|Old Pro Golf|
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Old Pro Golf has six courses, each with a different theme, at its four locations along the main drag in Ocean City, MD. Old Pro's founder, Herbert J. Schoellkopf, was inspired by Walt Disney. He came to Ocean City from New Jersey in 1963 to build a miniature golf course for someone else. He then opened his own place on the Pier later that year. One course had a space theme and the other a Western theme. Later, these courses were changed to a sports and circus theme.
During the late 1960s and 1970s, Schoellkopf owned and operated 13 courses in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and South Carolina. These early courses operated under the name of Putter Links. Later, the name was changed to Old Pro to match the company's mascot. In recent years, Old Pro has closed all but its Ocean City locations. Schoellkopf's sons are also directly involved in the operations of these courses.
Most of Old Pro's figures are handmade in Naples, FL. The cups used are a little bigger than normal to increase the chances of making par. A worker told me that Schoellkopf even has a small course around his house for visitors to play. He is supposedly a less than average player himself. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.
|136th St. African Safari Course|
|In addition to the African Safari course, the 136th St. location had two other courses not pictured above: the Pirate Ship course and the Polynesian Garden. The figure in the middle photo above is of the Old Pro icon. He appears in different outfits at all the courses, slowing rotating with putter in hand. These photos are from around 2001. The course was closed for the season when I visited in 2009. The outdoor course is now known as the Caribbean Pirate course. The indoor course now has a Safari Village theme. [map]|
|68th St. Prehistoric Dinosaurs Course|
|68th St. Undersea Adventure Course|
The largest and most popular Old Pro location is this one at 68th St. which is open year-round. The Prehistoric Dinosaur course preceded the movie "Jurassic Park". However, the largest figure, a 15 foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex is a recent addition. The course is a mix of new figures and old ones.
The Undersea Adventure course is indoors and features underwater caves, nautical elements, and a huge ship with some of the holes played inside it. The building itself was designed by Schoellkopf's son who is an architect. [map]
|28th St. Big Top Circus Course [gone]|
|28th St. Renaissance Castle Course|
The 28th St. location featured a Big Top Circus course with some wonderful vintage figures and typical old-style course challenges. However, since these photos from 2001, this course been absorbed into the adjacent castle-themed course. I'm not sure how many of these circus figures remain, if any, since the location was closed for the season during my 2009 visit.
The Renaissance Castle course was apparently a much later addition to this location. [map]
|23rd St. Lost Empire (now Temple of Dragons) Course|
|The 23rd St. course was being transformed into the Temple of Dragons course when the photos in the top row were taken in 2001. Since then, two animated, 700 pound dragons were installed (second row of photos). The 23rd St. course was the second Ocean City Old Pro location. It was built in 1965 and featured mostly original and politically incorrect African images. The golfer is still there. The statue with the headdress has been turned into an undersea diver. Updating is part of Old Pro's strategy in keeping up with all the other modern courses in the area. In this 10-mile stretch of Ocean City, there are about 30 mini golf courses. [map]|
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