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How to Play Mini Golf Like a Pro

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Do you mini golf like a pro? Seriously, it may be tons of fun but that doesn't mean you can't upgrade your mini golf game and have more fun in the process. To help you learn how to mini golf like a pro, we've listed five expert tips below.

1. Know the Sweet Spot on Your Putter

According to the pros at GolfLink, that sweet spot is almost always the very center of the putter. That's the part that's designed to hit the ball. If you choose to hit the ball with either end of the putter instead, your ball either won't go very far or it will veer off at unusual (and unwanted!) angles.

2. Pretend You're the Ball

Walk from the tee to the hole, paying attention to how the ground feels. Are there dips, waves, bumps, inclines, or uneven spots? How about pebbles, leaves, and other natural detritus? Pay attention to the obstacles (you know we have obstacles!) and the border. If you plan on bouncing your ball off one of them, you'll want to avoid any cracks.

3. Ready, Aim, Stroke

Pick your target — and we don't mean the hole. If you think achieving a hole-in-one is hard in regular golf, try making one with pirate ships, curves, caves, boulders, skeletons, buildings, and waterfalls between you and that hole. Oh, and if those aren't enough of a distraction, there are always the live alligators! You did know you're playing adventure golf, didn't you?

Choose an achievable target that's preferable past any initial hazards and focus in on it like a laser. Your target could be a nick in the edging, an odd-shaped leaf on nearby foliage, or a scuff on the course. Pay attention to every little nuance along the path your ball will travel to that target. Forget about everything around you (especially the alligators) and will your ball along the path you've chosen for it. 

4. Be Firm but Gentle with Your Ball

You'll need a firm but gentle stroke if you want the ball to actually get to the target you've chosen. Tap it too gently and you're in for extra strokes. Hit it too hard and it may sail right past your target and the pirate ship, too! You want to hit it with a Goldilocks stroke — one that's just right.

A good, firm stroke will often clear the initial hazards and put you in a good position near the hole. For some reason, weakly hit balls often end up right next to the hazard you most wanted to avoid!

5. Know the Rules of the Course You're Playing

For instance, most courses limit the number of players per group. This helps speed up play so the players behind you don't fall asleep waiting for all the members of your group to finally get past a particularly difficult hazard.

For the same reason (and to avoid embarrassing anyone) the number of strokes is also limited.  So you won't have to worry about getting a score of 17 strokes trying to master a particular hole. Anyone can mini golf like a pro when their strokes are limited!

Many courses allow you to move the ball a putter head's distance away from a hazard or wall that your ball is cuddled up against. You know, because you didn't hit it with a firm yet gentle stroke? We tried to warn you!

Following a particular course's rules makes sure everyone has an equal opportunity for fun.


We offer plenty of fun at our five mini golf courses in Bradenton, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Indian Shores, and Madeira Beach. When you visit any of our Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf locations, you'll experience gorgeous scenery, 18-hole courses packed with extraordinary obstacles, a clubhouse, and a snack bar. And, of course, alligators! Contact us for more information or to schedule your next fantastically fun group event.

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Topics: putt putt, family fun, mini golf