Monday, August 3, 2009

Arroyo Seco Golf Course

What can you do when your child whines, "I'm booooooooored" this summer? Forget video games or high def movies, take her back in time for an afternoon. While The Arroyo Seco Golf Course is better known for its 18 holes of par 3 golf, it also boasts a cool 9 holes of mini golf right out of a 1960s coming-of-age film. It's fun, it's colorful, and it's only six bucks for a family of three to play. Finish up with something yummy from the grill -- and be sure to get yourself something cold from the bar -- and we're talking serious cure for the summertime blues.

The course has been pleasing golfers and parents alike for 50 years -- and it has definitely preserved its original charm. Everything from the old water fountains next to the driving range to the squeaky Naugahyde booths in the cafe seems right out of a midcentury fetishist's dream. Oh, and the place even has a charming little bonus for kids: frolicking chipmunks just love to dart across the green.

21 comments:

Dixie Jane said...

It sure beats a big ol' box (among my souvenir toys) from my childhood. You can't get bored with a big ol' box. Cut holes in the side, stick soda water bottles in holes, pull stopper and voila! Running water. Or an empty spool, a bar of soap and a cup of water. Bubbles!

Judy Williams said...

I love that mini-golf course. The little chipmunks dash to and fro and the bright colors and old fashioned structures for each hole make me think of places of my childhood.

Hilda said...

Sweet!

The last mini golf course I know in Manila closed last year because they sold the lot to a developer who'll build a new condo tower on it. Sigh.

San Diego Farmgirl said...

The only other time I've seen palm fronds framing a candy-colored castle was in Las Vegas at Excaliber. I suppose that would be where adults go when they're booooooooored. haha

Jean Spitzer said...

How cool!

dbdubya said...

It's a little known fact that the architect who designed the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas was inspired by the 4th hole at the Arroyo Seco Minature Golf Course.

Trish said...

lol...the squirrels have been known to take OFF with the golf balls from both the mini course and 18 hole.

I used to spend plenty of time on the mini course and the driving range in the summer. I could rent a club and get a huuuuuge bucket of balls for almost nothing. I think I knew almost nothing about playing, but it kept me busy and out of trouble.

The amazing thing is that course has not changed---the castle and the barn are still the same from when *I* was a child and playing the course. You'd think by now I'd be better at it! ;-)

Yakpate said...

dbdubyah: You are so full of fascinating historic facts!

I love it when a relic from the past suddenly seems fresh and new again... I want to play miniature golf!

pasadenaadjacent said...

I like dbdubya's comment. For three seconds I believed dbduby's comment.

When I play at the arroyo "put and pitch", I always ask for the lucky green ball.

pasadenaadjacent said...

File under Tidbit

If you collected a certain amount of range balls off the trail, they would give you a token to play the putt and pitch.

wv: truestory

Shanna said...

We like to go there, get something to eat and drink, sit outside and people watch. I'll also watch for the chipmunks next time.

TheChieftess said...

It's funny...I've been to the Arroyo golf course many times and I really don't remember seeing the mini course!!! I love the memories this brings back...many fun times at miniature golf courses back in "the days"!!! Glad to hear this one's still drawing a crowd!!! (even the chipmunks!!!)

pasadenapio said...

I used to golf at that course years ago with some women friends on Thursday evenings after work. When I was having trouble with my putting technique, I practiced at the miniature golf course. It was perfect for that!

Anton said...

Anyone remember the little shed next to the miniature golf course that held several old-fashioned pinball games? We would get the latest sodas (e.g. Red Baby's) and kill the kind of time 13 year-olds have to kill in the shade doing something mindless.
And how about the handball courts?

Margaret said...

I love this place. Plus it opens at seven A.M so you can take the wee ones there before the heat settles in.

Laurie said...

Hey everybody,

I just love reading all of your memories and impressions. Thanks so much!

Until tomorrow...

Linda Dove said...

Ooooh...I have to take Em here! I bet she'd love it.

Ken Mac said...

i have an old postcard of the arroyo secco freeway. Sounds so romantic to we northeasteners

Laurie said...

Ken, that freeway sounds more romantic than it is!

Linda, let's make a date of it. The girls will love it.

frank said...

I lived in South Pas back in the early 60's. Went to Lincoln and Oneoanta grade schools. I was about 10 or 11 when I got a job at the golf couse. I would load the buckets of range balls all day for about $5.00. I daved that money and bought my first Schwinn Sting Ray. It was gold and it was wonderful. I think Lee's was the name of the bike shop in town. It cost me $65 bucks. That was a ton of money then. Does anyone remember the trampolines next to the mini-golf??????

They were sure the rage then. After working, friends would show up and we'd ride over to the Rose Bowl. Had no idea what the future held for that place.

Oh, I remember paying 35 cents to play mini-golf. It cost 50 cents to see HARD DAYS NIGHT with the Beatles in '65 at the Rialto theatre. Candy was a nickel, and I sold newspapers on the corner for a dime.

One last thing......Dotty's!
Anyone remember this record store????
I fell in love with PRETTY WOMAN by Roy Orbison in that store.

Thanks for listening.

Frank David

James said...

First of all thank you for giving a "long since moved" resident of So. Pas. a wonderful look at the place I grew up. I remember all the places and things you shot and the people talked about. I fondly remember collecting a dozen range balls for a free game of goofy golf. I remember getting the best burgers at the grill and I also remember the pinball machines under in the building you had to walk around to get to the range. Playing 18 holes of pitch and put. I have been getting a bit home sick lately and now I get to show my wife and kids why this place is so special. Again thank you I will keep your site linked now.