PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida — Tiger Woods has a new golf venture. Woods and PopStroke, a company based in his hometown of Jupiter, FL., announced a partnership agreement 13 months ago, and it seems a fine fit after making a visit to its first facility.
There is a tendency to think of PopStroke as a souped up version of miniature golf. It’s a lot more than that.
The first PopStroke facility is in this south Florida community located near PGA Golf Club, the designated “Winter Home of the PGA of America.’’ PopStroke consists of two 18-hole “miniature’’ courses – the Kahn Preserve and the Jackson Trap – so named because the designer’s name is Jackson Kahn. Both have artificial turf putting surfaces.The Kahn course is for beginners and is wheelchair and stroller accessible. While it’s the easier of the courses, it’s no creampuff.
By comparison the Jackson is more challenging with its 36 bunkers, false fronts and severe breaks on the greens. All that aside, PopStroke is less about competition and more about pure fun. Just don’t expect that you’ll be putting into the “clown’s mouth.’’ None of the features on the more traditional miniature courses are present at PopStroke with the exception of the last putt. You don’t pick up the ball when you putt out. It rolls down a pipe directly back to the reception desk.
The ambience is pleasant on the courses, to say the least. Attractive landscaping provides the look of a real golf course, but in a miniature version. There’s lights for night-time play (the facility is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week) and there’s also equipment available for indoor activities in the event of bad weather.
Again, though, there’s lots more to PopStroke than “miniature’’ golf. The course has a jumbotron, which can be used for scoring as well as watching televised sports events. Twelve TVs are available throughout the facility, which also includes three golf simulators and a sports bar with full service dining available.
Woods, who lives in Jupiter – about 30 miles south of the first PopStroke — and has a restaurant in that town, announced his partnership in PopStroke on Oct. 10 of 2019. The board of directors also includes PopStroke founder Greg Bartoli and Peter Bevacqua, president of NBC Sports and former chief executive officer of the PGA of America.
Tiger merchandise is available in the welcome center and he’s pictured on the PopStroke website, so his involvement is more than in name only.
“Some of my happiest memories are spending time with my pops on the golf course having putting contests,’’ Woods said after his involvement was announced. “I’m looking forward to others enjoying time with their kids at PopStroke.’’
Port St. Lucie has the first one. The second opened in Fort Myers, FL., on Aug. 25 and a third is expected to open in Scottsdale, Ariz., sometime in 2021.