PORT ANGELES — Miniature golf and eye candy aren’t terms that are normally intertwined, but in Richard Moon’s mind, the correlation is logical and necessary.
Your success depends on it.
Moon, which now has a conditional use permit, is building two 18-hole miniature golf courses on 7.77 acres of land on South Barr Road off US Highway 101 about 8 miles east of Port Angeles, one for kids and families, the other for more serious adult golfers. And she wants the family field, which will occupy the bottom 1.5 acres of his lot, to stand out as, well, a sight for sore eyes.
It hopes to open in 2023 or 2024.
“When people drive by, I want them to see a visual appeal and say, ‘Wow,'” said Moon, 60, who will call his and wife Janice Moon’s new venture “Wonderworld Miniature Golf Family Amusement Park.” .
“It has to look great from the road,” he said. “Visibility is everything for this.”
Janice, 37, an employee at Avamere Olympic Rehabilitation of Sequim, added, “When people leave after playing golf, I want to hear them say it was fun and the time of their lives. We want to bring families together to create great memories.”
Chances are they will, given the variety of whimsical amenities Richard intends to adorn his golf holes with.
They will be chipmunks, a sphinx, a pyramid, a huge mushroom frog, a water wheel, a stagecoach, a pirate theme with a treasure chest and much more.
“And one of the prettiest holes will be a gingerbread house with layers of sweets and lollipops,” said Richard, who has lived in Clallam County since 1975.
Although he has never ventured into the miniature golf course before, Richard, who spent 20 years as a messenger for local banks and pharmacies in his previous life, is not a novice miniature golf aficionado. For years, he ran portable putting greens at the Clallam and Puyallup County Fairs, but he was tired of regularly having to unload and pack his equipment.
“I’ve always had miniature golf courses, but I never had the land like I do now to build full-size courses,” he said. “Laptops were fun, but you’re limited in what you can do transportation-wise. With this amount of land, I can build courses as big and elaborate as I want because I don’t have to clear them again.”
The land the Moons bought 11 months ago, for $115,000, sits next to Katrina Haymaker’s property that houses Midway Metals, which has closed.
Haymaker has battled Clallam County and Washington state for years over solid waste code violations and went out of business in early 2021 to try to clean up the property, which was only partially completed, according to the Clallam County Sheriff. Bill Benedict.
“It’s very ugly right now, and there are a lot of complaints,” Moon said.
However, miniature golf patrons won’t see the site, because Moon plans to block the view with a two-story façade of a saloon and hotel that will double as a focal point for Wonderland.
“The size of the façade will make it impossible to see Midway Metals, and I will also build a fence that encompasses the area,” Richard said.
And inside the fence, the two golf courses will be as different as night and day.
The family course will be imaginatively geared toward fun and whimsy; The 1/2-acre adult course, which somewhat mimics a full-size regular course, will cater to the more serious golfer.
A hybrid series of greens will contain bunkers, tall and short grass, and hills and curves that will test golfers’ mettle and add a bit of variety to their experience.
“It’s just that they won’t have to walk miles like they would on a normal course,” Richard said.
Richard expects the project to cost around $100,000 when all is said and done, and if it’s successful, as he said he hopes it will be, he’ll think about building another field on its surface with animatronics.
But that is in the future.
For now, his mind is on logging and grading his property, applying for a series of permits in addition to the conditional use permit he recently received from Clallam County, and building more of the amenities that will grace each of his golf holes.
“There are a lot of permits going on right now that have to be approved by the fire department and the county,” he said.
The Moons, who currently live in a fifth-wheel trailer until their mobile home arrives on site, will charge $9.95 per person for each 18-hole course, offer golf balls, small replica eight-balls, basketballs, soccer balls , tennis balls and baseballs, and putters.
To prepare for the upcoming grand opening, Richard purchased several thousand golf balls.
“That was a big expense right there,” he said. “They are not cheap.”
But that’s the price you pay for family entertainment, even if you’re not rich.
“I don’t understand why billionaires don’t invest in family entertainment,” Richard lamented. “The world, especially now, needs something to have fun with. If I can give people an hour of good family entertainment, that will make me happy.
“There aren’t many smiles right now, but there will be here.”
You can reach Paul Dunn at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or in [email protected]