Today, miniature golf has become a weekend staple for those looking for some quirky, wholesome fun. Obstacles have become more intricate, and courses have taken on a life of their own to bring the player into a fantasyland to fight dragons or traverse babbling brooks. In places like The Grove Resort Orlando, you can even play a round of glow in the dark mini golf! While the game is well known, not many know its roots, so we thought we’d give you a mini 101 on this imaginative pastime.
Tracing the Origins
Scotland had the first appearance of mini golf in the late 1800s. Since swinging overhead was considered “unladylike” they decided to create a version of golf that was just as challenging, yet had swing restrictions. From there, mini golf took form in a London course called “Golfstacles,” which compared golf more to croquet than anything else. It wasn’t until 1916 when mini golf reached the States in the form of “Thistle Dhu” in North Carolina. Here is where features like fountains, gardens, and topiaries became a staple.
In 1927, the “Tom Thumb Golf” course in Tennessee incorporated obstacles and garden gnomes into the course, showing how mini golf started taking on a kitschier form. Once artificial grass was invented, the sport became more widely accessible, and “rinky-dink” courses started popping up around the nation. These makeshift golf courses were made from scrap materials like pipes, tires, and barrels, bringing a creative swing to the sport.
For those seeking a unique mini golf experience in Florida, The Grove Resort Orlando has its own Glow-In-The-Dark Mini Golf Course! Whether you want to play a round with the whole family or keep the kids busy while you take a dip in the resort’s spring pools and oversized hot tub, the course is a great way to have some fun without having to leave the property.