Minigolf lies about its age
Strange articles have been popping up this week in U.S. newspapers about minigolf ‘turning 100’ this year. This would be news to the Ladies’ Putting Club of St Andrews, formed in 1867. But the U.S. news articles are probably referring to the first standardised, commercial mass-production minigolf courses, of which the first was built in Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1916. The first documented commercial minigolf course in mainland Europe inspired by the American phenomenon was built in Germany in 1926 by a Mr. Schröder, who had visited the USA and observed minigolf courses spreading across the country.
But minigolf goes further back than that. In June 1912 The Illustrated London News featured a minigolf game called Golfstacle, by F.A. Davis of London. Here’s a set auctioned a few years ago at Sotheby’s.
Our own take on minigolf sets has become pretty popular with the British public. Check out our courses and kits to buy or hire!
Looking further back to before the U.S. idea of commercialising and franchising minigolf, there was the Ladies’ Putting Club of St Andrews, formed in 1867 so that ladies could practice without taking the club back above their shoulder, which was deemed improper.
Anyway, happy 100th birthday to the fun and colourful American sport that gave us Putt-Putt, Tom Thumb, and ‘rinkie-dink’ courses made with drainpipes and other cheap stuff during the 1930s Depression. They can be credited with kicking off the whole thing by taking it from a casual weekend pursuit to a commercial phenomenon.
Minigolf: The Movie
To celebrate the 100th Birthday of minigolf, a feature film is being made called Through The Windmill. U.S.-centric (World Series, anyone?), it charts the history of American Minigolf and features copious footage of some of the best courses being played. Definitely worth checking out once it’s released later this year. Here’s a video from Producer/Director, Amanda Kulkoski.
Crazy golf croc shocker!
At Holiday Resort Unity at Brean Sands near Weston-Super-Mare, management received calls from concerned holidaymakers about a crocodile being spotted in a lake at the resort. Staff approached it cautiously and poked it with a stick, only to find that it was made of fibreglass. It turned out that pranksters had snaffled the croc from nearby Brean Leisure Park’s Congo Adventure crazy golf course and put it in the lake during the night.
The rigid reptile has been returned to its rightful place on the crazy golf course and slightly disappointed wildlife crews have now stood down.
Our obstacles are challenging, colourful and ridiculously easy to set out. Take a peek at them here.