The Hippo


Apr 5, 2020








Mark Blasko, owner of Chuckster’s Family Fun Park, points to where waterfalls will be on the new park’s Cave Course. Photo by Matt Ingersoll.

Chuckster’s Family Fun Park opening in Hooksett

When: Opens to the public on Friday Aug. 11; hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
Where: 53 Hackett Hill Road, Hooksett
Cost: Pricing for mini golf is $9.50 per one 18-hole round and $6 for ages 5 and under; golfers can play the second course on the same day only for a discounted price of $6.50 per round. The cost for ice cream ranges from $2.25 to $5.25, depending on the size.

Just fore fun
Chuckster’s unveils new mini golf course in Hooksett

By Matt Ingersoll

 Chuckster’s Family Fun Park already has the two longest miniature golf holes on the planet, in its Chichester and Vestal, N.Y., locations. So for owner Mark Blasko, recreating the feat for a third time was a charm.

On Friday, Aug. 11, Blasko’s latest project is expected to come together, as a new Chuckster’s is scheduled to open in Hooksett. The five-acre park has been in the works for more than a year and will feature two brand new 18-hole miniature golf courses, one of which will include a 201-foot-long hole to match the length of those found in Vestal and Chichester.
“The holes are completely different [from the other Chuckster’s courses]. There is not a single one that is duplicated,” Blasko said. 
Crews from the New Jersey-based Harris Miniature Golf have been working for months to build the new course, which has required more than two million pounds of concrete for the holes and thousands of square feet of carpet and wood to create the greens, retaining walls, bridges and steps, according to Blasko. In addition, almost 2,000 gallons of water will be used to fill the ponds and water fountains, some of which are even parts of the holes themselves. 
When visitors arrive they will enter through the ice cream barn — featuring 32 flavors of Blake’s ice cream — to pick up clubs, balls and scorecards. Heading out through the rear of the building, there are three short holes not affiliated with either of the two main courses.
“The first thing you’re actually going to see when you come out here is the ‘world’s shortest minigolf hole, the ‘world’s easiest minigolf hole’ and the ‘world’s most difficult minigolf hole,’” Blasko said. “It’s just for fun, but the world’s longest minigolf hole is actually legitimate.”
From there, golfers have a choice between the Fire Tower Course, which will feature a New Hampshire-style fire tower replica you can climb up into, and the Cave Course, which is entirely ADA accessible and begins with a hole played through a makeshift cave sprayed with gunite. At the end of each course, you’ll get a chance to win a free game by sinking a hole-in-one on the 19th hole.
Although the designs of the holes are brand new, Blasko said the flow of water plays a major role in many of them, similar to those at the other Chuckster’s courses.
“There are actually 12 different ponds, and a lot of streams that interact with the holes,” he said. “[What] makes Chuckster’s unique is the holes interact with the water. So for instance, there will be one hole where if you hit the ball too hard and it ends up in the stream, it’ll actually go downstream and spit back out onto the green.”
The first Chuckster’s miniature golf course opened in Chichester in 2007. Since then, Blasko has added more attractions like go-carts, batting cages and rock climbing walls. But he never stopped thinking about new ideas for minigolf holes.
“In the back of my head, I kept forming all these new ideas for holes … and I visited courses in Myrtle Beach, Orlando and all these other places where there are these great courses, and I really wanted to put them all in one place,” he said.
So, unlike the other Chuckster’s, the Hooksett location is dedicated to just minigolf and ice cream.
“Here, we’re focusing on minigolf, but on a much bigger scale,” Blasko said. “Minigolf and ice cream go hand in hand; you can’t do one without the other. But I’m kind of testing a theory of mine that minigolf and ice cream alone on a big scale is very viable and will be very popular.”
The new Chuckster’s is the first of several businesses planned for Granite Woods, a property off Interstate 93 that Blasko said is also set to include hotels, restaurants and more. Despite its being less than 20 miles away from the original Chuckster’s park, his hopes are high for success in Hooksett.
“If you think about it, minigolf is kind of king in that just about everybody on the planet can play, from age 2 to 92,” he said. “Not everybody is going to want to hit baseballs or climb a rock wall or do a zip line, but with minigolf, every demographic is represented.” 

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