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Holo Wai Miniature Golf, Orange, CA (other)

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Name:Holo Wai Miniature Golf
Street:Glassell St

Great Miniature Golf Course in old Orange, near the 22 fwy, across from Hart Park. Center of course had a sunken area with waterfalls, tons of tikis, grass shacks, fountains, fishing nets, floats, etc. Wonderful landscaping, had a restaurant adjacent in true tiki tradition. Went defunct in the late 60's, maybe early 70's. Only thing that is left is the restaurant, which is now Chinese, there are apartments where the course was.

If you go to the back of the Chinese Resturaunt, you'll be able to see where you could rent clubs and balls for the course.

I love Tiki miniature golf courses and this place sounds like it was great. I found these pictures and this story on flickr:

"The best miniature golf course ever, on Chapman, in Orange, California. Pro golfers played there: Arnold Palmer was on the top ten list of best scores! I was a fanatic in my high school years, and ended up #2 on the list (ahead of Palmer!) myself. It was also the site of several dates with Carol (Robin) and the site of my first date with Penny.

Alas, it was wiped out in the late seventies or early eighties, for a freeway interchange."

Photos: January 2, 1967

Can you imagine Arnold Palmer ripping it up here? That is amazing.

I grew up in the city of Orange but dont remember this place but i sent the link to my older sister asking her if she remembers it and this was her response "Oh my my, YES I DO! I remember exactly where it was and I even remember when it was abandoned for some time and we walked around there when it was derelict. I actually didn't realize that it was such a tiki theme. It looks so awesome, doesn't it?"

I'm the one that posted the Flickr photos of the Holo Wai course, incorrectly identifying the street as Chapman. As big kahuna59 correctly stated, it was on Glassell (zip 92867). Meanwhile, I found an old scorecard with nice graphics...

Went to the chinese restaurant a few years ago..
it's between the apartments
and a Catholic Church
that had one of them
"Virgin mary" stain things on the wall
a few years back...
I currently live about 1/2 a mile from there!
Will have to take the time machine out of storage....

great research!

Guys, is that restaurant still situated in this A-frame building?

Yes, the building is the same. Its been completely stripped inside. The only thing that remains is the walk-up area to get your clubs and balls for the mini-golf course in the back.

I would love to see photos of the exterior. I realize this is probably a pretty slapdash example, but there are just not that many ground-to-gable A-frames left these days, especially ones that used to be Polynesian eateries.


Yen Ching is the name of the restaurant (the A-frame building hasn't been altered much). My wife and I ate there quite a few times, though it's been a while. The food is good, though relatively expensive.


Here's something hilarious...if you look at the overhead satellite shot in Google maps, the grass outline remnants of the old mini golf course are still there!


Wow! The geoglyphs of Tiki culture, thanks to aerial archeology!

On 2009-01-12 11:31, congawa wrote:
Here's something hilarious...if you look at the overhead satellite shot in Google maps, the grass outline remnants of the old mini golf course are still there!

I ate there yesterday and forgot to check the back area for the remnants of the mini golf booth. Grrrrrr! :x

The food was good so I'll go back.

AND this thread doesn't even have one photo of the A-frame!
I had heard rumors of a Tiki pole remaining in the back by the dumpster, but supposedly, according to a recent third person local connection check up, no more. We do need a pro like you down there to ascertain the situation.

Definitely no tiki by the dumpster, but there are torches all along the front of the building. It was tough to get a good shot of the A-frame without standing in the street.

I glanced at the grassy area behind the parking lot, and it looked like it may have been converted into a baseball field. I'd have to double check to be certain.

The food was good. I'd eat there again.

There are Seven torches on the awning... SEVEN! :o

Thanks, kids, now I can sleep calmly tonite.

Boris! Kate! Anyone!
That restaurant is about 4 blocks from the house!
PM me next time you go!
It is goooooood! :)

I was passing through Orange today, so I stopped to get a picture of the back of the building where they rented the clubs. All of the windows and doors were trimmed with bamboo.

That brings back great memories, thanks for posting the recent pics! The thing that stands out the most about this course was around about the 10th hole, you went into this sunken area, in dropped probably 10'-12' below grade and there were waterfalls coming down into it and there were a few holes down there. It was really something to see. So much for progress... I'm so glad so many others remember this place. It will always stand out in my mind, one of the places that made me develop a love for all things tiki.


Me, too! Thanks so much for the memories and pix. I was little (6-10?) when we used to play golf there. I didn't remember the name "Holo Wai" but oh, do I remember the Saturday evening school group shindigs. Torches flaring, tikis and palm trees, a beautiful warm So Cal night. Life seemed so-ooo much simpler then. :) Tiki forever!

I researched this newspaper photo showing one of the Tikis at Holo Wai waterfall hazard hole.


Pages: 1 21 replies