Backyard mini golf courses are all about the obstacles, and the best way make your own obstacles is to get creative with common household objects.
First stop, the toy chest. Do you own any toy car racetracks? Sections of track make great ramps and jumps. How about large animal figurines or trucks? You can use them as obstacles where the object is to hit the ball through their legs or wheels. What about a set of Legos or wooden blocks? Build yourself a huge tower with a narrow opening for the ball to roll through, or a complex maze to navigate.
Have fun with ramps and jumps. Making a ramp is as easy as leaning a piece of plywood against a cinder block. You can set up two ramps face to face with a space in between, creating a jump. For added drama, place a shallow pan full of water in between them. Or attach a short run of PVC pipe to the top of each ramp and make a tunnel to safety.
Don't forget to mine the garage for ideas. Old tires make great obstacles, as do coils of garden hose. Blocks of wood can be strategically placed for difficult deflections. The folks at This Old House even came up with a nifty design for a loop-de-loop using the bottoms of two 5-gallon (19-liter) plastic buckets. Also check out their instructions for making a cool ramp with three holes leading in three different directions.
Last but not least, every respectable mini golf course needs brightly colored balls. To paint golf balls, you need to buy spray paint that is designed for plastic. For the best results, spray with a plastic paint primer first, then with your colors [source: Riker].
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