With each new year of competition, the Cornhusker State Games debuts new sports which provide exciting opportunities for CSG participants to engage in new activities.  For the 2019 Games, one of the new sports is miniature golf, as the classic recreational activity is now a competitive experience.

The sport director for miniature golf, Erik Gustafson, is delighted to bring the sport to a wider audience.

“We’re really excited to bring a competitive aspect to miniature golf because we feel like, especially in the millennial generation and younger, there’s a lot of people who love the sport of golf but don’t necessarily have 40 dollars and four hours a day to do it,” he said.

A popular game for kids and adults alike, Gustafson feels part of the reason why the sport is so popular is because everyone can participate in it and have fun together.

“If you’re 3 or 103, you can play it, and it can be enjoyed by almost anyone,” he said. “I think it’s an activity where you can be engaging with one another while you do it.”

That inclusivity is part of the reason why Gustafson tried to make the miniature golf event at the Cornhusker State Games accessible to all. While two rounds of golf costs $11 normally, the initial pricing to play at the State Games was set for $14, and that price includes a free t-shirt, numerous other perks and the chance to win a medal at the Games.

An interesting aspect of miniature golf is that it is often called Putt-Putt, but the difference between the two simply comes down to a branding difference. Similar to how tissues are called Kleenex, Putt-Putt refers to the name of a popular television competition and a brand which spread throughout the country, not the sport of miniature golf itself. The two are very similar, but according to Gustafson, miniature golf is the broader and more accurate term for the competition.

As Gustafson is very passionate about the sport, he saw the Cornhusker State Games as a great opportunity to expand the reach of miniature golf and encourage competition in the classically fun game.

“We really see a cultural opportunity here for the entire sport of miniature golf to really make it more of a competitive experience,” Gustafson said.

At the Cornhusker State Games, all miniature golf competition will take place at Adventure Golf Center in Lincoln. There are two divisions of competition; singles and doubles. The doubles group is not divided by age, and the singles competition is classified into age groups (6u, 8u, 10u, 13u, 18u, and 19+). Participants will each get to play two rounds of golf, one on each of the two courses offered at the center.

While miniature golf is an activity enjoyed by many families, Gustafson is aiming to keep that nature of family fun and add an extra layer of competition with the Games. The competition will take place on July 20, and Gustafson is excited to see how people come out and support the new sport.

“I think this creates an opportunity for people to come out and some of them will be super competitive, and some of them will have a lot of fun, just by being more recreational,” he said.

Registration is currently open for the 2019 Cornhusker State Games. Featuring competition in 70 sports, participants can find more information and register online at our 2019 Sport Listing

Story by Luke Mullin