The Mini Golf Enthusiast

A Mini Blog About a Mini Sport

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Visting Ruins

Some folks visit the Parthenon. Others seek out the remaining vestiges of Aztec or Mayan civilizations. Yet, there may just be a little slice of Americana slowly decaying right on your very own doorstep, a wistful tribute to the colored balls and obstacles that once shone brightly in the midday sun - the defunct miniataure golf course. Some of us have the unfortunate circumstance of picking an unexplored
course, arriving only to find the course unceremoniously boarded up, overgrown with weeds just waiting for nature to reclaim the land.

Like a car wreck, such places fill me with awe and a gut wrenching sadness - so much potential wasted away. I can't keep my eyes away as I look over the devastation. Luckily for me, this doesn't happen too often, but there is a certain draw. If you find these types of places irresistable (and you know who you are), I have a potential destination you might want to consider, Golgotha in Cave City, Kentucky (near the Mammoth Caves).

Golgotha in its more inspirational days.

According to Roadside America, the course had a Biblical theme inspried by the New and Old Testament and was once touted as "America's #1 Shaded Biblical Mini Golf." (Which, of course, begs the question, what is the #1 non-shaded course?) The whole thing emanates a bit of blasphemy to me, but considering its R.I.P. status, who am I to judge? Roadside America also reports that while the course is fenced off, it is still accessible to those who wish to get a closer peek.

I will add more ruins as I find them; feel free to share your favorite defunct courses so that others may enjoy the decay.

Images:, Corson Hirschfeld

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At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any systematic method of preserving these old golf courses, at least in pictures or other means? I'd hate to think that these courses could be lost forever. Has anyone ever drawn up plans or schematics of a course, or at least photographed it in enough detail so that it could theoretically be recreated?

There is a similar course that I once knew - Wacky Golf in North Myrtle Beach, SC. Absolutely nothing whatsoever of that course remains except for a very few pictures.

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous MGE said...

I am unsure if a systematic method of preservation is possible. Similar to most retail establishments, courses may succumb to market forces, ownership retirement, or any other number of possible reasons for closing which makes their fates difficult to keep track of. Until the members of the public or the government decide that preserving examples of these courses as part of American culture is worthwhile, I doubt we will see a systematic preservation effort likes the ones in place to protect buildings and historic places.

I also think making courses, with the exception of Putt-Putts which follow a specific design formula, can be an individual process, leaving few records behind. For the moment, I think we have to rely upon the inconsistent record of photographers who happen to come across these courses.

There is, however, at least one course I know of that is officially protected and I will be blogging on that topic soon.

Thanks for your comments and for stopping by.

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've tried my hand at making a photographic record of a defunct course- this past Christmas, I found two abandoned courses in Myrtle Beach, SC, and took a lot of pictures of them both. These are online at and

This is the sort of permanent record that I was talking about-- although it can probably be improved.


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