It’s been a Victoria Road icon for almost half a century.
After 48 years, 200,000 birthday parties and five million visitors, it’s the end of the course for Ermington Putt Putt. It will close April 30.
The loss comes a month after the community farewelled Parramatta War Memorial Pool, where demolition already has begun.
Tom Wykoff arrived in Australia in June 1969 to introduce putt putt to Australia. The Ermington course was opened six months later.
“I’m brokenhearted,” Mr Wykoff told the Sun.
“It’s been here for a long time so I’m sorry to everyone that it has to close.”
The closure has been speculated since 2014 when the 4.8 hectare site was sold by Parramatta Council to Chinese developer Aqualand.
The site was then sold to developer Payce last year for $160 million. More than 1000 units have been proposed as part of the Melrose Park urban renewal project
Attempts to work with the council to find an alternate site were unsuccessful.
Manager Kim Whybro has worked there for 14 years and lives in Ermington. “It’s been packed every day of the school holidays,” she said.
“It’s very sad it’s closing as it’s a venue for all ages.”
Ms Whybro promised a carnival atmosphere for the final weekend on April 29-30.
“The Paddle Pop Lion will be here, along with bands. S3 Saba Brothers, who are locals and regularly play here will perform on the last Saturday and Sunday. We’ll also have a barbecue. I like to thank the community for 48 years of support and family fun.”
Visitors also expressed their devastation.
“How sad it’s being replace by another high rise,” Christean Hatzikalimnios wrote on the Sun’s Facebook page.
“Another thing taken away from the Parramatta community. The only thing our children have to play that’s half decent is the new playground at Parramatta Park.”
Now 86, Mr Wykoff, has ruled out opening up another course in Sydney.
Of the 29 courses he opened in Australia, Mermaid Beach will be the last one still operating when Ermington closes.
“I’m too old now and have done my dash. I urge everyone to come and visit us on the Gold Coast.”
- Go to parramattasun.com.au to see a video and pics.