It's finally here and I couldn't be more excited! it's been a crazy busy week for me and I'm looking forward to spending a little downtime with my best buddies. I've been golfing a few times...I'm not very good....but my friends want to go play miniature a golf and it'll be fun to see if I'm any better at the smaller version. I don't know much about miniature golf so I looked it up and it actually has an interesting history. Here's what I found out in a few fun facts.
1. Miniature golf is also called mini golf and putt-putt golf.
2. The Ladies Putting Club in Saint Andrews, Scotland is considered the very first miniature golf course. It was built for practical purposes in 1867 because it was considered unacceptable for women to swing a golf club past their shoulders. No, they didn't have any windmill or loop-the-loop obstacles on their course, but it was considered then, and still remains, one of the most prestigious mini golf courses anywhere to be found.
3. All of the early miniature golf courses fell into a few general categories; a) Pitch 'n Putt, b) regulation par-3, and c) the executive. All of them used a short driver along with a putter. They used the same design as the larger courses; sand traps, ponds, hills, and trees. "In 1916, James Barber designed a miniature golf course in North Carolina called "Thistle Dhu." The course was compact and featured a classical design, with fountains, gardens, and geometrically-designed walkway patterns. In 1926, a few innovative designers created miniature golf courses on the roof of a New York City skyscraper, and other buildings followed suit—around 150 rooftop courses were in existence by the end of the decade in just New York alone."
4. By the time the Great Depression hit, the smaller yet classic miniature golf courses were too expensive for most people to afford. So cheaper "rinkie-dink" courses began popping up. These new cheap courses featured obstacles like tires, rain gutters, barrels, and even pipes. It didn't take long for these crazy obstacles to become so popular that they became a "regular feature" in courses all over the United States.
5. In 1929, the Tom Thumb Golf franchise was started and soon mini golf franchises were everywhere. By the 1930's Tom Thumb accounted for 25% of all the miniature golf courses in the US. The Tom Thumb courses featured many hazards that were built by their workers in what was called their "fantasy factory."
6. By the end of the 1930's, over 4 million people in just the US, were playing miniature golf.
7. By 1953, there was a mini golf revolution. Don Clayton, the founder of the Putt-Putt Golf and Games became an advocate for miniature golf as a serious sport. He was sick of the "trick shots" and designed a "back to basics" course with no zany obstacles. Players used only a putter. His vision, however, didn't catch on.
8. In 1955, Al Lomma of Lomma Enterprises ushered in the era of mechanically animated obstacles like the rotating windmill blades, twisting statues, and moving ramps. This trend stayed around for decades.
9. By the end of the 1990's, country-club style miniature golf courses began to make a comeback, thanks in part to the interest of well-known celebrity golfers like Jack Nicklaus.
10. Today, miniature golf competitions are played on courses with zany obstacles like castles and windmills, as well as on tiny replicas of famous greens that feature the same sand and water traps of the courses used back in the early 20th century.
My friends and I are playing on Lily Pad's famous "Tongue and Fly" miniature golf course. And as you may well imagine, it's filled with crazy obstacles. For me, that's what makes miniature golf so much fun.
Whatever you do this weekend, enjoy some time outdoors spent with family and friends.
I invite you all back here on Monday. Until then, have a wonderful and safe weekend.