I never got into photography all that much during my formative years, mostly because I didn’t have a camera and getting pictures developed cost money. It’s far different from the instant thrill of digital photography.
When I learned in early 1983 that a West Toledo landmark wasn’t going to be around much longer, however, I went and took some photos: the Par 3 Golf Course on the northwest corner of Talmadge Road and Monroe Street.
In January of 1983, The Andersons announced their option to buy the 36-acre site for $2.8 million from the Kaplin family, and the course had one more season in it before it was bulldozed. I worked there for two summers: 1982 and 1983, I believe, but nothing more prestigious than driving the cage-covered tractor used to gather range balls as well as performing other minor golf course work.
Residents, of course, were not interested in losing the golf course one bit, but progress won out, as it usually does. The store opened Aug, 17, 1985, and performed better than expected
and probably still is thirty-plus years later.
Postscript: I left that in to demonstrate the joke is on me sometimes. To the astonishment of nearly everybody, The Andersons announced on Jan. 15, 2017 that they’d be shutting down their retail operations in 2017. So the site will evidently undergo another rebirth after a run of over 30 years as The Andersons.
Determining when it opened seemed like a hopeless task, but scanning the files of The Blade wasn’t exactly fruitless. The earliest reference I could find to the course’s existence was in 1949, with an ice cream plant and Kiddieland as its neighbors.
I did stumble across a 1930 reference in the News-Bee about a “the golf practice course out Monroe street, 1 1-2 miles beyond Secor Road intersection.” Could it be? We’ll probably never know.
Most Toledoans will remember Par 3 as the site of the annual University of Toledo Hole-in-One competition, which is also no longer. After Par 3’s demise in 1983, the tournament moved to Heather Downs County Club and didn’t generate the same buzz out there as it did at Par 3 every August. The contest ended in 1991, with The Blade mourning its demise after 38 years.
But anyway, onto the photos. I’m not going to proclaim these photos to be the greatest. They’re not. The first picture, the photo looking down Monroe Street, was the one I wanted to be the best and it was the worst (blurry). They were scanned from old, faded prints and corrected in Photoshop.
It was fun to scan these pictures in for look back thirty years ago, and recall if only for a moment those fun years between age 18 and age 21, with no more cares in the world than having a few 3.2 beers in the concrete bunker at the back of the driving range and picking up some golf balls later under the lights (certainly COLLEGE didn’t figure into it). Somewhere, I’m sure I have a range ball with a red stripe on it.
Great pics. I used to live on Talmadge Green Rd. during that time period, which was right behind that shopping center on Talmadge. Been a long time since I’ve seen that Sportfame, lol.
Great Pics. Remember the par 3 at the corner of Lewis and Alexis?
Yes, my father ran a poultry farm in the 1950s at the corner of Bennett and Alexis. There was a good eatery that had great fish sandwiches on Alexis. I think it was called “Miller’s.” The par 3 course was called Sunnydale, I believe. Or, Sunnybrook, not sure.
Any pics of the S.E corner of Monroe and talmadge before the mall? There was a small airport ,franklin ice cream,go kart track, and putt putt golf there. Was like being in the country.
Right here Fritz.
Wow my dad was pro there until he went to sunny brook,so nice see the okld photos.
Just found this also grew up on talmadge green then moved into the at that time new ravenswood apartments was my first job at 16 yrs old would have been 1979 Bob sprunk was the PGA pro and manager lots of fond memories to many to post here but I did get to meet Herman Lang former head pro at Inverness and Toledo icon in the golf community he used to give lessons part time there also I remember the hole in one contests there would always bring in the who’s who in Toledo like mayor Doug Degood sports news oris tabner members of ut basketball like Harvey knukles Jay lehmen and coach Nickolas to name a few also many good times after hours back at the garage just think 16 yr olds beer pot and tractors we invented tractor sledding it’s no wonder none of us got hurt fired or arrested Lol thanks for the memories
The website owner remembers this guy and he should check his email.
Another vacant building in this 3rd world city.
My first job and still my favorite from 73 to 76 did it all from ball picker to greens keeper I was 14 when I started .thank you Lsrry Brown
Wow! I worked for Mr. Kaplin at the Toledo Par 3 Driving Range at the age of fifteen in 1977. I was the boy driving the caged Cushman cart while the golfers were trying to nail me with their golf balls. As a matter of fact I was working there when I heard on the radio that Elvis Presley had passed away 16 August 1977. I think I was making around .50 cents per hour there. Awesome times!
I used to work there in 1968-1969. Nothing better than being a target in the old Cushman scooter as I picked up range balls. One of my first jobs and one of my favorites. My dad’s cousin used to run the pro shop and still has the white Dodge convertible he drove back then. Thanks to Larry Brown for giving me a great job after school! I will always miss Par 3 and will miss The Anderson’s too.
My father was the pro at the par 3 until he went to Sunnybrook par3 until his passing.
My mom dropped me off in early summer of 1972 to play while she went to the mall. I was 11. The starter paired me up with a boy aged nine or so. On a 90-yard hole running to the north along the west border of the course, he spanked a worm-burner. Never left the ground. And it didn’t stop until it hit the pin and dropped in for an ace. I’ve witnessed a half dozen more since then. Still waiting for my first.
These are wonderful pictures. I grew up off of McGregor and Talmadge during the 1970s and 1980s and my father and I would stop by the golf course to collect worms from a green or two before going fishing out at East Harbor.
Thanks! Wonderful memories. I think the picture with the bench was hole #3. The old putt-putt across the street and kiddyland were wonderful. Waaaaay out in the sticks then. Loved the par 3 on Lewis. Does anyone have info or pics of that site. Seems that was Sunnybrook and before it was Tamaron that course was Sunningdale. Grew up in the 60’s behind the old Longfellow school.