Coming to an Empty Lot Near You: Free Mini Golf

Free min-golf courses are popping up in the strangest places. In Amsterdam, playful forms invite players to “park and play” in an under-used parking lot, while in Detroit, Roosevelt Par shows how an abandoned lot between burnt-out buildings strewn with old cars can become a make-shift, albeit rough, urban playground.

In Amsterdam, Dutch firm NL architects has turned an expansive parking lot for the Harbor Club into a 9-hole mini-golf course. Design Boom writes that more of these DIY projects are popping-up there with the slow down in new building construction. With lots of empty lots, there are now opportunities in the Netherlands for pop-up gardens, farms, and, yes, now mini-golf.

Organized by Carolien Ligtenberg, Platform Openbare Ruimte (POR), the architects were given a tiny budget of just 2,500 Euros. The inexpensive course was created with sod “grass carpet.”

The playful design is meant to be a fun break for visitors to the club, giving them a chance to do something with their kids (see more images).

In Detroit, students from Lawrence Technical University (LTU) worked with Jerry Paffendorf, co-founder of an art and music venue called “Imagination Station,” to create a scrap yard-chic course made of reused materials. Strewn throughout are the shells of dead cars, orange safety cones, and an abandoned sofa, writes The Detroit News.

Roosevelt Par, which is free and BYOP, is actually an “inspired class project.” Each LTU student was put in charge of designing a course, procuring materials, and building it. The class raised money on Kickstarter, and lots of local firms donated materials, including recycled wood to build concrete slabs, the actual crushed concrete and the equipment needed to pour it, and scrap metal, fire cones, and tires for the gritty Detroit “hazards.”


This one-of-a-kind course, which even includes a toilet hole, has 17 holes instead of the traditional 18. Steve Coy, the professor at LTU who conceived the project, told The Detroit News:  “It’s an untraditional course, and I think it’s funny to have an untraditional amount [of holes]. We call it ‘urban rules,’ so we’re creating our own style of course.”

Image credits: (1-5) Amsterdam Urban Mini Golf / NL Architects via Design Boom, (6-8) Detroit Roosevelt Par / Roosevelt Park Kickstarter Campaign

One thought on “Coming to an Empty Lot Near You: Free Mini Golf

  1. scientiste 09/26/2013 / 11:27 pm

    Reblogged this on Mental Flowers and commented:
    Yes! What a great use of otherwise empty space. You could turn these lots into all sorts of creative playful spaces.

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