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Rising Stars: Meet A Couple of Putts


Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman.

Hi Tom & Robin, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Hello! We are Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman, and together, we go by A Couple of Putts. We are a Minneapolis-based dynamic mini golf duo who has played over 400 different mini golf courses in 25 states and 5 countries. It all really began as kids; we both enjoyed playing mini golf with our families. As adults, we had our first date at Big Stone Mini Golf in Mound, MN back in September 2011. After that, we kept dating and playing mini golf together. The more we played, the more we realized the lack of resources that were available to find information on the variety of mini golf courses that exist or have existed around the world. So, we decided to start our mini-golf review website (acoupleofputts.com) as an excuse to document courses and to share our love of the game. Seven years after that first date, we got married at Big Stone Mini Golf. 

Shortly after starting the website, our newfound expertise, in combination with Robin’s art background, led us to the next step of the building and designing unique mini golf holes around the world. We’ve designed holes for courses at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Tasmeem Doha Festival in Qatar, Newfield’s (formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art), the Elmhurst Art Museum outside of Chicago, Sparkle City Mini Putt in Spartanburg, SC and various private clients. We’ve also consulted on mini golf design with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the Seattle Art Museum, and Bull City Mini in Durham, NC. We also give talks on and host mini golf design/build workshops. 

In the last few years, we also started to take on the competitive side of the game, playing (and sometimes placing) in tournaments around the country as well as in a local league. You may have even seen us compete as contestants back in 2019 on Season 1 of ABC’s hit primetime mini golf competition show, “Holey Moley”. We are also two of the six founders of the American Mini Golf Alliance (AMA), which is a new group that partners with tournaments across the country and provides members with national rankings. 

With everything we do, we bring a passion for and excitement to the game. We truly believe that Mini Golf is for Everyone! 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When we started A Couple of Putts, we did it out of our love for the game. We never anticipated the travels it would take us on, the projects we’d get to be a part of or the amazing people we’d meet along the way. We’ve stayed consistent in publishing course reviews, pushed ourselves to document at a higher level, have grown the design and consultation side of the endeavor, and have connected with other mini golf enthusiasts around the world. And to this day, A Couple of Putts is still a side passion project. We both have full-time day jobs and other hobbies. Sometimes the biggest challenge is juggling it all. We currently have two courses to design, one tournament to run and a backlog of at least 50 reviews to get to! 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Tom is the founder and co-owner of Modern Radio, a Minneapolis-based independent / DIY record label. Since 1999, he has released and promoted records by notable artists including Mirah, Yellow Swans, Deer hoof, Motion City Soundtrack, STNNNG, and Vampire Hands. Tom is deeply involved in the Minnesota creative, arts, music, and civically engaged community professionally in work with the Pollen Midwest.

Robin is an award-winning artist who creates a wide range of playful and immersive art experiences. Her work is inspired by leisure culture and themed environments ranging from fairs and amusement parks to playgrounds and miniature golf courses. She runs the University of Minnesota Department of Art’s XYZ Digital Fabrication Lab and teaches 3D Modeling and Digital Fabrication. She is also a professional caricature artist and Vice President of the International Society of Caricature Artists.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
For us, it’s really about our collective passion for all aspects of the game of mini golf. From research and playing to design and fabrication. From participating in leagues and running tournaments to understanding the business side of running a course, we come at mini golf with a broad range of perspectives. We love to highlight the game and the community involved in the mini golf world. 

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