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Mini golf: about miniature golf

Miniature golf, or mini golf, is essentially a miniature-sized version of the sport of golf. While golf is played on extensive open golf courses, miniature golf is played on miniature, geometrically-shaped mini golf courses made of artificial material. Among the most common material used on mini golf courses are felt and eternite.

History

In Europe, miniature golf apparently began to take the shape we know it today when interest in golf grew among women in the 1800’s. Because conservative social norms of the era deemed it unacceptable for women to publicly engage in aggressive movements such as making a golf swing, the need for a miniature-version of golf to cater for women arose.

In 1867, the Ladies' Putting Club of St. Andrews in Scotland, an 18-hole course of short putting greens, was opened to women. To date, the club at St.Andrews, Scotland stands as arguably the oldest mini golf course in the world.

Development

Miniature golf has come a long way since its early days of development. At inception the game was played by women with a golf putter and a short driver and it was conveniently referred to by names such as “garden golf” and “Pitch and putt golf.” Today, however, the sport is played by both women and men.

Mini golf has grown to become the most popular leisure outdoor activity in Europe and America. It is customary for major British and American luxury hotels to offer guests miniature golf courses as a form of entertainment. The mini golf courses are designed to mirror actual golf courses, but at about a tenth the scale.

Closing remarks

Although popularity of mini golf has grown tremendously over the years with nearly all European countries having an official national federation for promoting the sport, miniature golf has not had much popularity outside Europe and North America.

This, however, does not negate the fact that mini golf courses are found in all parts of the world. A notable difference, nonetheless, is that the sport is most popular in the UK, USA, central Europe, New Zealand and Scandinavia.

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