SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Minature Golf Day is celebrated worldwide on September 21. We’ve compiled a list of mini golf locations in the Springfield area.

The history of the game

According to Smugglersgolf.com, The Scots take the trophy for inventing putting in the late 1800s. While it wasn’t as detailed as today’s miniature golf, the putting game is played on a yard measuring just a few meters and is considered to be possibly the first edition of mini golf ever played. 

Nobody knows who the inventor of mini golf is, but James Well Barber is documented as having created one of the first mini-golf courses in his backyard. Another rumored first course belonged to the ladies putting club of St. Andrew’s in Scotland—which sits next to the home of the British Open.

People who didn’t own backyards would have to be creative to build their own courses. They began building courses on rooftops in the early 1920s.

The Great Depression changes the game

According to MiniGolfcreations.com, The Great Depression changed the game significantly. Although people could not afford high-quality mini-courses, the desire to play the game didn’t change. People began using materials on the streets to build their courses. This is when the designs became unique, silly, and challenging for players.

Glow-in-the-dark mini golf was invented in Scandinavia because of their long nights and short days.

Hole-in-one scoring

In 1953, according to the New York Times, Don Clayton decided to design short holes that allowed scoring holes-in-one by skillful players. Don did this by adding banking metal rails to enable accurate rebounds and encourage unique play. 

His company pushed the idea into the market and soon the new design gained popularity around the globe and ultimately became the game as we know it today. 

The first American mini golf course opened in Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1961.

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