The Process of Building a Miniature Golf Course
>>The Design Challenge
The challenge in designing a miniature golf course is to make it interesting to play. How a course plays is the key to bringing people back to play it again and again.
Miniature golf is NOT golf in miniature. However, miniature golf does have a lot in common with regulation golf. To be interesting, miniature golf holes must have the contour changes found on the regulation green which cause the ball to break and turn as it rolls toward the cup. Undulations and banking give the game an element of challenge and fun.
Unlike miniature golf of old, windmills and standing bears are not found on today's courses. Miniature golf courses, however, do need unique elements to hold the players interest. Greens that bring water, sand traps and rough turf into play add this uniqueness to miniature golf, while still maintaining an interesting and challenging game.
The designer of today's courses must bring all of these elements together in a beautiful, natural setting, if he hopes to capture the interest and excitement required for profitable business. It is this ability that has made Harris Miniature Golf the industry leader in design and construction of miniature golf courses.
As we said, the challenge in miniature golf design and construction is to make the course interesting to play. Interesting shots bring repeat business. Undulations, banking, the size of the greens, the position of the cups, the intermixing of easier holes with more difficult holes to prevent back-up on the course, and a hundred other little refinements, which come only from experience, are the difference between success and failure.
On a well designed course a player is rewarded for a good putt without being overly penalized for a poor putt. If you hit the putt correctly it will go in the cup. If you hit poorly it may take two or three putts to get it in the cup, but you are not "out of play" or holding up the group behind you.
On a well designed course players should feel that they are in their own space. Buffers between shots are an important design element to create this feeling. The three most common buffers used in modern miniature golf course design are streams, landscaping and elevation changes.
Streams and waterfalls add a clean, refreshing atmosphere to the course. They separate the holes, but they also make play more interesting. On a well designed course, streams come into play on almost every hole they flow past. Landscaping adds natural beauty to the course and at the same time produces a very effective buffer between holes.
Elevation buffers offer a two-fold benefit. In addition to giving the players their own space, elevation buffers enable the course designer to build more interesting holes with uphill and downhill shots. Elevation changes also give a much more interesting overall appearance to the course.
Elevation changes do not have to be extreme or expensive. Four or five foot changes in elevation will use a minimum of fill and produce a wide variety of shots on different levels throughout the course. If the site has existing elevation changes, the course can be designed to take advantage of the land's natural contour at minimal expense.
Thirty-six holes provide your customers with two choices of play, something your competitors may not offer. Customers may play one course today and come back and play the second eighteen another day. Some customers get excited and pumped-up when they finish playing eighteen. If another eighteen is available, they may play again, producing a lot of repeat business on the same night.
However, the most important reason for a second eighteen is evening and weekend business. If your business is typical, with only eighteen holes you'll loose thousands of dollars on evenings and weekends because you can't handle the crowds. With thirty-six holes you eliminate long lines, and you never have to turn a customer away.
Harris Miniature Golf Courses, Inc. has designed and built miniature golf courses for over 50 years. Harris is seen as the expert in mini golf construction across the United States and the world. Courses built by Harris are designed to be beautiful and to provide a fun-filled family experience. Contact Harris Miniature Golf Courses, Inc. for a free video and brochure to learn how you can make money with a miniature golf course.