Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Our Putt-Putt Past: The Golden Days of Miniature Golf

Share this:

Miniature golf was fast becoming a respectable sport in the 1960s and early 70s, with its elite “athletes” getting paid big fat paychecks in national competitions.  Courses were popping up all over the U.S., and there was even a Miss Putt-Putt beauty pageant.  But as the 1970s wore on, miniature golf courses became more about being a hangout for teens than a place of legitimate competition.   And by the 1980s, the primary revenue for putt-putt business came from the video game arcades and birthday parties in the clubhouse rather than on the greens.  The sport’s heyday was far in the rear-view mirror by the time the 1980s came to a close.  Let’s have a look at some images of miniature golf’s rise and fall from the pages of Putt-Putt Magazine.

Late 1960s to Mid 1970s

Putt-Putt World Volume 11 Number 1_Page_01

$110,000 is a lot of damn money – adjusted for inflation, that’s $730,145!

1969 XI No3.pdf

The Golden Age of Putt-Putt.  A thriving “happening” scene.

Putt-Putt World Volume 11 Number 3-6

The contestants for Miss Putt Putt 1969

Putt-Putt World Volume 11 Number 4-1

Putt-Putt World Volume 13 Number 1-1

 

Putt-Putt World Volume 12 Number 1-1

The Putt Putt National Championship 1970

Putt-Putt World Volume 12 Number 3-12

Putt-Putt MVP’s

Putt-Putt World Volume 12 Number 2-3

The Gorgeous Ladies of Putt-Putt (GLOPP)

 

Putt-Putt World Volume 12 Number 6-6

Putt-Putt World Volume 13 Number 4-1

Putt-Putt World Volume 13 Number 4-10

Putt-Putt World Volume 13 Number 6-1

Putt-Putt World Volume 16 Number 1-12 Putt-Putt World Volume 16 Number 1-1

Putt-Putt World Volume 16 Number 2 (1)-13

Columbus, OH

Putt-Putt World Volume 16 Number 2 (1)-3

Late 1970s to Mid 1980s

Putt-Putt World Volume 21 Number 2-1

Putt-Putt World Volume 22 Number 1-4

Putt-Putt World Volume 21 Number 4-13

Putt-Putt World Volume 22 Number 2-1

Putt-Putt World Volume 22 Number 3-16

Gone are the days of the beauty pageants and high stakes competitions.  Now it’s all about “Family Fun!”

Putt-Putt World Volume 29 Number 2-1

Putt-Putt World Volume 29 Number 1-1

Putt-Putt World Volume 24 Number 4-9 Putt-Putt World Volume 24 Number 4-4

Putt-Putt World Volume 24 Number 3-8

Well folks, Pac-Man and creepy clowns have arrived.  I guess this is where we get off.  It’s been a wild ride from Miss Putt Putt to nightmarish circus clowns.  Miniature golf courses still are around, but you have to admit they’ve lost their character, their mojo, if you will.  I blame the clowns.

Putt-Putt World Volume 24 Number 3-1

 

  • njguy54

    Anyone who’s visited Myrtle Beach or the Jersey Shore recently can tell you that putt-putt never went away. But if they wanted to bring back the girls in bikinis, miniskirts and halter tops, I wouldn’t complain…

  • Steve Mills

    Clowns. That was completely unnecessary.