Unlike the Scottish course, you don't have to spend hours or hundreds of dollars constructing a professional-grade mini golf course for your kids. You don't even have to buy a putter. Simply provide some basic building materials and let your kids use their creativity and ingenuity to make their own obstacles and challenges.
First, the location. Ideally, you want to find a flat space on a lawn with short-cropped grass. If that isn't available, get creative. Is there a flat spot on the driveway, a back patio or porch? It doesn't have to be huge — maybe 4 feet by 8 feet (1.2 meters by 2.4 meters) or larger — it just needs to be big enough to knock a ball around.
Now you need materials to build the outside walls of the course and its interior obstacles. Dig around the garage for bricks, cinder blocks, wood boards, plywood sheets, buckets, strips of plastic siding — anything that can serve as a barrier, ramp or obstacle [source: Carlson].
Lay down bricks, cinder blocks or lumber in a large rectangle to frame the outside of the course. Inside the rectangle, place boards at 45-degree angles in the corners to create bumpers. Since the bricks and boards are easy to move, you can change the shape of the outside frame to "dogleg" to the right or left, or twist in multiple directions. If you don't have bricks and boards, a garden hose works in a pinch [source: Carlson].
Use sheets of plywood to make simple ramps and jumps. A spare piece of PVC pipe makes a great tunnel, and a pile of sand — or even kitty litter — makes an effective trap. For the hole, turn a tin can or yogurt container on its side.
Keep in mind that golf balls are designed to roll on extremely short and manicured grass, so you might want to use alternatives for backyard play. Croquet balls and mallets are a nice option, but you could also use a whiffle ball and bat, tennis balls and a racquet, or anything else you have on hand.
If you are experienced with a saw and wood glue, try our instructions on the next page for building a more permanent backyard mini golf course.