The popularity of mini golf in America has held on surprisingly long. The world of gaming and family entertainment is full of high-tech attractions and newer experiences.
The family-friendly fun of the mini golf course continues to draw in people of all ages. It is an inclusive sport that blends competition and adventure. The best courses achieve repeat visits from families during vacations.
It is a great way to have fun, kill some time and enjoy the weather. The problem for owners is that it takes the right sort of mini golf gear to create the perfect course.
Creating The Perfect Course With All The Right Elements
Visitors have certain expectations from a mini-golf course, and it is important to meet them to ensure customer satisfaction. These expectations include:
- family-friendly competition
- great memories of a family vacation,
- a fun challenge that they don’t get with their local courses
- holes that are accessible to all players
- a safe, clean attraction they can return to in the future.
(Source: This Old House)
This all requires a lot of hard work and the right gear. The mini golf establishments with the best reviews are the ones that go the extra mile with their themes and layout. They take time to consider the details of their mini golf gear for a full experience. There are lots of ways to achieve this. The course needs the right features to keep players interested, but there are also some basic needs for a playable hole.
Creating a great layout with a memorable hole
The course layout is the most important part of any mini-golf set-up. Players want a unique experience with interesting holes and challenges. The first place to start with the best mini golf gear is to look at the following:
- the obstacles that player have to work with – or against
- the covers for the green and tee area
- the flags
The best holes simultaneously offer great family competition and photo opportunities. This means that each hole needs its shape with its obstacle. Some obstacles are simple, a few walls and raised areas to get people started. Then there are the big structures with ramps and rotors to test players.
There are all sorts of obstacles out there. If owners think of an idea, there is probably someone that makes it. If not, there may even be custom options at a cost. Try and tie the obstacles into the theme of the attraction. This can mean pirates, marine life, landmarks or pretty much anything else.
It is worth taking the time to sketch out ideas for a complete journey. Players want to get from A to B on the course, and a linear story helps. Those that buy random pieces on a whim may end up with a disjointed look to the park.
Obstacles aren’t enough to create a finished hole that is ready for play.
There are three other important pieces of mini golf gear to bring into the set-up. Before builders can add some of these obstacles, they need a good carpet.
Green mini golf carpet is classic and inexpensive. It helps to create a good surface and clean look. On top of that, there should also be a clear area for players to tee off. These tee mats need the right texture and stability to keep the ball in place, and also need to stand out. A clear starting point and clear goal mean fewer arguments on the course.
That end goal is clear through the use of flags planted in the holes. This helps with shots, but also for orientation around the course.
A large mini golf course may have different levels and winding routes to add to the adventure. A bright, tall flag points them in the right direction. Of course, it also helps to have numbered flags. There are plenty of basic white flags out there with numbers for each hole. Some owners may prefer to opt for something a bit more interesting to work with their theme.
Creating Appealing Landscaping Around The Holes
It is also important to consider the landscaping and hazards in and around the hole for a more authentic look to the mini-golf course. This means
- clean, attractive sand pits
- clean, attractive water hazards
- appropriate planting
Small hazards are a great idea for any mini golf course that wants to recreate the feel of the “real” game. Miniaturized landscapes for giant players are fun for kids. This means that many owners will look into creating sand traps and water hazards along the course. This landscaping only works for those prepared to maintain it.
Owners need to think carefully about the construction and ongoing care of these areas. This means ponds with the right liners and pumps for the water features. It also means kits to keep the water clean and other cleaning tools.
On the subject of landscaping. Owners can’t overlook the planting around the course. A jungle effect is great for some courses, but it can’t get overgrown and dangerous. Also, broken branches and dead flowers aren’t attractive.
Mini golf gear is just about the tools for playing the game. It is also about the tools needed to ensure they can play the game with ease around the course.
Playing the game
With the course all set up and ready to go, players need to be able to play a game of golf. There are some pretty basic items of mini golf gear required here:
- score pads & pencils
This is the bare minimum for a functional game of mini golf.
The putters are the best place to start, and there are a few considerations to keep in mind. First of all, owners must make sure that there are enough putters to go around.
Nobody wants to wait in a queue on a busy Saturday while another family finishes their round. Also, the putters must come in different sizes and colors, so players have enough choice. This means kids sizes and enough colors that everyone can be a different colored player.
It also helps to look out for left-handed and right-handed putters to make sure everyone is comfortable. The color comes through on the putter blade and the grips. On that note, replacement grips are also a good idea, as they can wear down and look tatty.
Another important item that comes in many colors is the ball. This is important so that the red player, or perhaps red team, can play with red balls. Again, the better the choice, the happier the customers. Brightly colored balls are a great place to start, but they are not the only option. There are also patterned balls and light up ones. This could help to tie together a theme more convincingly.
Then, all of these balls and putters need some form of storage. There should be lots of putters and balls ready for players to choose from. It helps to have them displayed on a special putting rack. These racks maintain a clean, professional look and show off all the colors and lengths available. Players can get a feel for a putter before they start playing. It also helps to have two separate racks – one for the adults and one for the kids.
Keeping score with pencils and scorecards
There are probably some high-tech mini golf courses that developed a more technological way of keeping score. This is a nation of app-lovers after all. There is a charm to the old-fashioned scorecard. These simple sheets are inexpensive and easily bought in bulk.
Owners can hand out as many as families may want and they provide a great memento of the day. There is something old-fashioned about marking down the scores with a pencil. It adds to the nostalgic feel of the game. Owners don’t need to go for anything weird and wonderful with the pencils. It also helps to buy the tiny pencils in bulk as players won’t always remember to return them.
Playing a game of golf with a gimmick
There are lots of ways that owners can create a course that stands out from the competition. A gimmick goes a long way. Some do so with the obstacles and general theme. Others like to offer night golf options for a different crowd.
Night golf is fun for couple and friends who want to enjoy the park after hours. However, this only works with the right mini golf gear. Glow in the dark and light up elements are a must so players can see their targets. There are balls with LEDs, glowing putters and plenty more. Strip lighting around course guides players. Glow in the dark flags highlight the hole.
Maintaining a safe, professional golf course that families can enjoy.
All owners want a secure, professional establishment with the right rules and safety considerations. At the same time, families need to know they are in a safe, trustworthy establishment. This means that all owners should consider the following mini golf gear:
- litter catchers
Professionalism in mini golf course means more than just good mini golf gear for players to use. Owners must have a code of conduct for the site to stop hell breaking loose, and arguments between players. This means rules on playing the game, appropriate treatment of the courses and guidance on safe play.
Ideally, players should spot reminders of these rules across the site, not just when they walk in. Therefore, good signage is essential. If owners lay the rules out clearly, players can’t complain if management asks them to leave.
Then there is the furniture. This one is a little too easy to overlook, as players are usually on their feet. However, there will be times when player take a little long over a shot, and competitors take the opportunity to sit down. There should also be ample seating for the elderly and less able.
The course needs to cater to as many users as possible, not just the hyperactive kids. Therefore, it pays to put in some benches in appropriates spots. A few simple wooden seats, evenly spaced out, should do the job quite nicely.
Cleanliness is also important for a professional mini golf course.
Can families eat and drink on the course thanks to an on-site, or near-by refreshments areas? If so, they need somewhere to put the rubbish. Conveniently placed bins, of adequate capacity, are essential to contain all that trash. No course owner wants them thrown in the shrubbery or pond. This ruins the look of the park and wastes time.
On that note, it is also important to look into some litter catchers for the holes. These holes are magnets for dirt and debris. This could be a stray candy bar wrapper or a pile of damp leaves. This is no fun for the player fishing their hands in to retrieve their ball. Litter catchers are great tools for the holes. Cleaners can remove them with ease on regular occasions.
The best mini golf courses consider each element carefully for the broader experience.
Finding the best mini golf gear is as much about the look as a necessity. There are plenty of important features that don’t make too much as a difference to the style, such as the litter catchers and the tee mats. However, most visible elements help to bring everything together where users get a better experience. Therefore, it makes sense for all mini golf course designers to take their time with the attention to detail on the different elements.
A putter is more than just a putter. It is a weapon of choice, in the right color that will lead the player to victory. The signs don’t have to be dull and strictly informative. These too can tie into a theme.
All these items come together to create something wonderful. Something where families get to tick off all those important criteria mentioned above. They are family friendly competition, great memories of a family vacation and a fun challenge that they don’t get with local courses.