Miniature golf has been around for about 80 years, yet the oldest courses lack visual zing. The idea of outfitting putt-putts with palm trees and rocket ships didn’t come along until later, and the surviving granddaddy of these just turned 50 on October 15: Goofy Golf in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Its anniversary was celebrated with the return of “Hammy,” its freshly-restored mint-green T-rex, which had collapsed in 1993 and had lain in pieces in a local boatyard ever since.
The Fort Walton Beach Goofy Golf (and a sister course in Pensacola) served as working laboratories for the elaborate statue concepts that were later built — and still stand — at the Panama City Beach Goofy Golf around 50 miles east.
Connoisseurs of golf-hazard Tikis may recall that many of the similarly impressive statues at Magic Carpet Golf were saved earlier this year, even though the golf course was bulldozed for a car dealership. What good are cars without mini-sphinxes to drive to?
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