Photo of the Week
November 4, 2018
This week we have another valuable capture in time and probably the only photo in existence. The large area of land on the West Bank of the Gatun Locks, between the locks and the Gatun Dam was put to good use in the early days as the Gatun Golf Club. Here is a very rare photo of the club house for the golf club with the golfers of the day.
I searched for more photos and information about the course without much luck until I found a scanned Google book titled GOLF'S IRON HORSE BY John Sabino. The book is a biography of Ralph Kennedy a famous golfer who earned the name Golf's Iron Horse. One chapter in the book tells about the time Ralph is on a cruise and stopping in the Canal Zone. Ralph wants to play golf and ends up at the Gatun Golf Course to play. The attached .pdf is an excerpt from the book about his time at Gatun Golf Course. The information provided both in the article and the rules card tell a lot about the old golf course. It must have been a good course played by many back in the day. (Click here for article)
I found more information of the establishment of the Golf Course/Club in 1916 within the Annual Report of the Governor of the Panama Canal - Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1916. That same year, the Tarpon Club was established.
I don't know when the course/club was dissolved, but will keep researching.
I remember flying kites in on the land that once was the golf course in the 1970's while living in Gatun. No trace that it was a golf course then.
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