In reality, miniature golf has into a sport on "golf in miniature" facilities. Today's modern course miniature replicas of a regulation golf course complete with contours, moguls, water, sand & vegetation traps on the greens. Courses often are a botanical garden setting with streams, waterfalls, fountain displays, providing a park-like setting for family fun. Miniature golf provides players many of the challenges of real golf.
In the early 1900s "Garden Golf" was played with a putter on real grass, and in the 1920's & 30's, "rails" or "bumpers" were added to confine the ball within a boundary. In the 1930's, there were approximately 30,000 links around North America. The sport grew because fewer people could afford regulation golf during the Great Depression. Tom Thumb Golf was the first chain to offer a uniform and specified obstacle-laden course forcing play-through hazards to become what is today known as mini-golf.
Goat hair felt became the standard surface through the 40's and 50's, to be superseded by indoor/outdoor carpeting or astro-turf in the 60's. By the mid-50s windmills and other obstacles forcing players to try trick shots, carefully-timed putts, and aim through miniature homes and other obstacles. Today, the World Minigolfsport Federation - WMF, is the world sanctioning body for players clubs and their facilities.
The average 18 hole mini-golf course can cost anywhere from $40,000-$60,000 to equip, plus the cost of land . Of course, for most players its as simple as finding a course and renting the putter and ball, making this a very affordable sport.
There are several mini golf facilities in the Niagara Falls area.