Thursday, February 5, 2009

Throwback Thursday: Ocean Center Skyline Golf

As I'm sure is the case with many, my head is still spinning in an emotional whirlwind after the great Golden Nugget farewell ceremony on Saturday. It's probably going to take a while for the impact of losing this great ride/landmark to sink in (most likely, it will all "hit us" the first time we see the empty space where it once stood).

On this note, the postcard below really struck a nostalgic cord for me, while I flipped through my collection the other day...

(Published by The Cape May County Leader Co.; Photo by Al Orsini)

Most will recognize this perspective immediately, but for those unsure, Ocean Center Skyline Golf was a rooftop mini-golf course located above the shops directly across from Hunt's Pier on the Boardwalk, between Juniper and Poplar Aves. I would guess that this pic was taken sometime in the early 1970s or so, making it about 40 years old.

The truly startling aspect of this image is that literally every attraction visible here is now gone. Long gone in most cases, in fact.

From left to right, there is the Shore Plaza Motel, then a few attractions from Sportland Pier in the distance; you can easily make out the Skywheel, and I believe that might be a portion of the Supersonic roller coaster further to the right.

Next, looming large, is the Ocean Center (later "Hunt's Pier") Skyline Golf pylon, a longtime landmark on the Boardwalk, even after the mini golf course shut down. To the lower right is the marquee of the Ocean Theater.

Continuing to the right, beyond the flagstaffs, you can catch a glimpse of the old Haunted House on Morey's Pier. A portion of another ride is visible in front of it (perhaps the Zipper?).

Then, of course, there is the Flyer roller coaster and the Log Flume, both on Hunt's Pier. Just out of visibility in this view would have been the Nugget itself.

Though this pic was likely taken roughly a decade before I was born, this is almost exactly how I remember the setting. Playing a round up at Skyline provided an almost overwhelming sensory experience; I can vividly recall the warm scents from the Boardwalk below, specifically the butter popcorn aroma coming up from the movie theater.

And, with all of the action and adventure of the amusement piers (especially Hunt's!) laid out right in front of you and the panorama of the Boardwalk, beach and ocean serving as a backdrop, you just couldn't beat it.

I don't remember exactly when Skyline closed shop, but I often wonder if there is any visible trace of the old course up there on the roof. The building that once housed the movie theater still stands, to the rear of the shops; to the best of my knowledge, it is used for storage these days.

On Thursdays, we'll "throw it back" to another time, taking a look at a postcard or old photo from the past. It could be from five, 50, or 75 years ago, or maybe even further back than that. As with any of this blog's features, if you have an image you'd like to submit or an idea to share, please send them along to

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