Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

October 14, 2011 at 2:11pm

Haunted Mini Golf kicks off today

Photo credit: shankzgolf.com

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Sure, it may seem easy to scoff at miniature golf, or "Putt-Putt Golf" as it's been called (and trademarked).

But that wouldn't be doing the sport justice.

Yes, I did just call miniature golf a "sport."

While that classification may seem debatable (and, OK, it probably IS debatable), there's some truth to it. It's no lie that plenty of people take miniature golf quite seriously. And it's also true that some people consider it a sport. Evidence of this can be found in the World Minigolf Sports Federation, a self-described, "umbrella organization of minigolf sports association's worldwide and continental associations in Asia, Europe and America." According to the organization's website, the World Minigolf Sports Federation puts on "biannual world championships for youth and elite players, as well as biannual Continental Championships in Europe, Asia and the USA."

Still not buying miniature golf as a sport? What if I were to tell you Anne Nitschke of Germany was the top rated junior miniature golf player in the world as of March 2011? Yes, there are miniature golf world rankings.

OK, OK ... I'll give the "miniature golf is a serious sport" shtick a rest for a moment, but even if you'll never consider it to be a legitimate athletic endeavor, it can still be a ton of fun - whether it's a child's birthday party or a first date. While some more traditional, outdoor miniature golf courses like the iconic Parkland Putters (10636 Sales Road S., Tacoma, 253.588.2977), may be slowing down for the season (Parkland Putters' four courses and 72 holes are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday-only through October, and Saturday-Sunday only in November), it doesn't mean miniature golf is history until next summer rolls around. Far from it.

David Ostrand, owner of Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf in Olympia, which specializes in black-light and 3-D play, says business has never been better - and not just because the kids can't get enough of Shankz's glow-in-the-dark appeal, 3-D effects and three different themes (underwater, jungle and dinosaur).

Rather, the older generation has also taken a liking.

"It's all over the board," says Ostrand of the people who frequent Shankz, ranging from kids to senior citizens. "At first it was mostly focused on the kids and birthday parties, but it was amazing how the adult group exploded."

Ostrand brought Shankz to Olympia four years ago, and says with help from his two daughters the business aims to make sure everyone leaves happy. Shankz's 18 holes mix various props and objects, not to mention the aforementioned black-light and 3-D effects. Ostrand says the course was designed by a company from Vancouver, British Columbia, and that he originally had the idea for Shankz after attending a family entertainment trade show.

"The artwork is so impressive," says Ostrand of the Shankz course and the 3-D and black-light features. "When you're at a movie you're sitting down. When you're here you're walking through it." Ostrand says his personal favorite is the underwater-themed portion of the Shankz course.  Glasses are provided for the 3-D views.

Most importantly, Ostrand says miniature golf is for everyone, not just the kids.

"Friday and Saturday date nights are big for us," he says.

Look for Shankz to welcome "Haunted Mini Golf" Oct. 14-30, with Ostrand promising, "blood in 3-D."

[Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf, 1520 SW Cooper Point RD #250, Olympia, 360.943.1715]

Filed under: Sports, Olympia, Tacoma,

Comments for "Haunted Mini Golf kicks off today" (2)

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Southwest Greens artificial turf said on Jan. 19, 2012 at 10:54am

Boy am I glad I ran into this blog. I would love to visit this wonderful mini golf course. Yeah I have to agree mini golf is just a sport like regular golf maybe not as competitive but its still there. My wife and i play it periodically as well as regluar golf too.

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Melody said on May. 26, 2012 at 6:20pm

not sure where this is seen the address in tacoma with the number called it tho and they say they dont have this so WHERE are you this looks HELLA cool and SERIOUSLY WANNA PLAY HERE WITH THE PICS ABOVE PLEASE LET ME KNOW WE DONT DRIVE BUT BUS BUT WOULD REALLY WANNA PLAY IN THAT INVIRONMENT THAT IS WAY COOL LOOKING

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