Competition is heating up – along with some good-natured trash talk – in the miniature golf league at Bethany Village, one of few continuing care retirement communities in the state to have an on-site course.
“The rewarding thing to me is that the residents – most in their 80s, some in their 90s – not only enjoy the game because everybody played mini-golf in their youth, but the competitors are turning in amazingly good scores. We’ve had a number of 16 and 17 scores for the nine-hole course,” said resident John Currie, league head. “Mostly, residents play for the fun, sharing and getting together with their friends. Some, however, really want to win and go out and practice the tough holes.”
Barbara Schnerring, a Bethany Village resident, donated the funds. Resident Leroy Erickson was the driving force to get the course built, getting prices and forming the leagues. Wanting to give the course a local, central Pennsylvania theme, the Bethany Village woodworking club built a Lancaster County-type barn, a covered bridge and a Pennsylvania Turnpike tunnel, replacing lighthouses and other obstructions foreign to the area. Recently, ceramic deer and squirrels were purchased to add some flair to the course.
About 60 residents signed up for the league, which runs until mid-June. Residents play as many times as they wish per week, usually with friends or a team. There are two leagues, each league with two tiers. After the third week of scores, players were switched into groups with people posting similar scores. Eventually, the top players from the four tiers will play each other, and then the top two face off. A Mini-Golf Awards Luncheon in Bethany Village’s main dining room will be held in July.
In addition to league play, special tournaments and a recent staff tournament, the course is open to all residents and families and friends of residents. Residents’ grandchildren often enjoy playing during their visits.