Mini-golf was born in 1867 in St. Andrews, Scotland when The Ladies' Putting Club of St. Andrews was founded. The members-only putting green, which was built for the enjoyment of the club, was constructed with the convention that it was "improper for a lady to take the club back past their shoulder." It proved so popular that similar putting courses began popping up around the country and around the world.
California: Golf Gardens Miniature Golf
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According to Golf Gardens Miniature Golf's website, the 18-hole "Catalina Island" course is known in mini-golf circles as "one of the world's most beautiful and challenging." Located one block from the beach, the garden-like attraction boasts none of the typical tacky or wacky mini-golf paraphernalia (no oversize clowns or pirate ships here) but instead provides a much more sophisticated experience. Its Southern California location allows it to be open year-round, as well.