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Putt-Putt Golf & Games; 1108 Knox Abbott Drive: 1985   13 comments

Posted at 12:30 am in Uncategorized

1108 Knox Abbott Drive does not seem to exist anymore. I believe that this SCB&T at the corner of Knox Abbott and 11th Street is the successor location, but I could be a bit off on exactly where the demolished Putt-Putt center was.

The last listing for Putt-Putt Golf & Games was in the Feb 1985 phonebook, so apparently they closed down sometime in 1985, just about the time I was leaving town for my 20 or so years of sojourning elsewhere. I can vaguely recall seeing the place, but I never got around to visiting it -- In my mind, minature golf was something you did at Bell Camp or the beach, and I had enough, or more than enough, video games closer to the University or closer to home to keep me busy.

Putt-Putt had a number of locations in Columbia for years, including Percival Road, Devine Street and Saint Andews Road. Those all closed and then, some years later, one on Sparkleberry opened, but didn't last long at all.

UPDATE 7 Nov 2010 -- OK, there seems to be a general consensus that the picture above is the wrong location for the former Putt-Putt. Some say it was about where Kenny's is:

Others say as far up as Preciscion Tune:

Written by ted on October 14th, 2010

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13 Responses to 'Putt-Putt Golf & Games; 1108 Knox Abbott Drive: 1985'

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  1. From what I've been told by locals, it was closer to 12th Street, between kenny's and the Title Loan place on the corner.


    14 Oct 10 at 7:24 am

  2. No.. it was where the blue Nappa building is or was or whatever it is now.. it sat in that same spot and went back, but it never was as wide as where that bank is next door. I remember it being there as late as the 70's, but not sure about the 80's.


    14 Oct 10 at 12:21 pm

  3. I went there as a kid; it was located where the Precision Tune shop is now. The building itself moved down the road and is some bar on Charleston Hwy near I-26.


    7 Nov 10 at 12:04 pm

  4. OK, I've added some pix from further up the road.


    7 Nov 10 at 2:45 pm

  5. I haven't been in the area in more than 10 years, so I have no idea what may be on Knox Abbott by now, but if we are talking in terms of say the early-mid 1970's, the Putt-Putt course was located on the north side of Knox Abbott Drive, just east of the intersection with 12th Street. I'm looking at Google maps, and indeed, it was in the location currently occupied by Precision Tune Auto Care, but that is NOT a building ever associated as the old club house.

    Originally, it was a simple, standard Putt-Putt club house, and my childhood memories has it as a concrete block open-air stand - essentially one "room," if you will - that was open on three sides, no windows, during operating hours.

    Sometime in the late 70's-early 80's that open-air stand was way-upgraded to house a video game parlour, providing even drinks/snacks, if I recall correctly, but at the time I was - in all my teenage years - horrified to see video games invading one of the sacred sites of my childhood. Virtually no one was out playing; all the kids were inside on the stupid machines. The video games were fine, imo, lots of fun in their own world, but this was *Putt-Putt*. Alas, Jimmy Martin, I suppose efforts to keep up with the times are the true culprits.

    I'm somewhat disappointed Shay or Jay haven't been by the page to fill in some of the blanks, but it was a long time ago.

    Also that photo you have at the top there, that bank, that building, I'm pretty sure that has been a bank since I was a quite young child, perhaps even before I was born. It was where my first savings account was. I can not remember the name of it from then, I am *certain* it is a different institution all together now.

    Back to Putt-Putt. This Putt-Putt Course had two 18-hole courses. Course #1 was on the west side, more or less in the area currently occupied by the Precision business, and Course #2 was on the east side, which looks like a largely vacant lot. Again I'm looking at Google maps and there's that one, lone, decently-sized tree on the northeast corner, and I wonder if that's been there since the good old days. Tragically, there were trees removed around the time they decided to add the video games. There were a couple of different times trees were removed, which always upset me: the trees on that course had been well-loved by myself and others, as it gets bloody hot in SC in the summer. The best trees were on Course #2, and in the middle.

    Hole 10 on Course #2 had the metal PUTT-PUTT letters you had to putt through, only really it was PYTT-PYTT because they had the U up on a stilt.

    All the (secret) marks we'd put on the tee-mats for setting up the best shots...

    It looks--by google maps--as if there has been some very real grading happening on this lot of land, as the club house was definitely higher above Knox Abbott than any spot along the property front, as presently shown.

    I can't remember if it was Super Saturday or Dollar Day (Monday), but at least once when I was there for the usual tournaments and such, a summer monsoon came thru, and Knox Abbott was flooded with about 8" of water there on the north side. I remember Ricky Hendrix going down and getting in it and actually getting horizontal to "swim," until whoever was in charge that day yelled at him to get out of the street.

    There was a bank across the street, where the Wells Fargo is now, and we would sometimes attempt to drive the balls across the street to the bank, under the pretense that it took so much force to get the ball up the ramp of hole-18 on Course #1. I don't remember anyone ever coming close to the bank, I only remember one time someone actually managing to get it out past the clubhouse, but it didn't hit any cars in the street, so no real trouble. Also it was only the one time, as we had to wait until the adults were well away, distracted, maybe in the toilet at the back of the lot; it was *not* because we were too feeble to drive it across! We had to be sly. Always best to use the cork balls for that stunt, not the steel centers. ;)

    Shout-outs to any former JPA kids, and the Super Saturday/Dollar Day Monday sorts. At the height of my Putt-Putt activity, Dollar Nights (Thursday) were pretty much right out. School day on Friday and bed-times and all that.

    Ricky & Ray Paul, Steve & Lauren, Jay & Shay (I can't remember your older siblings' names who ran the course sometimes), Greg (Gregg?), and Mike. Last names withheld to protect the guilty, not the innocent ;) Those were definitely brilliant times. I still have my Ace Machine *and* my Tru-Putt, if anyone is wondering.


    15 Jun 16 at 11:56 pm

  6. *Roy Paul not Ray Paul. You know who you are, anyway :)


    16 Jun 16 at 12:02 am

  7. Oh, and to clarify, the thing you're calling Kenny's, at first it was a DIY store, a la Home Depot, but definitely not called Home Depot, it was *never* part of the Putt-Putt course.

    Before the DIY place, I'm not sure, but it was more grass and trees, as I recall when the awful, horrible, huge building with the monstrously expansive paved parking lot happened... which was definitely before 1975. Before *that* thing (the Kenny's location) was put into place, the east side of Course #2 had a residential, even woodsy feel to it. It certainly wasn't a giant box of concrete and metal with an expanse of asphalt in the front.

    I think the course even lost a couple of trees on the east side due to the installation of that awful, awful building, which was really, really close to the east fence of the course. Too damned close. And they cut down trees.
    No, sir, I didn't like it.


    16 Jun 16 at 12:38 am

  8. Wow, thanks for all the memories, Mollie!


    16 Jun 16 at 1:01 am

  9. The original Putt-Putt building was moved further down Knox Abbott and is now a biker bar on Airport Blvd near i26 called Animal's.


    7 Jun 18 at 4:36 pm

  10. I was the manager at the Knox Abbott Putt Putt after Shay stepped away (also managed the St. Andrews location), those were some fun times! Yes, the NAPPA store is now where the PPGG used to be, the Cayce location was always the smallest and lowest attended location, but it was a staple of history in Cayce!

    Ron Turner

    23 Jul 20 at 7:31 pm

  11. I have fond memories of the Putt Putt course that was on Ocean Blvd at North Myrtle Beach back in the '80s and early '90s. Then, as the song goes, "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot."


    24 Jul 20 at 11:51 am

  12. I think that was "Hurl Rock" golf.


    24 Jul 20 at 11:00 pm

  13. Ok, I'm going to add more details. The building that houses Kenny's was the corporate headquarters for Thompson Dental, which sold out to Henry Schein in 2003-2004. Thompson Dental had been in that building for at least 10 years, maybe longer.

    As someone who moved to Columbia to go to USC (early 90's) it's fascinating to read how things have changed.

    Andy Farmer

    24 Jul 20 at 11:56 pm

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