Adventure Mini Golf
Experience Cape Cod mini golf at its finest.
Our theme based mini-golf course features a beautifully landscaped course to take you past cascading waterfalls, over alligator infested waters, through a haunted treasure cave, and a Swiss Family Robinson Tree House.
Designed to be fun for all ages, the themed course offers putting challenges that will make your visit so memorable that you’ll keep coming back!
Skull Island Adventure Golf
Miniature Golf History
Miniature golf has been a favorite game around the world for many decades. The predominant impression of most people today is that miniature golf is a game of windmills and obstacles. In reality, miniature golf has evolved, and is now played as a sport on “golf in miniature” facilities. Today’s modern course features miniature replicas of regulation golf’s “Famous Holes” complete with undulations, contours, moguls, water, sand & vegetation traps on the greens. Thus mini golf now offers the player many of the challenges of real golf. Surrounded by a lush, botanical garden setting with meandering streams and waterfalls, beautiful fountain displays, and realistic rock sculpturing. These newer courses provide a park-like setting for the whole family to enjoy.
Ironically, these recent changes to the sport of miniature golf make it more closely resemble its historical origins. In the early 1900’s, miniature golf was actually the short game of regulation golf. The name quite frequently used in the early years was “Garden Golf” and it was played with a putter on real grass.
After the stock market crash of 1929, regulation minigolf links became too expensive for most people to afford. In spite of this, the desire to play this most popular game continued to flourish. The ingenuity as “Rinkiedink” golf. Undaunted by convention, enthusiastic players would use any space available to set up these unique and crazy courses. Due to the need for lights at night, many of these courses were built under a brilliantly illuminated billboard sign with the playing surface made of a clay or hard sand surface. There was even a green dye called “Grassit” which was used to color the ground to look like grass.
Many new and ingenious obstacle or hazard holes were created by using what could be scavenged, such as old tires, old wagon wheels, rusty stove pipes, sewer pipes, barrels, rain gutters, etc. Some of these became so popular they were incorporated into courses across the country, and were the models for the obstacle-laden miniature golf that we still think of today. Self-styled miniature golf course architects became local celebrities overnight and the Depression actually increased the popularity of miniature golf. In 1929, almost at the same time as the “Rinkiedink” courses with their uniqueness, the first trade name course was developed and patented under the name of Tom Thumb Golf. This uniform and specified course became also the first chain of obstacle-ladened courses with the play-through hazards which eventually became the miniature golf most people know as minigolf. The original Tom Thumb Golf Fantasy Factory employed 200 people to build hazards for the cottonseed hull surfaced courses. Soon three other plants in various parts of the country were turning out Tom Thumb Golf courses quicker than you could yell “Fore!” By 1931, thanks to Fairyland Manufacturing, three thousand courses were purchased by entrepreneurs for an original investment of $4,500 each resulting in the 1930’s Miniature Golf Gold Rush.
By the end of the decade, there was an estimated 50,000 miniature golf courses representing an investment of $325,000,000. An estimated four million Americans were playing miniature golf. In fact, Wanamaker’s Department Store featured Tom Thumb Fashions which stated, “When you’re Lilliputting on the Miniature Golf Course…remember your Clothes Technique!” Tom Thumb jackets with berets sold for $19.50 and were sold out to addicts of the Miniature Golf Craze.
In the 1920’s & 1930’s, “rails” or “bumpers” started to appear, confining the ball within a boundary. The playing surface was changed to hard pressed cottonseed hulls, which created a smoother putting surface. The game of minigolf was extremely popular among movie stars and celebrities, which helped spawn new links all across the nation. During the 1930’s, there were approximately 30,000 links throughout the country with over 150 rooftop courses in New York City alone. The American population was hooked on miniature golf, as not only a leisure time game, but also a sport that any gender, any age could excel without any handicap or without being a well-conditioned athlete.
In 1955, Lomma Enterprises, Inc., founded by Al Lomma and today still run by his brother Ralph Lomma, led the revival of wacky, animated, trick hazards intended to be more challenging than straight putting. These hazards required both accurately aimed shots and split-second timing to avoid spinning windmill blades, revolving statuary and other careening obstacles.
With the use of indoor/outdoor carpeting or astroturf starting with football stadiums in the 60’s, so did the use of outdoor synthetic carpeting begin on miniature golf courses. Along with this surface change came the Fantasy courses which produced a fun new concept for the players with all kinds of imaginative animals, miniature houses and unique multi-tiered, trick holes. By now this new approach was in and the older, country-dub courses or spec franchise courses were a thing of the past. The post-war baby boomer’s generation took this new fantasy craze of miniature golf through most of the 1970’s as well.
Starting in the mid-1980’s, a newer adventure-style course became very popular which took on a Disney-look in its approach. Many were built first in the tourist destination areas such as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which to this day, is still the Miniature Golf Capitol of the World. There are as many as 45 courses within a 20 mile radius from the center of the Grand Strand and the tourist swell of over 12 million visitors easily supports this many facilities. The same growth could be seen in Florida especially in the tourist areas.
In the mid-1990’s, after a long, hard road of again proving to the American public that mini golf can be played as a sport as it was played back in the 20’s & 30’s, the miniature golf country club-designed courses have proven to hold the interest of the players on a more consistent and regular basis. This fact, coupled with the newly sparked interest of alternative golf complexes by well-known celebrities such as Michael Jordan and PGA Pros, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Erwin, and others with their Golf Learning Centers, Golf Academies and Executive Golf Courses, has now started a revived era of putting more emphasis on the challenging short game (golf in miniature) of real golf.
For four years, a mini golf National Championship was aired on ESPN with excellent family ratings and still ranks as one of ESPN’s top family sport shows.