The Mini Golf Enthusiast

A Mini Blog About a Mini Sport

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Table Top Mini Golf

Challenged by the cost of developong a full-scale indoor mini golf course, Scott and Andrea Davis who run Bubba's Family Fun Center in Richmond, MI (north-northeast of Detroit) decided to create a more cost-effective alternative, table top mini golf. The Macomb Daily reports that:

Tabletop golf at Bubba's is played on modular tables about three feet above the ground, covered in artificial turf. You hit the balls with one of three swing-arm pendulum "clubs:" the driver (red), fairway (white) and putter (blue). The driver, the heaviest of the three, remains stationary at the beginning of each hole, but the other two can be moved.

There are also a few obstacles to increase the difficulty of each hole, such as a bump in the green or a board with a hole in it across the fairway. Davis intends to add more, including water hazards.

For those who want a novel challenge or who have back injuries or strain this offers an interesting alternative to traditional mini golf. If you live in or find yourself in the Detroit area, you may just want to test your skills.

Image: miscpix

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Holiday Break Mini Golf Crafts

Winter break is just about upon us and for those who have children, it means finding worthwhile entertainment and distractions. Why not combine the thrill of mini golf with a skills-building creativity outlet by making your own course? It need not be the elaborate 18-hole basement golf course built as a Christmas present I wrote about in October. Most of the course ideas I found use basic items found around the home or in some cases, outside the home. You do not need to worry about having golf clubs either, several of the sites included below offer their own suggestions for club replacements.

Snow golf from

Just because it is winter, that shouldn't stop those of us who live in the cold climes from enjoying a little outdoor golfing fun. We are hearty right? presents an intriguing idea - making your own winter wonderland course outdoors in the snow by packing it down to simulate putting greens. I am not too keen on the use of food dye to color snow, but the idea certainly sounds fun. Use a broom or a hocky stick as a putter and tap your imagination to create snow-based or object-based obstacles. Of course, this idea requires snow. But fret not, the folks at, also have course ideas for those living in warmer environments who don't mind destroying their yards with holes. They suggest digging holes in the ground with trowels and then placing small flower pots in them to create golf holes.

If digging in the dirt or braving cold temperatures do not sound appealing, there are plenty of indoor golf ideas. Highlights, the children's magazine, has a suggestion for teachers that could easily translate to the home, hosting a children's mini golf party. They provide ideas for invitations, mini golf activities, and even mini golf-themed snacks!

For those of you feeling tempted by the allure of paint, shares ideas for a Safari-themed indoor course, including a clever suggestions for creating "holes" using construction paper and a juice can lid and making golf balls from aluminum foil. Additional inspiration may be found in the "Activity Library" at Creative Kids that lists some ideas for DIY indoor golf. Another source of ideas may be found at the Science Museum of Minnesota where children documented the development of their own course.

Safari golf from

Once you create your course, having coordinating golf balls is a finishing touch. shares a super easy and quick ball painting activity or if the children are old enough they can paint their own elaborate designs on the balls.

These projects prove that mini golfing isn't just for summer anymore.


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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Miss Putt Putt - Mini Golf and Beauty

Hole-in-one contests. Okay, that makes sense. Mini golf tournament. Nothing too special about that. Beauty contest, woah, wait a minute, beauty contest? Mini golf and beauty pageants, beauty pageants and mini golf, who knew these two seemingly incongruous worlds ever met?

Will the real Miss Putt Putt please stand up?

A nostalga/history column in Missssippi's Sun Herald recently feaured a flashback to Miss Putt Putt 1958. Yes, that is right, the Putt Putt family of mini golf establishments sponsored national events including a beauty contest. The winner received $500 (not too shabby) and a free trip across the U.S. What, no free mini golf or putter? I guess you could use your winnings to buy all the mini golf one could handle. I wonder what shape the tiara took. The jokes to be made here are just too easy. The article offers no specific information on the requirements of the contest. Did young women have to navigate the course in outrageously large ballgowns? Were they required to answer interview questions related to their favorite golf hole or their best score?

Unfortunately, for now, this must remain a mystery, but we certainly can have some fun speculating.

Image: mhofstrand

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Mini Golf Game of the Month - Holiday Mini Putt

Don't let the basic graphics fool you, this twelve-hole course, simply called Holiday Mini Putt, packs in the fun. Don't let the name fool you either, the holiday theme is pretty much limited to the names of the golf holes (cleverly inspired by the "Twelve Days of Christmas") and graphics between the holes updating the score, but it nonetheless is a worthwhile distraction from holiday chores and stresses. At the end of the game, you are given the option of spreading the fun to others via email.

Happy Holidays!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Golf For All

Kiel Christianson at blogs shares an inspirational mini golf story. Erich Sollenberger, a high school teacher in Metairie, Louisiana who heads the school's Horitculture Club, worked with his club (itself comprised of severely autistic children) to create a mini golf course for paralyzed kids. Mr. Sollenberger remarks:
'I have had many speaking engagements...and I can tell you that the audiences are confused about kids with broken necks playing [miniature golf]. [Then] I pull out an electric putter that fits onto a wheelchair, and I get big fat smiles all around. That's when they start to get it.'

'The putter has an up and down mechanism run by a battery. The battery lifts the putter over the pavers that outline the course. [The player] lifts the putter by a toggle switch near his thumb and chest. Each person that uses the putter will be different and we will have to adjust. Once the wheelchair bound person gets to the ball he runs into the ball to propel it forward.'

He reports that the putter is one of a kind engineered by biomedical engineers at Tulane University; it will fit on any kind of wheelchair and can be operated by individuals who have paralysis from the neck down.

The course has nine holes and still is a work in progress. If you would like to donate to this project you can contact Mr. Sollenberger at 504-888-7334 at Grace King High School.

Image: jaarons

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Preserving Golf

Last month, western New York's Landmark Society handed out awards for achievements in preservation excellence. One of the unlikely recepients was the Parkside Whispering Pines Mini Golf Course in Irondequoit, NY.

"Old school" golf gets its recognition at the Parkside Whispering Pines Course

It has the distinction of being the first mini golf course added to the National Register of Historic Places and perhaps (there seems to be a bit of disagreement about this as Geneva-on-the-Lake Mini Golf in Ohio claims to it started operations in 1924) the oldest course remaining in the U.S. having opened in 1929. At that time, the course used crushed rock, which needed to be groomed several times a day, as its putting surface. Created before the days of gargantuan fiberglass replicas of people, places, and things the course emphasizes challenges based on shifting topography and excellent putting skills, providing a glimpse into mini golf's glorious hey day.

Now the question is, when will the stupendous object-based courses, the ones which some unfortunately suggest relegate mini golf into the laughable annals of worthless pastimes, be taken seriously as they become replaced with boring mini-big-golf putting greens. Only time will tell.

Image: agility nut

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