How Did Mini-Golf Begin
Mini-golf courses in Branson are some of the golf courses that are ideally designed for the young at heart as they truly give them an exciting outdoor adventure in a small area. Playing mini-golf is a great way to spend a great time together with the family. There are countless mini-golf courses in Branson that will surely give every family a lot of fun. But have you ever wondered how this miniature golf started?
The first mini-golf course was actually started in Scotland: The Ladies’ Putting Club of St. Andrews which was formed in 1867 as a members-only for women golfers. That golf club was decreed improper for a lady to take the club back past their shoulder. That golf course may not have any windmills or loop-the-loop obstacles, but the green remains one of the most prestigious miniature courses around.
In the late 1920s, Garner Carter opened a miniature golf course even when he already owned a real golf course. It was believed that it was built to distract “golf widows” – just as the Ladies Putting Club did in 1867 at the renowned St. Andrews links in Scotland. But Carter, who owned the Fairyland Inn in Chattanooga, Tenn., created more than a distraction. It was a different course. It hollowed-out tree trunks and gnomes.
That idea of Carter became a fad. The Commerce Department estimated that half of the 25,000 mini-golf courses in August 1930, had been built since January. In the old days, builders used green-eyed cottonseed hulls, or asbestos to make the courses. Collier’s magazine reported that female golfers included “society women” to “truck drivers” to “girls and boys of 8 or 10.” Soon, these golfers hit balls through mini-jungles, and occasionally past the claws of caged bear cubs.
Eventually that craze died down because of oversaturation, but the baby boomers made a comeback. In the 1950s, Don Clayton created the Putt-Putt brand, which eschewed gimmicks; and Ralph Alphonse Lomma built Lomma Enterprises. It was estimated during the time of Bob Detwiler, president of the United States Pro Minigolf Association, that there are now only 5,000 mini-golf courses nationwide compared to about 25,000 in 1930. Fifty or so are in Myrthle Beach, S.C., the capital of mini-golf course.
Garner Carter was the first man who patented a miniature golf course in 1927 which he called “Tom Thumb Golf”. But there were a few earlier unpatented versions of miniature golf courses such as the one made by James Barber of Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1916 in his estate which he called the “Thistle Du”. In 1926, a few innovative designers created miniature golf courses on the roof of a New York City skyscraper, and other buildings followed suit. By the end of the decade there were around 150 rooftop courses in existence in New York City alone.
While playing at some of the mini-golf courses in Branson, it’s a good idea to know that the first mini golf was actually started in Scotland in 1867 but the mini-golf game was first patented by Garner Carter in 1927 in Chattanooga, Tenn.