BMGA course design recommendations
The BMGA has drawn up design recommendations for those planning to install a minigolf or adventure golf course. The key design areas are listed below.
- A tournament-approved minigolf course should feature 18 clearly marked off holes or runs. The holes should be numbered and be of a uniform appearance.
- Every hole on the course should be carefully designed so that accurate putting is rewarded. Runs where luck is the main factor in achieving a hole-in-one will not be approved. (If in doubt about the design of any particular hole, you are advised to consult with the BMGA before proceeding.)
- The playing area of each hole must be at least 0.8m wide and no less than 5.5 metres long. Playing surfaces that are designed to be horizontal must be horizontal (90cm spirit level).
- The boundary of each hole must be marked by a raised barrier. This should be high enough to minimise the risk of the ball leaving the playing area. The border should be smooth and continuous (galvanised steel or smooth concrete are preferable to bricks, so as to allow calculated rebound shots).
- Every hole must have teeing-off markings. These should be consistent on every hole.
- The target hole itself should be accessible from the teeing-off point in one putting stroke. The diameter of the hole must not exceed 100mm. It should be deep enough to prevent a holed ball from bouncing out again. The top of the cup must not intrude above the playing surface.
- On at least some of the holes, the path to the cup should not be direct, but should involve the ball rebounding one or more times off obstacles or the raised border.
- Obstacles must be functional in construction and design. They must be fixed for the purposes of play. No moveable parts (over or through which the ball is supposed to pass) are allowed. Every object must be different from the others on the same course, not only outwardly but also from a playing point of view. The effect of any obstacles must be calculable.
- If obstacles are to be included on a particular run, they should be an integral part of that hole. A hole-in-one must be achievable by playing through the obstacle. There can be more than one path to the hole. A well-designed hole might give players the option of a risky direct route to the hole, and a way of playing safe and settling for a score of 2 or 3.
- There should be enough space at the end of each hole to allow one playing group to wait there, should the need arise, without interfering with the game of the party behind them. Paths around each hole should be wide enough, and constructed in such a way, as to allow wheelchair access.
- There should be a flat area of at least 20cm immediately inside the raised border of each green. This will allow for a ball that comes to rest up against the raised border to be repositioned so as to allow the player a proper back-swing.
- Care should be taken in planning the order of holes on a course. It is better not to include particularly difficult holes at the start of the course; or to position the hardest holes immediately one after the other. This should help avoid queues building up.