Seeking Information on Goony Golf of Red Bank

Friday, November 1, 2013 - by Harmon Jolley

Memories Readers, I need your help. 

I promised a friend who is a Red Bank historian that I would find information on the Goony Golf that was once located beside Red Bank United Methodist Church on Dayton Boulevard.

My dilemma is that this is one of several topics where I walked away from the Local History/Genealogy section of the Public Library with little information.  There were two related newspaper clippings on file, but only one of them on Goony Golf, and I have not found any photographs or other memorabilia, not even a score card, of the Red Bank Goony location.

Here’s what I was able to find.

·       Goony Golf was a chain of miniature golf courses developed by Earl K. (“Dutch”) Magrath and other executives and investors of Golf Players beginning in 1960.  The chain grew to 44 courses in 12 states, as of the date of the lone Goony entry in the library’s clipping file.  The article appeared in the May 21, 1972 Chattanooga News-Free Press.

·       The course at 5952 Brainerd Road, which is still operating today, opened in 1962.  Red Bank Goony began turning its wind mill in 1963.  I regret that I did not take time to determine what was on the site prior to Goony Golf opening in Red Bank. 

·       The Red Bank location last appeared in the 1975 Chattanooga City Directory.  I recall golfing there around 1974.

·       The March 19, 1979 Chattanooga News-Free Press reported that the Red Bank City Commission would be meeting with the Red Bank Recreation Board regarding the city’s parks, including city land formerly owned by Goony Golf.  There was interest in securing federal funding for parks.

·       A park is located today on the former home of the Goony Bird, Goonysaurus, and Silly Bear.

·       Earl K. Magrath, Jr. passed away in 1999.

Goony Golf operated during a time of rapid suburbanization and maturing of the Baby Boom generation.  So, it is very possible that some of you have family photos of you and others trying to get a hole-in-one into Leaping Lena the Kangaroo’s pouch.

If you have memories or photographs of Goony Golf of Red Bank, please send them to me at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.  I will update the article, to make it more detailed and up-to-par.



Brooks Family Was Among Earliest Settlers Of Sale Creek

Joseph Brooks was one of the earliest settlers at Sale Creek when it was part of Rhea County. Three of his nieces along with their husbands were Hamilton County pioneers. Joseph Brooks and his brother, Moses Brooks, were sons of John Brooks, who was born in Ireland about 1730. He made his way to Philadelphia and lived a short time in Pennsylvania before going with the tide of ... (click for more)

Hundreds Of Students To Compete In Tennessee History Day Contest

Nearly 300 students from across Tennessee will compete in the annual Tennessee History Day state contest in downtown Nashville on  Saturday . The competition allows students to showcase their creativity and research skills by developing projects with historical themes. The students with the best-judged projects in the statewide competition will advance to the National ... (click for more)

Walker Sentenced To 4 Years In State Prison For Tragic Woodmore Bus Wreck

Johnthony Walker was sentenced to four years in state prison on Tuesday in connection with a school bus crash that claimed six lives and injured 22 other Woodmore Elementary students. Judge Don Poole declined to run any of the sentences consecutively, while finding that the 25-year- old Walker was not a "dangerous offender." Walker has already served almost a year of the sentence ... (click for more)

Pet Raccoon That Was Destroyed Did Not Have Rabies

A pet raccoon that was destroyed in order to test for rabies after biting a neighbor child did not have rabies, Chattanooga attorney Chris Jones. The family has been advised it can pick up the remains of Boomer at the Chattanooga Hamilton County Health Department. Attorney Jones, who specializes in wildlife cases, earlier argued there was no valid reason for health ... (click for more)

Set Up A Council On Love, Not A Council On Hate - And Response

In Mayor Berke's April 19 version of the Berke Bulletin, he announced plans to establish a Council on Hate and indicated a focus on tolerance. I beg of him to reconsider that plan. One problem in Chattanooga and in other places in America is that there are some people who have already established an informal version of a Council on Hate. I suggest that a more productive plan ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Corker And ‘The Code’

Of all the vows, pledges, and bonds born unto the human race, nothing overrides “The Code.” It is an unwritten but deeply important knowledge that men should abide with equal respect, fierce loyalty, and chivalrous understanding of one another. For example, The Code dictates you must not and can never date a good friend’s ex-girlfriend, or ex-wife. Rather, you respect your friend ... (click for more)