By Brian Biggane
As PopStroke golf opens new facilities around Florida, from Port St. Lucie to Fort Myers to Sarasota to Orlando, the obvious question is: What is PopStroke, anyway?
Tim Glita, operations manager of the Delray Beach PopStroke, which plans to open the week of Nov. 6, explained.
“It’s a mini-golf experience, but not your traditional miniature golf,” Glita said of the 36-hole layout on Federal Highway just north of George Bush Boulevard.
“Traditional mini-golf features clowns’ mouths, lighthouses, alligators and windmills, all that fun stuff,” Glita said. “We look for a real-life putting experience, something you see on a traditional 18-hole golf course. Our courses are designed by Tiger Woods’ company, TGR Design. It’s a unique putting experience at every course.”
PopStroke is the brainchild of Jupiter businessman Greg Bartoli, who founded the company in 2019 and got a big boost when Woods signed on as a partner in the fall of that year. Manufacturer Taylor Made came aboard a year ago, and another notable addition is consultant Ken Kennerly, former longtime executive director of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens.
The two 18-hole courses in Delray Beach are intertwined yet different. The Black course is a bit easier and ADA accessible, meaning it can be navigated by strollers and wheelchairs. The Blue course features more sloped greens. Greens are artificial turf, with the rough slightly taller and sand traps painted white.
Only putters are allowed.
“They’re all a combination of 36 unique putting holes, so every PopStroke has a different experience,” Glita said. Delray will be the sixth such facility in Florida; Port St. Lucie was the first to open about a year ago and Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa/Wesley Chapel and Orlando have followed.
And each has more than golf. A restaurant and full-service sports bar overlook the courses, offering everything from burgers to local craft beers and cocktails. Ice cream will be available in the pro shop. Another bar sits among the courses so patrons can order drinks and food from their phones. The tees have cup holders, and misters will be in operation during summer play.
There’s also a gaming area featuring foosball, table tennis and cornhole.
Glita said pricing has yet to be determined in Delray Beach but the Port St. Lucie venue charges $20 per person for the whole day with $16 for seniors over 60 and military, active or retired. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 9 a.m. to midnight Thursday to Saturday, with parking available for up to 100 cars and valet service available.
The facility is about a half-mile north of the mini-course Putt’N Around, which has been in business 13 years. Manager Kaylee King said ownership endorsed the new project when it came before the city. “Our owner is very pro-Delray,” King said. “The feeling was what’s good for Delray is good for us.
“It’s different. It’s date-night, partying, while we’re kind of low-key, family-oriented, we decorate for the holidays. I’m kind of excited for it. They might hurt us the first few months, but they’re pretty different.”
Three PopStrokes have opened in other states — one in Katy, Texas, and two in the Phoenix area — and Glita said plans are to open eight to 10 more every year going forward.
One of those is set for Wellington next year and another in mid-to-late 2024 in West Palm Beach near the airport, which Glita said will be the flagship for the company.
“That will be two stories, with five bars, multiple dining facilities, a playground, VIP lounge on the second floor, and party and event space for up to 200,” he said. “We’re based in Jupiter so that will be the closest to us.”
For more information, see https://popstroke.com/delray-beach-fl/