I had such a good time at the insanely cute Putting Lot this weekend, a mini golf course created for this summer by a bunch of artists on a disused lot in Bushwick. The Putting Lot is like a joyful little oasis in the heart of a typical urban-industrial Brooklyn landscape. While I think there’s always something whimsical about mini golf (notably the idea of miniaturization, a key trend in joyful things), this particular course takes it a step further with its surprising location and artfully inventive holes.
The hole featured above (thank you to Flickr user jamfan2 for the image), aside from its wonderfully appealing color scheme, involves spending a lot of time with your feet in the cool water as you fail time and time again to vault your ball over the canal that separates the tee from the hole. My other favorite hole is like putting on a green where the Caddyshack groundhog has set up a dozen technicolor burrows. One leads to the hole, while the others shoot you back out the way you came. It’s endless fun to try and figure it out.
The genius of these holes is how open-ended they are. You can play them in a competitive game, but the real pleasure comes from discovering the many different approaches and traps and testing out their various properties. Sometimes the balls get stuck, or come out somewhere they clearly weren’t intended to, but this DIY feel is all part of the fun, and in my view makes it even better than a slick, “commercial” mini golf course.
I highly recommend a visit this summer. Just make sure to dress appropriately!