A Mini History of Mini Golf
Our excitement to reopen the mini golf course in a few short days was what prompted us to write this post. That, and the fact that it is #tbt.
Our Miniature Golf Course is easily the most elusive part of our business. We’re always fielding questions like “Is it still open?”, and “Do you operate that Mini Golf course or does someone else?” Questions that in theory, shouldn’t be going unanswered if you take into consideration the fact that the Mini Golf course originated in the early 80s. After 35 years of operating it, we’d like to put the questions to rest, and let everyone know our Mini status.
But first, a little history.
When the Rotondos acquired Terry Hills in 1972, they obviously set out to work on the golf course first and foremost. Adding in two more 9-hole courses wasn’t enough work, so they decided to also put in a miniature golf course as well as batting cages around 1980.
Right off the bat (get it?!), it was a huge success. The original miniature course was so successful, that the Rotondos decided to revamp it just two years later. Around 1982, they scrapped the original, very basic course, and brought it more to life. The new 18-hole mini course had all of the elaborate features that you’re familiar with: ramps, bridges, water traps & fountains, tunnels, and more. This new course, along with the batting cages, was extremely popular among families in the area.
When it was shiny & new, it was easy to keep looking great, but the original owner of Terry Hills, Mr. Joe Rotondo, took that to the next level. He was constantly up at mini golf, tending to the flower beds, and hand-detailing all of the landscaping. At first glance, it could have doubled as a mini golf course and a botanical garden. Unfortunately, since his passing, we’ve yet to find anyone with as much of a green thumb or passion for gardening as he had.
As did the economy, our Mini Golf course took a little bit of a slump. The batting cages were more work than anticipated, so when we built the new clubhouse in 2005 and needed more parking spaces, they were the first to go. Without the beautiful flowers, we’re not sure if the mini course lost its luster, or if certain rising technologies drove families away from activities like mini golf, and more to activities like going to the movies, playing video and computer games, and so on. Whatever the case may be, we decided that this year we will work towards reviving the course.
Our major project on the miniature golf course this year has been to put down brand new putting greens. It both aesthetically and functionally has made such a change in the course, and brought it back to life. However, due to this project taking longer than anticipated, our opening date has been on a bit of a TBD-basis. The middle of June is our opening date goal!
Another feature that we hope can bring the mini golf back full circle is promoting it in area-wide community efforts! Our Mini Golf is a part of two Chamber of Commerce initiatives, as well as a local school’s summer reading initiative. In addition, we are celebrating our renovated mini golf course this Father’s Day, by allowing Dads to play for FREE! Stay tuned for more news about the reopening of the mini course, and our other summertime specials!