Miniature Golf Courses are not the first business that most people think of when they consider early roadside commercial establishments. But mini-golf courses were among the first businesses to dot the roadscape in the mid-to-late 1920s. There are two main eras of development for miniature golf courses. In the late 1920s, mini-golf was a craze. The sport appealed to amateur and professional golfers - women, men and children. Courses sprouted up on empty lots in the city, on rooftops, in resort areas and in basements across Kentucky. By the 1930s, however, the craze had fizzled out due to the effects of the Great Depression. There are very few courses extant from this era.
The second era of mini-golf course development began in the 1950s. A burgeoning post-war economy combined with cheap land prices and a highly mobile population to revive the sport. Mini-golf was a pastime that the whole family could enjoy. Thus, franchises like Putt-Putt Golf were established across the state catering to the entire family. Most of these courses were located on commercial strips, just outside of town, or as an integral part of resort areas. Frequently, mini-golf courses were combined with restaurant/motel complexes. The appeal of miniature golf often attracted vacationers to one motel instead of another. Miniature golf courses from this later era are rapidly being lost to suburban housing and commercial developments.