This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Playing at the Hollywood Golf Course in 1923, Phoenix, Arizona


It's 1923, there's a brand-new golf course here in Phoenix, Arizona, and I want to go there with you.

It's way out on the Tempe Road [32nd Street and Van Buren] but I have a new Marmon Phaeton, so we'll be there in no time, arriving in style. Got your baffy, your niblick and your mashie? How about plenty of gutta-percha balls? OK, let's go!

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Wow, this is a nice 18-hole course. I think the idea of golf courses around Phoenix is going to catch on, don't you? No, no, please, you go first. I'll help you tee up. Let's see, we need to make a little pile of sand for your ball to sit on before you drive. Luckily, this is the desert, and there's plenty of sand around here!

1923 article about the new Hollywood Golf Course, Phoenix, Arizona. A high-resolution version, which is easier to read, is here http://bradhallart.com/super_high_res/Article_Hollywood_Golf_Course_Mar_18_1923_SHR.jpg

Nice drive! I didn't know that you can hit that far. That's great. No, wait, wait... just a minute. Hang on, yeah, I think you're swimming. Yep, your ball just landed with a splash. You're in the town ditch. Yes, you can take a drop from there, or you can just hit again. I'd take the drop.

They tell me that this is an historic site, and that the original townsite for Phoenix was out here. I've heard it called Pumpkinville, but mostly Mill City. And look, there's the crumbling remains of the old mill, that belonged to old man Hellings. That adobe is tough, but it's melting away. Pretty soon there won't be a trace of it. I understand it's from the 1860s.

The remains of Helling's Mill in 1923 on the Hollywood Golf Course, it was made of adobe in the 1860s

OK, I'll stop talking now. Great mashie shot! Wow, you're on the green. Me? Well, I got a hole-in-one so I'll just walk along with you. Just lucky, I guess.

What a great day for golf!


This golf course was about where the Celebrity Theater is nowadays. The town ditch, also known as Swilling's Ditch, or the Salt River Valley Canal, is long-gone, but is still underground as part of the storm drain system of Phoenix.