When the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) took control of Monmouth Park from the state last year, they immediately set to thinking up ways to turn the money-losing but legendary racetrack into more of a tourist destination.
Live music, carnival rides, a water park and even a sports-betting parlor have been planned for the Jersey Shore racetrack.
But the first new addition that John Forbes, head of the NJTHA, installed at Monmouth was the Bluegrass Mini-Golf Course, a world-class 36-hole putt-putt course.
For most people, miniature golf is a joke, a kid’s game, something that involves windmills and giant papier-mâché dinosaurs. For Forbes, miniature golf is serious business.
His vision for Bluegrass Mini-Golf was not just a kitschy tourist attraction, but a course that could stand among the greatest miniature golf courses in the world. It appears he has accomplished that feat.
In 2014, the U.S. Pro Mini-Golf Open will be held at Bluegrass Mini-Golf at Monmouth Park.
Bob Detwiler, president of the U.S. Pro Mini-Golf Association, which organizes the event, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that he felt this would be their best U.S. Open ever.
“We like the course and we love the area,” Detwiler said.
Bluegrass Mini Golf has two 18-hole courses, Blue and Green, and each hole is named for a different champion racehorse. From the 11 winners of the Triple Crown to local favorite Bodacious Tatas, every hole includes a plaque that details that horse’s accomplishments and career.
BLUEGRASS MINI GOLF
Competitors in the U.S. Open should be weary of the second hole on the Green Course, however. Forbes told the Star-Ledger that nobody has ever sunk a hole-in-one on that one. Not even Forbes himself. That’s saying a lot. Besides having won thousands of races as a horseman, Forbes has played mini-golf all over the world. And he’s sunk a hole-in-one on every other hole at Bluegrass.
So look alive, putt putt champs, on that second hole!