Putt-Putt Golf holds a place of special nostalgia for millions of Americans, particularly baby boomers and Gen Xers who spent summers on the 18-hole miniature golf courses navigating obstacles and competing to stay on par.
The company started in 1954—with its heyday in the '60s and '70s—and grew to more than 300 locations and emerged as a household name. As the only branded miniature golf firm in the world, Putt-Putt secured copyrights on everything from the obstacles to the type of green carpet used on its courses.
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In the '80s and '90s, things began to change. Interest in miniature golf declined, and the large properties needed to accommodate miniature golf forced the closure of many locations.
"The model of the '50s and '60s no longer works in the 21st century," said Putt-Putt CEO David Callahan. Callahan, a Fayetteville native, bought the company in 2004 with the goal of restoring Putt-Putt's image and creating a new franchise model that's profitable.