Order a cocktail between putts, enjoy an ice cream on a sunny terrace… we are not in Florida, but in Mirabel, at Génération Golf’s new luxury mini-putt.
The prejudices around the miniputt are tenacious, but we are far here from the “pranks and traps” of the Rigolfeur or the lands along the highway which were the scene of the many birdies of Carl Carmoni at the turn of the 1990s.
The state-of-the-art course is more like the miniputt centers whose luxurious facilities have been all the rage in the American South for the past few years.
In addition to the restaurant-bar and the many entertainment areas that adjoin the course, the fake palm trees and the artificial turf sand traps that dot the 18 holes of Mirabel are unmistakably reminiscent of those of the Popstroke branches, designed by the Tiger Woods design team. to look like real terrain.
Two of the co-owners of the Quebec mill, Benoît Bastien and his friend Pierre Quennesson, were already thinking about the concept of a “mega putting green” when they noticed the new concept proposed by the American company. They confirm that these centers served as their inspiration for the future.
The two friends “designed the land” themselves, even though it was “not [their] job”, because “no one had the expertise for the design”. The owners claim to have spent many hours perfecting the recipe to make the artificial turf look as much like a real green as possible.
The author of these lines was able to see for himself the varied levels of difficulty of the course. Two strokes were needed to complete the first hole, but two balls ended up in the bunker of the “signature hole”, the thirteenth. The greens were slightly “faster” than a real course.
The co-owner has already been able to observe a wide variety of profiles among the customers who have walked the grounds since it opened last Friday, ranging from professionals to small families, including couples.
Beyond golf, Benoît Bastien wants the concept to “simply share a good time around golf”.
Benoît Bastien and Pierre Quennesson arrived from France about ten years ago. Both men still have full-time jobs that aren’t in the golf business, but are keen on the sport.
The idea of creating a golf-related business came about after a lesson with Antoine St-Jean, a pro who also coaches the McGill University golf team. He later became the third member of the Génération Golf team.
This partnership led to the creation of Génération Golf’s indoor centers, initially designed to give high-level Quebec golfers an option to train in the winter. There are many state-of-the-art simulators and a large practice green. The one located in Mirabel now hosts the miniputt on its roof, which thus expands the company’s offer.
While business partners are currently taking advantage of the golf craze, they were worried at the start of the pandemic, those who had opened their indoor centers in 2019 and 2020. They were quickly reassured, because at the peak of the restrictions sanitary facilities, golf was one of the few permitted activities, which attracted many new players.
Among these new followers, Benoît Bastien estimates that “20% to 25% have remained” since the end of the restrictions, which allows businesses in the field of golf to make “hallucinating” turnover.