"How is the course being designed and built?" This is the most common question we've been asked throughout our journey and to be quite honest with you, we're still learning. We knew we wanted to be hands on with the entire course process, from design to fabrication, and our basement "test lab" quickly evolved into a full-scale mini golf course production facility. From the very start the vibe of our business has been a nod to "the good old days", and we wanted our course to reflect that. To us this meant that the course should look like one you'd find at a summer camp, rather than one you might find in a mall or amusement park. Don't get us wrong, we love a windmill or clown nose hole as much as the next person, but we decided on a simpler, rustic design.
Designing the course has been incredibly fun. We spoke to design consultants and golfers, reviewed dozens of courses, read about the history of Mini Golf and took ideas from friends and family. From there, we came up with around 35 initial ideas for holes, then slowly narrowed the list. Most of the time we'd go through a couple iterations of a hole, then continue tweaking it as we built it based on what we learned as it came to life. While some holes are our own versions of holes patrons will have seen before, we believe we've developed a unique and challenging course. Perhaps the most important bit of feedback we got was that players want holes that have an opportunity for a hole-in-one, even if the chances are so, so slim. It's all about chasing that elusive perfect score.
We've Built the holes with a couple of things in mind. First and foremost, they need to be very sturdy. Every bar owner we've spoken to has joked that whatever we think patrons will do to the course, it's going to be five times worse. Second, we've built them in pieces so they are easier to move and fix, but also so that we have the ability to tweak them in the future to allow for a new way to play a hole without having to build an entirely new structure. This is a bit like "modular design" for mini golf. In the timelapse you'll see our initial frame for the hole, and once the frame is in-place we'll add turf and customize with finish trim, paint, and perhaps implement additional obstacles to keep things fun and interesting for everyone.
We look forward to hosting you for "a round" and "a round" in the near future!
Austin DeLonge & Nick Jenkins, Co-Owners of the Big Mini Putt Club, 1302 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60622 https://bigminiputtclub.com/