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.


First Thanksgiving in Chattanooga (Civil War)

By “first Thanksgiving Day”, no, I do not mean the harvest thanksgiving meal which the Separatist colonists of New Plymouth shared uncomfortably with their Wampanoag neighbors.   Nor do I mean any of the thanksgivings proclaimed on a one-time basis by a U.S. President after that.   In this case, the “First Thanksgiving Day” means the inaugural event of those that have ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers Larry V. Myers And His Explorer Scouts

I can't believe that it has been over 40 years since Larry Myers of the Chattanooga Fire Department was active here in Chattanooga. He was a very well-known professional fireman   who also took great interest in our local youth, organizing some of them into a group of re-enactors. I was fortunate to see them in action, especially at Fort Loudoun, where their authentic ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Looking Into Taking Over Schools

A new group of Signal Mountain Town Council members is looking into taking over county schools within the town boundaries.   Two newly elected board members, Amy Speek and Dan Landrum, joined the council Friday afternoon at the first work session after the election. The election of mayor and vice mayor for the next two years came first on the agenda. Dick Gee, mayor ... (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man that agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drugs buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)