Course of the Month

December 2007

Centenary Park, London, United Kingdom United Kingdom

Centenary Park Pitch and Putt Course is situated in the London Borough of Harrow, on the North West fringe of The Greater London Area, 5 km from Wembley Stadium.
Within Centenary Park itself, the course is owned by The London Borough of Harrow and leased to 'Golf wise'.

The name 'Centenary Park' comes from the fact that in 1935 the then Harrow Urban District Council (HUDC) converted a number of allotments (smallholdings) into parkland to celebrate 100 years of the passing of the local Government act of 1835.

Within two years the 'miniature golf' course was built, making Centenary Park (C.P.) one of the oldest original purpose built P&P courses in the World.

One of the immediate first impressions when arriving at C.P. is the abundance of beautifully varied, and thoughtfully laid out trees. A delight to arborialists, and a 'challenge' to players! Operated for many years as a local recreation facility for casual players, C.P. really 'took off' when the late, great, Willie Parker (R.I.P.) was appointed Manager of the course in 1997. The following year Willie Parker and the Author formed the Centenary Park Pitch and Putt Club.

A Memorial Giant Redwood Tree, next to the 9th tee, planted by the Mayor of Harrow in 2005, celebrates the life and work of Willie Parker. The nine-hole course starts with a very simple 45metre hole, then gradually gets more challenging. The final hole is 90m over a line of trees, culminating in the green, which is guarded by an Oak tree, approximately 30metres tall! This hole has never been 'Aced' in competition, and only in apocryphal tales, without confirmation! (All the other holes have been so, many times over).

The distances to each hole are as follows:
(1) 45 m.; (2) 47m.; (3) 74m.; (4) 54m.; (5) 40m.; (6) 73m.;  (7) 89.5m.; (8) 85m.; (9) 90m.

The current competition course record holder, for 18 holes (2 rounds), is Robert Penzes, previously BPPA Champion, with 44 strokes (10 under par). Centenary Park Pitch and Putt Club (CPPC) are the resident club, registered with the B.P.P.A. (of which CPPPC was a founder member).

According to Willie Parker, who was an enthusiastic historian of P&P, the first ever purpose built, P&P course was opened at Southsea, Portsmouth, in 1929. However, there are many accounts of short, 'Kolf' courses being made within churchyards in the 17century, to avoid breaking the law forbidding games on a Sunday, except within Church boundaries!

The current Hon. Secretary of CPPPC (and also BPPA) is Mrs. Pat Jackson, available on 020 8868 5683. Darragh Mooney can be telephoned at the course on  020 8907 5544 All visitors will be afforded a warm welcome.