Swing away -- Urban Putt opens today!

Possibly the only former mortuary turned mini-golf course in existence.
Photo by Laura B. Childs

After a sneak peek and a couple of delays, Urban Putt finally opens at 4pm today. The high concept mini-golf course, restaurant, and bar combination arrives just in time for some Cinco de Drinko fiesta time.

The former mortuary at South Van Ness and 22nd Streets is freshly coated with a new paint job that seamlessly blends with the neighborhood. There’s nothing flashy about Urban Putt from the outside but as you step inside, you’re transported into a gadgety, steampunk world — a techie’s Disneyland.

The elaborate 14-hole golf course designed by the guys behind Mission Bowling Club can hold 40 golfers at a time, so expect a wait list as long as Nopa’s on a Friday night. Golfers start out at the Earthquake Hole where they navigate around Lotta’s Fountain and moving buildings into a fire hydrant hole. Expect kitschy San Francisco references scattered around the course: a Transamerica windmill, the Day of the Dead hole, and a robot hole built by the people from Make Magazine. Several other of our city’s landmarks also make an appearance.

While it's a tad cramped, the course’s beauty remains in the details. A lot of the course was built by Urban Putt’s in-house 3-D printing machine. With custom ironwork, wood designs, and digital features, there are many surprises! At the Music Hole, the golf ball is lifted 10 feet in the air and dropped down an elaborate chute bouncing on drums, tambourines, and xylophones before making its way back onto the turf. In the left corner is a dark room resembling something out of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The two-hole underwater course includes an LED-lit floor, a moving octopus, and an interactive submarine decked out in bells and whistles, levers, and buttons. 

If mini-golf isn’t for you, the building’s second floor is entirely dedicated to a different kind of sport: eating and drinking. The full bar and restaurant UP @ Urban Putt is run by chef Dane Boryta, formerly of Bottle Cap. The restaurant will serve up traditional Americana dishes that include burgers, pizza, salads, and desserts — basically what you’d find at any mini-golf course. Guests can eat at communal wooden picnic tables or private high tables. Other upstairs divertissements include skee ball and Caddyshack on repeat. Expect weekend brunch offerings in the near future, because what new restaurant is complete without the city's favorite weekend pasttime?

Urban Putt is basically every eight-year-old's birthday party dream. Pizza, ice cream, mini golf ... what more can a kid ask for? Moreover, later in the night, adults can have their own fun. No one under 21 will be admitted onto the course after 8pm. While the restaurant stops serving food at 11pm on weekends, drinking and golfing is available until 2am, and putters can sip drinks designed by the Bon Vivants  strong and tasty enough to decrease your chances of getting a hole in one. Pro-tip: the Duck Shooting hole is exceptionally difficult to master, even while sober. Fore!

Urban Putt

Mini-golf: Mon-Thu, 4pm-midnight; Fri, 4pm-2am; Sat, 10am-2am; Sun, 10am-midnight, $8-10

Restaurant: Sun-Thu, 5:30-10pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30-11pm

1096 South Van Ness, SF

(415) 341-1080



So long as people get to pay to have an authentic experience, that is all that counts!

Posted by marcos on May. 06, 2014 @ 6:14 am
Posted by Guest on May. 06, 2014 @ 6:43 am

And so is Cinco de Mayo. Except for the tasty food! But that's cultural appropriation. Which is racist.

Posted by Chromefields on May. 06, 2014 @ 5:55 am

I love it. Housing going up anywhere in Sf is the death knell of our local culture. But literally the most twee thing ever in existence in the mission should be a blast? Do you think Hispanic families in the mission will come here? How do you people live with yourself ?

Posted by Greg on May. 05, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

Yes, it's a proven fact that Hispanics hate mini golf.

Posted by Guest on May. 06, 2014 @ 10:11 am

I've decided to go easy on him since I'm sure he is feeling humiliated right now.

Posted by Guest on May. 06, 2014 @ 10:32 am
Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

stereotypes Hispanics as poor, grubby people who don't like entertainment or spending money on anything.

What next? Greg advocates more watermelon stands and friend chicken joints for Bayview?

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

I didn't write that comment. I have no idea what the poster is even trying to say. As far as I can tell, it sounds like someone more in line with your worldview than mine. Sounds like matlock actually, with his disjointed logic and non-sequiturs, but it's not his MO to imp people.

Posted by Greg on May. 05, 2014 @ 10:59 pm

has been busted. Claims there is another Greg here trying to discredit him.

Sorry, buddy, but you have stereotyped people far too much to duck your error on this one. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 11:13 pm

been busted. They can't find one single concrete example where I have *ever* used racial stereotypes, so they repeat the same lies over and over again hoping they'll stick.

Posted by Greg on May. 05, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

You claimed that this new establishment is undesirable because Hispanics families would not go there.

As if that matters.

Posted by Guest on May. 06, 2014 @ 6:41 am

As it turns out, I was at Campos's fundraiser at the Armory Club at the time the comment was written. And a delightful fundraiser it was! Very good turnout. This article wouldn't even be on my radar anyway.

But whatever. You're just trolling. I'm going to take a cue from marcos, who you also appear to have imped, and not spend anymore time on this. Because no one actually believes I would write that drivel, not even you. Shit, of course you know it wasn't me. You're the one who wrote it!

Posted by Greg on May. 06, 2014 @ 7:48 am

Sorry, but claiming that a business has no merit because non-whites won't go there is EXACTLY something you would say. Except that you realized later that it came across wrong and now you are covering your tracks.

I've not imp'ed anyone. No need.

Posted by Guest on May. 06, 2014 @ 8:01 am

I bet he's a blast at parties.

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

Is there anyone he doesn't hate?

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 9:54 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

It was late, and I was tired and emotional.

Posted by Greg on May. 06, 2014 @ 6:42 am

jiggle his moobs got you all hot and bothered Greg?

Posted by Guest on May. 06, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

For reals.

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

Sounds awesome, actually.

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

Then don't go.

For reals.

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

Mini golf sounds fun, then you do it and it is not, drinking doesn't even save it.

I'm not coming at this from a "I'm Greg and I'm a white liberal blabbering about race theory." I'm coming at it from the over priced food and drink doesn't make something ironic fun.

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

that they have no interest in?

You like it? Go. You don't like it? Don't go.

Either way, it's not a story. It's called choice. And fortunately we don't have a central communist committee deciding which stores and joints should open based on ideological desirability and purity, as Greg clearly wishes.

The market will decide if this places endures and prospers, or withers and dies.

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.