Putt-Putt Museum

Jason Dick
Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:01am

If you’re up for a round of mini-golf but the AstroTurf and pirate-laden grounds of Ocean City, Md., are not in the cards anytime soon, the National Building Museum has a course for you.

That’s right. The museum that tells “the stories of architecture, engineering and design” has a new interactive exhibit that comes in the form of a putt-putt course. Best of all — especially in the summer heat — it’s indoors!

This is one of those particularly harmonic convergences of sport (sort of) and intellectual pursuit, as the museum folks extol the golf course’s 12-hole design by a variety of all-star urban planners, architects, landscape designers and the like.

The museum folks seem pretty excited about this, and considering the paucity of goofy golf in the Capitol Hill area (H Street Country Club being the notable exception), they can probably expect banner crowds.

And it sounds like they are in store for some pretty cool architectural interaction, with “a number of toy windmills from the Museum’s Architectural Toy Collection” set up as obstacles and “a custom mural by the Museum’s senior graphic designer,” according to the museum’s tout sheet.

Guaranteeing the attendance of some of the young and tragically hip, there’s even trivia, as the designers promise that “visitors’ knowledge of the history of mini-golf will be tested with fun facts sprinkled throughout the course.”

It reminds HOH of the sadly under-read novel “The Wrong Doyle” by D.C.-area author Robert Girardi. For those of you unversed in this should-be-a-classic, it’s the story of Tim Doyle, the descendant of pirates, who inherits a run-down mini-golf course on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. There are pirates, drugs, sex, Irish gangsters, femmes fatale, lots of drinking, human trafficking, ultra-violence, zealous federal agents and maybe even buried treasure. And a possum.

Perfect reading while you wait for the museum golf course/intellectual pursuit’s July 4 opening date. It will run through Labor Day.

It’s for ages 4 and older, but good luck muscling aside fun-seeking grown-ups, kids.