Medora, North Dakota, is a popular tourist town, steeped in history and situated at the entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Last year, when the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation decided to replace their 1970’s era “Little Bully Pulpit” 18-hole miniature golf concrete course with a new one, they called on Adventure Golf & Sports (AGS – formerly Adventure Golf Services) to expand the course by having the new front nine holes encompass the entire space of the original mini-golf area, and building the back nine holes into a Badlands hill across the street from the original mini-golf location. The new “Little Bully Pulpit” mini-golf course is twice the size of the former one.
“One of our objectives was to make the course feel more like it belonged in Medora – to have some of that Badlands topography,” says Kinley Slauter, the Burning Hills Amphitheatre Manager for the Medora Foundation who was also tasked with overseeing the design and construction of the new miniature golf course.
The course theme is built around the history of the region and, through the support of local businesses and organizations, includes a variety of unique obstacles and elements along the course furnished by local groups or Adventure Golf. Sponsored panels at each tee state the name of the hole and help tell the story of the area. For example, players must putt through a large stone chimney structure on hole eight. The chimney represents the Medora Meat Packing Plant built in 1883 by the Marquis de Morés. Through the use of refrigerated railroad cars, de Morés was able to dress and ship beef directly to the east coast, effectively cutting out the previously required Slauterhouses in Chicago – a revolutionary concept in 1883.
Other hole elements pay tribute to the pre-Ice Age forest of the area, the Wind Canyon of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, native Indian tipis, bison, early wagon and railroad transportation, generating energy using windmills, drilling for oil and other characteristics of the region. There’s even a hole paying tribute to the “Bully Pulpit” Golf Course – the full-sized “big brother” 18-hole golf course just south of Medora. The name “Bully Pulpit” was inspired by Theodore Roosevelt who used the moniker to describe the U.S. Presidency.