Building a home made mini-golf course can be a relatively simple and inexpensive endeavour or a complicated, time-consuming project. It's easy to find detailed plans online for building your own holes if you have the time and money and are comfortable working with wood; the "This Old House" television show's website is a perfect example. But if you're interested in having fun inside on a rainy day or spending some quality time with your kids, it only takes materials found around your house and an active imagination.
All you need to create a mini-golf hole is a ball, an obstacle and a target. A regulation hole is 10.7 cm (4 1/4 inches) in diameter, according to U.S. Golf Association rules, or just slightly bigger than the diameter of an 500 ml (18-oz) plastic cup or lowball glass. Lay the cup or glass on its side to putt into or set it upside down and hit it with the ball to complete the hole.
Place a large book, like a phone book, or a box between you and a cup 2.5 to 3 metres (8 to 10 feet) away for an easy starting hole. Use scrap wood or extra boxes along the side and as a backboard behind the hole. Try banking the ball off the wall or backboard to make your shot.
Using boxes, books, wood or other obstacles (chairs, baseball bats, golf clubs), you can create a mini-golf hole by outlining an S-, L- or Z-shaped path. Be sure you have 45-degree angles in the corners to guide the ball toward the hole.
It's easy to make ramps by placing books or boxes under pieces of cardboard, but don't hit the golf ball too hard and be careful not to break anything. Use ramps so golfers can avoid obstacles or set up a mini-golf hole in the bathroom with a ramp leading up into the tub and the cup.
A wrapping paper roll is a great way to make more difficult holes (paper towel rolls are too small for a golf ball to go through, though). You can cut a paper plate, shape it like a funnel and attach it with tape or staples to the end of the roll to make it easier to hit the ball into, or cut holes in a box for the ball to go through the middle toward the cup.
Combining hole layouts and obstacles offers additional challenges and variety. For example, try using two obstacles instead of one on the first hole with an opening between them to putt through. The number of mini-golf holes and obstacles you can create around the house is limitless.
Use a ping pong ball with younger kids or if you're worried about breaking things. Try adding a shortcut on the S-shaped hole with a ramp or wrapping paper roll for an easy alteration. These same concepts and ideas work outside to create mini-golf holes, using landscaping bricks or rocks in your driveway or backyard.