Putt-Putt Golf & Games in Chamblee
Guest Blog, Valerie Biggerstaff of Past Tense GA
Putt-Putt Golf Course was located on the corner of Shallowford and Chamblee Tucker Road. Enjoy these memories of the course.
This fun, vintage postcard is held in the archives of DeKalb History Center. I enjoy zooming in for a closer look at the course and the clothing. The mom and two young girls who wore their white boots to play putt-putt (or knew they were going to be in a photograph) is an interesting choice, but not surprising for the early 1970s. Thank you to DHC for sharing the postcard with me and letting me include it with this post.
I remember the Putt-Putt Golf & Games at the corner of Shallowford and Chamblee Tucker Road well, because I went there many times with friends and family.
I asked a group of Chamblee High School alumni who have been helpful in the past by sharing their memories, what they remembered about Putt-Putt Golf & Games. I am not an alumnus of Chamblee but of Henderson back when it was a high school.
Quite a few people remembered spending some time there. Ellen Coulter Choate recalled she and her friends would, “play a game, then go over to Clairmont Road Dairy Queen for ice cream.” Mark Welsh recalls, “We begged our parents to take us there so we could spend hours playing.”
The postcard mentions that the course is next to a Food Giant and several people remember playing putt-putt while their mothers shopped, while some worked at this Food Giant while in high school.
The course “was at the corner of Shallowford and Chamblee Tucker Road, just above where Zayre’s was. It was behind the IHOP restaurant,” according to Patrick Connors. That brought back memories for me, because I had forgotten about the store called Zayre’s. Connors also remembered his family frequented Jim Hearn just up Buford Highway and Putt-Putt Golf and Games sometimes hosted Professional Putting Association tournaments. The tournaments were occasionally shown on television on Saturday mornings.
Some people remember another putt-putt course across the road from the Frito-Lay plant. This was located where Lowe’s is today on Peachtree Boulevard (formerly Peachtree Industrial Boulevard). It was between the Krystal restaurant and a garden center recalls Ron Tallen and Connors.
I enjoyed a description of Putt-Putt Golf of Chamblee written in the July 22, 1982, Atlanta Constitution. The article is titled “Local Putt-Putt Pros Seek Tourney Success” and written by Terry Doherty. The first paragraph begins, “The setting is definitely not pastoral. Nestled amongst the service stations and convenience stores, the facility is marked by its Shallowford Road sign: Putt-Putt Golf of Chamblee. A first-time visitor might be surprised to find that there are no windmills, giant dinosaurs, or rocket ships-the things usually associated with miniature golf. There is a good reason for that. It’s not miniature golf.”
When the article appeared, the Professional Putters Association had held their qualifying tournament at Putt-Putt Golf of Chamblee the previous week, with 44 competitors. Two local men who were members of the pro tour participated, Mike Sherrill and Alan Quinnelly.
Sherrill began playing professionally in 1976 and played in about 20 tournaments a year. Quinnelly was only 18 and had just recently graduated from Sequoyah High School. He was heading for West Georgia College in the fall.
The prize money for winning the entire tournament was $20,000.
The 1980s saw many miniature golf courses come to the Atlanta area, with their windmills, dinosaurs, and rockets ships as Terry Doherty had described. Putt-Putt Golf of Chamblee gets a mention again in the Atlanta Constitution, August 5, 1989 article “Miniature Golf Hits It Big.” The article describes Mountasia and Rainforest miniature golf courses around Atlanta, as well as the Pebble Beach and Wee Putt courses.
Nancy Grossman of Chamblee was quoted by the Constitution writer, “I played this course as a kid.” She happened to be at Putt-Putt Golf of Chamblee with her mother and eight-year-old son.
The author of this article, Kathy Hogan Trochek, describes the course in Chamblee as one where, “skill is required to make par of 36 or below. Here, there are no gamboling animals. It’s just you, a putter and endless, orange-painted rails.” Full disclosure-I had to look up the word gamboling!
A side note about this article is that Kathy Hogan Trocheck happens to be one of my favorite authors. She wrote ten mystery novels under that name and has written 14 bestsellers under the name of Mary Kay Andrews. I do remember reading in her bio that she wrote for the Atlanta newspapers.
You can also see the postcard above on Instagram by following DeKalb History Center. Others have shared their memories of Putt-Putt Golf of Chamblee as well as other putt-putt and miniature golf memories around Atlanta on the DHC Instagram post.
Valerie Biggerstaff Bio:
My name is Valerie Biggerstaff and I’ve lived in and around Atlanta, Georgia all my life. I’ve lived in various parts of the metropolitan area, including Doraville, Chamblee, Emory University, Brookhaven, Lilburn, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.
I’ve written about local history in the Past Tense column of the Dunwoody Crier newspaper for fourteen years, taking over for local historian Jim Perkins in 2006. This blog will share additional history as well as extra details and photos to supplement my Dunwoody Crier column.
In 2010, I completed my first book, Images of America: Dunwoody, published by Arcadia Publishing. The book contains many historic photographs of Dunwoody, Georgia along with the stories and history behind the photographs. Seven years later, I teamed up with Rebecca Chase Williams to write Images of America: Brookhaven, another book filled with history and historic photographs, this time featuring Brookhaven, Georgia.
Since these books were published, I have discovered additional photos, history and families whose stories need to be told. I will continue to add the well-known and shared stories to this blog, as well as new history as it is uncovered.