Somehow I managed to wait a week after returning from Myrtle Beach to honor miniature golf as a Great American Thing. I waited in sympathy for my wife, who thinks every year that she’ll finally beat me. She’s like Charlie Brown, thinking that this time Lucy won’t jerk the football away before he kicks.
“You’re so cruel,” she said as I read her the preceding paragraph. Just being a reporter, honey. Fair and balanced and all that.
No less an authority than the US ProMiniGolf Association (yes, the USPMGA) proclaims Myrtle Beach as the miniature golf capital of the world. According to its Convention and Visitors Bureau, it has more than 50 courses. But this isn’t about MB, it’s about m.g.
If the game you remember had the motorized windmill, you probably still have a rotary phone. Today’s miniature golf courses have elaborate, Disneyesque themes – crashed airplanes, jungle safaris, pirate adventures. They have tunnels, cable cars, train rides – a full multisensory experience.
But one thing hasn’t changed, probably since the first miniature “Tom Thumb” courses were developed in the 1920s. And that’s the miniature pencil. If you take one home, you can use them for other things, such as…uh… Huh.