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Golf course 'Mulligan Man' could take a hike

March 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
If you've driven south on the 405 Freeway, chances are you've seen him: A giant, 20-foot-tall golfer made of fiberglass on the Dominguez Hills Golf Course in Carson. But the landmark statue's days may be numbered.

He's tall, dark and made of fiberglass. Known as the "Mulligan Man," the 20-foot-tall statue has been peering over the 405 Freeway at the Dominguez Hills Golf Course since the 1960s.

"He's been around for many years," said Lomita resident Ruben Garcia. "This place was built in 1964. I'll be 48, and I guess so will that man."

But the fate of this giant golfer is now up in the air. German car company Porsche is planning to build a massive off-road course and driving simulation center in place of the golf course, which means the kitschy landmark may not be standing tall anymore.

"I think not only disappointment, but I think people would be very frustrated and unhappy if he were to leave the community," said Sheri Repp-Loadsman, City of Carson planning manager.

"Well, we'd love to see him stay here, even if they'd have to take down the course," said Culver City resident Ron Gorman. "We've always admired him being there."

It was Venice-based International Fiberglass Company that started selling the Paul Bunyan-like statues in the 1960s. You can even use websites like RoadsideAmerica.com to track down the 500 all over the country.

Here in Southern California, there's Chicken Boy on North Figueroa Street, and the Big Man in front of Tony's Transmission Center in City Terrace, just to name a few.

And like his counterparts across the country, the Mulligan Man has sported some different costumes throughout the years: a Dodgers uniform, swim trunks, and a few years back he briefly took on the identity of a young rising golf star named Tiger Woods.

A spokesperson for Porsche says for now they have no plans to remove the Mulligan Man.

For golfers, keeping one landmark and not the other is a bittersweet tradeoff.

"To me, the story is the golf course that's accessible to people like me that don't have enough money to be able to play in courses that are more expensive," said golfer Frank Ruvalcaba. "So it's not the landmark."