Miniature golf: every stroke a new adventure

Miniature golf: every stroke a new adventure

Only a dark corridor leads between the wooden blocks to the hole. A young man tries the felt track. But he doesn't quite make it: the ball bounces off one of the obstacles. The player has to try again.

Pascal zeller is particularly skilled. He hits the hole with just one shot on many courses. The 18-year-old is currently the pride and joy of the MGC bamberg: he recently took part in the youth world championships in bad munder near hanover with the national youth team.

Since september 2009 pascal trains at least twice a week on the land of the MGC at the jahnspitze. "It's always a challenge to complete each course in one stroke", tells pascal, who became vice world champion with the national youth team. For some, this looks very difficult: on a course you have to hit the ball up a hill that is in the middle of it. On it is the hole. If you hit too weakly, the ball rolls back to the starting position. If you hit it too hard, it jumps over the hole and rolls back down on the other side. Another track zigzags: you can either do the "cutting stroke" or the "cutting stroke" try to hit the ball past all the corners directly into the hole, or play it over the fence. Pascal zeller tries the second variation: he hits the ball against the front cushion, it bounces back to the back cushion, and from there directly into the hole.

Precision, skill and a lot of practice are required in minigolf. "Every track is different", explains klaus vogentanz, who has been with the club since 1981 and its first chairman since 2004. "Sometimes the end circle is more to the left, sometimes more to the right. You have to get used to each track first." Every stroke is a new adventure.

Vogentanz's deputy wolfgang kunert, who used to play in the bundesliga, adds: "it's fascinating to play again and again with different balls. And this fascination goes very far, because there are about 20,000 different minigolf balls." The balls differ in weight, hard and jumping high. He himself usually carries about 70 balls in his pocket during training, kunert tells us. Because for each course is another suitable.

There is a rule of thumb for the correct stroke posture, explains klaus vogentanz: "the legs and the stroke should form an isosceles triangle." So you should hold the beater about halay between your legs. "But every minigolfer has his or her own hitting technique. Some have their legs closer together, some further apart."

Each player has a maximum of six strokes to hit the ball into the hole. If he doesn't make it, he gets seven demerit points. A men's team usually consists of six players and one substitute; women's, youth and senior teams consist of three players plus one substitute.

There are a total of 36 holes on the land at the jahnspitze – 18 made of felt, 18 of eternit (fiber cement). The felt lanes are between 7.5 and 14.4 meters long, the eternit lanes are 6.25 meters long. They originally came to karlsruhe in 1989 at the "world games" a tournament for non-olympic sport disciplines. Later the MGC bamberg bought it up. In july 1991, the club was able to open the miniature golf course on the jahn peninsula. Before that he had to go to bischberg and hallstadt from time to time. "It was the first asbestos-free eternit course in germany", says wolfgang kunert proudly, who is also responsible for the maintenance of the facility. The felt tracks were completed in 2001. Every two years, the minigolf association checks whether the playing facility still complies with the standard.

The bamberg miniature golf club was founded in 1962 in the grove and since then has won the german team championship several times. Some of its 60 or so members come for training almost every day. Since a few years there is also a senior team, in which klaus vogentanz plays – if his schedule allows it. But the problems are the same as in other clubs, according to vogentanz: "it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit young members."

Membership if you are interested in becoming a member, please contact us by e-mail (info@mgc-bamberg.De) contact the association.

Opening hours the minigolf course of the 1. MGC at the jahnspitze is open from april to september: mo-fr from 2pm (in the vacations from 1pm), saturday from 1pm, sunday from 11am; marz u. October: saturday/ sunday from 1 pm; closed in bad weather.