Chattanooga was home to first patented miniature golf course, Tom Thumb Golf on lookout mountain. It was created in 1927 to attract traffic to the creator’s hotel.
In 1928, Garnet Carter, a traveling salesman, decided to miniaturize the game of golf. It seems that the original golf course was taking too long to build. He needed something to entertain his guests at the Fairyland Inn.
The resort was called Fairyland, his wife Frieda, who was of German descent, had a fascination with European folklore. Tom Thumb was a little guy so he decided he would build a small golf course using that name.
In the early 1930s, it was estimated that around 25% of the miniature golf courses in the US were Tom Thumb patented designs. Building on the popularity of the rinkie-dink courses, the Tom Thumbs featured similar hazards, built by workers in their “fantasy factory.”