Competitive Socialising

A Brief History of Miniature Golf

By Swingers

To prepare for Miniature Golf Day, we’re taking a look at where mini golf came from, and how it has evolved into the game we love today.

A Brief History of Miniature Golf

Mini golf, putt-putt, crazy golf – whatever your favorite take, nothing beats the fun of navigating a miniaturized golfing green with novelty obstacles. For the mini golf enthusiasts, you may know that Miniature Golf Day is coming up on September 21st. And for those of you who didn’t, now you have the perfect excuse to round up your friends and hop on over to your nearest course. To prepare for the celebration, we’re taking a look at where exactly mini golf came from, and how it has evolved into the game we love today.

What is Mini Golf?

Simply put, miniature golf is a shrunken down version of regular golf with added pizzazz. The courses are smaller, shorter, and often include themed props and obstacles. Mini golf courses still have between 9 to 18 holes, but are played with only putters. Multiple versions of this game have evolved from various places and cultures over time, so there’s not one definitive version of mini golf. From course-to-course, there may be variations in scoring cards, house rules, course styles, and equipment. But that’s all part of the fun!

The Evolution of Mini Golf

Over time, more obstacles and challenges were added to these types of courses, including miniature blocks and pipes. The first ‘Gofstacle’ course was name dropped in a 1912 edition of the London News, and its popularity only grew from here. Along the way, miniature golf became an equal opportunities activity, and made its way across the Atlantic. At first a sport reserved for those staying at fancy hotels and resorts, James Barber recognised that there was a gap in the market. In 1916, he opened the miniature golf course ‘Thistle Dhu’ (This-will-do) in Pinehurst, NC. The course was made out of concrete and featured sand, fountains, planting and artificial grass. And, most importantly, it was opened up to everyone. From here, mini golf began to truly take off.

Fast forward to the 1950s, and the World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) is founded. To this day, this organization arranges world champions for the crème-de-la-crème of the mini golfing world. It was around the mid 1950s that animated obstacles and more elaborate theming found their way into mini golf courses. And the rest, they say, is history! Mini golf courses today come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with indoor and outdoor options, with wild and wacky theming that adds to the experience.

Through years of creative experimentation and innovation within the industry, mini golf now exists in a whole range of different wondrous forms, including into the crazy golf we know and love today. Swingers Crazy Golf has firmly established itself as a pioneer in the world of crazy golf, redefining the traditional pastime into an immersive and stylish experience.

With an innovative blend of unique, elaborately designed courses, immersive themed environments, and gourmet street food offerings – Swingers has elevated crazy golf from a casual activity to a unique, high-end social experience.

How Can I Celebrate Mini Golf Day?

A young woman smiles, drink in hand, watching another young woman line up her shot on a crazy golf course.

Mini golf day calls for at least one round of mini golf, right? And you’re in luck – Swingers has a choice selection of courses to choose from. Whether you’re in New York, or DuPont Circle, you’ll find multiple playful, hill-seeking adventures at each location. Each course features nostalgic theming. Step back in time to 1920s British countryside or take a trip to an old-fashioned seaside funfair.  Ready to play?

All this golfing is thirsty work… kick back in one of our stylish bars with a delicious cocktail. You might want something to eat too. Our venues work with local gourmet street food vendors, so you’ll find something to satisfy every craving – pizza, nachos, and burgers anyone?

So there we have it! Many happy returns this Miniature Golf Day, and may there be many more to come!


Swingers ~ The crazy golf club

We believe that life is more fun when there is an element of competition, and that competition is best enjoyed with friends.

Swingers, the crazy golf club takes the holy trinity that is crazy golf, street food and amazing cocktails and combines them all into one incredible social experience