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SatMay 13

National Miniature Golf Day – May 13, 2023

National Miniature Golf Day is celebrated every second Saturday of May. We’re going to celebrate by heading down to the nearest mini-golf course with our family and friends and trying out our putting skills. Did you know that miniature golf was initially invented to allow women to play golf? Although golf has become more inclusive, with people of all genders playing the game, miniature golf still hasn’t diminished in popularity. As the name suggests, miniature golf is a mini version of golf with shorter courses but the same number of holes. In addition, miniature golf courses are usually themed and include various obstacles to make the game more challenging and exciting. 

History of National Miniature Golf Day

The origins of miniature golf can be traced to 19th century Victorian Scotland when women’s participation in sports or energetic activities was frowned upon. In 1827, the Ladies Putting Club at St. Andrews circumvented this traditional norm by creating the first putting club for women interested in golf.

In the 1900s, mini-golf courses started appearing in the United States, and they became standardized and mass-produced. The firsts of such courses are the 1916 Thistle Dhu, 1927 Tom Thumb golf club by Garnet Carter. The development of artificial green (made from a mixture of cottonseed hulls, sand, oil, and dye) by Thomas McCullough Fairborn in 1922 made building miniature golf courses cheaper. Soon, miniature golf courses began appearing all across the United States, including the rooftops of New York City.

During the Great Depression in the late 1930s, the production of miniature golf courses came to a halt, and many mini-golf businesses began shutting down. As a result, most of the mini-golf courses in the U.S. were either demolished or closed, with only a few surviving the economic collapse. 

Post-depression, the mini-golf industry was rejuvenated. First, manufacturers began using cheaper materials, such as tires, barrels, and old drain pipes, and introduced complex and realistic obstacles like waterfalls, windmills, castles, and wishing wells. Then, in the early 1960s, miniature golf became recognized as a sport, and its rules were standardized.

On May 12, 2007, the first National Miniature Golf Day was celebrated, and it became officially recognized in 2008’s edition of Chase’s Calendar of Events.

National Miniature Golf Day timeline

1867
The Ladies’ Putting Club of St. Andrews

As an act of rebellion against the social norm, the Ladies’ Putting Club of St. Andrews is founded — the first-known putting club in history.

1916
The First Standardized Mini-Golf Course

The Thistle Dhu — This’ll Do — mini-golf course is introduced in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

1922
The Revolution of Mini Golf

Thomas McCullough Fairborn invents artificial green, making it more widespread across the United States.

1938
Miniature Golf, People’s Favorite Pastime

The introduction of real obstacles like windmills and castles by Joseph and Robert Taylor makes mini-golf a favorite pastime for people in the U.S.

National Miniature Golf Day FAQs

What is the hardest mini-golf course in the world?

The Hawaiian Rumble in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, claims to be the toughest mini-golf course globally, and it’s the venue of the annual Masters of Miniature Golf tournament. The Fantasia Fairways mini-golf course at Fantasia Gardens is also considered the hardest, and it has once been voted as the most challenging mini-golf course in the world by Golf Digest.

Is mini-golf a good date?

Mini golf avoids the pressure of a dinner or lunch date, allowing the two individuals to connect with their inner children and have real fun. So, if you’re thinking of going on mini-golfing for your first date, you are on the right track.

What is the mini-golf capital of the world?

Myrtle Beach, a city and vacation resort in South Carolina, is known as the seaside golf capital of the world, with over 100 golf courses. It’s also the miniature golf capital of the world as it has close to 50 miniature golf courses.

National Miniature Golf Day Activities

  1. Play a game of miniature golf

    Head down to your local miniature golf course and enjoy a relaxing and exciting game of miniature golf. Better yet, go with your loved ones and friends to have twice as much fun.

  2. Visit the Parkside Whispering Miniature Golf Course

    Parkside Whispering Pines Miniature Golf, built-in 1930, is one of the oldest miniature golf courses in the country and one of the few that survived the Great Depression. You can spend National Miniature Golf Day taking a tour of this historic site and playing rounds of putting. After the game, you can relax and get a great meal at the Parkside diner next door.

  3. Build your own miniature golf course

    This is an adventurous and highly creative way to spend National Miniature Golf Day. Picture what a great miniature golf course would look like and try building a mini version of it in your front yard or backyard. You can also try recreating one of those miniature golf course models found online, using materials found in the house.

5 Important Facts About Miniature Golf

  1. It has different names

    Miniature golf is also known as putt-putt, goofy golf, shorties, midget golf, crazy golf, and mini-putt.

  2. Only putters are used in the game

    The game of miniature golf does not allow for golf clubs as the course distance is too short.

  3. Miniature Golf Day

    There is a Miniature Golf Day that is celebrated globally on September 21.

  4. Glow-in-the-dark miniature golf courses began in Scandinavia

    Due to months of short days and long nights, people in Scandinavian countries began using glow-ball and glow-courses to enjoy the game all year round.

  5. The oldest known mini golf course

    The mini-golf course in the Ladies’ Putting Club of St. Andrews is the oldest known mini-golf course in the world.

Why We Love National Miniature Golf Day

  1. It’s an opportunity for quality time with loved ones

    Aside from allowing you to enjoy the outdoors with your loved ones, miniature golf also provides an opportunity to connect with them and learn more about what is going on in their lives without the intrusion of electronic devices.

  2. It provides educational and social benefits to children

    Playing miniature golf frequently helps kids develop logic and critical thinking skills, improve their hand-eye coordination, balance, and decision-making skills. It also allows them to socialize with other people, learn proper sportsmanship, patience, and cooperation.

  3. Miniature golf is a form of exercise

    While not as intense as CrossFit, you can burn up to 300 calories an hour playing miniature golf. Walking from one hole to the other, putting, and squatting to pick up and set down balls are forms of exercise that work your core and arm muscles, thighs, and lower leg muscles.

National Miniature Golf Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 14Saturday
2023May 13Saturday
2024May 11Saturday
2025May 10Saturday

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