Puttshack's Upscale Mini Golf Restaurant and Bar Opens in Miami

Puttshack has opened at Brickell City Centre.
Puttshack has opened at Brickell City Centre. Photo courtesy of the Louis Collection
An upscale, tech-infused mini golf experience that features craft cocktails, craft beer, and food has opened in Miami.

This week, Brickell City Centre became home to Puttshack, an entertainment and nightlight venue that aims to reinvent mini golf for an adult audience.

The Chicago-based company opened its first location in West London in 2018 and launched stateside in Atlanta. Puttshack Miami marks the company's fourth stateside location, a move that follows the recent grand opening of Puttshack Boston. Additional locations are slated for St. Louis, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scottsdale.

The concept is the brainchild of brothers and TopGolf creators Steve and Dave Jolliffe, who partnered with Adam Breeden — creator of multiple entertainment-based venues like Hijingo and AceBounce — to bring Puttshack to life.

Together, the trio created a unique space to appeal to families during the day and attract an adult-only crowd with its high-end nightclub ambiance at night.

According to Puttshack CEO Joe Vrankin, the concept is a hole-in-one when it comes to marrying entertainment, dining, and nightlife under one roof.

"The Jolliffe's have done a great job reinventing the game of mini golf for an adult audience," Vrankin tells New Times. "The best thing about Puttshack's technology is that it goes beyond the convenience of not having to keep score to allow guests to be totally immersed in the game and the group they're with."

During the day, Puttshack is tailored to a younger audience, explains Vrankin. The music and lighting reflect a family-friendly vibe before morphing into an adult-only, nightclub-style ambiance by night, where DJs spin tunes curated for a local audience Thursday through Saturday.

Miami Puttshack offers three competitive, nine-hole mini golf courses and a restaurant and bar, available to guests before or after they play the game.

"For most, the best way to experience Puttshack is to reserve a tee time and a table reservation at the restaurant," explains Vrankin. "You can also grab a cocktail at the bar before you play or even enjoy one or two while you play."

The game is powered by the company's patented Trackaball technology, which automatically keeps score for players who win by scoring the most points, not the fewest shots. Screens at each hole update individual player scores tallied via each player's golf ball. The proprietary software means no one can replicate the experience.
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The spicy pineapple mezcal margarita is served with a mini jalapeño popsicle.
Photo courtesy of Puttshack
That includes taking shots at the beer pong hole, where adult players can hit their balls into one of ten cups to capture discounts at the dinner table or bar. Likewise, the "Ring of Fire" features the brand's "supertubes" — special holes that can land players big points for holes-in-one — and a roulette hole that will prompt guests to answer true/false questions (If you think the answer is true, you putt under a bridge that says "true"; there's another for "false" answers.)

While cutting-edge technology plays a part in the overall ambiance, the Puttshack menu and mixology program ties it all together. The signature cocktails and full bar offer an array of globally inspired items that present a shareable, street-food approach.

Each Puttshack menu has been curated by the company's global food and beverage director, Mark Boyton, a French-trained chef who tailors dishes to reflect the city it calls home.

Several dishes were tailored specifically for Miami, including the "Little Havana" flatbread topped with house-smoked pork, chorizo, black beans, roasted corn, green peppers, red onions, fried plantain, and jalapeños.

The most Miami of all, however, is the "Miami Tailpipe," a dish created especially for Puttshack's give-back program. For each one sold, one dollar of the locally inspired shareable plate — spring rolls packed with house-smoked chimichurri pork, ham, cheese, black beans, and grilled pineapple served with mustard and sweet chili dipping sauces — will go to Girls Make Beats, a Hialeah-based nonprofit organization that empowers girls by expanding the female presence of music producers, DJs, and audio engineers.

At the bar, cocktails are served with a show, from the photographable "Smoking Painkiller" that arrives in a smoke-filled treasure chest or the spiced pineapple mezcal margarita. A drink that took nearly a year to perfect, it's served with a house-made jalapeño hellfire popsicle that, as it melts, turns the drink from sweet to spicy.

"For Puttshack, the draw is not only the game — one you can't get anywhere else — but also the food and beverage," sums up Vrankin. "It's tying the entire experience together that really creates the memories."

Puttshack. 701 S. Miami Ave., Miami; Sunday to Wednesday 11 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna

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