In 2006 my wife Kari and I, along with our two children Anthony and Sophia (5 & 3 at the time), moved to the Lake Norman area as part of a job transfer with Triton Trailer Corporation from Hartford, Wisconsin. Being an avid 4 season outdoor family we found no shortage of places to explore and fun things to do throughout the Southeast in our free time. It did not take long to recognize the fact that other than being on the lake, we were not spending much time locally entertaining ourselves as a family.

One mild weekend late in 2008 my wife Kari, suggested we find a place to play mini golf. A quick Google search revealed not much in the way of options, at least “locally”. My response to Kari was “there really is nothing in the area”. She responded “well then lets just build our own” and I laughed back “yeah right”. A week later I found myself scratching out a business plan that would later unfold into what is now Lake Norman Miniature Golf. I set out on a mission to create a place where residents and visitors to the area alike, could come and enjoy a fun, friendly, and safe environment. Something that would be a viable asset to the community.

Fast forward to 2017 and looking back, what started out as a “joke” between Kari and I, has become the fulfilment of pride in small business ownership. Our children, now 12 & 14 have grown up in the business and now play an active role in the operation. We take pride in giving back to our community through local organizations such as the Lions Club, Ada Jenkins, Charlotte Alzheimers Association, LKN Young Life Chapter, and various cancer research organizations (both local & national) that have had a direct impact on our family or those closely affiliated with some of our partners.

Lastly, about me, I mentioned earlier that we were an avid “4 season” outdoor family. The thing I miss the most about having moved to NC from WI, is my intense passion for winter. That’s right, deep snow and freezing cold temps. I built a 20 year sales career in and around my passion for snowmobiling. Moving to NC not only redirected the foundation of my career, but removed me from the winters I lived for. Part of the business plan development beconed the question to Kari, if we build Mini Golf, we will be committing ourselves to NC indefinitely, 3 out of 4 of us had no problem giving up winter and did not want to move “home”. So part of the motivation (and spousal agreement) for building LKN Mini Golf was to allow for more “free” time in the winter, and that is exactly what I have and of all the things that I enjoy about owning LKN Mini Golf is answering the question that is often asked by our customers “Kip, what do you do when you shut down in the winter?” My answer, “I go north and west to play in the snow!” and my utmost favorite response more often than not is “really? You do that on purpose?”

From my family to yours, thank you again for your interest in LKN Mini Golf, we hope you enjoy your visit with us.


Kip, Kari, Anthony, & Sophia Zent