Glow Putt Mini Golf illuminates fun family concept
October 9, 2017
Story & Photos by Crystal Lewis Brown
Glow Putt Mini Golf courses can feel a little surreal, like walking into another world.
There’s something to be said for playing miniature golf in the dark. For one, it’s a bit more difficult to tell just how terrible a golf swing I actually have. And somehow, it’s also a heck of a lot of fun.
Full disclosure: We weren’t exactly in complete darkness. My family and I were actually getting in 18 holes at Scottsdale’s Glow Putt Mini Golf. Walking into the building feels a little surreal, like walking into another world. I imagined it a bit like Alice tumbling down that rabbit hole. It looks familiar but just different enough that you’re not sure what to expect.
Turns out Glow Putt is actually the result of a happy accident. Owner Jim Bertoncino said he’d originally planned to create an outdoor glow-in-the-dark golf course. But an outdoor course meant having to wait until dark before people could start playing. Bertoncino said he then decided to move the idea into an indoor space, and Glow Putt opened in 2002.
“People loved it, and we’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.
Golfers get a glow bracelet when you walk in and are then directed toward the glowing golf clubs of varying sizes. With myself, my husband, an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old, we were all able to get perfectly sized clubs. Then came one of the biggest differences – the golf balls. Every few holes, there’s a small bench with a hole in it. Each player gets a ball with a different number on it to avoid confusion. You pop your glow-in-the-dark golf ball into one hole in the bench and it comes out another, brighter than ever. Yup, that bench recharges your ball to keep it glowing.
The course and the walls are adorned with glow-in-the-dark patterns, which add to the festive look of the course. And glow-in-the-dark arrows lead you from one hole to the next so you don’t get confused.
My family and I probably have been to just about every miniature golf course in the Valley, so I was at first hesitant to visit yet another. But I’m glad we did. The novelty of the glow-in-the-dark balls, holes and – well, everything – added an additional layer of fun to something we do all the time. Plus, the air conditioned indoor course means you don’t have to give up on your game during the summer months. Or risk heatstroke. Plus, I got my very first hole-in-one.
Although I went with my family, the vibe also makes it perfect for a date. In fact, Bertoncino said it has become a go-to fun date night. There’s also a party room and birthday party packages available.
To make it even more fun, Bertoncino suggests wearing white or light-colored clothing. Because there’s something about that neon glow that’s irresistible. “It makes it more fun if your clothes glow,” Bertoncino said.