Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude continues to be the sole focus in my writing for the day, which for today is for getting to play the oldest miniature golf in continuous operation in the United States, one that’s been around since 1924 and one that actually resides in the state I live in of all places!
It’s no secret that I love playing mini-golf. I’ve written about my love for this silly sport a few times already in my blog and in recent years have played upwards of more than 100 courses around the country! Sometimes I even search them out solely for day trip possibilities and have been known to drive up to 3 hours in a single day just to say I was able to check out another course! So, when I learned that the oldest miniature golf course in continuous play wasn’t actually the one Google initially listed in upstate New York that began in 1930, and was rather in a small little lakeside town called Geneva-On-The-Lake that dates back to 1924, I was ecstatic. Why? Because I also learned it was only a few hours from where I lived! It’s called Allison’s Mini Golf and reviews on the web for it were quite favorable when I first checked it out online. Why it took me over 7 years of residence here in Ohio to finally drive there to play an actual 18-hole round on it is beyond me?! But, on a rather sunny and perfect weather day of 75 degrees over July 4th weekend, my partner Chris and I finally headed east on Route 90, taking the 2.5-hour trek there, for the main purpose of playing the historic course and boy, was it worth it!
I’ve played quite a number of amazing miniature golf courses around the world, but knowing one was still around from its inception in the mid 1920’s and seeing how great of shape it was in was pretty incredible! While the course itself wasn’t specifically overly or underlie challenging, it was the nostalgia itself of playing the oldest course in the country that really brought me joy. How many people must have played this course over almost a century in operation is countless I’m sure. The grounds there were still immaculately kept and although the two quaint fountains in the middle weren’t necessarily working as best as they could, it honestly didn’t matter because I felt like a kid again as I played each of those holes. One such hole had some bowling pins moving up and down that I had to avoid as I hit my ball through them and another had me narrowly avoiding a metal bridge filled with brightly-colored stationary golf balls on tees! Overall, I truly enjoyed my 18-hole play and actually ended making par there as well!
Nevertheless, I’m not sure if my fascination for mini-golf is simply because it’s one of the rare childhood memories I have where my family never fought or if it ultimately just helps me revert back to being a kid again so easily every time I try to knock a ball around some weird angle, or through some moving contraption, or to avoid some obstacle. Regardless, I love mini golf a lot and I really loved this quaint little course in a town I’ve never been to on the eastern shores of Lake Erie. I sincerely felt like I stepped back in time both on the streets of Geneva-On-The-Lake and at Allison’s Mini Golf as well. I’m so thankful I can now say I’ve played the oldest course in this country and got to do it with my partner Chris on a day where the weather truly was perfect for it!
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson