Best Golf Courses in Los Angeles
Good public golf isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Los Angeles, the city of Angels. Hollywood, college and pro sports, sunny weather and traffic jams hog the headlines. But you can find golf’s green pastures among LA’s sprawling neighborhoods, twisting highways and high-rise buildings.
The best golf courses in Los Angeles aren’t sequestered to one specific area. Some of the best golf courses in Los Angeles are spread out across the sprawling city. Here are 10 L.A. clubs worth playing:
LA’s only Jack Nicklaus design roams the foothills of the Angeles National Forest off the 210 freeway. Two lakes, a creek and more than 50 bunkers create the challenge. The Spanish-inspired clubhouse is a welcoming pit stop after golf.
This 36-hole golf mecca hosted the 2011 Kia Classic of the LPGA Tour and countless rounds on its Eisenhower (Ike) and Zaharias (Babe) courses. Both courses and the clubhouse were updated as part of a $17-million refurbishment project. The resort offers 292 guestrooms with views framed by the San Gabriel Valley Mountains.
Widely considered the best value in LA, Rustic Canyon was an early project of Gil Hanse, built with an assist from golf writer Geoff Shackelford. Their minimalist approach makes it playable and fun.
Rarely can you play golf with such beautiful ocean views for such an affordable price. Overcrowding can be an issue so make sure you scope out tee times during non-peak times.
Located a short distance from Fox Studios and Century City, this famous city course hosted the Los Angeles Open off and on for four decades until the 1980s. A plaque on the par-5 finishing hole denotes where Arnold Palmer made a 12 during the 1961 Los Angeles Open.
Politics aside, this Pete Dye design delivers some of the best ocean views on the West Coast. You have to decide if those views are worth the price tag and the challenge you’ll receive playing such a demanding course.
Local Architect Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design used old photographs to restore the William Bell/George Thomas course in 2014 to its former glory with a few modern twists. The mostly private club, with views of the ocean from 13 holes, only allows public play after 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and after 2 p.m. Wednesday and Friday.
Links at Terranea, Rancho Palos Verdes (featured image above)
This short par-3 executive course by Eckenrode takes less than an hour and a half to play. It will challenge your short game with wild, undulating greens that are hard to hit and even harder to putt. Good luck if the wind picks up off the ocean, which is visible from most of the course.
This course was reclaimed from the historic Jensen Quarry. Its rock walls and elevation changes look and play differently than almost anything else in SoCal.
The heartbeat of LA muni golf lives at Griffith Park, home to two regulation courses named after presidents, the Harding and Wilson courses, and two short courses.