August 1, 2016

The Tudor City GOLF COURSE

Miniature golf ‒ a scaled-down version of the real thing, focusing on the putting aspect of the game ‒ takes America by storm in the '20s, and helps 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), opens in 1927, when much of the complex is still under heavy construction. It's a good distraction from the chaos surrounding it, and the French Company immediately recognizes 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.

Laid out on grass, the course is a par forty-three covering 330 yards, with a concrete-lined water hazard as its centerpiece. Other hazards include sand traps and dog-legs, as well as gate and bridge obstructions. The course is lit for nighttime play, and a local pro is available for lessons.

The water hazard

In 1930, the land is remade into the South Park, and the putt-putt course moves across the street to the southwest corner of 41st Street and Tudor City Place.

It only lasts there for a season, as the miniature golf craze has begun to wane. Tennis courts take its place in 1931 ‒ an equally fine PR gimmick ‒ and remain there well into the '50s. Today the site is home to No. 2, Tudor Gardens.

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