Here is the fun and the beauty of mini golf. if the sensation of putting your ball in the hole is always very pleasant, you need to deserve it! some holes are straight and easy, some others are way more challenging and need a bit of thinking before you hit your ball. A bit of geometry, physics… and crossed fingers
Most of the obstacles consist in boarders, some are meant to be avoided, some are meant to be played with. If you have to hit a border to get further on the hole, take a few seconds to think.
The theory would suggest that the angle with which the ball hits the angle is equal to the angle with which the ball will go away. Yes. But no. It unfortunately isn’t that easy and it will depend on both ball and speed. Not to mention border may not be as smooth as expected.
Unless your ball and the boarder is made of very very hard material such as marble or diamonds (which I doubt), the relative softness of the ball induces an modification of the angle and the balls will leave the boarder with a bigger angle than it hit it (if you hit the ball very very hard in a very long corridor the ball will end up bouncing between the wall perpendicularly). You can observe very clearly this phenomenon on a pool table for example.
The Ball has a direct influence on the angle, as the more the ball is soft, the more the angle will increase and tend to go perpendicularly to the boarder, when a bouncier ball will tend to keep a normal symmetrical angle.
Same goes for the Speed the ball will not have the same behavior if it hits the boarder fast of slow. A slow ball will tend to have a symmetrical angle when a faster on will increase the angle, this is due to the fact that the ball compresses a bit when it hits the boarder, a bit like the boarder of a pool table compresses when a ball hits it.
You may come across relief when playing mini golf, some holes have higher or lower parts and it can be tricky to handle. Basically, the physics are simple here, the climbing ball will slow down and the descending ball with speed up… doesn’t take a PhD…
The math is quite simple when your ball’s trajectory is parallel to the curve, as it should not have any influence on your trajectory, only the speed is going to be impacted.
The tricky part is when the ball comes from a side, the trajectory will be disrupted by the curve and will be attracted by the lower part. The speed has a big influence on the phenomenon as the faster the ball goes, the least impact the relief will have on it. But of course, you can’t always shot hard so be careful!