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Ax throwing family fun

One looking for fun and a way to pass some time, need not look further than the small town of Oakdale thanks to the vision and hard work of James Marlatt and Kristi Green.

The husband-and-wife duo are the founders and owners of the recently opened business Axholes, located at 111 S. Maag in Oakdale.

“Once we moved here, there wasn’t a lot to do,” Green said of relocating to the small town. “You have to go out of town to find something fun.”

Always out for some fun and adventure themselves, the couple shared they felt ax throwing, while new to the community, it might just be something Oakdale and surrounding communities would embrace. Through extensive research and elbow grease, the couple opened the sporting facility in the fall of 2023.

As a former co-owner of Exit Escape Room Adventures in Modesto, Green along with her mother Susan, were no strangers to hard work and growing a business. The dynamic duo sold the business in 2020 and three years later, almost to the day, the husband/wife team took keys to their ax throwing venture.

Complete with eight lanes for ax throwing, pub tables, large screen TVs with sports running at all times and a snack bar including beers on tap, there is something for everyone.

“Our beer system is pretty unique. There’s only one other place in the Valley that has it,” Green shared. “It’s called Bottoms Up Beer Dispenser. It fills your beer from the bottom and then it has this magnet with our logo on it. Free magnet with every beer that you drink.”

According to Green the magnet seals the hole at the bottom of the cup.

“It’s unique,” she continued. “There is less waste. With the magnet concept, not only does our name get out there, but we’re going to play games with them.”

In addition to a variety of beers and keeping with the family friendly vibe the business also offers snacks and soda. They welcome customers to bring in their own food be it pizza or Chinese food from neighboring eateries or something else.

“Family friendly ax throwing bar,” was Marlatt’s reply when posed with the question of describing Axholes for readers.

“I still struggle with how we describe ourselves because we are a bar,” Green added, noting that while they currently offer beer only as an adult beverage, they do plan to expand at some point.

With a focus of providing entertainment for the entire family Axholes offers eight lanes which can host six throwers at a time. Ax throwing is open for anyone age 12 and up. But not to worry, the couple demonstrates their commitment to keeping it family friendly with a junior size throwing board and lighter ax for the younger family members.

“But kids 12 and up can throw the real axes,” Marlatt shared of the age guideline, noting the weight of a real ax as a hindrance for younger children.

Lanes are rented for 75-minute increments of time and may be reserved in advance. Children 12 and older can throw with their family and those 16 and over are welcome to throw unattended as long as a waiver has been signed by a parent.

Green shared that Marlatt (passionate for the activity) coaches throwers when they first step up to give it a try.

“He’s really good at taking time and staying with the people,” she said. “He helps everyone find their spot so they’re able to make it.”

Hours of operation are Wednesday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (or later); Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (or later); Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed Monday and Tuesday.

Due to high participant volume reservations are recommended Fridays and Saturdays.

“Our last lane reservation is at 9:15 p.m.” Green added. “With that being said, people can still walk in, at say 9:30 p.m. and if we have lanes available, they can play. You just can’t make a lane reservation past 9:15.”

And while ax throwing may be the draw to the new business, the husband/wife team are more than happy to serve up beverages while patrons take in their favorite sport on one of the four big screen TVs.

“You don’t have to throw axes to come in,” Green stated. “People are welcome to come in and watch sports and drink beers if they’d like.”

As for the overall business the couple shared word of mouth and social media are slowly helping them grow the business. They added that customers are not only local, but from surrounding areas as well.

“We’re getting busier and busier and busier every weekend. We have people come in and say, I didn’t ever know you guys were here,” Marlatt said.

“As of right now, this is definitely what we envisioned,” Green added of the space in its early phase.

“It’s cool to see people happy when they come in and they’re having a good time,” Marlatt concluded.

For additional information on Axholes or to inquire on group parties or lane reservations visit