If the phrase “mini golf” makes you think of spinning windmills that have seen better days, tattered astroturf and squinting to putt under the blazing hot sun, think again. Shipwrecked Miniature Golf, a brand new, massive, high-concept course just docked in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and it could very well become a go-to for stormy weather fun, school break activities and birthday parties. Come aboard, they’re expecting you!
photo: Shipwrecked Miniature Golf
No matter how you look at it, Shipwrecked Miniature Golf has been in the works for a long time. Partners Ryan Powers and Chris Schneider dreamed up the idea way back in college as students at Youngstown State University in Ohio. The two forged careers in theatrical production (Powers in sound design, and Schneider in scenic and prop design), became working professionals in New York, and started families here. When looking for things to do with their kids, the old pirate miniature golf idea resurfaced, and entering the Brooklyn Public Library’s business plan competition (twice) was just the thing to make the pair finally articulate their vision. (They were recognized with Merit Awards both times.)
After about a year of production, Shipwrecked Miniature Golf is now a reality. (The biz held a soft launch on April 23; the grand opening will take place on May 14, which incidentally, is National Miniature Gold Day.)
Taking up much of the second floor, sprawling 11,000-square-foot space, the Shipwrecked Miniature Golf course is clearly a labor of love, with high quality results. Powers and Schneider obviously brought all of their theater production skills to bear to create a multi-zoned, atmospherically-lit, fun (and silly) mini golf experience.
From the moment you enter the space, you’re immersed in a playful environment with a Treasure Island flair. At the front desk you pick up your clubs and balls, as well as a scorecard; you can also download a free Shipwrecked Mini Golf scoring app if you like. First time visitors will want to purchase a bag of tokens ($5 for six) to feed several interactive stations which explain the narrative of the course along the route. This is truly next-level mini golf; the fabrications involve video, lighting effects, water jets, LED displays and massive set pieces — as well as lots of NYC-inspired jokes and (be warned) intentionally groan-worthy puns.
As you make your way through the course, around every turn is a new environment, inspired by Shipwrecked’s overarching narrative (i.e., there’s an “underwater” zone, a cave zone, etc.) The final treasure (spoiler alert!) is none other than the borough of Brooklyn, a zone with murals of the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island and other landmarks. The final hole — where you deposit your ball in a Metrocard machine — is a impressively realistic subway car, complete with Dr. Zizmor subway ad parodies. (We told you: these guys are serious.)
Party on the High Seas
Shipwrecked is ready to hold your next birthday bash in one of its three events spaces, which can also be combined to accommodate the biggest of celebrations. A sliding chalkboard wall divides the primary, larger party space, and it’s ready to be covered in a special “Happy Birthday” message or doodled on by little revelers.
Rates for parties, which include mini golf, decorations, a party host, a gift for the guest of honor and a coupon for all attendees to come back and play for free start at $349 for 10 people, with each additional guest $15. Food can be purchased as an add-on; Shipwrecked is working with nearby vendors to source pizza, cakes of all kinds (including vegan and gluten-free options from Red Hook’s Whipped) and more. thanks to Powers’ deep contacts in the magic and production world, ace balloon artists, magicians, face-painters and more can be booked for additional entertainment options.
While Shipwrecked doesn’t sell food (there’s a snack bar with munchies, water, juice, etc.), there’s a spot to enjoy a drink and a bag of chips, that’s also outfitted with a video game arcade loaded with the best of 80s games such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Dig-Dug, Frogger, etc. that you can play for a quarter.
Eleven thousand square feet doesn’t come cheap in New York City, so Shipwrecked Miniature Golf is a little out of the way. Its website says you can take the F/G train to Smith and Ninth and walk down Court St. from there and you can, but it’s a bit of a hike in an industrial area.
However, the always active soccer fields in Red Hook are right across the street, and you can see Ikea Red Hook just past them. (A full day of Fairway, Ikea and mini golf would tire everybody out!)
Shipwrecked Miniature Golf
Sun.- Thurs. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Tickets: 13 and up: 14; senior/military: $12; kids 2 – 12: $10, kids under 2: free
621 Court St. , 2nd Fl.
Do you have a favorite mini golf course in the city? Tell us in the comments below!