Kalajärvi MOS voted as best Finnish minigolf course
01 Jun 2008 at 20:11 | Published by: JJM | Views: 7615 | News search
Lane 6 of Kalajärvi minigolf course. (Photo by John Mittler 2008)
The biggest commercial radio station in Finland, Radio Nova,
asked its listeners to vote the best minigolf course in the country.
The first prize in the vote went to an American style MOS
minigolf course at Kalajärvi camping area (157 km north of Tampere,
107 km south-east of Vaasa).
Radio Nova reaches 1.5 million listeners per week.
Their weekly “Best in Finland” vote asks listeners
to rate the best places to go in the country.
The vote of week 22 / 2008 asked where is the best minigolf course of Finland.
The winner of this public vote, Kalajärvi minigolf course,
is located at a camping area in central Finland, near a small town of 40,000 people.
The course was designed by an American company
» Harris Miniature Golf Courses,
and built in 2005 by the Finnish course owner himself.
Our news editor visited the site, and played a round on the course.
We heard that the course record was 38, played by someone in 2007.
Our test group played 40 and 49, without any practice shots, and using the golf ball
and putter rented by the course kiosk. With some practice and good putting maps,
one should expect scores between 27 and 36.
Many of the lanes seemed a bit boring for competition players, offering easy two points
(with a good putting map), but
very little hope for a hole-in-one. The course design included some very interesting lanes too, however.
» lane number 6
as the best design of the course — an excellent example
of what MOS minigolf can be at best. A variant of the “optical illusion” lane type,
a narrow passage sloping to the right, offering hole-in-ones with a quite strong shot that
passes near the left wall. Mistakes in force or direction will be punished
with 2 or 3 points.
Editor’s pick: the best lane design of the course
» video 640 x 480 (3.3 MB)
» video 320 x 240 (1.2 MB)
» photo gallery of all lanes of the course
With some extra stones added here and there (to punish poor shots with three points),
this minigolf course would be an interesting challenge for players of all skill levels.
The artificial grass of the course is slower and thicker than normal minigolf felt,
but it gives a smooth and straight roll for the ball, and tolerates rainy weather in
competition play better than felt, beton or eternite courses.
99% of minigolf courses in Finland are traditional Scandinavian felt courses
(usually in smaller size than competition courses, and with non-standard obstacles).
Finland has seven official eternite courses (2 x Helsinki, 2 x Tampere, Pori, Vaasa, Vantaa),
three official beton courses (Pori, Tampere, Vaasa), and a small but growing number of MOS courses
in British / American style.
The Finnish minigolf courses that get greatest number of customers per year are probably
the tournament standard felt courses of Manse RG in Tampere and Sibelius Park MGK in Helsinki —
thanks to their good quality and perfect location in city center, near water and beautiful nature.
Also the beton courses of Tampere and Vaasa have been well received by the public.
Eternite courses have never been popular among paying customers in Finland.
Finnish players have been active in British and American MOS competitions for
many years, but Finnish Minigolf Federation has never arranged a MOS competition so far.
However, rumours tell that in 2009 an official Finnish championship tournament might be arranged
on a MOS course.
» website of Kalajärvi minigolf course
» SBGF info brochure about MOS courses
(in Swedish language)
» website of Radio Nova