The first mention of modern miniature golf was in The Illustrated London News (June 8th, 1912) where it was referred to as Gofstacle: at once transforming Golf from a sport of mild privilege overrun by leaden headed pragmatists to a preposterous world of fantasy that requires only one club, numerous windmills, dinosaurs and barely an acre of space. If you ask me it was a huge improvement (like adding milk to tea) and the onerous slog that was once golf lost it's pretensions and became laugh-a-minute fun. In this digital age mini golf games abound, having transformed the venerable sport yet again (requiring even less space, patience and skill) and appearing in crude form on some of the earliest Pong hybrid consoles. They've always been a favourite genre amongst tea-break gamers but a select few have rightfully been elevated to classics. This list is my personal ranking in order of pedigree from Pebble Beach to the exalted shores of the Royal and Ancient. I've played many but this is by no means a comprehensive list and should act only as encouragement to other digital mini golfers to venture forth and find their favourite front nine.
|One from each nostril.|
|Now I know my ABC's.|
Learn to count with Sesame Street.
Download from Emuparadise.
|That lily could not support the bulk of Ian Woosnam.|
|Bill Murray confronts a gopher.|
Watch the Best of Caddyshack!
Bob Mancarella's followup game Goofy Golf Deluxe.
A richly detailed, competitive mini golf experience with a profusion of characters, course designs and gameplay not typical of the genre. The twist here is a croquet like ability to thwack your opponents ball out of bounds (OB) by bumping into it. OB Club was only available in Japan on the SNES through its Sattelaview broadcast service and as such was mired in obscurity for many moons. Thanks to the modern emulation scene this game is now playable and eminently worth your time.
|Playing cautiously from out behind the emmental she spots a weener.|
Passionate review from RVGFanatic.
Satellablog a resource for everything Satellaview.
Play English patched version online.
Everyone's most loved / detested pink globular hoover is back to drizzle joy and star dust on the sad face of golf. With a rare whimsy in his eye Kirby invites you to his Dream Course - golf re-imagined by a marshmallow. Not surprisingly it's a vast improvement and here Kirby gallantly plays the role of the ball himself: propelling his bulk around strange daemon infested landscapes: there are even boss fights. Imaginatively designed and offering a welcome change of pace for jaded mini putters this is a deep and enjoyable offering from that loathsome puff.
|If you were a blob would you play golf with yourself?|
A potted history of Kirby games.
Download from Edge Emulation.
A remarkably bogus psychological evaluation of the colour pink.
|Simply touch the fairy then approach the burger.|
|Treasure of the Sierra Madre meets Mini Golf.|
|A canine on a dogleg.|
|These days, the title says it all.|
Well, it's been quite a journey. It's amazing how many artistic styles, locations, traps and obstacles are represented in the world of digital mini golf: at times transforming that most tedious of sports into something unrecognisable. Now all that remains is to severe all remaining links with golf; get rid of that last club (perhaps replace it with a gun), replace the ball with a bullet, ignore the stupid hole in the ground and aim for a monster. Could DOOM be the greatest mini golf game of all time? Have we all been playing mini golf our whole lives and not realised it? It's a mind bending twist worthy of the worst Twilight Zone episode never made. And with that I'll see you at the 19th hole, adieu!