Downtown Springfield will be transformed into a "pop-up mini golf course" for a day


On Saturday, a “pop-up mini golf course” will take over downtown, the Downtown Springfield Association announced.

The event will be the first of its kind in town, according to Bethany Bell, events manager for the Downtown Springfield Association.

A variety of businesses will have mini golf courses set up either indoors or outdoors, she said. 

Park Central Square will serve as the “clubhouse” for the “Downtown Open.” Participants will check in on the square, and will receive a scorecard before heading out to the holes.

Bell said the square will also feature live music, a putt putt contest and a chipping contest where golfers try to get balls into the fountain.

Golfers who get a hole-in-one in the putt putt contest will get a “really big prize,” she said.

The goal of the event is to get people to spend time inside downtown businesses, according to Bell.

Bell said the Downtown Springfield Association, which puts on annual events, such as Artsfest, Cider Days and the Taste of SoMo, was looking around for a “fun and different” idea.

They drew inspiration from mini golf pop-ups held in Kansas City and other communities.

“It’s more laid back than the traditional golf tournament or mini golf course,” Bell said. “You can grab a beer at Lost Signal while you’re there then go to the next hole. Or do some Christmas Shopping at Five Pound Apparel while you’re there.

“We’re inviting people to hang out downtown and take it at a leisurely pace. It’s a great way to spend some time with your family.”

Bell said the event will be held “rain or shine.” Traffic won’t be impacted because no sidewalks or roads will be closed, she said.

The association plans to bring the event back again next year, Bell said.

The Downtown Open will be divided into two parts — Front Nine, open to all ages, that takes place from noon to 6 p.m. and the Back Nine, with a “pub crawl feel,” from 4 to 9 p.m.

Money raised from ticket sales for the Front Nine will go back to the Downtown Springfield Association, Bell said.

Family-friendly Front Nine hole locations

  • Civil Kitchen
  • Druff’s
  • Discovery Center
  • A Cricket in the House
  • Crave Cookie Dough
  • 5 Pound Apparel
  • Shark’s Surf X Supply
  • Moxie Cinema
  • Rosette Studios and SOAP Refill Station
  • Vision Clinic
  • The Coffee Ethic

Twenty-one-and-over “Back Nine” locations

  • Civil Kitchen
  • Billiards
  • The Flea
  • Tropical Liqueurs
  • Lost Signal Brewery
  • Tinga Tacos
  • Finnegan’s Wake
  • Patton Alley Pub
  • Skinny Slim’s

Rob Hoerr, general manager of Skinny Slim’s and Grady Wisdom, owner of the Flea, are the organizers of the Back Nine.

Hoerr said they had been independently planning a mini golf event when they heard that the Downtown Springfield Association was doing the same thing. Then, they joined forces.

“We’re just hoping to show some of the businesses downtown have a lot to offer,” Hoerr said. “…It’s a place that’s worth taking the drive across town and bouncing around to a couple of spots.”

Hoerr plans to give out prizes to golfers with the best score and best costume, as well as to the bar that designs the best hole for the Back Nine.

Some proceeds will go to help fund Alzheimer’s research, he said.

Want to go?

Bell said walk-ins are welcome. People who want to reserve tee times can buy tickets online.

Tickets are on sale through itsalldowntown.com/downtownopen/.

If golfers only want to play nine holes, it costs $20 for a two-person team and $30 for a four-person team.

For all 18 holes, it costs $40 for a four-person team.

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