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Brent Kelley

Jurassic Golf? Jeff the T-Rex Is a Dinosaur on the Golf Course

By December 14, 2012

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dinosaur on coolum resort golf course

Last week, a figurative dinosaur - 53-year-old Peter Senior - won the Australian Open. This week, a replica dinosaur is causing nearly as much conversation.

Yes, if you are watching the Australian PGA Championship on TV, that really is a huge, animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex on the golf course. Its name is Jeff and it stands 26-feet tall next to the No. 10 tee, close to the ninth green. It moves its tail and head, can open and close its mouth, and lets out a mighty roar.

But not during the tournament: The Australian PGA convinced the Palmer Coolum Resort's owner, Clive Palmer - the mining billionaire who installed Jeff the T-rex about a year ago - to keep it silent and still during tournament play.

Unfortunately, that dinosaur is also the main reason the Australian PGA plans to move the tournament from Coolum, where it has spent 11 years. Dinosaurs are things you expect to see on miniature golf courses, not on the real deal. But is it really out of place to have a dinosaur on a golf course in a country full of huge, poisonous spiders; deadly snakes; dingos and 3,500-mile long dingo fences; and those living dinosaurs, Australia's giant crocodiles?

Palmer says he plans to install more robotic dinosaurs around the resort course, and believes it will boost business.

What do the players think? Most were taken aback when they first encountered Jeff the dinosaur in practice rounds. But they seem mostly bemused by it.

"I had a chip out of the bunker yesterday with this thing in the background," Stuart Appleby said. " ... It is strange."

Zhang Xin Jung said he was "astonished" at the sight of it. "I never thought (I) will see dinosaur on a golf course ... It certainly makes the course look different."

What do you think: Is a robotic dinosaur on the golf course a selling point for recreational golfers? Does it cheapen a professional golf tournament? Share your opinion in comments.

(Photo: Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images)


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