Putt-putt courses take swing at new generation

- Just when you thought putt-putt might be puttering out, mini-golf is being reimagined to attract consumers away from more high-tech, interactive entertainment. The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium just opened a brand new 18-hole course this past fall -- set in a butterfly garden.

Why butterflies?

"Butterflies are beautiful,” explained the center's CEO, Lew Crampton. “Our museum is hands-on, minds-on. It's just an added extra experience.”

In a changing business environment, the course is all about our environment, replacing a crumbling legacy course that used to be there.

"So we decided to go the whole 10 yards and fix the whole thing but add a message, so every hole here is named after an Everglades animal or habitat."

It was created by Jim Fazio, a well-known golf course architect, and pro golfer Gary Nicklaus, the son of legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus.
"I know of no other case where professional golfers have gotten interested in designing a mini golf course except here."

The center's CEO says they donated their services to design the course. "Well, it was a little wild. It was taking a chance. This was a $300,000 installation."

But he says it's paying off. "We've had a lot of revenue and people -- about 150 to 200 a week. So this is making money."

Some of those people are out-of-state visitors from as far as Pennsylvania, who say mini golf is an affordable way to spend time as a family.

"I've never seen one like this, very cluttered with kitschy kind of obstacles, and the kids like seeing the animals at each hole they're playing,” Julie Ramsey offered between putts.

It’s a new take on old-fashioned fun, keeping consumers coming back to a classic.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Putt-putt courses take swing at new generation
  • Holiday shipping deadlines looming: What you need to know
  • Recall issued for pre-packaged salads
  • Facebook says software bug may have exposed photos on 7M users
  • Toyota recalls pickups, SUVs to fix air bag, brake problems
  • Fire safety tips: Dry Christmas trees can quickly become a holiday hazard
  • Del Monte recalls more than 64,000 cases of Fiesta Corn
  • Recall issued for some Kotex tampons after complaints they come apart
  • Vintage gaming makes a comeback just in time for Christmas
  • 29,000 pounds of Jimmy Dean 'Heat 'n Serve' sausages recalled, may contain metal, USDA says