of swirling
currents wake the back of the ball, like the week behind a speedboat.
Moving even faster
When the ball moves even faster, the air breaks away from the surface of the ball even
sooner, and the wake behind the ball increases. There is a bigger difference between the
pressure in front of the ball and the pressure behind it, and the ball experiences even more
drag. The faster the ball goes, the bigger the drag. The faster it goes, the harder it is to go
When I am air flows over a rough surface, the layers of air right next to the ball get turbulent -
and that affects the ball's wake. The ball and the left is smooth; the ball in the right has a wire
hoop around it. Like the stitches on a baseball or the dimples on a golf ball, the wire creates
turbulence in the air. That turbulence helps the air steak by the ball's surface longer, making
a smaller wake - which means the ball has less frantic and can fly farther. Page 81
Putting a spin on it
rates of spin
Spin plays an important role in how balls and other flying objects move through the air. The
following spin rates are in revolutions per minute: bullet 40,000 golf ball 8,000 baseball hit by
bat 2000 curveball pitch 1800 Janet Lynn 1440 Frisbee (thrown by pro) 960 football (spiral
pass) 600 Frisbee (thrown by amateur) 4 80 discus 400 knuckleball pitch 120. page 87
Golf ball changes have also provoked officials to innovations, partly to save the golf courses
themselves. In 1898... Goodrich tire Company, introduced to the rubber-core ball. These
balls... were so much bouncier, were livelier than earlier balls that golf courses had to be
expanded to provide for the extended play- sometimes by as much as 100 yards per hole.
during a drive, the face of the golf club is in contact with the ball for only half a millisecond,
just half thousandth of a second.
The Sporting Life: Discover the Unexpected Science behind Your Favorite Sports and
Games, Susan Davis, Sally Stephens, and the Exploratorium.
Finding the sweet spot on a putter:
Sporting Life describes how to find the sweet spot on a baseball bat.
Additional activities, lesson plans and exhibits about bouncing balls can be found at:
and in the Exploratorium Cookbook III, Recipe #199
Videos of Euler’s disk, Newton’s Cradle, and “crazy putters” can be seen at