Mini-Golf Vs Putt-Putt (What Are The Main Differences?)

Mini-golf and putt-putt are certainly not the same things (regardless of what anyone else says).

There are actually quite a lot of similarities when it comes to both of these two activities. Let’s get started right away and talk about the similarities first.

Mini-Golf And Putt-Putt: The Similarities

mini golf vs putt putt
Example Of A Putt-Putt Hole

I’ll never forget the time when a friend of mine (named Tyler) ask me:

Hey, would you like to play some putt-putt?

I had no idea what he was talking about. Well, actually, I kind of did. I figured that it would be something related to putting and mini-golf (and I happened to be right).

That was the first time I had heard the phrase. It sounded weird to me at the time, and you might have had a similar experience as well.

All in all, if someone asks you if you want to play mini-golf or putt, they are almost the same thing but not identical. Either way, you’re in for a very fun time.

Here is a quick list of similarities for you:

  • Checked off as sports.
  • Both are going to be inexpensive and fun experiences.
  • Both play 18 holes (although sometimes courses offer more).
  • Both are centered around using a putter to get the ball in a hole.
  • Also, you can be of any age to play both (and your experience doesn’t matter).

Both come with a good amount of skill and luck. However, as I’ve stated many times previously, the more you practice, the more skill you’ll pick up and the overall “luckier” you will get.

I wrote a nice little guide that shows you how to win more at mini-golf if you need further help. And yes, that article provides tips that work for both mini-golf and putt-putt.

Lastly, I want to mention that both of these activities offer a lot of fun to be had. As long as you’re not playing solo (unless you’re practicing), expect to make a lot of memories with the friends that you play with.

If you want to really increase your memories, consider one of these golfing activities for a date. Whether it’s your first date, second date, or even fifteenth date, it’s a great way to take some time off from the ‘same ‘ol’ and enjoy yourself with someone special.

Mini-Golf And Putt-Putt: The Differences

putt putt vs mini golf
Example Of A Mini-Golf Course

So let’s start with one of the biggest differences when it comes to putt-putt vs mini-golf.

The setup of each activity is going to be very different:

  • Putt-putt has a much simpler and easier layout.
  • Mini-golf, on the other hand, tends to be much more advanced and complex.

For example, putt-putt holes are generally designed so that you can get a hole-in-one on every hole. Compare that to miniature golf, and you’ll quickly notice that some holes are next to impossible to get a hole in one.

Have you ever seen mini-golf offer a free game if you get a hole-in-one on the 18th hole? They do that because it’s not only a great challenge, but it also rarely happens.

Plus, if someone ends up making the hole-in-one, there’s a good chance that they will bring some friends along with them the next time because mini-golf is much more fun that way.

Here are some more examples when it comes to set up differences:

  • You can expect a lot of flat and even surfaces with putt-putt.
  • You can expect a lot more hazards, twists, turns, and obstacles with mini-golf.

To make things simpler, putt-putt is overall much easier compared to mini-golf.

Don’t expect many wild themes when it comes to putt-putt. Mini-golf, on the other hand, has come with some crazy themes that I’ve personally got to experience such as:

  • Pirates, birds, and even live alligators.
  • Castle and knight themes (with plenty of both).
  • A safari with plenty of animals and even a large waterfall.
  • Lighthouses and boats (the mini-golf course was right by the ocean).

Another difference when it comes to these two fun activities are going to be some of the rules:

  • Putt-putt is a par 2 for every hole (mini-golf varies because of its difficulty).
  • With mini-golf, you alternate shots, and then whoever is furthest away goes next.
  • With putt-putt, someone puts until they get the ball in the hole, then the next person goes.

So those are going to be some of the biggest differences when it comes to mini-golf and putt-putt. There are some other differences, like mini-golf being more popular than putt-putt overall, but I think that you get the idea.

Mini-Golf Vs Putt-Putt: Closing Words

So let’s do a quick recap when it comes to the biggest similarities and differences between these two fun activities. Keep in mind that there are a few more, but these are the biggest.


  • Inexpensive, fun, and great for dates.
  • Anyone of any age can play (experience doesn’t matter).
  • Both are based on using a putter to get the ball in the hole.


  • Different setup, structures, themes, and layout of the courses.
  • Different levels of challenge where putt-putt is much easier overall.
  • A few different rules in terms of pars and when who starts and finishes.

So I hope that I helped you out as much as possible when it comes to the comparison of mini-golf and putt-putt. While they are very similar in nature, there are certainly enough differences to make them unique in their own way.

If you feel like this article will help someone else see the differences between these two activities, feel free to share it with them. Lastly, I’ll leave a link down below to one more article that also compares regular golf and mini-golf.

Related Reading: Comparing Golf And Mini-Golf.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read this article, and here’s to your next hole-in-one.