[Paleopsych] Roadside America: Golgotha Biblical Mini-Golf
checker at panix.com
Wed Apr 13 19:45:30 UTC 2005
Golgotha Biblical Mini-Golf
[Click on the URL for images. And if you can get a print copy of CHE for
Timothy Beal's article, it too has some excellent photographs.]
Field review by the editors.
Cave City, Kentucky
In today's franchised brand character-choked mini-golf industry, it's
refreshing to see someone attempt a relatively unique theme. And what
better brand recognition than God's own time-tested characters and
stories, available for not a dime of trademark licensing?
Jonah and the Whale hole. Golgotha Fun Park is ideally situated -- an
offbeat diversion near Mammoth Cave National Park, with appeal to both
Christian family vacationers and the unconverted. According to an
entrance sign, it is America's #1 Shaded Biblical Mini-Golf. Other
bible-themed courses have been reported in Lexington, KY; Myrtle
Beach, SC; and Nashville, TN.
But Golgotha is alive and well since it opened in 1992, perched atop a
shady, pebbled Calvary hill on Highway 70, part of the Cave City
tourism Mecca (hey...how come no one ever builds an Islamic Jihad
Three white crosses loom near the parking lot and mark the final hole;
to get there, determined players putt their way through the hazards
and miracles of the Good Book. After renting a club and ball in the
gift shop, eager Golgotha fans line up at hole #1, The Book of
Genesis. The first nine holes are inspired by the Old Testament: Adam
and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Moses parting the Red
Sea, Daniel and the Lion. A sign at each hole helpfully spells out the
relevant Biblical passage.
Noah's Ark preview. Obstacles are standard mini-golf course
tunnels, twists, and chutes. We're amused that the scenes are
comprised of repurposed lawn ornaments and cement statuettes -- no
priest-folk artist spent his life carving here. Jonah sits in the
Whale's mouth, comfortable in shorts; a statue of St. Francis monitors
porcelain animal pairs boarding the Ark. Old Testament stories make
for better hazards, so the first nine holes are easy to identify
without reading the signs.
End Game for J? The New Testament holes are sparsely decorated,
looser, at least one featuring elves and men in lederhosen where an
Apostle or leper might have done the trick. As the holes cut back and
forth across the hill, the game accelerates. The end is in sight --
Golgotha, "The Place of Skulls," where Jesus was crucified. An uphill
challenge past the crosses finishes at the Lord's ascension up to
While in the gift shop returning your club and ball, look for the
Bible Mini-golf T-shirt with a pair of skulls on the back. And there
is life after Resurrection: Golgotha features a Go-Cart course and
paintball skirmish zone.
(Golgotha Fun Park: I-65 to Cave City/Hwy. 70 west, 1.5 miles on the
right. Seasonal hours, like most outdoor attractions in Cave City.)
[latesticon.gif] September 2002:Reported closed and in a state of
gradual deterioration. July 2001: Reports from visitors suggest
Golgotha is up for sale. It has "inconsistent" hours for now, so don't
plan your whole vacation around this place.
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