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Playing Mini Golf In The UK

Minigolf sport is very similar to adventure golf and crazy golf - games enjoyed each year by many thousands of day-trippers to Britain's coastal resorts. The essential difference is that it is played on courses that are designed to reward accurate putting. Tournament-approved minigolf courses feature challenging obstacles to negotiate, a smooth felt or concrete putting surface and a continuous raised perimeter border to allow calculated rebound shots to be played.

Minigolf has for many years been popular as a leisure activity, but is now also growing in popularity as a competitive sport. The World Minigolf sport Federation (WMF) represents national minigolf associations of over 30 countries; and is a member of the overarching international sports Federation, AGFIS. The WMF organise world championships in alternate years, with the 2005 World Minigolf Championships set to be held in Steyr, Austria. Major international competitions take place on specially-designed tournament courses. The world record score is four consecutive perfect rounds of 18.

In recent years, American style adventure golf courses have grown in popularity. Most of these courses are visually impressive but, too often, the designers have overlooked the importance of playability. Playability is the key when it comes to generating high levels of repeat custom; and should also ensure that the course will appeal to both children and golf enthusiasts alike. For information I attach a copy of the BMGA's course design recommendations.

In the US and throughout mainland Europe, minigolf has for many years been classed as a competitive sport. Players compete in televised international tournaments for prize money of up to $100,000. The World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) organises World and European Championships in alternate years.

The top semi-pro minigolf players select a different minigolf ball with which to play each hole - each ball boasts slightly different properties in terms of bounce, weight and hardness. The record single-round score is a perfect 18 - an ace at every hole!

The highlight of the UK minigolf calendar is the British Open International Minigolf Tournament. Players from across the country compete against overseas pros for a share of the £1000 prize fund and the prestigious British Open title.

How do I get started?

The British Minigolf Association can provide details of affiliated clubs and courses throughout the country; as well as dates of forthcoming tournaments, which beginners are welcome to enter.

BMGA course design recommendations

Further information can be obtained by visiting their website: bmga.online

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