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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Al's Golfdom & Al's Golfhaven

Posted By on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Al and Susie Fister in the 1980s
  • Al and Susie Fister in the 1980s
For years and years, the place to "hang out" in East Memphis was Al's Golfdom, and in Whitehaven it was Al's Golfhaven, both owned and operated by Al and Susie Fister (shown here).

The Fisters moved to Memphis in 1960, hoping to open a driving range, since (hard to believe) our city didn't have one. They scouted around and purchased a cotton field on South Perkins and opened the Golfdom complex. It was slow going at first, but within a few years, they had expanded — adding a pair of nice miniature golf courses, snack bar, batting cages, go-karts, and a giant slide. Al's became so popular that it stayed open 24 hours a day. During the winter, they even sold Christmas trees. When celebrities came to town — Lee Trevino, Bob Hope, and others — they headed out to Al's to practice their swing.

In 1965, Al expanded his operation, buying up 20 acres of farmland on Raines Road, right by the expressway, and opening Al's Golfhaven, a somewhat larger version of the place on Perkins.

Remember the red tractor that picked up the golf balls? The driver was protected by a cage, but he became a moving target whenever he ventured out into the big field.

I could tell you more about both places here, but I won't. Instead, you must go out and purchase the October issue of Memphis magazine, where you can read the whole thrilling story, beginning on page 58. You'll be glad you did, I assure you.



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