Rich Lahey purchased Harris Miniature Golf Courses Inc. in 1988 with a vision for changing the industry.
Back then, miniature golf courses were mostly portable plywood tracks dominated by windmills and clown faces. Sales were dismal. Miniature golf, which hadn’t changed much for decades, had lost its appeal.
Rich believed beautifully landscaped courses with dramatic features, lots of curb appeal and plenty of challenge – not by putting windmills or barns in the way, but by building banked, undulating greens and holes with risks and rewards – would revive interest in miniature golf and bring profitability back to the industry.
“I could see it,” Rich recalls. “I’d drive by these flat plywood courses with the usual array of wooden obstacles, and there would be no one playing. Miniature golf is a really fun family game, but the courses were old and boring. I knew if we built more appealing and challenging courses, people of all ages would come.”
And come they did.
Over the ensuing decade, Rich’s vision led a revolution in miniature golf, leading the industry to build more elaborate courses than ever before and causing profits to soar. Now, instead of charging $2 a game, course owners could charge $4 or $5 and people would pay it. Today, the average price of a round of miniature golf is $8. Rich was hailed by The New York Times as the man who reinvented miniature golf. Today, the industry boasts more than $1 billion in annual revenues and has minted more than its share of millionaire course owners. See how much you could make with our mini golf revenue calculator.
Based on Rich’s vision and decades of experience in building courses around the world, we rely on water features and beautiful landscaping to create fun and inviting spaces. The delicate contours, slopes, and undulations of our greens reward players for a good putt while not overly penalizing a poor effort. At Harris, we believe the key to success is building courses that are interesting and fun to play with just enough challenge to make players want to come back and play again.
Rich and the team at Harris also pioneered the concept of the 36-hole course. Having two 18-hole courses can be key to promoting repeat business and profitability. Two courses not only create more choices and challenges for players, they provide the capacity necessary to accommodate large crowds on summer evenings and weekends. Long lines at overcrowded single courses can reduce profits and drive customers away. Having the second course also allows owners to host groups without having to turn away walk-in customers – a key to midweek profitability.
At Harris, we know that a well-designed and well-built course will produce repeat business year after year. A poorly designed course will quickly become boring and frustrating, and repeat business will drop off. We also know that some of the best design ideas occur during construction, as the course is taking shape. All on-site changes are made with the customer’s approval and without additional charge. Get a brochure today about all our mini golf services!
All of our projects are covered by the Harris 110% Guarantee, which means Rich and the team will always go the extra mile to make sure your project is as good as it can possibly be.
“At Harris Miniature Golf, we always give our customers the full measure of our talents,” Rich says. “We feel it is the little things that make the difference between a good job and a great job. The courses we build not only meet but exceed customers’ expectations. We finish projects on time and on budget. When we give you a price, we stick to it.”