Mini-golf has history in Medford

Maybe I'm mistaken, but wasn't there a miniature golf course in Medford back in the day? I think it was on Stewart Avenue. So how about a brief history lesson? What was the name of it? When did it open and close, and where was it located? I'm not sure, but I think it might have been where the Umpqua Bank, the Real Deal Cafe, and the Cottonwood Square are now. Is that correct, or am I way off?

— Greg, no town given

We're at your service here at the department of miniature golf history at Since You Asked headquarters — well, we were at your service until our bosses decided putting-green sets were for their office use only.

It turns out we don't need no stinkin' mulligans to research how we once played. Thanks to a 60-year collection of phone books no one ever tossed in the archives of the Muddy Tributary, we were able to find that there was indeed a business called Golf-O-Rama in Medford.

We scoured through pages past and found a photo of a girl at a cash register in the Aug. 19, 1965, Mail Tribune with the following caption:

"Another Medford area student helping out at the family business this summer is Susan Randolph, shown at right. Susan, 15, works at least one afternoon and one night at the Golf-O-Rama miniature golf course at 809 Stewart Ave., operated by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Randolph. Here she is checking out her friend Ann McLaughlin. Susan will be a sophomore at St. Mary's High School this fall."

Golf-O-Rama was first listed in the 1964 Bell Telephone book, and was last listed in the 1980-81 book. We also were able to dig up the first- and second-place winners of the 1968 Medford Golf-O-Rama mini-golf championship (Jim Brickley and Terry Rasmussen, respectively), but not much else.

Golf-O-Rama's former address happens to be the same as the current Umpqua Bank, just as you remembered. Congratulations, Greg — that's as good as a birdie on our scorecard.

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