There has been some discussion on Facebook about the Putt-Putt Golf Course that was located on Independence across from Central High School. I was pretty sure I didn’t have any photos of it, but I sort of played hooky tonight, which led to this discovery.
Wife Lila and I got a late afternoon invitation to go to dinner with the boys, wives and kids. It was made more special by Grandson Malcolm announcing he had won first place in his elementary school science fair. He’ll represent his school in the next level of competition soon. He and Dad Matt built a trebuchet in his backyard and calculated the best pivot point to get the greatest throw range. So, if you need to launch a bucket of boiling oil at your neighbor, give third-grader Malcolm a call. (And, he emphasized, do NOT call it a catapult. They are similar, but different siege devices.)
[Editor’s Note: that wasn’t particularly relevant to the story. I just had to find a way to brag on my grandkid.]
Thanks to Steve McKeown
A year or so ago, Reader Steve McKeown sent me a whole flock of photos his dad, James D. McKeown III had taken. I was sifting through them when I saw these Putt-Putt photos. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking at (Steve didn’t provide any background with the photos), when I saw the building in the background. That pretty much convinced that it was on the east side of Sheridan south of Independence. The top photo and some others have railroad tracks in them, making me even more sure of the location.
The clincher was when I spotted the words “I Play Putt-Putt” on a sign behind the woman’s head. You can see the golf club handles behind her and a box containing scorecards, different colored golf balls and a roll of tickets.
One of the selling points of the Putt-Putt was free parking.
Wooden chairs for the weary
In case you got tired walking the course, Putt-Putt provided chairs built for two as a resting spot.
Grand opening in 1961
The only story that popped up in The Missourian was an Out of the Past column on June 12, 2011,that reported, “Grand opening of the new Putt-Putt Golf Course, a standardized miniature entertainment at 1739 Independence St., is set for next weekend; the 18-hole course is managed by Dean Brown and Kenny Hargens.
7 Replies to “Putt-Putt Golf Course”
I remember playing there when I was in high school. If I remember right they had lights so you could play at night. Thanks for the memories.
Am I remembering correctly that there was also once a trampoline center on the site … pits in the ground over which the trampolines were placed?
Ken, you need to get some comments from John Brown. He worked there during high school. He graduated in 65. A good buddy of mine.
Putt-Putt was across the street from one of our homes in GG. My brother Jim McKeown is in the horizontal striped shirt. That is probably me with the plaid shorts in the first photo. The second photo and the one with the chairs shows my very young mother Jane Doughty McKeown in white shorts. In the second photo between my mother and brother Jim, the little guy in the visor cap is my brother Joe Pat, who was born with with Down Syndrome, and who died in his mid-forties. The boy who is shirtless in the dark shorts is my other brother Steve McKeown. The only one not featured is my sister Susan, unless I have mixed up myself with Susan. Susan’s hair was much blonder than mine, however.
Larry – If this is the same location (across Independence from CHS), then the trampoline center was there. I remember it well, as I evolved my Tumbling Club experiences to the trampoline and one night I was asked to leave when I did a flip from one trampoline to an adjacent one – management didn’t appreciate the possible risk of an injury…
The trampoline place was down the street from Putt-Putt, across Sheridan St where the gas station is now. John Hodges worked at Putt-Putt one summer and I would work for him when he had a date or couldn’t work. Enjoyed the place. John, I and another person, can’t remember his name, went to the Sikeston Putt-Putt for a tournament. There wasn’t many people entered so as I recall we all won. In the pictures the brick house in the background is where my older brother lived for a while. Enjoyed the photos.
I played there frequently and sad to say, it didn’t improve my game as life wore on.
Those were such simple times. Though my own kids are now grown, I can’t imagine them in the summer just leaving home, walking a mile somewhere, spending a few hours and all would be alright as long as they were home by dinnertime. That’s how life was for us. That was then. This is now.