Sight of the Week: Apr 14-20, 2014 | Archive

Jonah and the Whale; Ten Commandments.
Jonah and the Whale; Ten Commandments.

Bible Mini-Golf

Field review by the editors.

Lexington, Kentucky

We admit it; our love of miniature golf has more to do with erupting volcanoes and bizarre statues than with a passion for the game. But it's hard not to be drawn into playing all 54 holes at Bible Mini-Golf, if only to see how scripture can be turned into tunnels, chutes, and golf hazards.

Bible Mini-Golf.

"Some people think we're odd, some people think we're just mountains and water holes," said course manager Dennis Hyde. "If it's spreadin' the Word, we're cool with that."

Bible Mini-Golf has three 18-hole courses: Old Testament, New Testament, and biblical miracles. The first two were built by the Christopher family in 1987, the third in 1991. Each hole comes with a sign that cites its collateral Bible story or passage.

John 2:2-9 - Jesus changes the water to wine.
John 2:2-9 - Jesus changes the water to wine.

Par for the entire attraction is 119, and you'll need divine intervention to beat it. Hole 7 is purposely easy (the seventh day was God's day off), but others are more hell than heaven. "Jacob's Ladder," for example, is a long putt into a series of rising, undulating waves, with the hole somewhere at its apex. "Mount Sinai" is a heartbreaker: a long fairway leading to a steep-sided mound with the hole in a crater, a test of Samson strength rather than Christ-like finesse.

"That old volcano hole," is how Dennis described it. "You either get it in one, or you give up and take the six-stroke maximum."

Metaphysical concepts are conveyed with visual metaphors. The world's most familiar Bible verse, John 3:16, makes you putt your ball through a loop-de-loop to evoke the dizzying ascension into heaven. We originally thought that the holes "Faith" and "Hope" were named for their impossible pray-for-a-miracle angles, then realized they were designed as a big F and H.

Bible Mini-Golf.

Our favorite holes, of course, were those with the most obvious visual gags -- the ones you can identify without reading the signs. Jonah and the Whale makes you putt up the angry creature's tail and into his blowhole. The fairway for the Parting of the Red Sea dips below the surface of a crossing stream. The Burning Bush is encased within a plexiglass safety box scarred by countless ricocheting balls. "He's Alive" is probably the world's only golf hole in Jesus' tomb.

Burning Bush at Bible Mini-Golf.
Burning Bush at Bible Mini-Golf.

Christian rock echoes over loudspeakers, and an elaborate water system includes diminutive biblical rivers, a large waterfall on Calvary hill, and Hole 7 on the Miracles course where you have to putt into a stream to float your ball to the green.

This is one golf course where prayer dawdling at a hole won't get you dirty looks from the putters behind you.

Despite our prodding, Dennis didn't want to give away too many secrets, but he did offer a suggestion for the heart-shaped "Love" hole on the New Testament side. "Go up the left ventricle," he said. "If you can ride the rail on the left, it should bring you right to the cup."

Bible Mini-Golf

Lexington Ice Center and Sports Complex

Address:
560 Eureka Springs Drive, Lexington, KY
Directions:
Lexington Ice Center and Sports Complex. Southeast side of the city. From US Hwy 25 turn south at the CarMax delear onto Man O War Blvd. Drive a quarter-mile. Turn right onto Beaver Creek Drive. Drive until it ends, then turn right onto Eureka Springs Drive. As the road bends left, you'll see the golf course on the left. It's in the middle of a housing subdivision.
Hours:
March-Oct. open daily, hours vary. (Call to verify)
Phone:
859-269-5681
Admission:
One course $6.25, Unlimited $9.00
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Bible Mini-Golf, Lexington, Kentucky (Apr 14-20, 2014)

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