Guests can feed and hold exotic animals while playing two 18-hole courses
By Chris Fish
CAPE CANAVERAL -- Golf N Gator offers more than a regular putt-putt experience.
Since its grand opening on March 28, hundreds of residents and tourists have flocked to the miniature golf course to play on the facility's two 18-hole courses, all the while being surrounded by live alligators.
Under the supervision of "Safari" Todd Drever of Safari Todd Unlimited, a conservation organization with the goal of educating the public about wildlife animals, guests can hold alligators, snakes, scorpions and tarantulas to enhance their golfing experience.
"We have been well-received by the community," said Gary Carothers, owner of Golf N Gator. "We are not really gimmicky. It's just a pure putt-putt environment, with no tricky stuff, like elephants or clowns. Everyone seems to enjoy it, and only one person has scored under par that I know of."
"Safari" Todd said he hopes to dispel myths created by film and television about the dangers of his animals.
"My alligators are harmless," he said. "They have never bitten anyone."
At Golf N Gator, guests may pick between two 18-hole courses. For an easier experience, guests are encouraged to try the "Swamp Cave Course," which is surrounded by cascading waterfalls, flowing streams and tropical landscapes, featuring 15 gators, four feet and less.
However, if a guest is really looking for a challenge, Mr. Carothers said "Gator Mountain," which includes several par-three holes, will provide an excellent challenge.
Golf N Gator also hosts parties and tournaments for local organizations.
In the future, Mr. Carothers said he will be bringing in more gators for his miniature golf course, increasing the number of reptiles to 30.
Also, Mr. Carothers said he is working toward a license to handle exotic creatures, so, in a year, he can take over the handling area from "Safari" Todd.
For guests looking for souvenirs and other memorabilia, Golf N Gator provides various Florida souvenirs, including anything gator and reptile-related, as well as NASA memorabilia.
Golf N Gator is located at 6355 N. Atlantic Ave., Cape Canaveral, and is open Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. To make a reservation for a birthday party or tournament, call (321) 799-4545.