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  I will update the article, to make it more detailed and up-to-par.

Friends of Moccasin Bend Lecture Monday, October 5th

On Monday, October 5, 7- 8:00 PM, Dr. Adam King will give a presentation entitled “Gradiometers, Mounds and Copper Plates: Piecing Together a History of the Etowah Site.” His presentation is sponsored through a partnership between the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Friends of Moccasin Bend. This is the second ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Group Forms Historical Association

A group of local area citizens has formed a new organization, the Soddy, Daisy and Montlake Historical Association. The new association plans to preserve and display the unique histories of these North Hamilton County communities.      The Soddy, Daisy and Montlake communities have made contributions to the history of Hamilton County and the state of Tennessee ... (click for more)

Planning Commission Votes 6-5 To Reject 7-Story Apartment Building On Cowart Street

After lengthy discussion on Monday before the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, historical neighborhood advocates won a victory in the Southside area when the commission narrowly rejected a request to allow developers to build a seven-story apartment building on the 1200 block of Cowart Street.   The Belle Investment Co. & BYD Coward, ... (click for more)

Charges Upgraded Against Avery To Murder After Victim of Chair Leg Attack At Moccasin Bend Dies

Charges have been upgraded to murder against Leviticus Avery, 37, after a man he allegedly attacked with a chair leg has died. Avery initially was charged with aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder in the incident last Thursday at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health facility. Kevin Green, 38, remained in critical condition until he died. He was struck in ... (click for more)

Ole Man River Just Keeps Rollin

Citizens are hearing yet another new chapter in Chattanooga’s 21st Century Riverfront concrete repair saga. It seems it will require more repair, more delays and more tax dollars to do it. When will it end? Construction of the Riverfront concrete structures began in 2003. Before it was finished, designers, engineers, contractors, Public Works officials, Mayor Littlefield and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It Was Our Tool Shed

Some said the huge beams had been soaking in creosote for two or three years when the men finally stacked them to dry. They were long, about 20 feet each, and thick – maybe eight inches. I remember they were 14 inches wide but the biggest thing I remember was that it was the ugliest lumber I ever saw. They cured the beams for one entire hot summer in the Tool Shed, a huge building ... (click for more)