The Instagrammable and booze-enhanced mini golf of Urban Putt has apparently run its course and closed permanently, though another miniature golf proprietor will tee it up at that Mission District location.
We will admit we were unreasonably excited when we learned some ten years back that the Urban Putt mini golf course was coming to the Mission District, as former CNet and PC World editor Steve Fox brought his vision of tiny courses featuring a miniature Transamerica Pyramid, Painted Ladies, and Lotta’s Fountain to the fore. Urban Putt opened in May 2014, started serving booze shortly thereafter, and became one of the symbols for SF’s adult Peter Pan Syndrome that spawned many a mid-2010’s thinkpiece.
But Urban Putt is off to the fairway to heaven, as far as San Francisco goes, at least. Mission Local reports that Urban Putt has permanently closed, and its last day in business was Saturday, December 30.
“I was there that last night that we closed. I walked around the course, looked at things and my heart was quite heavy,” Fox, the founder and CEO of Urban Putt, told Mission Local. “It’s heart-breaking.”
The writing, though, has apparently been on the scorecard for months. An Australia-based company called Funlab announced in a May 2023 press release that they were taking over the Urban Putt locations in Denver and San Francisco, and rebranding them as Holey Moley. That release added that “Holey Moley San Francisco is slated for an early 2024 opening with 18 holes of its own,” and that “the Denver and San Francisco locations will be adaptations of popular existing Urban Putt locations.” The release also threw in that “current employees in both Urban Putt locations will remain on the team.”
And there is already an existing web page for the San Francisco Holey Moley, a screenshot of which is seen above. It does not show an opening date, but it does have an email list signup.
As far Urban Putt, Fox is taking his mini golf talents to San Jose, with a new Urban Putt there, proclaiming it will open in “late January 2024.” And until Holey Moley takes over for Urban Putt in SF, there’s still South of Market’s Stagecoach Greens and Subpar Miniature Golf at Ghirardelli Square.
There was also rumored to be a location of pro golfer Rory McIlroy's upscale mini-golf restaurant chain The Puttery coming to the new IKEA mall, but that has not been confirmed.
Image: Danielle G. via Yelp