Set in the airspace above Dream Land, Kirby competes on 8 courses (64 holes total), functioning as a golf ball. The object of the game is to destroy all of the enemies while aiming for the hole in the fewest number of shots.
As well as enemies, Kirby needs to be wary of various obstacles and "traps". Like any game of mini-golf, achieving the lowest score possible is preferable, with bronze/silver/gold medals unlocked depending on the accumulated score for the course. Kirby has health, lost each time a shot is made and regained upon defeating enemies, as well as lives. If Kirby loses all his lives, the game is over and the course needs to be restarted.
The game also allows for two players to compete with each other. The player to sink their ball Kirby first will receive additional health as well as a more desirable score. The player can also target the other player's Kirby, causing them harm.
Kirby will curl in on himself, and then with the aid of arcing lines the player can decide on the appropriate trajectory of the "ball". After deciding on the angle and spin Kirby should follow, a power meter appears which the player uses to time how much power the current "shot" will have.
Kirby loses his vacuum ability in this game, replaced by the involuntary metamorphosis of Kirby to new forms by colliding with special enemies. Once familiar with the effects of this collision-transformation, the player can use these newly acquired powers to achieve maximum enemy clean-up/Hole in One. As Kirby fells his foes, the final enemy will instantly transform into the course hole. Utilizing the environment, which includes back-bouncing sides, as well as a little geometry, is the key to victory.
- Fireball - Kirby becomes a ball of fire, able to gain a burst of speed.
- Freeze - Allows Kirby to slide and can freeze water.
- Hi-Jump - Lets Kirby jump high in the air.
- Needle - When used, needles poke out of Kirby and will halt his movement.
- Parasol - Will slow Kirby down when used, in the air it will allow Kirby to float to the ground.
- Spark - Can be used to get through Whispy Woods or Kracko.
- Stone - Turns Kirby into a stone, either stopping him dead in his tracks or making him slide down if activated on an incline.
- Tornado - Kirby becomes a tornado allowing him to pass obstacles and enemies, and curve his current trajectory.
- UFO - Kirby turns into a UFO for 10 seconds and can fly in any direction.
- Wheel - Gives a great boost of speed and allows Kirby to skip across water and through sand traps.