Lost password »
Register »


Finland  Axel

14 Oct 2017 at 04:31

Thanks! And sure, feel free to share, that is kind of why I made it as a public page.

Go to latest post »


United States of America  Smitty

17 Oct 2017 at 13:28

Congrats to Tony V. He joins the short list of players who have won both the USPMGA Masters and the Professional Putters Association National...

Go to latest comment »


Minigolfnews   42 photos |
Suggestions for Photo of the Year 2013 vote

Germany   21 photos | Bad Munder
World Championships Training

Russian Federation   27 photos | Sochi
Youth Russian Championships


United States of America  PatPenguin | 271 views | 0 comments

14 Oct 2017 at 02:58

The Heat is on...

United States of America  PatPenguin | 328 views | 0 comments

12 Oct 2017 at 03:14

Mastering the Masters...

United Kingdom  Sheila | 169 views | 0 comments

10 Oct 2017 at 21:16

Lemon Meringue Pizza - the....

All blogs »


Will any team that won a major international team competition this year repeat as champs in 2017?

- Yes - Sweden (Nations Cup)

- Yes - Germany (U23 Nations Cup)

- Yes - Other Team Tournaments

- Yes - All of them!

- No

To vote, you need to log in.

You have to vote to see the results.

Total 11 votes, since 01 Jan 2017.

Recent polls »

Finland John Mittler's blog« See all JJM's blogs

The volcano illusion
13 Sep 2013 at 02:53 | Posted in: General | Views: 8297 | Comments: 1
The volcano illusion
The volcano illusion.

Golf professionals teach that the player must keep his eyes exactly above the ball, when he aims a putt. For this reason, golf players usually stand very close to the ball when they putt, and they lean their chest forward, to have their eyes precisely over the ball.

Minigolf players rarely have their eyes exactly over the ball. In fact, it is often impossible for a minigolf player to have his eyes over the ball -- for example, when your ball has stopped on the other side of an eternite lane. To play the putt while having your eyes over the ball would require that you stand in the middle of the lane -- and that is forbidden by the rules.

Because minigolf players don't have their eyes over the ball, they suffer from some optical illusions, which golf professionals want to avoid with their strict "eyes over the ball" rule. Minigolf players sometimes see the hole in a different direction than where it actually is... an optical illusion! One of the minigolf lanes where this has most significant effect is when putting at the Volcano (lane number 8) of beton courses. The volcano illusion.

If you look at the picture above, the first picture shows what a golf player would see, when he aims for a putt at the Volcano lane of beton minigolf, having his eyes exactly over the ball. The second picture shows what a minigolf player with right-hand putter might see in the same situation. The + sign is the center of the putting green (on ground level) -- the direction where the player needs to aim the putt. But the minigolf player sees the hole __in a different direction__ than where the center of green actually is, because of a perspective distortion, which is caused by the fact that the player does not have his eyes exactly over the ball. If the minigolf player aims at the hole, rather than at the center of green (which is not in the direction where he sees the hole!), he will probably miss the hole on the right side, when he plays the putt.

If the putting green were made of glass, and a + sign were painted at the middle of green on ground level, it would be easy to notice this optical illusion, and always aim at the + sign, rather than at the hole. But the putting green is made of solid material, and the player cannot see the center of green on ground level.

Some minigolf players try to avoid this optical illusion, by taking an aiming mark between the ball and the hole, some 20 cm in front of the ball. This aiming mark will not be much above ground level, so the optical illusion will be smaller. My personal choice is more simple and straightforward: As a right-hand player, with my eyes quite far behind the ball, I always aim the putt some 2 cm to the left of center (or whatever the putting map says) at Volcano. With this simple thumb rule I have always found the center of hole reliably when putting at the Volcano, both in small and in large competitions.

When I was the webmaster of Minigolf World Championships 2001 (Vaasa), I asked the coaches of team Finland to give their putting maps, so I can publish them on the tournament website. They refused, because they wanted to keep maximal home field advantage for team Finland. "The Germans would never give any such information to others", they explained. Maybe they had a valid point in their thinking.

In 2008, as I was the webmaster of European Championships in Tampere, I didn´t bother to ask for putting maps from team Finland. I made the putting maps by myself, for publishing on the tournament website. All the 2 x 18 lanes, and I didn´t even have an assistant to throw the ball back to me from the hole. Who needs a gym, when you can train your back muscles by making a putting map?

I cannot guarantee that I was able to 100% neutralize the Volcano illusion from my putting maps, on lanes such as the Volcano on beton, or the German slide and Midhill on eternite. Many teams used my putting maps unchecked at the Nations Cup, and a few times I saw a top player such as Anders Olsson miss a putt at one of these lanes, while reading my putting maps.


Next time when you travel to an important competition, pay special attention to the putting maps of lanes where the hole is above the level where the ball will be when the player makes a putt. The Volcano of beton, the German and Swedish slide, the Midhill. Who made the putting map, was it a right-hand or left-hand player? What happens when a left-hand player reads a putting map which was done by a right-hand player?

Comments (1)

United States of America Smitty (Jeffrey Smith) | Delete

20 Sep 2013 at 12:22
Very interesting stuff!
Add comment
Please note that you have to login, to be able to add comments



 21 Oct 2017 (2 days)

37. Südtirol Trophäe

 21 Oct 2017 (1 day)

NZMGF proleague - round 7

 26 Oct 2017 (1 day)

Filz Challenge

 27 Oct 2017 (2 days)

47. Raiffeisen Trophäe

 29 Oct 2017 (1 day)


 04 Nov 2017 (1 day)

30 Stunden-Marathon

 04 Nov 2017 (1 day)

33. Trofeo San Martino


 13 Oct 2017

36. St. Prokulus Trophäe

 12 Oct 2017

USPMGA Masters

 12 Oct 2017

9. St. Zeno Trophäe

 08 Oct 2017

Welsh Open

 08 Oct 2017

Abschlussturnier 2017

 08 Oct 2017

Askims BGK MOS

 24 Sep 2017

44. Staffelseepokalturnier


United States of America 16 Oct 2017 at 19:31 | 
Tony Varnadore Wins 2017 USPMGA Master’s

Portugal 09 Oct 2017 at 14:21 | 
Meet the new competition - Minigolf Tour 2017

Sweden 02 Oct 2017 at 20:27 | 
Gunnar Shoots His Way to World Glory

Croatia (Hrvatska) 28 Sep 2017 at 13:17 | 
Minigolf World Champions Conclude in Croatia

United States of America 26 Sep 2017 at 13:17 | 
First Time Winner Highlights Matterhorn International Pro-Am

Czech Republic 24 Sep 2017 at 21:04 | 
An Interview with Katerina Reed - Woman

Croatia (Hrvatska) 19 Sep 2017 at 14:24 | 
Minigolf World Championships to be Held September 20 to 23

United States of America 16 Sep 2017 at 04:53 | 
Lee Stoddard Wins 24th Maine State Dolphin Open

Croatia (Hrvatska) 14 Sep 2017 at 14:27 | 
Minigolfers Storm to Victory in Croatia

Croatia (Hrvatska) 11 Sep 2017 at 05:19 | 
World Adventure Golf Masters and World Deaf Championships to be Played

Portugal 10 Sep 2017 at 23:11 | 
Portuguese Athletes Confirmed in the World Championships Deaf Players