Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada
Imagine - its 1932, the world is in the grip of the Great Depression, and the city of Vancouver has a population of 250,000.
And in May of that far distant year one of the worlds oldest Pitch and Putt courses came into being in the stunningly beautiful Stanley Park area of Vancouver.
In May 1932, nearly 75 years ago, the Stanley Park Pitch and Putt course first opened to the public and it has remained open ever since, making it perhaps the worlds oldest continuously open Pitch and Putt course.
Stanley Park is extremely popular, and like most older Pitch and Putt courses it is publicly owned, being controlled by the Vancouver Park Board who do a magnificent job with such a popular course.
And like all old courses, it has plenty of stories to tell...
In the office of Terri Clark, Communications Co-ordinator for the Vancouver Park Board, there sits a silver trophy for "The Honourable Justice WA MacDonald Challenge Cup, Veterans Pitch and Putt Championship", a trophy that was first contested in 1936 and it shows us how popular the sport was in Vancouver in its infancy.
More recently, a regular at the course over the past few decades who played almost daily was Andy Craig who was still playing when he turned 100 yrs of age in 2002. Andy passed away shortly thereafter but is still remembered affectionately by those at the course.
Whilst Stanley Park was built nearly 75 years ago, it is characteristic of the earlier Pitch and Putt courses in that its course length resembles the modern international standards of today. At 1100m in length and with holes ranging from 36m to 90m it is a perfect reflection of the origins of the sport of Pitch and Putt.
And now, in 2006, the Stanley Park Pitch and Putt course and its playing community is stepping onto the international stage and joining the growing world of Pitch and Putt with a team from the course playing in this years World Interclub League - we wish them well.
The Stanley Park Pitch and Putt course is a beautiful tribute to the vision of those who created Stanley Park and to the hard work and dedication of the Vancouver Park Board who have done a superb job of maintaining this course for 74 years and giving us all this jewel in the crown of global Pitch and Putt.
If you ever get the chance, drop in for a round of P&P at Stanley Park - but be early, because its very popular!
(special thanks to Terri Clark and Alison Dempsey for the information provided for this article)