Mini-Golf, Crazy-Golf, Adventure-Golf....What is the difference?
For many people you could say any one these and a picture would be conjured up in their mind. This picture, especially if you asked this question to a UK resident, would be located either in a seaside town or a theme park location. It would include a themed area, possibly with large castles, streams, pirate ships, dragons, wooden pillars, ropes and so on.
It is true that in the UK this is really the only picture that many people have for what is officially termed as Adventure Golf. Adventure golf is, for all intents and purposes, exactly that, an adventure.
It is supposed to take you on a 'magical' journey to imaginary locations where you play golf! The greens are usually wide and undulating with the odd obstacle placed in a suitably annoying location to ensure that you have to go around it in order to get to the hole. For a family activity during a day out at the seaside what could be more fun? The only problem with some of these sites can be disabled access but many of them have this issue completely sorted so why not treat yourself to a round next time you are on holiday.
Crazy Golf can mean a number of things. In the UK this is the most commonly used term for all of the variations on this theme. It is usually a course that is designed with younger people in mind and laid out in such a way that you would have to employ more luck than judgement to get a low score. The courses are usually, but not always, made of a felt type material laid between concrete / brick / wooden borders.
There are usually fixed obstacles to add a little bit of difficulty and they are usually fairly flat. It is a fun event that you can sometimes find at school fetes and church garden parties as it lends itself to a degree of portability.
Mini-Golf, or Miniature Golf to give it its full title, is also a catch all phrase in the UK that covers nearly any type of putting based activity. This is not, however, how it is seen on the mainland continent of Europe or in the USA. Mini Golf is a thriving professional sport in these and other locations and to suggest to one of these players that they go out and knock around on a crazy golf course at the weekends would probably result in a fairly unpleasant response. The British Minigolf Association (BMGA) has been working hard to increase the profile of the sport in the UK. They hosted the British Minigolf Open earlier this year in Margate, Kent which was attended by players from all around the globe.
There are many different ways to enjoy mini golf, crazy golf and adventure golf. It doesn’t really matter to the casual player what the differences are as long as they have a good time and enjoy a little bit of competition with their co-players. Families all over the country enjoy the sport, and don’t get me wrong - it is a sport, whether they are on holiday or happen to live close to a course in their local park. So I say, ignore the differences, just get out there and get putting.
This article was kindly submitted by Peter Vallance of www.putterfingers.com
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