Introduction: Micro Golf - the Tabletop Strategic Golf Game
Micro Golf is a game designed for players of all ages and skill levels, and like mini-golf, it is not based solely on skill but partially on luck. Micro Golf is designed with all players in mind, from young to old. This tiny spin on mini golf employs a new strategic, competitive advantage by allowing players to change the course as they go. The game is quick to learn, and gets people moving around the table in no-time.
The reason we all love to play mini-golf is because no two holes are the same; there is always some type of unique obstacle. Determining the best shot to take on a dynamic course allows for this same feature to be part of this game- all within the confines of a table. This means micro golf can deliver a mini‑golf-based experience to play in your apartment. It can certainly work as a testing practice green for solo play but is recommended to play with at least 2 Players for competitive fun. The following guide provides information on how to build and play the game.
The following build guide is designed to be as simple as possible and allow for a quick build of the game. Micro Golf is physically a very simple game and can be created with either a 3D printer or a Laser Cutter. The 3D printer is great as it allows for clubs to be printed, however the frame and center piece are designed to be either laser cut or printed.
- 3D Printer or Laser Cutter (Both makes for the easiest assembly and quickest gameplay)
- 4 x 12" x 12" x ¼” Wood or acrylic (if using a laser cutter, filament if using a printer)
- Downloaded DXF Files and/or STL Files (for the game pieces)
- Glue – any type for your selected build material
- Pencils – These will be handles for the golf clubs (or appropriately sized dowels). The clubs are designed for hexagonal pencils, but you can use any appropriately sized type. This is done for simplicity and strength.
- 1in Grid Game Mat at least 30in x 30in, or 1in grid paper
- 4 Colors of Markers
Step 1: 3D Printing (Skip to Laser Cutting If You Are Going That Route)
Download the STL files and print the following quantities of game pieces:
- 4 x Triangle 1
- 4 x Triangle 2
- 4 x Circle
- 4 x Corner
- 4 x Ramp
- 1 x Center (hole easy or hole hard)
- 8 x Hole Pieces Guard Rail
- At least 12 x Side (More sides allows for large play area ex: 12 allows for 30in x 30in)
STLs have been attached below in a zip file. They are also available on Thingiverse.
Step 2: Laser Cutting (Skip If 3D Printing Game Pieces)
Download the PDF files and cut the following quantities of each file out of 1/4” material (double cuts for 1/8” material) Tolerances of .25mm on each side of joints have been designed in.
Let us know if you need different tolerances.
- 2 x Barriers.pdf - for all corners and straight segments
- 1 x Holes.pdf - for both standard and hard holes.
- 1 x Obstacles.pdf -for all course obstacles
Step 3: Hole Assembly
The hole must be assembled, the lasercut version and 3D versions will have identical assembly except for glue type, a simpler 3D model will be uploaded shortly for optimized printing.
- Attach sets of ramp pieces together (4 sets of 4), we used wood glue and a clamp.
- Glue ramps to the hole as shown
- Place the guide rails if desired between them - no need to glue, but this will allow for ensuring everything is square. In game, no guide rails is impossible level difficulty, one set of guide rails is hard difficulty, and 2 sets are normal difficulty.
Step 4: Club Building
We recommend 3D printing the clubs at the current point in time, however feel free to craft them with a small block of wood and a drill. The printed pieces are designed to have pencils press fit inside them. Simply print basic or fancy clubs and press pencils into them as shown here. You can glue the pencils in if you wish but that should not be required.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
At this point you are almost ready to play. We recommend that you mark, or paint the pieces to know who's pieces are who's. We did this with small dots, but plan to paint the pieces in the near future. You can also add sticky tack to the bottom of the game pieces to prevent them from sliding around on the table too much due to collisions with the golf balls.
Step 6: Game Setup
- Build the boundary for the game with the corner and side pieces. The game is expandable and can be modified in size to your desire. We recommend a minimum area of at least 30in x 30in (3 side pieces per side).
- Place the hole in the center of the board as shown
- Divide the pieces up equally among the corners. These pieces are what make this game interesting.
- An inch grid mat (ie. battle mat) is highly recommended for accurate piece placement. Draw erase marker compatible mats are useful as well to better mark player zones. If no mat is used, the boundary has inch marks for reference.
Step 7: Choosing a Game Mode
The First Choice you have is to choose a game mode. These each have difficulties of easy, medium, and hard. Beginners should start on easy, however seasoned golfers will love the thrill of the hard version.
Basic Mode: This is the simplest way to play the game and recommended for all first time players
Evil Genius Mode: If you get frustrated when games get difficult, I’d skip this mode.
Party Mode: Perfect for large parties, builds upon Basic Mode to allow for tournament style play
Step 8: Basic Mode (Game Rules)
2 – 4 players gather (you’ll be moving around a bit) at the table (or around the board if it is on the floor)
Setting up the game
Set up the table as shown. The game mat or paper should be placed down first and then the outer perimeter. You can choose to use sticky-tack for the perimeter if you wish, though we found it is very helpful with the shapes. The board is divided into quadrants as shown, with each having a fixed circle.
Place the circle pieces in the correct position as shown below, and the hole in the center of the board. The circle pieces are static throughout the game.
- The hole has 6 modes: easy – with guardrails, hard – half guardrails (only one layer), Impossible – no guardrails, and easy+, hard+, and impossible+ are all the same with the smaller hole for added challenge. We recommend playing on easy.
Each player should have their respective colored triangles: 3 isosceles and 2 scalene. These must be placed symmetrically in your starting area based on a diagonal symmetry line between your tee to the hole. Some examples of this are depicted below.
NOTE: You cannot place the triangles in the blocked off area. The examples above are to provide some ideas on how to place the triangles initially. You are trying to help yourself reach the hole in as few strokes as possible.
- Determine a rule to decide who goes first. Examples include: Height, Age, Number of times you went to the bathroom today, etc.
- At the beginning of your turn you have the ability to move/rotate up to two pieces and take a stroke. You can move or rotate two separate pieces or move and rotate one piece (2 actions total). The buy values for each of the moves is as follows
- 1 Point – Rotate your own piece
- 2 Points – Move your own piece
- 2 Points – Rotate somebody else’s piece
- 3 Points – Move somebody else’s piece
- After electing to move or not move any pieces then you take a stroke. On your first turn you will shoot from the tee (the small hole set on your corner).
- Be sure to keep track of build points and strokes for the final score of each round
- Only triangle pieces can be moved, and you cannot move an opponent’s pieces if they are still in their own zone (The white area in the map depicted by the graphic is where you can move an opponent's pieces)
- All triangles’ 90 degree angle should line up with intersecting inch markings (perpendicular sides line up with grid lines) at all times.
- A movement action allows for one piece to be moved anywhere outside of opponents’ zones, while retaining the piece’s orientation.
- A rotation action allows for one piece to change its orientation according to the following:
- Right (smaller) triangles- piece must stay within its starting 2”x2” grid
- Scalene (larger) triangles – piece must be pivoted around its 90 degree angle
- If a piece is only half-way covering the ramp to the hole, it must still be passable by a ball (the marble).
- You CAN block other players, in fact it is encouraged and leads to more fun during the game
- If the ball ends in a start zone (the triangles at the corners) you must restart at your own Tee
- If a player knocks the table they will be charged 1/3 ‘of a stroke
- Bocce style hitting of other players balls is legal.
- The max stroke/build count per round is 30. If two players tie, the winner is the player with the least overall number of over-30-stroke rounds, indicated by a dot for each one over their cumulative score.
- You reset your triangle positions at the end of each round.
The game ends after the round at which 100 points is scored. Build points and stroke points are added together to get this score. The person with the lowest point total is victorious.
Step 9: Evil Genius Mode Rules
This is a game mode for 5 players and is very strategy based.
Do you have what it takes to be the best evil genius? Your goal in the game is to stop all players from scoring. The average number of points is your score in this scenario. You are allowed to move pieces, and the players are encouraged to help each other. You do not have to buy pieces but can take a maximum of 4 actions. The difference however is that you get to move twice as many pieces as a normal player. The players can all make movements before taking strokes if they wish (by deferring stroke to after other players movements). This creates a team environment and plays similar to games with a game master (ie. DM). The Evil genius switches after 2 rounds, with each player having a change to be the genius. The goal is to have the lowest average score as genius. This mode will likely cause a great deal of fights and test friendships. Maximums of 30 are still in play. The genius can move any pieces, regardless of where they are.
Step 10: Party Mode
5 or more players gather around the board.
Gameplay is the same as basic however the player(s) that
scores the highest in the round is kicked. The number of players kicked is as follows:
- 5 players - 1
- 6 players – 2
- 7 or more players – 3
The players that were kicked least recently are the first to return to play. There are two ways to score this mode, and it depends on how you want the game to play.
Mode 1: Score based – very similar to standard scoring, however the game ends when one person gets kicked out 5 times. Your final score is your total score/the number of rounds played. This scoring favors the most dexterous player.
Mode 2: Survival based – You play until somebody has been kicked out 5 times. The person that has been kicked out the fewest number of times wins. If there is a tie, the lowest score wins. This tends to lend itself better to the more strategic players – the blockage of other players as opposed to just going straight for the hole can be beneficial here.
Participated in the