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03.01.2011 - Ausgabe: 6/2010

The Trend to Golf


The first recorded reports of golf as it is written today originate from 1457 as the Scottish parliament prohibited “ye fut bawe and ye golf” at the urging of King James II who instead, ordered compulsory training in archery. This ban was extended twice by King James III (1471) and King James IV (1491) and was only brought to an end by the peace agreement between Scotland and England in 1502 which made paramilitary training for the population redundant. Soon after this it became known that King James IV himself played golf, as an invoice for his personal golf clubs was entered in the official royal accounts.

Spiel!Golf is here and today. The sport park Cottbus has one, the tennis centre in Bernau has one and the leisure and recreation park in Günzburg has one as well: Spiel!Golf. The development of Spiel!Golf over the past 10 years or so is based on many years of experience in the construction of sports facilities with sand-filled synthetic turf for tennis and multi-purpose surfaces and was stimulated by Adventure Golf Courses in the USA. The idea was to develop an alternative to miniature golf or crazy golf courses using modern materials. It was also the intention to include details of standard golf courses such as putting greens, original golf putters and golf balls and to make use of the landscape with a near-to-natural construction concept. Experienced golf course architects and golf professionals were included as advisors.

Large courses – Please walk on the grass

The game inspires with its variety and the exercise factor on the near-to-natural golf courses. The fascination of Spiel!Golf is based on the size and structure of the course. As a rule the exciting game is played on a course with 18 holes over an area of around 1.500 – 3.000 m2.

The different holes are larger than those of miniature golf, being between 8 and 16 metres long. They can be walked on and the accessories and rules are more like “big golf” than crazy golf.

Every hole has a given par value (par indicates the number of drives that a good golfer requires under good conditions to get the ball from the tee into the hole) so that players can play against each other and also against the ideal value of the course as a whole.

Similar to “big golf”, the player looks for his ideal hitting position on the fairway. The rules and equipment are also taken from real golf so that putters and other golf clubs of different lengths, and for right and left-handed players, as well as standard golf balls are used.

The long synthetic-turf fairways with their neighbouring roughs and semi-roughs make the ball roll as if on grass and imitate the conditions on a real golf course.

The different hindrances of the different holes, such as embankments and slopes, hills, hollows, grass and sand bunkers, rocks, erratic boulders, trees, waterways and lakes, fit harmoniously into the landscape and must be negotiated on the fairways.

Integration in the landscape

The fairways have been designed with different kinds of synthetic turf and include natural hindrances. This concept ensures a long working life, simple maintenance during continued play and a lower risk of vandalism.

The installation method of Spiel!Golf does not seal the natural surface which is an ecological advantage and in wet weather, play can continue as soon as the rain stops.

The usual 18 holes are distributed harmoniously around the course with the existing topography and kinds of vegetation being taken into consideration. The natural topology also creates additional hindrances for the freeways. Restaurants and kiosks as well as other special uses (e.g. playgrounds) can also be integrated during planning.

The Investors

In Germany, around 20 million people play crazy golf, also known as miniature golf, each year and this number of players has more than doubled over the last 10 years. Golf also takes second place after football as the sport attracting the most new players each year. Spiel!Golf is a successful mix of both sports. The courses offer enjoyable play and fun for children, families and also for senior citizens.

Who invests in Spiel!Golf? Communities with spa and recreational gardens, multi-purpose and play parks. Recreation and fun parks. Sport and poly-sporting associations. Golf and tennis clubs. Camping sites. Crazy golf courses being rebuilt or as a supplementary attraction. Swimming pools and lake-side baths. Cable cars with summer operations. Rope courses. Family and holiday hotels. Holiday apartment estates. Private golf practice courses. Children’s indoor playgrounds. SwinGolf courses. Underground car parks.


A successful student competition for further development of Spiel!Golf was carried out at the Technical University of Munich and University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan, faculty landscape architecture. Among other things, participants developed new ideas for design of the freeways, e.g. mobile hindrances.

Further information is available from: Frank Wiese, Sport-Bau-Service, Hans-Sachs-Str. 13, 80469 Munich, Germany, Tel. 0049 (0)89.31202690, info@spielgolf.com, www.spielgolf.com

Photos: Spiel!Golf

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