Smash Putt is a temporary art exhibit (kind of) golf course (kind of) and bar (actually though). Located on 23rd and Union, the place is full of 18 “holes” that are built to challenge every preconceived notion of golf that you’ve ever had.
In fact, I would venture to call it a post-modern golf course. It was somewhere on the spectrum between Pee Wee’s Playhouse and the Twilight Zone. I honestly have never seen anything quite like it.
Spectator Sports Editor Connor Cartmill (handicap +7) and I (handicap dyslexia) were primed and excited to get our competitive energy out after arm wrestling in the Spectator office got banned—let’s just say it was the result of a bunch
of “sore losers.”
Anyways, last weekend we made the short trip from campus up to what used to be a U.S. Post Office on 23rd Avenue. We were promptly warned by the manager during a safety speech to not put our hands in any holes because they “might hurt you.”
Okay, so think back to middle school when you made something for a science project. You had this romantic idea of how you would defy theories and prove that gravity is maybe a big lie after all. You stayed up all night thinking about how beautiful and shiny your new Rube Goldberg machine will be—how intellectually advanced and somehow simultaneously simple it will all be.
And then all of a sudden, it’s due tomorrow and you slap some duct tape to some saw blades, set up some dominoes that you found in your garage, suspend it from the ceiling and decide science isn’t your thing.
That is the closest way I can describe the low-fi nature of Smash Putt. It was janky, mechanical and jerry-rigged—pure magic, mayhem and mystery all packed into a tiny par three course.
Although each hole reeked of imperfection, they all functioned perfectly. It was an absurd spectacle of physics, robotics, creativity and wit. It would be easy to design a mini golf hole, but each one of the holes seemed like they had a personality, some kind of statement or joke behind them.
Now, a few holes to note:
It’s a dark room with a smoke machine. There are red lasers everywhere, and if you get touched by a laser the alarm goes off and that’s an extra stroke, buddy! You’re screwed! Where is the hole anyways? Could it be behind that center-lit diamond stand? I like your odds, get on your knees and forget form. This isn’t golf, it’s survival.
Balls in the Hood
A replica ‘64 Impala or something. Just throw your ball in the car’s hood and grab the controller—it’s hooked up to the hydraulics. Now tilt front, back, side to side, roll the ball from the hood to the trunk where it will hopefully find it’s way into a hole.
The Infinity Hole
Around and around it will go. Don’t spend too much time trying to figure this one out—the par expands like the universe, infinitely at the speed of light.
These are just a couple highlights among the many crazy, deceptive and frustrating holes available at Smash Putt. In case you were wondering, the place also offers ample opportunities to scratch and sniff, shoot a Gatling gun, make some music and ultimately, stretch your ideas of golf realities.
And if you like to play games while you drink, this is a good place for you. From what I can remember, Smash Putt was a darn good time.
But the fun can’t last forever—Smash Putt is only open until July. In order to secure a spot you must make a reservation online with a tee time. VIP lounges are also available, so you can drunk golf in style.