|Florida Mini Golf (page 1)|
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Panama City Beach, FL
The Panama City Beach Goofy Golf remains virtually unchanged since it opened in 1959. The course includes a Sphinx, an Easter Island Head, a Buddha, a volcano, various monsters, a monkey, a dinosaur, a castle, a rocket ship, and more. Goofy Golf was invented by Lee Koplin who started his empire with a course in Biloxi, MS (now gone). Some of his surviving courses include those in: Pensacola, FL, Fort Walton Beach, FL, Reno, NV, and Galveston, TX. The earliest known Koplin course still in existence is Pee Wee Golf (Guerneville, CA) which was built in 1948.
This Panama City Beach course was Koplin's biggest. He even lived on site with his family. This location is still owned and managed by Koplin's son. From the beginning, Goofy Golf focused on oversized and outrageous cement figures. The chain spread throughout the South and soon competition and imitators arose in Florida (Holiday Golf, Zoo-Land Golf, Magic Carpet Golf, Fantasia Golf, Wacky Golf), Tennessee (Goony Golf and Jolly Golf), Alabama (Spooky Golf), South Carolina (Wacky Golf), and Mississippi (Fun Time Golf). For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. For a thorough history of miniature golf and other roadside attractions along Florida's Gulf Coast, check out Tim Hollis' book "Florida's Miracle Strip." [map]
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