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Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 11:58 AM

Putt-putt to reopen in Murphy Park

Putt-putt to reopen in Murphy Park

The long-abandoned miniature golf course in Murphy Park will soon cease being an eyesore and be open for public use, according to Tyler Bybee, parks and recreation director.

“July 4 is the goal to have it ready, that’s our largest event. At least have it fixed up to where people can play. It’s not going to be perfect, but we want to get it back to being used again,” he said at Wednesday Parks Advisory Board meeting.

Bybee said the main issue is public safety, so the parks department and the public works department are working together to demolish a dilapidated operator booth and restroom building, repair washouts and remove downed tree limbs.

Samsung Volunteer Day is May 30, and volunteers with Samsung Austin Semiconductor will be at the park ready to do manual labor. Bybee said he hopes to have the building removed by then so the volunteers will be able to paint and assist in sprucing up the area.

The facility had been managed by the Lions Club and American Legion before falling into disrepair many years ago, according to an advisory board member. Bybee reminded the board that the facility is part of a city park, so the city should take advantage of it.

The plan is currently to fix as many of the putting greens as possible, which may mean not all 18 original holes are available for play when the amenity first opens.

The fence is being removed, so the course will be open for free play. The public can bring their own putters and balls, and Bybee said the parks department office plans to have a few to loan out during business hours if people come ask for them.

“It’s hard to visualize with that fence there, but it’s a big space with lots of shade trees,” Bybee said.

He envisions families picnicking under the trees while the kids play miniature golf or take advantage of the park’s other amenities including the swimming pool and playground.

Bybee’s plan is to make as many improvements as possible using city and volunteer labor in order to open the course quickly, and continue to make other improvements to the course over time. He mentioned the possibility of buying modular systems to replace the current putting greens and options for additional restrooms.

The board discussed whether it would be feasible for the facility to produce income, but at this point the director said he was just interested in having it be functional and evaluating whether the public was interested in using it.

“We’re just looking for the fastest way to get the it up and running,” Bybee said. “Possibly, the conversation will go from there.”


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