Monday, March 13, 2017
Sadly, this place is now gone and it is a vacant lot. Here is my write-up from 8 years ago.
"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 visited Goofy Golf on a vacation to Florida. In his backyard, he built a large dinosaur 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 of 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 18th hole. Perhaps the most noticeable thing is the over-sized octopus in another pond and one of its many tentacles is raised up in the air!