British Minigolf Association’s season reaches its climax
On Sunday the 6th of December at Star City, Birmingham, Michael Smith became four-time winner of the BGMA’s stroke play season with a 10,837-point win at the Star City Open. Paul Johnson tied with Smith for most aces in a row, both on 5. The final scoreboard can be seen on the BMGA’s Order of Merit page. The Season Only Rankings shield was won by Andy Wilde of the Sussex Wasps Minigolf Club.
Fresh from winning the World Crazy Golf Championships held at Hastings in October, Smith set a Star City course record of 27 in round 1 and equalled it in round 2.
Star City is home to Adventure Island, an indoor mini golf complex with two themed 18-hole courses built across multiple levels and surrounded by waterfalls, volcanoes and Tiki villages. A list of all tournament-standard minigolf courses in the UK is available here. The BMGA offers Tour Pro membership for £30 per season, which includes discounted pre-tournament practice rates at venues on the tour calendar.
Mini golf has a worldwide following. 47 countries have a national association for the sport, and all are governed by the World Minigolf Sport Federation based in Gothenburg, Sweden. It approves courses worldwide as fit for tournaments. A popular recent addition to the mini golf universe is indoor glow-in-the-dark courses for indoor use in countries with inclement weather.
So far, nobody has declared themselves a professional mini golf player in the sense that they earn a living from competing. But some of the best do earn a living from mini golf-related work, such as coaching golfers in putting skills. Most keen UK minigolfers play for the honour of winning at what can, at the highest level, be a tough competitive sport.