Mini Pin-Hunting: Jack's Pirate Golf
Signature Hole: No. 3
Adventure on the high seas begins with a mini-golf course in Bethany Beach. It’s impossible to miss the pirate ship on Pennsylvania Avenue, just north of Garfield Parkway, where Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf has entertained visitors for six years.
Why pirates in the first place?
“I just like them,” said owner Carol Shultze, who has also worked for years as a lawyer in Bethesda, Md. “It’s not a theme that’ll go out of style. I did a lot of history on the pirates in Delaware. Blackbeard has been up here!”
Schultze researched pirates and mini-golf in her effort to design an irresistible course. Apart from learning the history of pirates in Delaware, Shultz brought in the best of the best to design the course’s theming elements.
Sculptures of pirates, treasure, skeletons and animals were carved by a company that built sets for the Walt Disney Co. and SeaWorld.
“I think the course is very nice, in that all elements are custom-made,” said Shultze, emphasizing that no one else will have the same elements.
The 50-foot pirate ship that rises above the course was built on the base of a reclaimed 2,000-year-old California redwood stump. Shultze said huge stumps were left after people cut down trees, so she contacted the organization that reclaims them to bring some of the remaining wood to Delaware.
Golfers at Captain Jack’s will see a lot of names on the course. Many holes are named for Shultze’s children, family and friends. The golf course itself is named for her youngest son, Jack.
Each summer, Shulze’s own children, family and friends work at the course, making it a family-run business.
“We only hire kids that are going to be super-friendly,” she added.
Captain Jack’s goes all out to entertain the whole family. From silly characters to bold pirates, the course is a treasure trove of fun. There are even motion-sensor-triggered pirates that speak when people walk or make a hole nearby.
Among all the exciting statues and designs, Shultz said No. 3 stands out as the course’s signature hole. “Me Monkey’s Loose” involves a water trap — or does it? Golfers can carefully navigate their ball around the green, avoiding the running water. However, if they knock the ball straight into the stream, the ball floats down the water, hits a small bar and tumbles back onto the green, very near the cup.
Some golfers mistrust the water element, but those who try it will be rewarded with a lower par.
Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf is open daily in the summertime from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with the last golfers teeing off at 10:45 p.m. The first nine holes are ADA-accessible. A round of golf costs $8 per person, with $1 coupons available around the community and $1 off for all kids 3 to 6 years old. Children younger than 3 play free with a paying adult. Learn more at www.captainjackspirategolf.com, and just look for the skull and crossbones … and golf clubs.