I remember when miniature golf was a big deal. EVERYone used to go.

Mini golf began sometime between 1910-1916 and seemed to grow in popularity over the years.  People from all walks of life of different statuses - rich, poor, in-between - played mini golf, goofy golf, and putt-putt. I used to enjoy the Putt-Putt golf on S. Pennsylvania in Lansing.

Nowadays, thanks to so many of us being spoiled with technology, it’s difficult to find anyone who is willing to go goofy-golfing with me. They’ll agree to go then all of a sudden “we don’t have time”. Sometimes the other person will make the suggestion to go mini-golfing, then slyly never mention it again, hoping we’ll forget about it.

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Nope. I haven’t forgotten.

Some mini golf courses have been extraordinarily elaborate with windmills, mazes, clowns, moving objects, mechanically-driven circular discs that rotate, hills, little buildings with doors that open and shut, neon lights, and many other over-the-top features. Then there are the ones that are simple: a short green with a curve, or double hill, or sharp angles, but nothing extravagant.

I was at a mini golf course not long ago and no one was playing. The course was empty. I wanted to play but no one else did. I was with six other people and they all just turned up their noses, ignoring my desire to play. It’s such a far cry from when mini golf was where everyone wanted to go and wanted to be.

We still have them.
They are an inexpensive way to have fun.
It gets you outside.
They test your skills.
It's more fun with a group of friends.

So why aren't more people doing it?

In the 2000s too many of us rely on our phones, computers, and internet to have fun...and that's sad. Also, with all this high-tech stuff, miniature golf seems to be considered a pain in the butt by those who don’t believe it's high-brow enough. Well, good for them. I still watch The Three Stooges, listen to 60s music, dig the old Superman comic books, eat Mallo Cups, drink Faygo…..and enjoy miniature golf…..
.....if I can only get someone to play…

Below is a gallery of a few old mini golf courses throughout Michigan…

A Few of Michigan's Miniature Golf Courses


Michigan (and Billy the Kid) Loved Croquet

Hula Hoops

Sledding: 1900-1940

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