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Monday, August 26, 2013

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg: Miniature Golf Capital of the World

A few days back I talked about my favorite twin cities Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN.  They simply define the word "Tourist Trap".  Like any good tourist town, one of the primary activities to indulge in is Miniature Golf.  The two cities have about every kind of Miniature Golf course imaginable.  Let's take a look at the Mini-Golf madness.

Bunny Golf

Sadly, Bunny Golf no longer exists, the giant rabbit head above is all that remains.  However, the concept of Bunny Golf is so completely insane I has to be mentioned.  Bunny Golf's course was covered in live rabbits, which served as living breathing obstacles.  I don't think its two hard to believe why Bunny Golf no longer exists.  There are ethical and safety issues that boggle the mind.  Nothing ruins a vacation like a little kid seeing a bunny take a golf ball between the eyes.

Adventure Golf

One of the simple joys of driving down highway 441 through Pigeon Forge is the giant Fiberglass statues that fill its many miniature golf courses.  Adventure Golf has some of the best, check out this crazy giant octopus.

Or this shark......

or this dinosaur.....

Fantasy Golf

 Rounding out the fiberglass based golf experience is "Fantasy Golf", easily recognizable for the insanely enormous sea monster wrapped around the entrance.

There are some other great figures as well....

Ripley's Old McDonald Golf

This slick mini-golf course in newer then the previous ones mentioned and his owned by the Ripley's mega-corporation that dominates Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg's tourist scene.  A lot of the holes have neat effects when hit obstacles or get the ball in a hole.  Highlights are this cool flying pig mobile.

And this creepy sheep..........

Hillbilly Golf

Heading over to Gatlinburg we find one of the most unique golf courses in the area.  The course itself if actually perched on the side of a mountain and you have to ride a tram built into the mountain to access it.  Hillbilly golf utilizes the sort of Hillbilly stereotypes that make Gatlinburg famous.  Such as moonshine stills and outhouses built right into the course.

Black Light Golf

As Gatlinburg lacks the open space that Pigeon Forge does, most of its miniature golf courses are indoors.  These claustrophobic glowing dungeons add a whole new element to mini-golf.

 Treasure Quest Mini-Golf

This is another indoor golf course in Gatlinburg, and its quite impressive.  The golf course is covered in fake plastic trees and incorporates a mashed up Egyptian/Jungle/Pirate theme.  My favorite part is the dusty old mannequins that are packed in.

The pirate wenchs look like your drunk aunt.....

As far as cheesy amusement, this has to be one of the more fun courses

Blacklight Circus Golf

This has to be my favorite course in the twin cities.  From the creepy singing animatronics on the outside to the glowing monstrosities on the inside, this is pure touristy fun.

The anamitrons out front usually ramble through an indecipherable routine.  Sometimes the owners have a little fun and pump pop songs that the figures lip sync.   Imagine this guy singing "Fergilicious"

Usually, whatever is on the outside of a tourist trap is way more entertaining then what is inside.  This is not so with Circus golf.  The inside features some of the creepiest figures I have ever seen, all glowing in eerie claustrophobic black light.

Also, keep in mind that that some of these figures are animatronic and move around in the dark.

And there is this nice little nightmare in a box, that will keep you from sleeping for months......

I realize I just did a whole post on miniature golf without ever talking about the actual game play.  I guess we don't exactly visit these courses for the love of the game.  To me, its all about creepy black light clowns and fiberglass sea monsters.......

Sleep tight!

The Carpetbagger

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