StreetFight : Mini Golf Goes Maxi

BOOM: Mini Golf Goes Maxi

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Even if you may never be a star on an international golf tour, you can beat your friends and family to a rousing game at indoor mini golf.

Puttshack, which opened two mini golf  locations in 2021 has rapidly grown to 11 nationally in:

  • Nashville
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • St. Louis
  • Pittsburgh
  • Miami
  • Denver
  • Scottsdale
  • Houston

Plus, locations are planned in Minneapolis, Ft. Lauderdale, Washington, D.C., Columbus, and Baltimore. Smaller footprints are also being considered. (The current footprint is about 20k to 30k square feet.

The concept was developed by the creators of Topgolf and is a tech-powered take on the classic game of miniature golf, enjoyed by a wide range of ages and skill sets. Plus, food and beverage are a big part of the experience. As we’ve noted in other coverage, eatertainment and sportstainment are on the upswing, as consumers look for places to go where they can dine and play.

Puttshack is not the only mini golf venue expanding these days. Popstroke, which has Tiger Woods’ backing, is an outdoor miniature golf course and entertainment center. Their tagline, “Eat. Putt. Drink.” captures the essence of the sportstainment experience. Technology is also integrated into the Popstroke experience, including a loyalty app.

Food and beverage are critical components of the miniature golf model. FSR Magazine reports that the average food and beverage sales for a Puttshack location range from $8M to $13M, which is roughly 60 percent of a location’s sales.

Mini golf venues have also proven to be a great lucrative space-filler as replacements for big box stores in retail shopping complexes and drive traffic to the surrounding businesses.

Consumers today have more options than ever before for activities. Research shows that new generations are especially drawn to places that are “experiences” beyond just eating and drinking. As intergenerational groups look for activities that everyone can enjoy, places like Puttshack and Popstroke are taking their place in the planning process.

The business world is also taking full advantage of these new gathering places, reserving spaces for company gatherings and client entertainment.

Only time will tell whether consumers will be loyal to their favorite miniature golf spot, fully leveraging their loyalty rewards and an opportunity to beat their last best score. Or if their hunger for what’s new and next will drive them to multiple unique activities.

But, for now, the Puttshack model seems to be a hole-in-one in the MULO (multi-location) activity landscape. And, unlike traditional golf, can be played year-round. No cart required!

Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.
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