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HIGH SPRINGS ‒ High Springs will soon have its own golf course. However, it won't be competing with Turkey Creek or any of Gainesville's large courses because this course is strictly for miniature golf enthusiasts. The course, which will features18 holes, is directly behind the soon-to-open Pink Flamingo Diner. While the course is associated with the diner for its customers to make a family outing instead of just a meal, it also operates as its own recreation center open to everyone. Adults can play all 18 holes for $7.50, with seniors discounted to $6.50 and children at $5.50.

According to the Pink Flamingo's General Manager Mike Smith, the idea for a miniature golf course behind the Diner actually originated with the original owners, who opened Floyd's Diner in 2001. When the building was purchased this year by Dae Jung Kim, it went through major renovations and will reopen as Pink Flamingo Diner.

While the plans for the new restaurant were being discussed with developer Karl Spain, the idea of the miniature golf course resurfaced as a way to provide more than just food at the location and offer a different type of entertainment and recreation to the community.

New Jersey based Harris Miniature Golf Inc. was hired to build the course. The completed course features 18 holes winding through a variety of scenarios. The course is ADA accessible on nine of the holes so that people with disabilities can enjoy it as well. Laid out in a single winding path, the course is surrounded by lush landscaping and features a variety of obstacles from water, rocks and plants to make it more challenging.

Concerns for nearby houses was addressed with a six-foot retaining wall to reduce noise and any stray balls. Local artist Jim Wegman was hired to create murals on the restaurant and add a fantasy element to the course. He repurposed an old propane tank to look like a submarine, and the storage shed behind it is painted with an ocean scene to create a fantasy playground for kids.

A building located on the course will supply balls and golf putters to customers and also offer soft-serve ice creams and smoothies. On the back side the building is a drive-through window that will sell coffee in the morning before the restaurant or golf course opens. Smith said the hours of the drive-through will help keep down any traffic congestion, maintain safety for restaurant and golf course customers and not compete with the restaurant. The coffee drive-through will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hours for the golf course will be 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

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