Which New Strip District Mini-Golf Bar Is a Hole-in-One?
The Strip District’s new additions, Puttshack and Puttery, combine upscale and vibrant vibes to provide a unique mini-golf experience.
Two indoor mini-golf venues have recently opened within a two-block radius in the Strip District.
The trendy venues offer a twist on traditional mini-golf, with unique layouts and tempting food and drink options. Puttery and PuttShack have distinct vibes — and are going to appeal to different crowds.
Puttshack, a new addition to the Terminal Building, offers an upscale and vibrant atmosphere upon entrance. You will quickly notice that mini golf is just one part of the venue; there is a huge open dining area, accompanied by an equally large bar and lounge area.
It’s a spacious and welcoming setup, with a view of the entire establishment from anywhere and neon lights hanging from the ceiling. It was packed and busy during my weekend visit; without an advanced reservation, you may have to wait to hit the links. If your tee-time wait is long, there’s no shortage of food and drinks. The menu offers more than 40 food items and 10 signature cocktails.
While you sip and snack, a large screen TV will display all upcoming reservations and their status. Once your reservation displays “Ready to Play,” you’ll head over to your assigned course. Four courses are laid out in one giant area; find the neon sign that marks your assigned challenge.
Each player collects a ball with a number on the bottom to keep track of their score. You don’t have to do much thinking, as the large screen TVs at each hole will tell you your score each time you putt — yes, this is golf that keeps score for you like a bowling alley.
The greens are relatively small but each offers an exciting challenge. Unlike traditional golf, the highest score wins the game at Puttshack. The less putts, the more points. There are also many opportunities throughout the 9-hole courses to win bonus points — a refreshing addition for those (like myself) who aren’t mini-golf pros.
As I navigated the “Ruby” course, I played the “True or False” hole, which presents a trivia question and requires shooting the ball into either the “true” or “false” tunnel. Correct answers are rewarded with bonus points.
Other holes in different courses included a “PuttMan” hole, a Pac-Man themed hole, and a “Putt 4” hole, where you are challenged to play a game of Connect Four with a twist.
On a busy day, expect to spend a lot of time waiting in line between putts. While the mini-golf area is massive, the four-course layout can become easily packed; space between holes is limited, so you can expect to be in close quarters with other players while you wait.
Just two blocks down Smallman Street, Puttery made its debut in February of this year as one of 10 locations nationwide. Upon entering, you are greeted with a classy open lounge area, inviting you to unwind and enjoy some food and drinks before or after your tee time.
Puttery offers a more intimate setting than Puttschack. While the lounge and dining area is open and social, the courses each have separate areas, allowing for more space and privacy. The venue spans two floors, with three themed courses.
While you are assigned a course at Puttshack, the choice is yours at Puttery. The first choice is the garage course, adorned with vintage vehicles and retro displays. The second is the lodge course, complete with a cozy fireplace and a ski lift. Lastly, there’s the library course, showcasing shelves filled with vintage books and knick-knacks. To enhance the experience, each course offers its own list of specialty cocktails.
Perhaps the biggest perk of Puttery is the convenience of being served drinks without interrupting your game or waiting in line. Workers on each course will greet you and take your drink order while you play. At Puttschack, you have to reserve time prior to your game to get drinks, especially on a busy day.
Puttery is strictly 21 plus, which offers a more grown-up atmosphere; Puttshack is a family-friendly environment, with guests under 21 allowed until 8 p.m. It offers live DJs on Thursday-Sunday nights after the kids clear out.
While the two places offer similar, 9-hole course designs, Puttery has a few details that set it apart from Puttshack — although games are usually a few dollars pricier, too. At Puttery, you keep your own score (played like traditional mini golf, where the lowest score wins the game). The greens are quite small, but the play is more difficult and challenging than what you’ll find at Puttshack.
The layout is aesthetically pleasing, with many twists and turns that challenge the player. The theme is cleverly included in each hole, and there is a rack for your drinks and belongings at every hole.
At Puttery, you will spend a lot less time in lines — and those who enjoy a more traditional mini-golf setting will appreciate the atmosphere. Plus, anyone can appreciate the beautiful setting and textiles. However, if you’re looking for an exciting, arcade-like experience that doesn’t require as much golfing skills, Puttshack may be the way to go.