Jones Beach Park, New York, USA
1932 was a great year for Pitch and Putt in the America's, with many fantastic courses built in that year which are still open today. Courses like Stanley Park in Vancouver, and Armand Hammer in Los Angeles have their 75th birthday this year, an amazing achievement.
And so too does a course in one of the world's great public works, the Jones Beach Park in New York.
In the 1920's the great social visionary, Robert Moses, aspired to build a park for the middle class workers of New York and he set about creating, with public money, what has become one of the most superb and beautiful public parks in the world, the stunning Jones Beach Park.
A Google search on this topic will provide you with some fascinating reading.
Amidst the wonder of the park,and facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Jones Beach Park Pitch and Putt course was designed and built by Joe Burbeck, the same man who went on to design the Bethpage Black course, home of the US Open in 2002. Originally laid out as a nine hole course, it has since been expanded to a 910 metre, 18 hole course and attracts large numbers of families during the summer months who step out onto the challenging course to battle the sea breezes and the sea gulls.
Very few pitch and putt courses in the world enjoy such an openly public position and with over 7 million visitors a year to the Park, the Pitch and Putt course receives very strong patronage.
A course as old as Jones Beach Pitch and Putt will have suffered and survived its fair share of disasters, the most recent of these being the tidal surge caused by passing Hurricane Fabian in September 2003 when the ocean washed over the boardwalk and swept onto the park, including the Pitch and Putt course as you can see in the photos above and below.
The Jones Beach Pitch and Putt course celebrates its 75th birthday this year and is a reminder to us all of one of the most important aspects of the relationship between governments and the public. When governments build public facilities and ensure they remain in public hands a society is enriched for many generations to come, as is the case with the extraordinary jewel that is Jones Beach Park and the gift that the Pitch and Putt community received when the Jones Beach Pitch and Putt course was constructed.
FIPPA congratulates the Jones Beach Park Pitch and Putt course on its 75 years of existence and looks forward to many more years of Pitch and Putt at this wonderful course.
FIPPA takes great pleasure in wishing the Pitch and Putt communities at the Jones Beach Park, Stanley Park and Armand Hammer courses a very happy 75th birthday.
(editors note - the Jones Beach Park is currently undergoing reconstruction and will soon be re opening, fresh and ready for another 75 years)