The History of Miniature Golf

Dr. Fong Says:
Some great vintage postcards from goofy golf!

In 1938 Joseph and Robert Taylor from Binghamton, New York started building their own miniature golf courses. These courses differed from the ones in the late 20s and early 30s; they were no longer just rolls, banks, and curves, with an occasional pipe thrown in. Their courses not only had landscaping, but also obstacles, including windmills, castles, and wishing wells.

Impressed by the quality of the courses, many customers asked if the Taylors would build a course for them. By the early 1940s, Joe and Bob formed Taylor Brothers, and were in the business of building miniature golf courses and supplying obstacles to the industry. During both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, many a G.I. played on a Taylor Brothers prefabricated course that the U.S. Military had contracted to be built and shipped overseas.

By the late 5
0s most—if not all—supply catalogs carried Taylor Brothers' obstacles. In 1961 Bob Taylor, Don Clayton of Putt-Putt, and Frank Abramoff of Arnold Palmer Miniature Golf organized the first miniature golf association known as NAPCOMS (or the "National Association of Putting Course Operators, Manufacturers, and Suppliers"). Their first meeting was held in New York City. Though this organization only lasted a few years it was the first attempt to bring miniature golf operators together to promote miniature golf.

In 1955, Lomma Enterprises, Inc., founded by Al Lomma and his brother Ralph Lomma, led the revival of wacky, animated trick hazards. These hazards required both accurately aimed shots and split-second timing to avoid spinning windmill blades, revolving statuary, and other careening obstacles.

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Maritza Gulin said...

Hello Dr. Fong!
Interesting article about mini golf. I work for a company that makes those mini golf props. You can see all the cool stuff we make by either visiting my blog or checking out the official company website. We even do black light mini golf and mazes. How cool are we?

Maritza Gulin said...

Hey Doctor Fong,
Nice post about mini golf. My company makes those careening obstacles for outdoor and for black light indoor courses. It's a lot of fun. You can see more photos on our site or blog. Thanks!