Puttshack, the world’s first and only upscale tech-infused mini golf experience featuring craft cocktails, local beers, and globally inspired dishes, announced the promotion of Ben Shepherd to serve as the company’s Chief Information and Technology Officer. Shepherd will lead Puttshack’s technology department forward and oversee all technical and business aspects of the company’s technology strategy. This role enhances Puttshack’s senior leadership team as the company readies for continued growth across the United States. Shepherd will report directly to Global President and CFO Logan Powell.
Shepherd transitions to his new role after being hired as Puttshack’s Executive Vice President of Software Engineering & Architecture two years ago– leading the development of Puttshack’s gaming software, as well as its information and cloud architecture. Since his beginnings at Puttshack, Shepherd has been instrumental in helping the company expand from two locations to nine, with two more expected to open their doors before the end of the year. Puttshack anticipates opening 8-10 additional venues throughout 2024.
In his new role, Shepherd will identify ways to optimize implementation of Puttshack’s technologies that set the company apart from all competitors by creating a seamless, intuitive guest experience. Puttshack has more than two million lines of proprietary code that drive its website, cloud, analytics, in-venue screens, and mini-golf game. In support of Puttshack’s plans for expansion across the U.S., Shepherd has led an evolving technology team in the creation of a new cloud foundation built on a container-based, streaming microservices architecture, further enabling Puttshack’s rapid growth.
“Puttshack’s proprietary cloud technology sets us above the rest of the industry, and I am ecstatic to work with our growing team as we continue to lead the competitive socializing sector,” says Shepherd. “Our use of technology as a key component in creating an unparalleled guest experience makes this an ideal opportunity to attract and build a top-level team to support our infrastructure as we grow rapidly.”
Puttshack’s cloud architecture powers a new booking experience, in-venue kiosks, and other applications, integrates Puttshack and third-party services, and feeds a central data lake house to enable real-time analysis and reporting from Puttshack venues. Shepherd and his team will build on various mini-golf innovations, enhancements, and new products, as well as the IT and technology structure to accelerate the opening of new venues nationwide.
“Since coming on board two years ago, Ben has cemented himself as an invaluable asset not only to our executive team, but to Puttshack as a whole, as we embark on ambitious growth plans,” says Puttshack Global President, Logan Powell. “We could not be more thrilled to make this announcement and strongly position ourselves for continued growth and success.”
Shepherd has amassed more than 25 years of experience in diverse leadership and technical roles in software engineering, hardware engineering, and IT for notable Fortune 500 companies like Hilton Worldwide and Lexmark International. Shepherd’s prior experience has helped ideally position him to lead Puttshack’s innovative technology strategies and offerings, highlighted by the company’s patented Trackaball technology– which allows for seamless mechanized scoring, bonus point opportunities, and interactive games at each hole. The Puttshack technology team will also continue its work on the company’s other groundbreaking software, enabling gameplay to be updated remotely and quickly, meaning guests can enjoy uninterrupted mini golf.