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WMF defends sovereignty of minigolf, as Golf Federation joins GAISF

World 10 Mar 2009 at 16:58 | Published by: JJM | Views: 6395 | News search

WMF defends sovereignty of minigolf, as Golf Federation joins GAISF To boost the hopes of getting golf played at Olympic Games 2016, International Golf Federation (IGF) plans to join the Olympic GAISF federation in its annual meeting on 27 March 2009 in Denver, Colorado (USA). Golf has been played in Olympic Games two times: in Paris 1900 and in Saint Louis 1904.

The rules of GAISF do not allow two similar games to be members of GAISF. To ensure the sovereignty of minigolf, World Minigolfsport Federation has sent a notification to the board of GAISF, to get clear assurances from International Golf Federation that it will interpret minigolf as an independent game, not a part of golf (in which case minigolf might be governed by IGF instead of WMF).

In mainland Europe, minigolf is generally considered an independent game, as it is played with special minigolf balls and special putters with a rubber. In Great Britain the state authorities regard minigolf as a part of golf. In United States the national minigolf federations have campaigned for decades to be understood as a part of golf, played with the same ball and mostly with the same rules.

A strategic question for minigolf is: Would minigolf have better chances to be recognized as a serious sport, if it is understood as a part of golf (which has been played at Olympic Games, and probably will be played again in future), or if minigolf is understood as an independent sport completely unrelated to golf?

» letter from WMF board to GAISF board
» website of GAISF
» website of International Golf Federation



previous comments    next comments
Comments (12)

United Kingdom doctork (Keith Kellard)

12 Mar 2009 at 13:39
Important is that we keep our unique identity, but embrace each other. Golf and minigolf have a lot the they can give each other, and one can compliment the other.

But they are different and distince sports, and should be classed as such. I think all recognise that fact (well apart from the national sports bodies here in the UK, that is!)

I look forward to the outcome of the GAISF meeting. It should help put us all on the right roads for the future.

Austria bub74 (Markus Berger)

12 Mar 2009 at 10:03
mmhhh - more than 35years ago - impressing price money in that days!

Thanks to Hans O. for the nice ideas. I am thinking you are doing a great job. It is a nice example, how you bring minigolf and golf together. We would need more examples like this. And I agree not to repel Golf - that is out of question. We we also should not dream too much, so that Golf will solve all our problems. We have to do it by ourselves. To rely on Golf is a very weak position. Nevertheless, if more people would follow the example of Hans O. the better it would be for us.

United States of America Smitty (Jeffrey Smith)

11 Mar 2009 at 22:15
Haazeman and others, Mike Baldoza, then 18 years of age, won 50,000USD in 1973 for winning what the PPA called the World Putting Championship, played in Tulsa, Oklahoma USA. I have included the link to the story. http://www.proputters.com/history/1970s/1973/world_putting_championship_73.htm
After a 20 or 30 year retirement, Mike came back out to the PPA in 2003. He is the 2003 and 2006 PPA Texas State Champion. (Now called the PPA Western Putting Tour)

Finland JJM (John Mittler)

11 Mar 2009 at 10:09
In some cases the Olympic Committee has its own strong opinion, which becomes an obligatory condition for joining GAISF or IOC. Like in the case of pool + snooker + carambole: IOC had the opinion that these are forms of the same game, "billiards", and they must unite before they can join IOC.

Several international federations exist for easier everyman's versions of golf: at least minigolf and pitch-and-putt have their own global federations, which arrange world championships.

Sweden Haazeman (Hans  Olofsson)

11 Mar 2009 at 08:42
good point, not completely accurate though. Many countries have a system where only members can play but there are always Pay&Play as well as so called executive courses (par 3 only) where they let anyone who pay money play a round. Playing on the bigger courses officialyy requires a membership somewhere but that rule is rarely enforce since they want income on their courses.

But, golf is big money, big media interest etc. I don't see any viable reasons on why we should stay away from any possibilities for a collaboration between the 2 sports?!?

Won't be easy, but worth trying!

Finland JJM (John Mittler)

11 Mar 2009 at 06:34
The reason why golf federations have more members than minigolf federations, is the fact that playing a round of golf is allowed for club members only. So the number of golf federation members is actually the number of people who play at least one round of golf during the year.

As for economical issues... golf is the richest game in the world. It is bigger business than Hollywood, and creates more money than any other sport in the world.


Sweden Haazeman (Hans  Olofsson)

10 Mar 2009 at 22:34
extensive articles with instruction parts as well in both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest (2 major golf magazines in the World) about us and our putting abilities show their interest and respect for our game!

You drive for show and putt for dough!

Putt-Putt was once (almost) "bigger" than golf in the USA. You probably heard the stiory from the 1973(?) PPA National Championships where 19-year old Mike Baldoza won 50.000 USD. Jack Nicklaus got less when winning the US PGA Championships the same year....
And yeah, I believe Mike got a brand new Corvette as well.

Several professional golfers (Azinger etc.) have told stories of how much they loved the televised Putt-Putt tourneys back in the days.

Please confirm or adjust my story fellow American putters?!

Sweden Haazeman (Hans  Olofsson)

10 Mar 2009 at 22:24
well well well, where do we start.....

Swedish Golf Federation has about 500.000 members, Swedish Minigolf has about 1% of that. I believe the turnover is around the same split between the two. Look at sponsors and TV-money, there you see golf having an even bigger part of the cake there.

I don't think we could be worse of by working with the sport of golf than by ourselves. Unfortunately I don't think it will be possible to join the two organizations in reality, BUT i think it would definitely be good for the sport of minigolf!

Putting is said to be 43% of the game of golf. I don't think we could reach that influence, but we could definitely do better than today.

In Sweden; me, Jesper and Anders have since 5 years been hired by the Swedish Golf Team, individual pro golfers, the Swedish PGA etc for our knowledge of putting.

Most golf players have the highest respect for minigolf and the skills involved in the game we play. The problem is that we don't seem to respect and act proud of our own game enough.

In short, we should not try to repell our big brother, he can give us a lot.

I reckon there are app 2 million games of minigolf played by the public each year in Sweden. The number of paid greenfee rounds in golf is probably way less than that. We have a great customer base, and immense public knowledge (good and bad...), but what do we show and what do they see.....

Companies try to associate their brands with celebrities and sport stars because they have high visibilty, credibility etc.

Minigolf should definitely try to associate more with golf to attain higher visibility, credibility etc.!

Sweden Hans (Hans Bergström)

10 Mar 2009 at 19:27
The possibilities if Minigolf would be a part of Golf just like Sprint Skiing is part of skiing is to me several.

* Minigolf could be seen as an opportunity for Golf to grow into areas where Golf has not been reaching. Minigolf arenas doesn’t need the big and risky investments, it could be build where people live, it could attract stressed golfers since it allows a practice run in an hour instead of 4 hours.
* Minigolf could be seen as a branch of golf like Long-jump and Marathon is part of Athletics, and hence if Golf goes into the Olympics, Minigolf could maybe go there too.
* Golf has generally lots of more money in the sport and it a little bit of that could leak over to Minigolf it would be good.
* We could still have the tournaments we have today and the rules we have today and be a part of Golf.

But I don’t see that this is happening since both Minigolf and Golf people in General is conservative and don’t want to ruin their sport. I don’t even know myself if it’s the right step, but I can clearly see lots of advantages and therefore I keep my mind open.

Finland JJM (John Mittler)

10 Mar 2009 at 19:20
... if they do so, then British Minigolf Association could send a copy of the statement to the national sport authorities, as proof that minigolf is not a part of golf.

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Gaby Rahmlow wins Danish Matchplay

Denmark 09 Mar 2009 at 20:26 | views: 5887 | Comments: 0

The legendary Gaby Rahmlow, BGC Uerdingen, was the winner at this years Danish Matchplay played in Odense at the indoor eternit course of Putter Team Odense played on March 7th-8th. The cup final against Erling Jensen of Putter Team Odense, was a tight game with ...
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Gaby Rahmlow wins Danish Matchplay

Bertel one more time got the "blues" in Bad-Vöslau

Bertel one more time got the "blues" in Bad-Vöslau

Austria 09 Mar 2009 at 16:53 | views: 5772 | Comments: 0

Jürgen Bertel achieved another "blue" total result in Bad-Vöslau. He scored 99 in five rounds on this 2-day competition to win just ahead of this nationalteam collegues Herbert Ziegler (101) and Manfred Lindmayr (102). Best female player was Jaqueline ...
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Double for Paolo Porta and MGC Novi Ligure in Follonica

Italy 09 Mar 2009 at 12:00 | views: 5056 | Comments: 0

The first national tournament included in the Italian national ranking 2009 has been played in Follonica. 55 players started in this tournament which was played with very nice weather conditions and 15-20°C. It turned out to be a very nice day for Paolo ...
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Double for Paolo Porta and MGC Novi Ligure in Follonica

First Portuguese National Head Coach

First Portuguese National Head Coach

Portugal 08 Mar 2009 at 19:04 | views: 5182 | Comments: 5

After years and years of disagreement about the existence of a National Head Coach, the Portuguese Minigolf Federation decided to nominee André Silva as the first head-coach ever. In the past, coaches were invited for a specific championship and the work was ...
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