Add the Obstacles

Mini golf is all about navigating through obstacles to get your ball in the hole.

Below are four obstacle challenges which can be built out of cardboard, paper, tape and glue. We will use CRICKIT with Circuit Playground Express to control these obstacles, and learn a bit of MakeCode along the way.

These obstacles can be used more or less interchangeably. Position them to make your course as easy or difficult as you like!

Windmill

You can cut out a 2-blade or 4-blade windmill, depending on the level of difficulty you want.

Making the frame

 

First, we'll need to make a frame on which to mount our spinning windmill.

 

Take a piece of cardboard about 12 inches tall and 20 inches wide.

 

Cut out a rectangle from the bottom, leaving 2-3 inches from the outside edge.

 

Poke a hole in the center of your frame.

 

Using the excess piece, cut out two new sections of cardboard about 2"x4". These will be used as stabilizing feet for the frame. 

 

Use scissors to cut 1" slits in the center of the feet and the bottom of the arch.

 

Align the slits in the two pieces of cardboard and press together. Your windmill frame can now stand on its own.

Mounting the motor

 

Stick DC motor hub through center hole you added earlier.

 

Use something pointy to mark the motor's mounting hole positions.

 

Use a twist-tie or piece of solid-core wire to cinch the motor to the cardboard. 

 

Screw windmill blade to motor hub.

Once connected to CRICKIT, your windmill will be spinning in no time!

Swinging Gate

Cut a rectangular strip of cardboard, about 2" x 8".

 

Cut a strip of double sided tape, about the length of one popsicle stick.

 

Tape cardboard gate to one side of the popsicle stick, and tape the servo horn to the other side.

 

Trim the corners off the gate. This will help prevent it from colliding with anything as it swings up and down.

 

This gate is now ready to mount on your servo motor!

This servo-powered gate will be programmed to go up and down in a pattern that you control.

Ball Return

This obstacle is all about accuracy. Not only must you get past all the obstacles, but also aim your putt so the ball goes in the hole. 

The slinky can also be positioned to conveniently return the ball to you.

Cut out an arc of cardboard on which to mount the slinky. This will support the slinky as the ball passes through it.

 

Tape the ends and middle of the slinky to this cardboard.

 

A small square of cardboard can be added at the end to further direct the ball as it exits the slinky.

 

The ball return will be mounted at the very end of the course. Use the slinky to mark the location and diameter of the hole.

Save yourself from chasing down your ball after making a hole in one. This slinky return chute will send it rolling back to you.

Extra Credit: 360 Loop

This loop requires the use of hot glue and is trickier to build than the previous obstacles.

Determined makers read on...

WARNING! BURN HAZARD! Hot glue is very sticky and it's easy to accidentally burn your fingertips. Be careful when using it.

To build a loop, find two circular objects, one about 1" larger in diameter than the other (such as a dinner plate and a medium sized plate).

 

Trace the outlines on two pieces of cardboard. Cut out these outlines so that you're left with two donut shaped rings.

 

Cut a line through the two rings. Mount them on a cardboard base, stretching the rings to either side as pictured.

 

Use a long strip of paper or cardboard to create the track. Carefully glue this track in place, sequentially adding small dabs of glue as you go.

 

Trim any excess length off the end of the track and glue it firmly in place.

It's fun to test your loop a few times before installing it on your course.

This guide was first published on Jul 05, 2018. It was last updated on Jul 05, 2018. This page (Add the Obstacles) was last updated on Nov 19, 2019.