The History of Mini Golf in the Scenic City

Did you know that the Scenic City played a big part in the history of mini golf? 

While Chattanooga doesn’t lay claim to the very first miniature golf attraction in the United States, Rock City co-founder Garnet Carter was the first person to franchise the pastime as we know it today.

Carter created Tom Thumb Golf in 1928 to entertain guests at his Fairyland Inn while a larger, full-scale golf course was being constructed. Carter’s wife, Frieda, who was of German descent, had a fascination with European folklore, which influenced the attraction’s name.

The story of Tom Thumb, dating back to 1621, is one of England’s oldest recorded fairytales and is about a boy who was no larger than his father’s thumb. The tale fit in perfectly with the whimsical nature of the Fairyland Inn.

To learn more about Chattanooga’s part in making mini golf what it is today, click here.

Tom Thumb Golf Course; Courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library
Tom Thumb Golf Course on Lookout Mountain

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