Arroyo Seco

Best Miniature Golf, August 2010

South Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco miniature golf course is not big or elaborate like those theme-parky installations you see from the freeway. There are no rides or video games to sate Fun Dip-stained partygoers. Built in 1955, it is a teeny, tattered nine-hole pocket that sits at the bottom of the Arroyo between a putting green and a driving range. And it is perfect. You can visit a log cabin, roll through the obligatory church, and try your luck with a wishing well in the span of 30 minutes—plenty of fun without much commitment. The turf is ragged in spots, and while some weather-beaten hazards were recently fixed up, even fresh paint can’t hide what the place is: a living artifact that vibrates with the memories of a thousand bygone childhoods.