Miniature golf’s long, strange journey though time and culture…

19 Aug


  • Romantic Era Emergence (1867-1916): associated with romanticism, meticulously landscaped courses with lakes and trees. Built to resemble nature and to imitate the natural golf course-esque attributes, only smaller.
  • Post-Romantic Classicism (1916-1926): Geometric shapes, time-saving, yet still artistic.  Made from natural materials (real grass, endemic species, stepping stones).
  • Sterile Minimalist (1926-1950): Often constructed from material on hand, little or no landscaping, low overhead cost, constructed on rooftops and parking lots; can be prefabricated.  Once mini-golf became adopted by the masses, it became more of a packaged product than art.  Indoor courses. Scientific management. Mass Production/Fordist approach.
  • Cultural Rennaisance (1950~1990): Creative cultural icons, courses reflected iconographic symbols of imagination, became more difficult and complicated.  Multi-leveled, complex, unique, synthetic, family-oriented, mom-and-pop/individual ventures. The apogee of mini-golf as an art.
  • Corporate MiniGolf (~1990—->): Losing artistic aspects, but is dictated rather by surveys and demographics for maximum profit.  Like the movies, the funding goes to the money making venture, and not the most socially beneficial. Conglomerated with other mass-marketed entertainment ventures. Associated with amusement parks. Not an experience, but a game. With the downfall of the economy, miniature golf becomes more popular, but also less artistic. See articles on FEC’s and UEC’s.

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