What do the words "mini golf" make you think of? Maybe windmills, tiny water features or animal-shaped obstacles? Plenty of people have experienced this type of pint-sized putt-putt as a child, teen or even as an adult. Even though these cute courses are entertaining, they aren't the only way that mini golf is played. As a sport, it has its own world sports federation (the World Minigolf Sports Federation, or WMSF) and offers players the chance to compete at the local, national and worldwide levels. If you're considering getting serious with this sport, understanding the types of courses that you'll play on is an absolutely essential first step.
This type of course is popular overseas in Europe, especially in Sweden and Finland, according to WMSF. As the name says, these courses are made from felt. The lanes are typically bordered with wood. While players are allowed to stand on the felt to hit the ball, it's not advisable to walk over the felt. Doing so tracks dirt, muck and other debris onto the material. This may ruin the surface.
These smaller-sized courses are typically between 600 and 800 square-meters. And, that includes 18 holes! Made from fibre cement, these courses are popular across the globe. Miniaturegolf courses include lanes and obstacles. But don't walk through them. While they're made for play, most courses won't allow you to stand on the fibre cement features.
These courses are typically larger than the felt type. Obviously, based on the name, these courses are made from concrete. Unlike some of the other kinds of courses, players are allowed to walk on the sturdy concrete.
MiniGolf Open Standard
Also known as MOS, these courses are popular in Great Britain and North America. Instead of felt or a building material, these courses are covered in artificial grass. This type is the kind of course you may think of when it goes to mini golf. MOS courses have water features, obstacles and a more adventurous or creative set-up. These are also the youngest when it comes to courses approved for play. It wasn't until 2007 that players were allowed to compete on MOS courses.
Yes, mini golf offers family fun galore when it comes to leisure-time entertainment. But, it's also a real sport. That means it has real rules, real competitions, and real play areas that are governed by oversight bodies such as the WMSF. Depending on where you live and where you compete, your game play may include one of these four types of challenging courses.