Owner of Norwich crazy golf course retires leaving 'wonderful legacy'
- Credit: Stuart Beard Photography stuartbeardphotography.co.uk
The man behind Eaton Park Crazy Golf in Norwich is hanging up his clubs to retire, seven years after transforming the disused bowling greens into a top city attraction.
Rob Trown, 61, from Caston near Attleborough, opened the course in April 2014, after working in all conditions throughout the winter.
Mr Trown, who previously worked in the IT department at Aviva, got the idea when he played crazy golf while visiting friends in Leicester and thought it was something Norwich needed.
He then approached councils in Norwich, Dereham and Wymondham, and Norwich came back to him with Eaton Park as a potential venue.
He presented his idea to the committee of voluntary group the Friends of Eaton Park in March 2013.
Occupying the space of three disused bowling greens, his planned 18-hole course was understated, without windmills and helter skelters, and they were impressed with his idea of wildlife-friendly hedging.
Mr Trown, who ran the course with wife Ruth, said: "Building it was hard work, as I’d never done anything like it before.
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"We did a lot of working it out as we went along, but we had a good plan to work from and the course has proved really popular.”
By 2019, the attraction had 20,000 visitors a year, but almost seven years on Mr Trown is now retiring with a heavy heart.
He said: "For seven years it has been every weekend and all over the summer, so it is time to retire and take a step back.
“I’m going to miss this place. I’ve got to know lots of families and watched kids growing up, all the way from the pram to the emotion of their first hole in one!”
The Friends of Eaton Park marked his retirement with a presentation of a specially created photobook.
Helen Mitchell, acting chair of the Friends of Eaton Park, said: "It is a really super attraction with reasonable prices and it has woven itself into the fabric of the park.
“Rob has left the most wonderful legacy to Eaton Park and the people of Norwich."
Thankfully, a new leaseholder has been found and they are currently in talks with Norwich City Council, with provisional plans for the course to reopen on March 29.