Few People Know That North Carolina Is The Birthplace Of Miniature Golf

published: March 10th, 2023 by in Golf Course, Local News

Sometime between 1916 and 1918, James Barber constructed the first miniature golf course on the gardens of his Pinehurst estate “winding in and out among the shrubbery” “a kind of glorified and elongated putting green,” said part of the famous article published Saturday, Feb. 2, 1918, in “The Pinehurst Outlook.” The article’s headline, “Miniature Golf” seemed to help preserve the name of the new game. Let’s find out about the father of this popular pastime and the birth of miniature golf in North Carolina.    

James Barber, who owned the Barber Steamship Lines of New York, is credited with building the first miniature golf course at his Pinehurst, North Carolina, mansion.

The Pinehurst Resort, pictured here, has an 18-hole putting course called Thistle Dhu, named after Barber as he said “This’ll Do,” at seeing his home and its 1.19-acre surroundings.

James Barber’s miniature golf course took wind when he and his wife held a tournament on the small course after tea on Jan. 26, 1918, for the local ladies of the Advertising Golf League.

Architect Edward H. Wiswell designed the course among the formal gardens.

A week later, the term was coined by a headline in the Feb. 2, 1918, “The Pinehurst Outlook.”

Since that time, other versions of miniature golf have popped up all across the world, including putt-putt courses.

Don Clayton created the first Putt-Putt in Fayetteville in 1954, wanting to design something better, and it began franchising.

Now, Putt-Putt Fun Centers have grown into family amusement centers, featuring go-karts, laser tag, indoor bumper cars, a modern arcade, and a cafe.

Putt-Putt Fun Center – Fayetteville, NC, 3311 Footbridge Ln, Fayetteville, NC 28306, USA

But still, the old-fashioned miniature golf courses remain in small-town America, such as Asheboro Mini Golf.

Asheboro Mini Golf, 1842 S Fayetteville St, Asheboro, NC 27205, USA

Now that you know the history, playing miniature golf might be more fun.

Enjoy your weekend!