The course was built in 1927 or 1928 and named after Bob Bringhurst, then Commissioner of Street & Parks. According to Virgil Milner, the Bringhurst “pro” from 1936 to 1958, it was built with labor from a “hobo” camp on Vance Avenue. It is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, par 3 courses in America.
In the late 1930’s, green fees were 25 cents a week or $ 1.00 per month. Salvaged broomsticks served as the flagsticks. The City of Alexandria was the owner/operator of the course. In 1959, the City closed the course due to the financial liability and elected to plant rose bushes on the greens.
That same year, Francis Trotter led a group that petitioned the Mayor and Commissioners to reopen the course. Those efforts were successful.
The City entered into a nominal lease agreement with Mr. Trotter, gave him the keys to the small golf house and wished him Good Luck!
In need of golf course equipment, Mr. Trotter solicited help from Mr. Harry Henderson, Ms. Mary Catherine Jones, Mr. Harold Beebe, Mr. Nick Chicola, Mr. John Hunter, Ms. Nina Hay, Mr. Rex Ponthie, and others. He was able to buy mowers, flags and flagsticks, cups, cup cutters, and one ball washer. The course re-opened in the fall of 1959.
From 1962 to about 1990, William “Bugs” Trotter was the course caretaker. He hand-mowed the green, manually watered the greens, changed cup locations, and conducted countless tournaments. The “pro shop” was the trunk of his car. Hundreds of young golfers spent thousands of hours learning golf and enjoying the competition.
Around 1990, “Bugs” convinced his nephew, Jaime Trotter, to assume the management of the course. Jamie managed the course until 2006, when the city elected, once again, to close the facility.
In 2008, a group, led by Mr. Scott Brame Sr., began an effort to resurrect “The Brink” course. Scotty, as he was commonly referred to by his multitude of friends, began raising the capital needed to rebuild the greens and fringes as well as installing new tee boxes. Additionally, an irrigation system was installed. The original course architecture was preserved, with the exception of the removal of some sand traps. The course reopened in 2010.
Today, the superintendent of Links on the Bayou (the city’s municipal golf course) oversees the maintenance of Bringhurst. The course is staffed by course marshals and is open to the public Thursday thru Sunday free of charge. The “Friends of Bringhurst” hold tournaments and conduct youth golf camps in an effort to increase an interest in golf while preserving a valued asset of the community.
The “Friends of Bringhurst” use donations to do clubhouse improvements, landscape and course improvements (such as drainage projects and artificial mats). Donations can be sent to the Alexandria Community Foundation (for Bringhurst Golf) or to Friends of Bringhurst, c/o Jack Brame, Red River Bank, 1412 Centre Court, Alexandria, LA, 71303.
The Bringhurst Golf Course “The Oldest Par 3 Golf Course in America” is located at 2822 Masonic Dr (Next to the Zoo) in Alexandria, Louisiana.
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