Oct
13
2011
A Golf Course Cemetery? The Plot Thickens
By Stephanie Wei under General

Golf course closest to heaven

This headline, “Bellevue Funeral Home Opens New Golf Course Cemetery,” certainly caught my eye — I grew up in Bellevue, Washington, where my parents still live, just a few miles down the street from Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Funeral Home (maybe TMI, but I have family buried and/or cremated there).

Sunset Hills built a cemetery that resembles a one-hole golf course, which includes an 820-square-foot green, a fairway and a sand trap, according to the Seattle Weekly:

At Memorial Golf Park, there’s space for 1,281 golf fanatics, including space for those who want a traditional burial and those who want to be cremated and have their remains stored onsite.

To access the ossuary (where cremated remains are stored), one will have to use the actual golf hole.

Wait, what?

Arne Swanson, the funeral home’s marketing director, explained the concept to Seattle Weekly in an interview today. “There’s a vault installed below the green,” he said. “A passageway leads up to the top of the green and the hole.”

Swanson came up with the idea after witnessing a family scatter ashes on a golf course. “I was playing golf with my son at a local golf course about five years ago, and they stopped play on the course,” he said. “And then we observed what we later found out to be someone scattering their loved one on the course.”

Too bad you can’t play the hole! Well, I suppose the spirits can if you believe in that sort of thing…And it would feel sacrilegious to take divots out of hallowed grounds.

Sorry to be so morbid, but we are talking about a cemetery — would you choose to be buried or have your remains kept there? I guess it’s an interesting (yet kitschy) concept and there are plenty of golf fanatics in the area (Sunset Hills is probably the biggest, most prominent funeral home/cemetery in the area) that would probably dig it.

I (jokingly) asked my step-dad if he wanted to reserve a spot at Sunset Hills’ cemetery course, and he replied, “No. I want a real golf course.” Agreed. Besides, our country club is right down the street.

More pictures, via Seattle Weekly:

(Hat tip: Geoff Shackelford)