In July of 2023, a new adult-only miniature golf course opened in Minnesota. The all-indoor venue, called "Puttery" in Downtown Minneapolis is one of 10 locations that have opened up in places around the country.

The concept is pretty simple. Unlike most mini golf courses, which cater to kids, families, and people of all ages, Puttery is just for those 21 and older. They offer mini golf, food, and beverages for an outing with friends or coworkers.

How does that concept play out in reality? I recently checked it out and here's how the experience had to offer.

First impressions - "the vibe'

While it isn't required, you'll really want to make a reservation before visiting. When you book your reservation, you can book for you and up to 13 additional guests. You can select just one specific course for $18 or get unlimited golf on any course for $25. For the few extra bucks, that's absolutely worth it.

On entering, you check in, show your ID, and they have a coat check for you to shed your outer layer before getting to golfing. The whole experience feels kind of like going to a club, with upscale decor themed to the various courses and a great mix of music that was absolutely geared for the audience. In the case of my visit, it was a blend of 1990s through mid-2000's hip hop hits, which adds to the club/party vibe.

It's the type of place you could easily go dressed up a little more as part of a fancier date night or outing with friends, but also fit in wearing more casual attire as well.

The courses

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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The Minneapolis location has three different themed 9-hole courses. Each has its own distinct theme, which plays into the nearby bar space and lounge area.

One of the neat touches of each course is a touchscreen scorepad (as seen above) at the "teebox" for each hole on the course. As you enter each course, a staff member gets the name of everyone you're playing with and as you advance from hole to hole, your score follows you around.

Moving through the building from the entry, the first course is the "Conservatory", which is a nature-themed course accented with a variety of plant life, koi fish, and other creatures.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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The second course is the "Library" course, which is (as you might guess) set in a library setting. There are a lot of neat little touches as you look at the shelves while you make your way through the course.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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The final course is known as the "Art Museum". This course features a variety of different styles from classic to modern art along the course. The feel of the course itself also changes as you move from the classic art space into other art areas.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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While none of the holes are particularly long and they look somewhat simple at first glance, they all offer some interesting challenges. There aren't any stereotypical wacky clowns or water hazards, but you'll need to work angles, use bounces, and consider obstacles as you navigate each hole around each course. Don't plan on getting a bunch of holes in one everywhere you go!

You might ask, what was my favorite of the three courses? I'd say the Library was my favorite. The dimly-lit, wood-accented space looked cool, but it was also my favorite course to play from the level of challenge, too. While the courses themself aren't all that different, something about the Library course seemed most enjoyable. The other two come in basically tied for second for me.

Food & drink

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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This place is really a one-stop shop for an afternoon or evening out with friends and family. They have a menu of food items that includes appetizers, salads, pizzas, burgers, desserts, and more. While my group didn't try any of the food, it all looked really great as people ordered it around the venue. It is definitely looks like chef-crafted creations that will go way beyond any food you may have ever had before when mini golfing.

On the drinks side of things, I can report more on that. We definitely sampled a few of their crafted cocktails.

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They offer a variety of beers, seltzers, and wines, and cocktails. They also have a handful of "zero proof" cocktails for those who are either not drinkers or are maybe the designated driver.

All of their cocktails are made to impress, complete with neat accents that make these beverages not only delicious to enjoy, but also very photo-friendly if you want to share them on the 'gram.

The price of the food and beverages is pretty much in line with what you'd expect at a Downtown Minneapolis bar. The quality of those offerings is certainly top-notch, but if you're planning on food and drinks as part of your golf experience, just know that your $25 unlimited golf could quickly get up to $100 with a few drinks and some food.

Final thoughts

The Puttery experience is one that speaks to our inner child while also making mini golf a more "adult" activity.

While it was busy and each course had lines during our visit, things move pretty smoothly and you're rarely waiting around for the group in front of you. The only real bottleneck was on my favorite course, the Library. The final hole offers a unique challenge that seemed to slow people down a little. Even then, the waits weren't very long.

One other little observation is that as people finished their drinks, they tended to leave them in the drink holders at the tee areas, which made it hard to find a place to put your drink. This isn't really something you can hold against the venue, but it was a minor annoyance from time to time as a pile of empty glasses and empty cans awaited you occasionally.

All told, this makes for a great little outing and it lived up to my expectations from when I first heard they were opening in Minnesota.

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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper

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