Oh my God were we a sexist and bigoted society. The ever popular game of mini golf was invented in 1867 so women could play the game. Of course, today this would be completely ridiculed as being sexist. However, it wasn’t men who developed the miniature version of the game. It was women that invented the game, and it is worth pointing out that the need to invent the game was because of men and the sexist society at the time. Not only that, but the game was vastly more different than it is today.
Most people would probably think that mini golf is a relatively recent invention. But truth be told, the game is much older than you would probably think it to be. The first mini golf course was developed in 1867, and it was for the use of women. See, back in the day it was considered uncouth for women to raise a club above their shoulders. They could see that the men obviously enjoyed playing the game, clearly being absent from their families during their spare time. Who would think chasing a little white ball around a paddock would be so much fun? So to combat the social restrictions on outdoor fun for women, they invented mini golf.
When mini golf was invented in 1867 it was incredibly different that the game we play today. Imagine someone sprinkling water onto a full sized course, then placing it inside a tumble dryer. That’s right, it shrunken version. The games consisted of everything that a full sized game did, but only on a smaller scale. They had fairways, greens, sand and water traps, even trees to get in the way. It was designed in this way to more closely resemble the popular mens game of the day, and it added a challenge to it. But as we know, it certainly didn’t remain that way.
So change can be a good thing, and sometimes change is driven be necessity. During the Great Depression, the cost of building and maintaining the mini courses soon became unsustainable. The desire to play the game remained. Let’s face it. If you have a club and a ball you are more than half way there. And the courses were really only bits of green grass, it’s just that there weren’t obstacles. But innovation filled in the missing pieces, and improved on the original concept.
People soon started to build courses with whatever they could find, literally. They would use tires, pipes, gutters, practically anything that could be used to get in the way of the golfer and screw with their head. As times improved, and with more innovation, the game continued to evolve. Each course was made uniquely, and was fun to play. The rest, as they say, was history.