Mini golf

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Felt and miniature golf course (back) in Malmö

Mini golf has established itself in everyday language as a collective term for all types of lane golf. The standard versions (miniature golf, miniature golf , Cobigolf , Star Golf and feltgolf ) are officially minigolf designated systems. As a game of skill , mini golf is one of the precision sports and also one of the ball sports.

Minigolf in the narrower sense describes the variant that is played on standardized courses according to the system of the Swiss garden architect Paul Bongni. The 18 lanes are each 12 m long and 1.25 m wide, with the exception of the approx. 25 m long long- distance lane. The slopes are made of concrete, in some cases covered with felt, and are bordered by flat iron or pipe bands. They may be entered to play the ball at rest. The obstacles are made of natural stone or concrete.

The aim of the game is to use the racket to move the ball into the hole with as few strokes as possible. This is theoretically possible with a single stroke, an ace, on the paths of all standardized systems. The tracks differ in their degree of difficulty due to different obstacles, but are similar in their design on all courses.


Minigolf Ascona , the oldest standardized course (Bongni system), opened on March 19, 1954

On March 19, 1954, the first standardized mini-golf course was opened in Ascona on Lake Maggiore based on plans by the Swiss garden architect Paul Bongni. Bongni had standardized the railways as early as 1950 and submitted a corresponding patent application, which was approved in 1953. This created the prerequisite that players could find almost identical conditions in different places. Only this made it possible to hold international competitions. Easter 1954 (April 18) the second mini golf course based on the Bongni system went into operation in Locarno. At the end of 1954 there were already 18 mini golf courses, all of which were in Switzerland.

Germany's first mini golf course was built in Traben-Trarbach in 1955 . Mini golf spread very quickly, and by the end of 1962 there were 120 courses in Europe. From the mid-1960s, mini-golf courses were also built in the GDR, but exclusively for so-called leisure and recreational sports (the DTSB sports association did not plan to use mini-golf as a competitive sport).

For several years now, mini golf has also been played as part of school sports. The students set up the various tracks in gyms with mats, tires, benches, boxes, skittles, etc. They mostly play with hockey sticks and tennis balls.

In 1959 the first European mini golf championship took place in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy. Since 1991 mini golf world championships have been held every two years. The first individual world champions were Miranda Graf for women and Raffael Nösberger for men (both from Switzerland). At the most recent World Championships in 2013, Evelyn Haberl from Austria won the individual for the women and Dennis Kapke from Germany for the men. Mini golf was also played as a demonstration sport at the 1989 World Games in Karlsruhe.

In 2006 there were around 250 systems of this type in Germany.


A maximum of six strokes are permitted per lane. Only one ball per player is allowed to play on a lane. A rally before the end of the lane is not permitted. The ball is hit from the teeing area (round miniature golf, rectangular miniature golf) through the obstacle structures and must go through them on the prescribed path. If he does not reach the hole with the first stroke, he will continue to hit from where he has come to rest (provided he has overcome the obstacle correctly). Each stroke counts as a point. If the lane can only be played from the tee, the ball is played from there until it passes the border line or has reached the target circle. If it remains on lanes with discard lines close to the board or the obstacle, it may be discarded for the next shot at the nearest marker. If the ball jumps out of the lane after overcoming the obstacle boundary line, it is used again where it left the lane. If he jumps out of the path in front of the obstacle boundary line, the ball must be played from the tee again. The goal is reached when the ball has come to rest in the hole in the target circle. If this is not successful after six strokes, seven points are awarded and play continues on the next lane. The player who has the fewest points at the end wins.


The trained referees should let the penalties build on each other. If a player gets a penalty and already has a penalty, he gets the next higher penalty.

The penalties are:

  • Oral admonition
  • Admonition (green)
  • Warning with 1 penalty point (blue)
  • Warning with 2 penalty points (yellow)
  • Disqualification with 5 penalty points (red)
  • A penalty is to be indicated to the player with the corresponding card.
  • Penalty points from substitute players are added to the team's result.
  • Only the arbitration tribunal can impose penalties.
  • The referee must write penalties on the score sheet and announce the penalty directly for the teammates.
  • The verbal warning can be issued by the arbitral tribunal as often as stated at the beginning. There is no clear order for this in the rule book.
  • Team penalties are only given at international tournaments.

Modifications to the rulebook are possible, but must be published with the advertisement.


Miniature golf course (Eternit system) in Herdecke . Railway bumps

In contrast to golf, you usually only use one club . This is similar to a putter , but has a striking rubber up to two centimeters thick on the list side, in order to hold balls e.g. B. to be able to cut. In addition, the rubber compensates for the differences between the different balls when hitting (soft, "dead" balls would otherwise "get stuck" on the racket, while hard, fast balls would almost "jump away" on their own) and allow more targeted play over long distances, because the impulse is better transferred to the ball. Long sweeps and strong hitting easily lead to the ball tearing and uncontrolled movement. A different club is used by many players at most for the long shot (hole 7, concrete system). However, many professional players use a more inclined putter for miniature golf courses than for miniature golf courses because they are not allowed to be entered.

First mini golf course in Germany (System Beton Dept. 1) in Traben-Trarbach, 2008. In the foreground slope 14

Club players in particular have a large number of balls with a wide variety of properties, top players (Bundesliga) around 100 to 300 balls. These differ in size, weight, hardness, surface, color and especially in the jumping height.

The size is between 37 and 43 mm in diameter. There are differences in the smoothness of running and in the behavior of the boards.

The weight is between 30 and 150 grams. The impact force to be used and the pulling behavior on inclined and wavy tracks, but also the smoothness of the run, are variable depending on the ball weight.

The hardness (measured in Shore) is between 25 (soft like rubber) and 100 (hard like stone). It influences the smoothness of the run, the behavior of the boards and especially - depending on the height of the jump - the length of the run and the pulling behavior.

The back jump height of the balls, dropped from a height of one meter on hard ground and at a temperature of 20 ° C, is between 0 cm (dead) and 85 cm (fast). It is the most important criterion when dividing the balls. "Dead" balls do not detach from the board, faster balls increasingly tied according to the rule that the angle of impact equals the angle of the tape. "Dead" balls roll considerably shorter than fast balls with the same impact strength and hardness, jump out of small target circles less easily (example system 1, lane 8) or slide more consistently and more predictably along the board (example system 1, lane 11). The temperature also influences the jumping behavior, which is why some balls are additionally cooled or warmed in order to develop the desired playing properties at the decisive moment.

Another important property of the balls is the surface . There is a basic distinction between painted, raw and rough-ground balls. The surface has a great influence on the behavior when cutting ( spin ) the balls and when playing on boards. For example, it allows the rebound at a much narrower angle, which is advantageous for zigzag strokes. It also has an impact on the run length. Due to the constant contact of the ball with the fairway, the surface quality is therefore considerably more important than in the traditional game of golf.

Last but not least, the color and pattern serve to keep track of several hundred balls.


  • Nunzia Conte: La guerra del golf. Ascona rivendica la paternità del primo campo di minigolf in tutto il mondo , in: Eco di Locarno, May 13, 1991, p. 12 ( digital version: detailed description of the beginnings of mini golf according to the Bongni system )
  • Mathias Kaiser: Das große Bahnengolf book , Sport und Freizeit Verlag 1981 [with z. Partly wrong information in the historical overview]
  • Miniature golf / miniature golf Breviary Switzerland , Frankfurt a. M. 1987 with z. Sometimes wrong information in the historical overview
  • Michael Seiz: Minigolf - From recreational fun to competitive sport , Böhmer Verlag, 2002 ISBN 3-00-005487-1 [with z. Partly wrong information in the historical overview]
  • Bernd Wehren : Mini golf in sports lessons , Mildenberger Verlag 2008, ISBN 978-3-619-02110-9

Web links

Commons : Miniature Golf  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Mini golf  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Nunzia Conte: La guerra del golf. Ascona rivendica la paternità del primo campo di minigolf in tutto il mondo, in: Eco di Locarno, May 13, 1991, p. 12. Pointed mark: "Fu inaugurato prima di quella di Locarno, il 19 March 1954" ( digitized version ); [1] ; Contribution to the 60th birthday of the mini golf course in Ascona on ( Memento of the original from January 16, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Patent from 1953 .
  3. the slope. Miniature Golf Magazine , 1973
  4. a b
  5. German Minigolf Association - Minigolf Download. Retrieved January 23, 2019 .