Having already invented and trademarked the sport of bocce golf, Arden Hills resident Lanny Baumann will soon be completing a nine-hole course for interested players.

Bocce golf is a hybrid sport utilizing the equipment and rules of bocce ball and golf. It is played on a course with greens and holes marked with flags like a golf course, and players aim to get under par. Players move their bocce balls along the course and try to sink them in the holes by lobbing or rolling them underhanded.

"It's not a muscle game, it's a skill game," Baumann said.

The hybrid sport will be played on the perimeter of Lindey's Park, a 1.5 acre park located at North Snelling Avenue and County Road E in Arden Hills. Baumann said the course should be ready for play by mid-September. It will be free for the public.

The course will feature par 2, 3 and 4 holes. Distances will vary, but Baumann said an average par 3 hole is about 20 yards in length.

There will be no sand traps or water hazards to consider, but bocce golfers must navigate trees and other natural obstacles as they roll. And once within 10 feet of the hole, golfers are only allowed to roll their bocce balls. Lobbing the 2 and 1/2 pound balls, Baumann said, would damage the greens.

Baumann developed bocce golf about five years ago at his cabin near Crosby, Minn., after becoming bored with traditional bocce ball. He made a three-hole course and invited friends to play. Their rave reviews led Baumann to introduce the game at company picnics.

"People would line up waiting to play," he said.

Baumann, who joined the Arden Hills' Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee three years ago, suggested a bocce golf course be built on the previously vacant Lindey's Park. The City Council approved the $2,500 needed for the course.

David La Vaque • 612-673-7574

David La Vaque • dlavaque@startribune.com