Minigolf has been a favourite game around the western world for nearly a century. The earliest documented mention of a course is in the 8 June 1912 edition of The Illustrated London News, which introduces a minigolf course called Gofstacle.
In the late 1920s however, a massive minigolf mania swept through the United States. The game became extremely popular among movie stars and celebrities, which helped spawn new links all over the country. By 1930 there were 50.000 links in the United States and an estimated four million Americans were playing minigolf. There were over 150 rooftop courses in New York alone.
One of the first documented minigolf courses in mainland Europe was built in 1926 by Fr. Schröder in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Schröder had been inspired by his visit to the United States, where he had seen the minigolf courses spreading rapidly across the country.
Possibly the first minigolf course in the UK was a fifteen-hole course established in Skegness in 1927. Elsewhere in Europe the first course in Finland was built in 1931 at the Munkkiniemi Casino in Helsinki.
The Swedish Minigolf Federation was founded in 1937, being the oldest minigolf sport organization in the world. National Swedish championships in minigolf have been played yearly since 1939.
The EMF (European Minigolf Sport Federation) is the umbrella organization of European minigolf associations and a member the WMF (World Minigolf Sport Federation).
Minigolf has so far not reached wide popularity outside Europe and North America.