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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Adventure Golf: The Giant Octopus

Adventure Golf: The Giant Octopus

"Big Jim" Sidwell worked at his family's furniture business in Murfreesboro, TN. He was looking for an outlet for his creativity when he and his family visiited Goofy Golf on a vaction to Florida. In his backyard, he built a large dnosaur out of wood and wire mesh, and then another and another.

In 1961, he opened Jolly Golf in Gatlinburg with many of his creations. He went on to build more mini golf parks in Daytona, Marietta and Lake of the Ozarks. When other attractions which also wanted his dinosaurs came calling, he started a fiberglass dinosaur factory in Murfreesboro. In the late 70's his tourist attraction vision expanded to a theme park in Pigeon Forge called Magic World.

At the gateway of the smokies, tourist attractions come and go, but one of the Sidwell family's parks is still open. Pigeon Forge exploded in popularity once Gatlinburg couldn't expand anymore. Adventure Golf along US441 looks like it remains popular after all these years. It has a charm I like that many oif the newer large corporate parks don't have.

There's a large Dinosaur by the entrance and a shark in the pond right by the 18h hole. Perhaps the most noticable thing is the oversized octopus in another pond and one of its many tentacles is raised up in the air!

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