Our golf team is headed to California in March and we have an extra day to waste on the trip. Any budget friendly options for some Texas kids to get a look at what Cali has to offer? Has to be around L.A.
DeBell GC in Burbank is a fun track. Lots of irons off the tee because holes are short but a definite test of your ability. The course runs through the mountains and you’re bound to see some wildlife (lots of deer, coyotes, bobcats, etc.).
You’ll also want to check out Rustic Canyon if it’s not already on your list. Premier links style course about 45 minutes away.
In the “city” proper there is Rancho Park and literally nothing else. An alternative for fun-chasing college kids: Grab a wedge, a putter and a cold 40-ounce and hit Holmby Hills- an 18 hole par 3 (longest hole is 60 yards.) “Greens” are as big as a picnic table. It’s $4.00 and you pay in a box. You’ll be on the border of Beverly Hills right next to LACC and the Playboy mansion, so keep your eyes peeled. The previously recommended Rustic Canyon is simply awesome, but to get from Rustic to LAX in the afternoon is tough.
I would second Rustic Canyon. Played it three times on a recent business trip. Very affordable, very fun.
It’s a Hanse-Shackelford design. Wide fairways, large challenging greens with closely mown areas. There are a lot of opportunities for shot creativity. Not overly difficult unless the wind is blowing. I read a lot of reviews about it being too dry - unfair banter from people that have never played links golf, in my opinion.
As someone who moved to LA 6 years ago I have been pretty disappointed with the public course options. Rancho Park is the main one in LA, it’s affordable but you get what you pay for. Pretty bland and some areas are in rough shape.
I’ve heard Rustic Canyon is solid, as well as Palos Verdes, but each is like an hour from LA proper (in opposite directions). Knollwood and Balboa/Encino are decent as well.
If you can go a bit higher on price, Trump National in Palos Verdes is pretty nice.
Pretty much agree what everyone says here about Rustic, but can definitely be brutal with the wind. Played Rancho earlier this week and the rounds just take forever. I’d argue that Los Verdes is a 10x better track than Trump and it’s a 1/4 of the price.
[In my opinion] Rustic Canyon is by far the best, and equally as challenging, public golf course in the LA area. Walking it probably costs like $65 on the weekends.
Are you willing to drive 90 minutes or so? If so, there’s a course called Oak Quarry in Riverside. I played on my drive out from LA to Palm Springs a few years ago. Not sure what the rack rate is, but I only paid like $30 on golf now. The course was absolutely phenomenal- great layout around these huge rock formations and some really exciting shots. Here is their signature hole:
I personally like playing Wilson up by Los Feliz - depending on overall luck the rounds can move fairly quickly, or pretty slow. Rancho Park is so boring (it’s my local), please don’t play there…a bit farther out is Los Robles, fun course to measure where your game is at.
I’m always looking for fun places to play when I’m in LA and I’m always disappointed. It’s rubbish for pay and play golf.
Last time I was there I played at Angeles National which is a Nicklaus design on the far side of the Valley, which was very easy to find. I kinda liked it. At least it was half decent and I could play. I’m not a huge Nicklaus design fan to be honest, but I had fun. I just turned up, got straight on and only paid $85. Some nice holes and I saw a coyote, which made me happy.
The only public course in LA that I felt was a good mix of affordability and quality was Malibu Country Club, but it was sold off and shut down a year or 2 ago. Not sure what’s going on with it in the future, but i felt like it was a decent track in the canyons.