Name/Title: Mini-Golf

Purpose of Event: To introduce putting techniques and strategies to students in a golf unit.

Prerequisites: Golf Etiquette and Golf Rules (Optional)

Suggested Grade Level: 9-12

Materials Needed: Putters for each student, 1 ball for each student (preferably different colors but not necessary,) 18 or more gymnastics mats, LOTS of Cones, Wood Boundaries, hurdles, hula hoops, boxes, sticks, and 9-18 carpet squares for the tee box, plastic drinking cups, pencils with a paper and the hole number attached.

Description of Idea

Getting Started: Depending on gym size and gymnastics mats, you can create a 9–18 hole golf course by attaching 2-3 gymnastics mats together for the fairways. (This reduces ball speed compared to putting on a gym floor and gives the class a boundary.) The mats define the location of the hole. Place a carpet square at one end of the mat, cut part of the drinking cup off so that the cup will lie flat on the mat, then tape it to the opposite end of the mat. GET CREATIVE with making the holes challenging.

Some things I did:

Hole #9: the students had to bounce the ball off a side barrier, to the end of the mat, where the mat was folded up so that the ball would roll up an incline and into a cup resting open side up on the incline.

I put orange hair, eyes and a red nose by the cup and call it "INTO THE CLOWN'S MOUTH!"

Other ideas include: cones as barriers; cones under certain parts of the mats to create bumps and slopes; folding mats up to make hills to jump; mats folded in triangles to make alley ways; 2 x 4's to create obstacles to avoid; fold the end mat in half and use a clipboard as a ramp to the top of the mat where the hole can be found.

Activity: Pair the class into groups, no more than 4 per group, depending on class size and number of holes. Remind the students that they take turns with hitting, starting with the person farthest away from the hole first. That way each person will not hole-out before anyone else has tee'd off. Stop after 5 minutes and point out excellent swings, describing the swing as a PENDULUM motion at the shoulders, keeping elbows and wrists locked. If they finish 9 holes, go again!

Assessment Ideas:

Have the students keep score on a score card then hand them in for review.

Check for understanding by asking questions at the end of the period (e.g., should the elbows/wrists bend?

Teaching Suggestions:

Optional: Give the students a lesson that includes golf etiquette before this. Remind the students to follow that etiquette. Faster players play through; lowest score goes first, and much more.
To keep the class more engaged, have them keep score on hand made score cards. Write the par of each hole on the score cards.
Put a barrier at the back of each mat to keep the balls from rolling off the end. Make a rule that if the ball goes off the mat, it’s a one stroke penalty and they start from the tee box again.
If students are having problems alternating shots, make each group use only one putter. Then they must share and wait for their turn to shoot.

Provide a reward for a difficult hole like into the clown’s mouth. I made hole 9 a PAR 1, and out of 450 students only 1 made a hole in one! (I knew the clown’s mouth in 1 was possible, just difficult.)

This activity is a great opportunity for the older students (Grades 11 & 12) to develop their own courses/holes/challenges and set up a club/intramurals/after school activity/unit to teach to younger students. Very good leadership possibilities.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

I had a student in a wheel chair who was able to reach over the side and putt. I also had other students with disabilities (M.D.) who needed help with etiquette and soft hits, verbal cues did the trick.

Submitted by Tyler Hartl in Sioux City, IA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 12/26/2002.
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