Unique Sports Advent Calendar – December 12: Minigolf

You’ve all played this sport before, I assume. You might not think of it as a sport, but there are people who do. It’s played with golf putters, include colourful balls, and if you ever go to Phillip Island, there’s a good course for it at A Maze ‘n’ Things.


Putting courses made of artificial materials emerged during the early 20th century, with the earliest evidence being a newspaper article from June 1912. Thomas McCulloch Fairbairn, an inventor, is known as the father of minigolf for creating a suitable playing surface in 1922 – a mixture of cottonseed hulls, sound, oils, and dye. There were over 150 course in New York alone by the late 1920s, but most of these were demolished during the Great Depression.

Edwin O. Norrman and Eskil Norman returned to Sweden from the United States in 1930, having seen the golden age of American mini golf. They set up a company and began manufacturing minigolf courses in Scandinavia, spreading it around. It became quite popular, and Svenska Bangolfförbundet (the Swedish Minigolf Federation) was formed in 1937, with national championships played yearly since 1939.

JosephThese aresome of the extreme minigolf courses we see today.  and Robert Taylor, from New York, began building their own minigolf courses in 1938, and they were a lot more extreme than the old ones of America, including windmills, castles, and wishing wells. Minigolf would gradually become a traditional leisurely game, and National Minigolf Day is held in the United States on the second Saturday of May.

How to Play

Minigolf courses usually have eighteen holes. You need a golfball and a putter. Basically, in order to win, you need to get the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible.

Who’s on Top?

The most recent Minigolf World Championships were held in Lahti, Finland, from August 19-22, 2015. There were men’s and women’s tournaments, with each teams score being the sum of their competitors.

2015 Minigolf World Championships – Men’s Top 5

  1. Germany
  2. Sweden
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Austria
  5. Finland

2015 Minigolf World Championships – Women’s Top 5

  1. Germany
  2. Switzerland
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Sweden
  5. Austria

The World Minigolfsport Federation maintains an individual rankings list, as well:

WMF World Rankings – Men’s Top 5

  1. Alexander Geist (Germany)
  2. Günter Inmann (Austria)
  3. Marek Smejkal (Czech Republic)
  4. Oleg Klassen (Germany)
  5. Marcel Noack (Germany)

WMF World Rankings – Women’s Top 5

  1. Jasmin Ehm (Germany)
  2. Bianca Zodrow (Germany)
  3. Stefanie Blendermann (Germany)
  4. Eva Libegerova (Czech Republic)
  5. Lara Jehle (Austria)


Australia does have a minigolf federation, but none of our players are anywhere near the world standard.


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