From battleships to cave trolls, Viking Golf in Fenwick Island offers a mythical history lesson in Viking culture. From its location at the crossroads of Routes 1 and 54, magic and history find common ground along the greens.
“We’ve got trolls living everywhere in the cliffs, plus dragon eggs,” said co-owner Tor Andersen.
Andersen inherited the golf course from his father, Bjorn, whose name means “bear.” Bjorn was half-Danish and wholly inspired by his Scandinavian heritage to open the Viking-themed golf course in June of 1984.
“My dad was a little bit of a renegade or innovator. At least, he took a chance,” with the less-developed Fenwick Island, said Andersen.
The most iconic feature of the course is a huge double-headed dragon that twists over the holes, eyes glowing red and steam rising from its fanged mouth. The dragon stands above a long waterfall, across the water from a traditional longship and treasure chest, near a magical tree where ancient mushrooms have faces.
New course elements and designs are added each year to keep things fresh for repeat customers. However, the landscaping has had time to mature, so trees and shrubs have blossomed over the years.
Signs are posted to teach players about the historic icons whose statues guard the course, such as Erik the Red, who has been popularly credited with discovering North America.
According to Andersen, when Vikings found fossilized dinosaur footprints, they believed dragons roamed the earth. The mini-golf course celebrates that with Hole No. 13: The Fossil Dig. In perhaps the most difficult hole on the course, people hit the ball across an old “mud bank,” which is staggered to trap the ball in multiple spots.
“You gotta bang it pretty hard to get it all the way to the end,” Andersen said.
But No. 18 is the signature hole at Viking Golf, where Andersen said it’s “better to be lucky than good.”
Titled the Viking Barrow Mound, Hole 18 begins with one boulder balanced on top of three more boulders, a traditional memorial to Viking chiefs. The ball shoots between the boulders before rolling down a steep ramp to the hole 15 feet below. After swinging, people run down a staircase to watch the ball bounce off rocks, like a pinball or Plinko game. If they’re lucky, the players get a hole-in-one, or they keep playing until the last shot.
Viking Golf is part of a larger amusement park that fits comfortably in the resort town. A line of beachy businesses sell ice cream, pizza, funnel cakes, souvenirs, kettle corn and more at the Fenwick Island Boardwalk. Thunder Lagoon Water Park and go-karts also entice visitors after a round of golf.
“It’s not just mini-golf,” said Andersen. “Come have fun!”
Viking Golf is open daily from 9 a.m. to midnight. Prices remain the same all day, but people can play unlimited games until 5 p.m. For more information on Viking Golf, call (302) 539-1644.