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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Hi, this is Pete in Fresno. My older brother and sisters swear that there was a tiki, or at least polynesian, themed miniature golf course in Fresno in the late 60's. In all my searching around I have never found any ads or relics from this place. Does anyone have any matchbooks or information whether this existed? I know Fresno is sort of in the boonies for most people on Tiki Central but I am trying to find tiki sites around town and this was the one I couldn't find anything on. I know some of you have extensive collections and just in case... Thanks for your consideration!

The name of polynesian-themed miniature golf course in Fresno was "Tropical Tees." I barely remember seeing the remains of the course as a little kid in the late seventies. It was located near the Belmont underpass near Roeding park. It's now a ponding basin, but for years, these big polynesian shields stood in a vacant lot. My co-worker actually has a home movie of the remains of the golf course that he shot when he was a teenager around 1975. His movie was called "The Seven Wonders of Fresno" and the wreckage of the course was one of the "wonders." He's promised to transfer some of the images for me so I can post them on this website.

Thankyou Fres for the history lesson. I'm really anxious to see some photos if your friend can get them transferred. Any tiki history from Fresno would be highly valued. Wasn't there a mermaid bar in Fresno as well?


I seem to remember my mom mentioning a mermaid bar at the old Hacienda hotel. The bar had a view into a pool where live "mermaids" swam. I think this was in the sixties. The mermaids and the bar were long gone the first time I visited the place as a kid. The old Hacienda ballroom was spectacular though - not tiki - but very rat pack Vegas with this long curving ramp. It had windows that followed the curve on one side, and was mirrored floor to ceiling on the other. It made you feel like "a star" making a grand entrance, lol. You could also see the lighted ramp through the windows from Hwy 99 when an event was going on. The ballroom was demolished several years ago when the place was converted to a retirement home. Last I heard, I think the remainder of the rooms are going to make way for some development. Back to the original topic - I think I read a local article one time about one of the "mermaids" and her memories of the pool.

As promised, here are the pictures of the long lost mini golf course "Tropical Tees." They are courtesy of my co-worker Brad Hansen. He has this to say about the pictures...

Here are the best shots of the Tropical Tees remains. These were shot on Super 8mm Movie film in the Summer of 1977 or 1978 by my late brother-in-law, Dave Hall, for a parody of “Chariots of the Gods” type documentaries called “The Seven Wonders of Fresno”. I myself revisited the site in 1987 to film a sequel, “The Missing Seven Wonders of Fresno.” By that time, only the concrete blocks at the bases of the sign remained. Now, it’s a water reclamation hole in the ground.

Thanks again to Brad for getting these pics!

[ Edited by: Fres-tiki 2007-03-21 21:06 ]

An urban archaeological sensation, if you ask me! More evidence of this promising site has to be unearthed.

I'll do some more digging and see what I can turn up. For sure I'll have an "after" picture to show what this site looks like today. :tiki:

Good luck with your digging, Fres-tiki! Searching for tidbits of information can be difficult, even if you have a great starting point. Hopefully more information can be learned. Does Larry Lava even know that you've resurrected this thread? He might enjoy passing this on to his older brother and sisters. Tell your friend, Brad, that we are indebted to him and very much appreciate the efforts! :)

Was out with my camera this weekend. Here's the "after" picture of the Tropical Tees site. As you can see, not even the dirt is left!

Wow! I have been absent from TC for far too long. Life caught up with my wife and I and Tiki Central had to take a back seat. Thank you Fres-tiki for these amazing pics! I will show them to my brother especially. I have searched around for any advertising and came up with nothing so far. Will keep trying. My brother remembers a large Moai head sculpture and a rope bridge! He said it was pretty elaborate as far as mini golf courses went at the time in the mid 60's. Thanks so much again to Fres-tiki and especially to his friend Brad for finding this!

[ Edited by: Larry Lava 2010-08-09 23:06 ]

I'll pass the "thanks" along to Brad! Aside from the pics, I think I've spotted a graphic in a telephone book ad - will have to do some digging!


I seem to remember seeing those broken out signs waaaay back when I was a kid. Any chance you've got a CD/DVD copy of your brother-in-law's movie, Fres-Tiki? That I'd love to see.

The movie was made by my co-worker Brad and his brother-in-law. I have yet to see the movie myself - just the screen caps he gave me. But he's been very diligent about transferring everything to CD/DVD - I'll see what he has.

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