Seeking Information on Goony Golf of Red Bank

Friday, November 01, 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.


Chattanooga's Blues and Jazz Heritage Program is Monday, August 25

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association and the Local History Department of the Public Library invites all to a talk by Dr. Clark White on "Chattanooga's Blues and Jazz Heritage."  The program will be on Monday, August 25th at 6pm at the downtown Chattanooga Public Library. See the accompanying flyer for more information. CAHA events are free and open to the ... (click for more)

Five Tennessee Sites Added to the National Register of Historic Places

The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced five Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The ... (click for more)

Jury Finds In Favor Of Texas Sheriff In Suit Brought By Chattanooga Photographer

A Federal Court jury on Friday found in favor of a Texas sheriff and his chief deputy who had been sued by a Chattanooga photographer. The jury in the courtroom of Judge Curtis Collier awarded no damages to Donna Johnson. In his closing argument after a two-week civil trial, attorney John Anderson said, "This is about the Fourth Amendment." Attorney Anderson represented Ms. ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Mackey Should Be Thankful For The State Troopers On Highway 153

This is in response to a statement made by Warren Mackey at the commission meeting.  His question was to the mayor regarding the state troopers writing tickets on Highway 153, saying they were on a rampage.   It is apparent that Mr. Mackey doesn’t travel this highway.  His only concern was that the ticket money was going into state funds and not into county funds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Must-Read For Parents

If you have a child or if you love one, what you are about to read could be one of the most important lessons in your life. I have a great friend in Dallas – Sandy Pohfal – who regularly shares stories with me that are moving, inspirational or important. This is all three. This story was written by a celebrated author, Christie Craig. She has written hundreds of articles for ... (click for more)