Of all the major developments that took place between 1960 and 1975, only the golf course has survived. Not only that but it has matured as trees have been planted, field drains laid, new hazards added and parallel courses made for frisbee and foot golf.
The proposal for a nine-hole miniature golf course came in a report by the City Engineer and was accepted by the Parks and Recreation Committee in January 1963. Thirty years previously, in May 1933, an even more miniature course had opened on the five-acre field behind the bowling greens. This was an approach course which is similar to a putting course except that bunkers are incorporated and the ball can be chipped or lifted in a low shot. An enemy bomb landed on the course during the Second World War and it seems probable that it fell into disuse afterwards.
The new course would cover 14 acres with each hole averaging 120 yards in length. Work to bank and level the ground was carried out between autumn 1963 and spring 1964 followed by grass sowing and tree planting. As with the other developments, not everyone was satisfied and the Herald reported complaints about a large open area of the park being restricted for general access.
Soon after the course opened in April 1965, reports started to appear of golf balls landing in gardens and hitting cars on Alma Road. The matter came to a head in September when a golf ball went through the window of two elderly sisters, Misses Greenslade, and their neighbour, Mr F Martin, sent a letter of complaint to the City Engineer. In a report in the Independent newspaper on 3rd October 1965, one of the sisters said “she did not want to cause anyone to shut the golf course as she thought it was a good thing and the people using it did not cause any trouble. ‘It is very healthy for young people,’ she said.”
The problem was traced to the seventh hole which was in a direct line with the end houses on Alma Road and ball-catch fencing was erected soon afterwards.
Also in 1965, the city council built the present attendant’s store and shelter. The store was adapted to sell refreshments in [date required] and for many years afterwards, it provided the main social hub for the park.
These pictures of the golf course circa 1965 show its newly planted, open aspects.