The miniature golf course on Park Marina was a place that I spent lot of fun afternoons during my childhood.

Someone related to me owned the course, and a lot of other cool things on Park Marina, including the round house.  (check this out)

It was like having a giant playground of your own as a kid.  I’d go to my cousin’s house often during the summer, which was also on Park Marina. (and it was cool in it’s own right, built on stilts so when the river flooded the house wouldn’t.  Taking a boat to their house was super awesome) We could go to the swimming hole, the Round House to jump off the bridge (or play underneath it, there was a cool waterfall and stream built under there), grab a Bell Beefer at Taco Bell, kayak around the river, and play mini golf whenever we wanted.

The mini golf at Park Marina wasn’t great as far as mini golf goes.  They had a dragon, windmill, alligator, and all the usual trapping of a typical mini golf course.  They also had a fairly decent video game room with about 15 games.  (though it was kind of ghetto in there, I remember it was always dirty, dark and dingy, especially with lots of spider webs)  But the most awesome thing was the grass course.  I remember somebody telling me it was the largest course of it’s kind in California or the USA.  Don’t know if there is any truth to that or not…

One summer day, my cousin and I were hanging out at the course, in particular in the funky red a-frame snack shack/club house.  (I wonder why Mr. Spaid liked a-frames so much?)  It was full of crap in there, broken clubs, dusty boxes, hot dog merry-go-round,  etc… and we happen to find an old trophy.  My cousin asked his grandmother (who often worked at the course) if we could have it.  She said yes, so it became our grass course championship trophy, “The Kutras Cup”.  We had many epic matches on the massive grass course over the next few months to see who would lay claim to the Cup.  I think most of the time we would say we tied, and just keep the cup at the club house.

Unfortunately the course closed in 2003.  (according to the article linked above it started in 1956, with the grass course added in 1960, so it had a great run!)  Fortunately, the buyer of the course was the McConnell Foundation, and they decided to at least keep the area as an open space, and turned the grass course into a large park.  It would have been awesome to keep the mini golf open, but I guess this was the next best thing, and way better than building a Rite Aid or some other ugly building there.

Also, my uncle managed to grab the dragon and the alligator before the course was torn down, and placed them both in a proper spot on a couple of islands in his private lake.