Halloween is more than a holiday at Concord's Ghost Golf, a 2010-founded putt-putt course: It's a full-time business, baby. Once upon a time, the yearly occasion was all fun and games for proprietor Daryn Coleman, whose haunted golf course was profiled by the Chronicle's culture critic Peter Hartlaub today.
Coleman grew up in Southern California as a haunted house enthusiast, working as a young man for a few years at Disneyland with animatronic puppets like those on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. But eventually, he settled into a role with AT&T, accruing Halloween decorations as a hobby and becoming locally famous in the Concord area for his yearly Halloween setup at his house in Clayton.
Then, when he was laid off in 2009, Ghost Golf occurred to Coleman and his wife Janice as a way to turn their fun into a bonafide business." I got tired of storing it all away, working all year long, then getting two or three hours of glory," Coleman told the Chronicle of his decorations, "I started thinking ‘What could we do to use this stuff year-round?’”
To quote Ghost Golf's website, "Coleman's vision has always been to have his own attraction filled with animatronic figures that he has created and built which has been his life time passion." The course moved to its current facility, a former video store that's three times larger than its predecessor, in 2014. There, it offers 18 holes in addition to a mummy-themed shooting gallery and arcade.
Now, for those in San Francisco who might not be able to make it all the way to Concord, you'll have to make do with Urban Putt, our closest local equivalent. But entrepreneurs, check this out, from the Ghost Golf website: "If you would like to inquire about a possible Ghost Golf franchise or if you have a project that you would like to have our team of talented artists and designers help with send an email to [email protected]"