Miniature Golf ADA Requirements
Did you know there are requirements for miniature golf courses to comply with ADA laws? It's true! The following information is made available by the United States Access Board. See the diagram below for a plan view of a typical miniature golf installation.
Plan View of Miniature Golf Installation
Accessible Holes: At least 50 percent of the holes on a miniature golf course must be accessible. If possible, operators should make all holes accessible. Accessible holes must be consecutive, to offer a more socially integrated experience. If only the minimum number of holes are accessible, it is recommended that designers select holes that will offer golfers who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices a playing experience that is as equivalent as possible to the experience of golfers without disabilities. An exception permits courses to have one break in the sequence of accessible holes, if the last hole in the sequence is the last hole on the course. A common sequence is to have holes 1-8 accessible without interruption, then make hole 18 accessible. The route in which a golfer with a disability must travel may not require travel back through any holes, even if the route is adjacent to the hole and not on the hole itself.
Accessible Routes: Accessible routes are continuous, unobstructed paths connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility. The accessible route must comply with ADAAG provisions for the location, width (minimum of 36 inches), passing space, head room, surface, slope (maximum of 1:12 or 8.33%), changes in level, doors, egress, and areas of rescue assistance, unless otherwise modified by specific provisions outlined in ADA Standards. The accessible route must connect the facility’s entrance with the first accessible hole and with start of play area on each following accessible hole.
The course must be configured to allow an easy exit from the last accessible hole to the facility exit or entrance. When not all holes are accessible, a player cannot be required to double back through holes to exit. Where possible, designers and operators are encouraged to make all holes accessible. An accessible route connecting accessible holes may be on the hole-playing surface or adjacent to it.
Accessible Routes on the Playing Surface: The surface of the accessible route must be stable, firm and slip resistant. Where carpets are used on the playing surface, they are not required to comply with the requirements in ADAAG for accessible carpets; however, they are still required to be stable, firm, and slip resistant. There is usually a curb around a hole to keep the ball within the playing area. When the accessible route is provided on the course, a 1-inch high maximum curb is permitted for an opening of 32 inches minimum where the accessible route extends outside the hole. This opening will permit passage of wheelchairs, while containing the ball within the hole. Designers should consider locating this opening in an area where the ball is not likely to roll. See the diagram below for a representation of this installation. The accessible route on a playing surface must be within 36 inches (the golf club reach range) of any area where the ball comes to rest.
Access Opening Between Playing Surface and Accessible Route
Landings must be 48 inches long. Where ramps change direction, the landing size must be a minimum of 48 inches by 60 inches. The orientation of the length and the width have not been specified for added flexibility in design. Slopes on landings must be no more than 1:20 (5%). If the accessible route is on the playing surface, handrails are not required. The accessible route may include a maximum slope of 1:4 (25%) for a maximum 4-inch rise. These steeper slopes or ramps are permitted for limited distances. See the diagram below for a depiction of some of these dimensions.
Accessible Route on Playing Surface Dimensions.
Accessible Routes Adjacent to the Playing Surface: If the accessible route is adjacent to the playing surface, it must not exceed 36 inches (the golf club reach range) from any area where golf balls rest. This allows players to be close enough to reach the ball and play from outside the hole. See the diagram below. The accessible route should be as close to the level playing areas as possible.
Miniature Golf Reach Range Restriction from Adjacent Accessible Route
The accessible route adjacent to the playing surface must comply with ADAAG. The accessible route provisions in ADAAG address slope (maximum of 1:12 or 8.33%), width (minimum of 36 inches), cross slope (maximum of 1:48 or 2.08%), handrails, and changes in level.
Start of Play Areas: The clear floor or ground space area at the start of play for each accessible hole must be 48 by 60 inches minimum to allow players to position themselves for the first shot. It must have a slope no steeper than 1:48, or 2.08%, so that people using wheelchairs or mobility devices do not have to hit the ball while positioned on a sloped surface. The accessible route and the clear space can overlap. See the diagram below for a representation of an accessible start of play area.
Start of Play Area