The Church of Scientology has a golf course… yes, really!

Scientology Golf Course 2

File this one under “Strange But True”.

The Church of Scientology – best known for being the religion of choice for Hollywood A-listers such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta – owns it very own golf course.

The nine-hole Golden Era Golf Course forms part of the so-called Gold Base, the international headquarters of the church, located in San Jacinto, California.

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The property – formerly a resort called Gilman Hot Springs – was purchased by the church in 1978 under the pseudonym ‘Scottish Highland Quietude Club’ and has subsequently been significantly expanded.  

Scientology Golf Course
Scientology Golf Course 3

The course – which shares its name with the film production wing of the Church of Scientology – is located to the east of the main part of the base, outside of the main boundary fence that keeps curious onlookers away from the notoriously secretive group.

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It is believed the course originally opened in 1931 as part of the Gilman Hot Springs Resort and was initially called the Foothills 9. It was the first all-grass golf course on this side of Riverside County and remained opened after the church purchased the resort from the Gilman family but was destroyed by a flood in 1980.

Scientology Golf Course 4

It was subsequently rebuilt in the latter part of the 1980s and re-opened for play in 1991. From then until 2007, it was open to the public but is now private, although it is reportedly available for non-profit organisations to use for fundraising events at no charge. A 2015 report, announcing the opening of a brand new clubhouse to complement the course, claimed that more than 250 groups had raised over $1.6m for their programs with events at the facility.

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According to SkyGolf, an industry leader in course-mapping, it measures, 2,998 yards and comprises two par-5s, two par-3s and five par-4s.

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