A Final Resting Place On The Green, But No Mulligans | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

A Final Resting Place On The Green, But No Mulligans

Play associated audio

Americans aren't going for coffins like they used to. Cremation is becoming more popular and many families opt to dispose of the ashes somewhere other than a cemetery.

That's not good news for the funeral and cemetery business. Arne Swanson, market director for Dignity Memorial Service Corporation International, recalls watching a family spreading the ashes of a loved one on the fairway of a golf course.

"I thought, 'There must be a better way,' " he says. "There just simply was not a product to meet the needs of this family."

So Swanson has come up with such a product: A memorial "golf park" right in the middle of a hilltop cemetery in Bellevue, Wash., with views of downtown Seattle and the Olympic mountains.

It's a perfectly playable putting green, built over an ossuary, a sealed vault for ashes. There's also a rough and a sand trap — which can also accommodate ashes.

"If you spent a lot of time in the sand trap while you were playing golf, why, here at Sunset Hills Memorial Park, you have the opportunity to spend an eternity in the trap," says Swanson.

Swanson says he's already made three sales to people who want to be buried at the golf hole, or their families. The company plans to expand the memorial golf hole concept to another one of its properties in Phoenix, and perhaps Las Vegas later.

Swanson also might contemplate products that memorialize other kinds of sports. But with its emphasis on quiet and lawn care, golf is ideal for the cemetery environment.

"The one unique thing about Sunset Hills is that we guarantee you that everyone here finishes six under," says Swanson.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Speed Dating For Seniors Who Aren't Interested In Slowing Down

A new film follows daters ages 70 to 90 looking for love in five-minute intervals. "Speed dating for seniors" may sound funny, but The Age of Love is really about our lifelong need for intimacy.
NPR

Eat Your Veggies! Even The Ones From Fukushima

Foods from Fukushima, Japan, are back to pre-accident levels of radiation but people still aren't eating them. One way to ease concerns: a chemical that blocks radioactive cesium from entering plants.
WAMU 88.5

Fairfax County Supervisors Approve Pay Bump For Themselves

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are about to start earning more money, as the current members have approved a measure that will raise salaries for the next board.
NPR

Sharing Patient Records Is Still A Digital Dilemma For Doctors

There's good news and bad news about electronic medical records. They're now in most doctors' offices — but most doctors still can't easily share them.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.