For this episode of Discover Austin, we go all the way to Neverland to visit Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and Tinker Bell. Just kidding, we’re at Barton Springs and South Lamar at Peter Pan Mini Golf where you can find all three characters. If you prefer to read than watch, the video script can be found below the video.
Greetings, I’m Craig Smyser. I’m at Peter Pan Mini Golf for this episode of Discover Austin.
Known for its laid back style and quirky sculptures, Peter Pan Mini Golf is by far the most well-known mini golf course in Central Texas. It’s located on Barton Springs Road just east of Lamar and opened in 1948 under the name of Varsity Links. The name was changed to Peter Pan Mini Golf in the early 1960s, and by the late 60s, owner Glenn Dismukes started creating sculptures for the courses. The Peter Pan sculpture debuted in 1970. The last sculpture that Glenn worked on was the dinosaur which was completed around 1984 or 85 and stands in at over 20 feet tall.
There are two 18-hole courses at Peter Pan: the East Course and the West Course. Each one has its own set of challenging obstacles and plenty of sculptures to enjoy. Instead of choosing which one to play, I suggest you simply play both! There are a few things you should know before visiting. First of all, it is cash only. They’ve got an ATM on hand in case you forget. Second, its BYOB so feel free to bring along a tasty adult beverage, just make sure it’s in a can because glass is not permitted. Though you can drink here, don’t get the impression that it’s a frat party run amuck. Peter Pan Mini Golf is super family friendly, so if someone takes the BYOB a little too far, they’ll be asked to leave.
Over the course of several years starting in 2011, Cheryl Latimer, a local stone and cement sculptor, gave the Peter Pan Mini Golf sculptures a much-needed revival. Of the original 13, she repaired seven and transformed six, then created 10 new ones from scratch. This refresh incorporated a local flair as the Pennybacker Bridge, the Texas State Capitol Building, and a Texas totem pole took their place on the courses. To enhance the sense of Neverland, Captain Hook and Tinker Bell were added, and a pirate now welcomes golfers at the entrance. When Cheryl refurbished the killer whale, she put a time capsule inside of it. The body of the metal peacock is the cement mixer that she used to create many of the sculptures. You’ll also find instrument playing ants, the tortoise and the hare, a Converse sneaker, and others as well.
In an age when much of our entertainment is high tech, Peter Pan offers wonderful old school, low tech entertainment. It gives you a great opportunity to get out off the screens and onto the greens.
So whether you’re looking for a place to take the kids in the afternoon, gather with friends in the evening, or take a date anytime Peter Pan Mini Golf is sure to please. I’m Craig Smyser, thanks for joining me on this episode of Discover Austin.