In 1927, Garnet Carter built the first miniature golf course on Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. He did so as an attempt to draw traffic and attention to his popular hotel and its accompanying full-length regulation golf course.
After a while, the miniature course had become so popular, more people wanted to play on it than on the regulation greens. Cater accommodated their requests, charging a greens fee for this course as well.
While his little project was a great success, the deluge of people caused so much traffic that the miniature grounds were trampled on until it was un-playable. Carter, ever the businessman, secured rights to a vegetable fiber surface and installed this for his patrons to play on. The ability to provide a durable surface encouraged a slew of entrepreneurs to open miniature golf courses throughout the west into California as well as the Northeast. In fact, by the fall of 1930, more than 25 million people were miniature golf fans. The popularity of miniature golf seemed to lie in the fact that so much of it was dependent upon sheer luck instead of necessarily having to have skill – with beginners often having a viable chance of defeating seasoned duffers.