By Kelly Youngblood
Exciting developments in Rantoul seem to be par for the course lately, and the opening of a new miniature golf attraction is the latest example.
The Fringe, a miniature golf course featuring 36 holes of mini-golf, opened just on the north side of the Rantoul Family Sports Complex on July 18. In addition, a full bar, casual dining, state of the art HD multi-sport simulators, an arcade and outdoor seating with views of the sports complex are coming soon.
While the idea originally came from Travis Flesner and Jeff McKaufsky who had a dream in high school to build a miniature golf course, a seven-person team of family and friends, all lifelong Rantoul residents, is collectively responsible for the newest addition.
The Fringe owners include Flesner, McKaufsky, and their wives, Nikky Flesner and Katie McKaufsky. In addition, Randy McKaufsky, Jeff’s father, and Sandy and Bill Roos, Nikky’s sister and brother-in-law, comprise the team.
“The Fringe is owned by local people who hold the word ‘community’ very near and dear to their hearts,” said Amanda Vickery, Executive Director of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce. “We are very grateful that they care about Rantoul enough to invest in the community and provide entertainment for the whole family.”
The idea to open a miniature golf course in Rantoul was something Flesner and McKaufsky had talked about often over the years. But it wasn’t until the fall of 2019, with plans of the sports complex in place, that they finally decided to take action.
“The opening of the Rantoul Family Sports Complex gave them the further initiative they needed to make their dreams come to life and are providing a great service to residents and visitors alike,” said Vickery.
Owners say their goal is to provide an upscale, safe, family-friendly entertainment venue for the community and visitors of Rantoul.
“We are incredibly blessed to have the support of our families, friends and community! Our hope is to provide family friendly entertainment to area residents as well as those traveling through,” said Nikky Flesner.
The year-round course offers two 18 hole courses. Nine holes on each course connect to create an 18 hole ADA compliant course. Nikky Flesner describes the course as an original.
“We as owners actually had input on the initial design and were able to make slight modifications as construction progressed,” Flesner said. “The company that built the course is Harris Mini Golf, out of New Jersey. Our foreman, Richard, was one in a million and worked side by side with us to make our dream a reality.”
The Fringe is located at 849 Stone Bridge Drive in Rantoul. Note: hours and rates may vary seasonally or according to staffing levels.
Adult rates are $9 for 18 holes and $13 for 36 holes. Kids (ages 4-12) are $7 and $11 respectively. Discounts are also available for senior citizens and veterans.
Hours are Tuesday-Thursday 4-9 p.m.; Friday 4-10 p.m., Saturday noon-10 p.m.; and Sunday noon-7 p.m. Last tee time is 1 hour before close.