Miniature golf -- a scaled-down version of the real thing, focusing on the putting aspect of the game -- took America by storm in the '20s, and helped the French Company parlay a temporarily vacant lot into a publicity goldmine.
The 18-hole course (set on the future site of the South Park), opened in 1927, when much of the complex was still under heavy construction. It was a good distraction from the chaos surrounding it, and the French Company immediately recognized its PR value, billing it as "the most expensive course for its area in the world, occupying land worth over a million dollars."
|A map of the course, which looks much more elaborate than it really was.|
|The water hazard|
In 1930, the land was remade into the South Park, and the putt-putt course moved across the street to the southwest corner of 41st Street and Tudor City Place.
It only lasted there for a season, as the miniature golf craze had begun to wane. Tennis courts took its place in 1931 -- an equally fine PR gimmick -- and remained there well into the '50s. Today the site is home to No. 2, Tudor Gardens.