Article Interview - Playmeter Magazine
Article and Interview in June 2010 Issue of Play Meter Magazine
Arne Lundmark, President of Adventure golf Services, has spent 35 years in the miniature golf industry; first as Owner/Operator of a miniature golf course and fun center/tourist park called Arnie’s Funland in Traverse City, Mich., in1975.
Lundmark said, “It was actually a family entertainment center (FEC) although the term had not been coined yet. I started visiting other miniature golf operations and attending the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo.”
Lundmark went on to start the first miniature golf and entertainment center committee in IAAPA, and become Chairman.
“FEC’s are focusing on how to keep guests in their facilities longer. Miniature golf helps accomplish that goal.”
Around the same time he formed Adventure Golf Services to build courses. For Lundmark, the secret to longevity of miniature golf is simple:
“It’s a passive family recreation activity that everyone can do, and it’s fun. It also rewards little children for a good shot in the same manner as it does for an adult. A child or grandchild can beat an adult, and that makes it interesting for the family.”
He continued, “FEC’s are focusing on how to keep guests in their facilities longer. Miniature golf helps accomplish that goal because it requires 45 minutes to one hour to complete a course. As a bonus, miniature golf helps boost food and beverage sales, which improves per capita spending levels.”
How has the recession affected miniature golf? Lundmark said, “Everyone is concerned about the economy. Typically from my experience over the years, the leisure industry tends to precede economic improvement in the U.S. We’re seeing signs that there is more interest right now then two years ago. Money is still tight for people developing facilities, which is another issue, but it looks like it is going to get better for our industry.”
He continued, “There are still a lot of people who want to build miniature golf courses in the U.S. and all over the world. We have several under construction right now.”
In the past four years Adventure Golf Services has diversified. The company now produces miniature golf courses with a patented system. It has introduced three models of modular, portable and putting miniature golf courses that replicate the company’s larger courses. The modular units debuted at the National Recreation and Parks annual trade show in fall 2009.
The models are: 1) TheLawnCourt, which accommodates not only putting, but also Bocce ball, croquet, lawn bowling, optional shuffleboard and other games on one modular game court system. 2)TheGolfCourt, which fits into a Tennis court space and makes golf accessible to all age groups and abilities by offering multiple driving stations, a contoured putting area and retractable safety separators. 3) AnyWhereLinks, which answers the need for larger, pre-fabricated miniature golf courses with more square feet of playing surface at a lower cost.
TheLawnCourt is ideal for parks and recreation centers, hotels and resorts, senior living centers, summer camps, children’s museums and multiple dwelling units.
TheGolfCourt is suitable for municipalities, resorts, military installations and to convert under-utilized tennis courts to a new use. It also works well for FEC’s and inner cities where people want to learn golf but can’t due to the cost.
AnyWhereLinks is available at three price points and all three courses use an interlocking panel system as the foundation with a mix of molded edges and artificial rocks to keep the ball in play. Standard optional props are available as well.
Lundmark mentioned one way to integrate miniature golf into an FEC: “Everyone wants to capture a ball on the last hole. Connect the landing of the ball to a special effect for a free game, or issue redemption tickets to be used in the FEC. Have different values for different shots.”