Fore everyone: One-of-a-kind high-tech mini golf experience hits Arizona

Puttshack opened its ninth location Thursday in Scottsdale. The new mini golf experience has four courses and a mix of games for visitors to enjoy. (Photo by Alyssa Polc/Cronkite News)

Puttshack features outdoor patios, a full bar and a DJ on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (Photo by Alyssa Polc/Cronkite News)

Puttshack merges mini golf with bowling, roulette and Connect Four. (Photo by Alyssa Polc/Cronkite News)

SCOTTSDALE – The way Arizonans play mini golf will never be the same at Puttshack’s new location in Scottsdale.

Golfers will not only aim for holes-in-one, but look to sink shots in beer pong and test their skills in roulette, bowling, Trivial Pursuit and Connect Four.

The two-story space opened its doors Thursday and consists of four courses with nine holes each, neon lights, outdoor patios, a full bar and a DJ spinning all the right tracks to make the experience more epic. The opening night crowd remained steady throughout the night, with eager and excited mini golfers ready to break in Puttshack’s ninth location.

Perhaps the unique hole designs are what attracts people the most, though. For example, golfers can hit a ball off the ramp and “aim for one of the 10 beer pong cups,” Puttshack’s webpage says. A supertube is located in the middle – radiating green light to differentiate itself from the red cups– that will “almost guarantee a hole-in-one.”

Visitors can expect a whole new way to play mini golf. Besides the upbeat ambiance, Puttshack uses Trackaball technology to monitor balls during gameplay. First, players check in and get the ball from the “Collect Ball” dispenser, and at the start of each hole, set the ball on the black marker. Once the surrounding lights turn green, golfers are free to play and statistics will be calculated and stored. The screens located above the holes will showcase each player’s score. No paper or pencil needed.

For keeping score, Puttshack does not follow the typical putt-putt rules. Instead of the player with the lowest score winning, the player with the highest score is declared the winner. Points are accumulated in numerous ways such as how many shots you take and getting a hole-in-one. Bonus points are available at each hole, as well. However, golfers must watch out for the hazards traps. All the points players earn can be deducted in an instant.

Golfers can "aim for one of 10 beer pong cups" while competing in mini golf, according to Puttshack's website. (Photo by Alyssa Polc/Cronkite News)

Golfers can “aim for one of 10 beer pong cups” while competing in mini golf, according to Puttshack’s website. (Photo by Alyssa Polc/Cronkite News)

“There’s no room for cheating,” Puttshack employee “Buzz” Butulan said. “You can’t cheat. The technology lets you just have fun.”

For convenience, visitors have the luxury of ordering drinks straight from the courses, with an employee taking orders on an iPad and delivering drinks. Drink options include cocktails, wine, beer, spirits, soda and coffee.

Visitors can also reserve a table before or after their tee times to enjoy a meal or dessert. The menu consists of an array of food options, from Mediterranean lamb skewers, empanadas and Thai fried chicken to flatbreads, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

With other golf experiences located around Arizona, Puttshack is making sure they remain on top of its competitors. Popstroke, which partnered with Tiger Woods Ventures and opened a Glendale location in March, brings a similar experience. They plan to open a Scottsdale location in the future, according to its website.

“Places like PopStroke are the more professional versions of mini golf,” says Butulan. “They’re designed to help you get better or make improvements. This (Puttshack) is more of a casual, family-friendly setting.

“It’s to have more fun.”

Alyssa Polc uh-lis-uh paulk (she/her/hers)
Sports Digital Producer, Phoenix

Alyssa Polczynski expects to graduate in December 2023 with a master’s degree in mass communication. Polczynski has interned as a copywriter at Envida Social and as a multimedia journalist at Corewell Health.