"Your sense of timing and your perceptiveness in judging distance are about to be fine-tuned! This exciting video game simulates an actual "Miniature Golf" course, complete with moving obstacles."
Miniature Golf is one of the first games released for the Atari 2600 and you can see it! The graphics are blocky, sound is ultra limited and options are virtually nonexistent (1 or 2 players, stroke length).
Moreover, the program only propose a 9-hole course. As a result, after a few days of training, it is likely that the player knows exactly what specific moves to do to complete each hole quickly.
But the most annoying defect is that you need to take your club away from the ball in the opposite direction from where you want to send the ball. And the more you move the club away from the ball, the stronger your shot will be. But you are virtually confined within the screen. Therefore it's impossible to perform big strokes when your ball is near one edge of the screen... which is the case for almost all holes start.
The only solution is then to play as billiards, by rebounds on the walls... And that is where we finally realise that Miniature Golf is more like playing a primitive billiards game than a real game of mini-golf.
As you can see from the screenshots, there are purple squares on each hole. These are in fact moving barriers which are there to make your life more complicated and push your ball where you don't want to...
Miniature Golf may be the first mini-golf videogame in history. The same year (1978), Atari also developed an arcade version which remained at a prototype stage.
Atari decided to stop selling Miniature Golf in 1979 for unknown reasons.
Miniature Golf was also sold as Arcade Golf for their Sears videogame system.