Automatic Scoring For Skeeball Mini-Golf

Minigolf is a fun, simple pastime that has the benefit of taking up much less space than the classical game it is inspired by. [gcall1979] had built himself a small game for the lounge room, but found keeping score to be a tedious exercise. Of course, that was nothing that couldn’t be solved with some electronics!

The game consists of a skeeball-type minigolf course, where the score is determined by the hole the player puts the ball through. To track this, each hole is fitted with an IR break-beam sensor that triggers when a ball passes through. Vinyl siding is used to guide the balls going through the holes to ensure the sensor is triggered consistently. The sensors are read by an Arduino Mega, which is also responsible for flashing LEDs and updating the score throughout the game on the included 7-segment displays.

It’s a basic hack, but one that makes the game far more of a self-contained experience. No more fumbling with pencils and paper means it’s easier to focus on dominating the competition on the (miniature) green. Of course, those with dreams of the driving range might consider this recreation of the famous Floating 14th Hole!

Mobile Mini Green Recreates Coeur D’Alene’s Floating 14th Hole

Golf is an expensive obsession for some, with course fees on the most memorable and challenging courses running into the hundreds of dollars a game and beyond. If playing one of the most unusual holes in golf is simply beyond your means, there’s no need to fret – just do what [TVMiller] did and build a miniature mobile replica of the famous Coeur d’Alene Resort Floating 14th hole.

The Floating 14th is pretty spectacular as far as golf holes go. With a green located on an island about a hundred yards offshore of beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho, there’s little room for error – after all, it’s surrounded by a 49 square mile water trap. [TVMiller]’s replica green recreates the target quite accurately, although we doubt the Jolly Wrencher flag is regulation for championship play. But the best part is the motorized platform and smartphone app that can be used to send the mini green out as far as you feel like practicing. Sure, it could be a tad more realistic if the replica green actually floated, but asphalt fairways are a little easier to come by than Olympic-sized swimming pools.

A fun, tongue-in-cheek project, and we really enjoyed the faux TV coverage of the 2015 Hackaday Golf Championship in the video below. If real golf isn’t your thing, you might want to build a table-top golf course, or play a round of mini golf with a ball-incinerating Portal themed hole.

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The Put-put Golf Course Every Hackerspace Must Build

Ever played a mini-golf course that includes a vacuum powered tube transport and Wii Nunchuk controlled labyrinth? We’d bet the answer is no on both counts, unless you’re friends with [Tom Scott]. He enlisted his local hacker friends to build a uniquely geeky mini-golf course to help him celebrate a milestone birthday — 10k days on this Earth. Last month we looked in on one of the Portal themed holes, but the finished course is almost unbelievably larger and more amazing.

Our count puts the course at twelve holes. We’re already familiar with the Companion Sphere Incinerator hole, but joining in that theme is a Turret Hole (whith lasers!), and a clever hack that uses hidden balls to simulate a portal jump. The image above shows the Real Turf hole which starts with a put up some living sod into the indoor/outdoor carpet lined labyrinth. The Twin Looper hole will suck a well placed putt through thirty meters of tubing. And of course there’s the Minecraft hole which includes a Creeper and TNT block.

Don’t miss the clip after the break which shows off the course. And if you’d like to hit these links yourself they’ll be making an appearance at the Derby Maker Faire (in the UK) on June 3rd. Continue reading “The Put-put Golf Course Every Hackerspace Must Build”

Portal Mini Golf Hole Will Incinerate Your Ball…you Monster


One of [Tom’s] friends is celebrating a birthday soon, and he was asked to make a mini golf hole for the event. While most people would expect to bring beer or guac to the shindig, he saw this as an opportunity to bring a little bit of Portal to life.

Near the end of the first Portal game, you are forced to pitch your companion cube into the incinerator, a scene which [Tom] thought would be the perfect mini golf hole. He started out by building an iris door mechanism, which he surrounded with chicken wire and some plaster, producing a fantastic-looking waste disposal pipe.

He added a ramp that leads up to the hole, then [Tom] got busy with the electronics portion of the fixture. Once the portal button at the end of the ramp is pressed, an Arduno triggers a pair of motors to open the waste disposal door and fire up a smoke machine. The result, as you can see in the video below, is nothing short of awesome.

[Tom] says he’s in the process of building a pair of turrets and a working golf ball portal as well, so if you’re a big Portal fan, be sure to check out his site for updates.

Continue reading “Portal Mini Golf Hole Will Incinerate Your Ball…you Monster”