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The Links at Terranea – Par 3 (Rancho Palos Verdes)

3.5 rating
3.5 rating
100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 (310) 265-2751
Number of Holes: 9
Par: 27
Yardage: (1,239)
Course Hours: 7.30am to 7.30pm
Greens Fees: Weekdays $40
Weekends $48
Course Condition: 5 out of 5
Course Design: 4 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5


The Links at Terranea is a 9 hole par 3 golf course. It is located in Rancho Palos Verdes (30 minutes south of Los Angeles); on the Pacific Ocean. It is just a couple of miles up the coast from the Trump National Golf Course. The course is located at the Terranea resort and was opened in June 2009. When you drive in, you make a left at the intersection just before the hotel entrance. There is plenty of parking and I believe it is free if you are playing golf – I didn’t pay anyhow.

There is a practice putting green and a chipping green on site. Both are in really good shape. As this course is on a resort, there is obviously drinking and eating options at the hotel.

The starter and staff are friendly and polite. As you expect with an expensive private course. Talking of which this course is expensive – $48! To put that in perspective you can play eight times at Los Feliz for that. I recommend that you look online and deals can be had. I went on GolfNow and paid less than $20. Which is a much more reasonable rate. The booking online whether with GolfNow or the Terranea website is a little strange. I say that because you can not book for 1 or 3 people. Just groups of 2 and 4. If you are playing alone you have to pay for 2. Although the starter says that you can replay for free if it is not busy. Golf Magazine named Terranea the #2 best par 3 golf course in the whole of the USA, in 2012. Although it is a very nice course, I have had better experiences at other courses in the LA area. The value for money aspect is what keeps it from being one at the top of the short courses in the area. I would however say that it is definitely in my personal top 5 short courses in the Los Angeles area – if not in the top 3. We are so lucky to have so many options in the City. Last week I played a canyon course and this week a links!

Practice chipping green

The course condition is superb. I have not seen any other short course in Southern California which is so well kept. The grass is lush and green and the course looks beautiful. The bunkers are really well maintained with staff constantly raking them throughout the day.

The course design is pretty good. The course is in true “links” style. The course is ocean-side with long rough and plenty of bunkers. I believe there are at least 30 throughout the 9 holes. The course is wide open with few trees. Again keeping with the links style of course.

Each hole has plenty of variation and different lengths which makes it interesting to play. To be honest I found the course pretty easy to play. The greens are large and I pretty much hit all GIR. I think it was a mixture of me bringing my A-game plus the conditions. It was a beautiful day and perfectly calm. The starter told me that the winds start to come in from the ocean about 2pm. The course becomes much more challenging then. The most noticeable being hole 3. The wind makes it play 20 yards longer – 190 instead of 170 yards.

They are plenty of bunkers (30+), but I was fortunate not to hit any. The sand in the bunkers looked firm and long grass surrounded the lip of the bunkers. All holes were enjoyable to play, but I really liked hole 9. It was 121 yards with a dry creek and reeds in front of the green. The Pacific Ocean made a nice backdrop to the green.

To be honest I was a little disappointed when I played here. I saw the pictures online and with the high-price tag and had super high expectations. I expected a mini Pebble Beach kind of experience. With waves crashing against the holes etc. This was not the case. The course was set back from the ocean edge with lots of vegetation, the hotel and a beach in between the course and ocean. In fact only a couple of the holes made me feel like I was by the water. The third is probably the most noticeable. But standing on the green, I was still a good 100 yards from the cliff edge.

The pace was great. I played on a weekday morning and pretty much had the course to myself. I had no one ahead of me for at least two holes the whole way around. I whizzed around the course in about 45 minutes. It was very peaceful and a nice relaxing break from the outside world. Terranea is a walking course – no carts. But they have hand-carts for rent. They looked like ClicGear. They also have TaylorMade clubs for rent – I think they charge about $27 to rent a set.

Richie says… “Beautiful links-style golf course. Not very good value for money. I can not recommend playing here at the $48 price point. Look online and get a deal. The course is superbly maintained and one of the nicest looking I have played in Southern California.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 123 yards
Hole 2 – 104 yards
Hole 3 – 172 yards


Hole 4 – 136 yards
Hole 4 – green
Hole 5 – 115 yards
Hole 6 – 145 yards
Hole 6 – green-side bunkers
Hole 7 – 150 yards
Hole 8 – 173 yards
Hole 8 – green
Hole 9 – 121 yards