The wild greens of Urban Putt in San Francisco — Photo courtesy of Urban Putt
Most visitors to San Francisco leave with one complaint: there's too much to do in this compact, lively, seven-by-seven square miles of city. For those visitors who are overwhelmed by all the options, Urban Putt in the vibrant Mission District offers a fun overview of what the "City by the Bay" has to offer. This unique, tech-inspired, 14-hole indoor golf course features many of the city's best attractions.
Don't have time to take a tour bus to the famous Painted Ladies? Can't quite squeeze in a trip to the Transamerica Pyramid Center downtown? Or did you wish you scheduled your vacation during the wild Day of the Dead celebrations in the Mission?
TransAmerican building on the Urban Putt course — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
Don't worry - you can catch all of these unique San Francisco experiences - in miniature - at Urban Putt.
Urban Putt opens at 4 p.m. on weekdays, 11 a.m. on weekends; a round of golf for adults is $12 and just $8 for kids five through 12. Besides the mesmerizing, hand-crafted course exhibits, Urban Putt has a full restaurant and bar in case you need that break on the back seven.
UP Restaurant — Photo courtesy of Urban Putt
The bar bites menu is available all day, and the full restaurant upstairs opens at 5:30 p.m. Fried chicken and waffle skewers highlight the bar bites menu, and the sea scallops and white prawns in almond romesco sauce with sides of garlic lemon / herb potatoes and sugar snap peas is a favorite on the dinner menu.
Urban Putt Bar — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
The mastermind behind this amazing, $2 million renovation of a downtrodden Victorian mortuary is Steve Fox, CEO and chief greenskeeper of Urban Putt. He and his wife Leslie Crawford began hosting highly successful miniature golf benefits in their house in 1993, which ultimately led to Fox’s decision to follow his heart and create Urban Putt.
"We want our guests to experience Urban Putt with all of their senses," Fox explains. "Urban Putt has the classic, cyberpunk feel of 19th-century technology, but it's running on 21st-century know-how."
Day of the Dead on the Urban Putt course — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
Fox's favorite hole is #10, which features an "Archimedes' Screw," a 2,000-year-old device for carrying water. Even the most serious putt-putter will relax his club and gawk in wonder at Hole #10, an intricate system that will lift, drop and roll a golfer's ball with delightful precision.
"It's fair to say that Rube Goldberg is the patron saint of Urban Putt," Fox confesses.
If the winter rains have put a damper on your San Francisco plans, or if that summer fog is chillier than you expected, duck into Urban Putt for 14 holes of golf you'll never forget.
Three Sisters of San Francisco on the Urban Putt course — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy