Miniature golf came as a craze in the country some time in the 1930s. An offshoot of the more familiar sport, miniature golf is, as its name presumes, basically golf’s principles condensed into a smaller space. What began in a Swedish hotelier’s seasonal feature became a pop culture phenomenon in Europe and North America.
Every other week, my wife and I would schedule somewhere fun for my younger grandkids to go to. We have a small platoon’s worth of kids and I usually can’t take all but the oldest of them to play the real deal, so we often go to a miniature golf place near home whenever the kids feel like having their own little PGA tournament.
Of course, I occasionally get in on the fun myself; it’s good practice for the putter, after all. Although treated mainly as a leisure activity, there are groups who practice it as a minor sport with all the seriousness it implies, and it shows. Although large strokes are ruled out in favor of putts, the game is by no means easy.
Since all you’re allowed is putting, you’d have to give it sufficient power to make it go through the bends and twists of the typical course. Often, as with the courses my grandkids go to, the obstacles include tubes, tunnels (in the form of kitschy landmarks, often) and windmills.
In my honest opinion as a grandfather, I can say that playing mini-golf is an excellent gateway for kids to learn the full-scale game further down the line. They do quickly find that the bigger game plays much differently. Tiffany and Jace sure found out the hard way.