in Courses

Penmar Golf Course – Executive (Venice Beach)

1233 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-6228

9 holes (par 33)
Yardage: 2,582 yards
Hours: Dawn to dusk, 7 days a week
Green fees: weekdays $14.50, weekends $19

 Penmar, or Penmar by the Sea is a 9 hole golf course in Venice Beach. It is right on the border with Santa Monica and is next to the Santa Monica airport. The course is a par 33 executive golf course, although it could probably also be classed a regulation 9 hole golf course. There is a small cafeteria/ bar area and a practice putting green by the first hole. I did not see a driving range at this location.

Typical sight – people waiting to tee off

This course is busy! In fact it is written that it is the busiest 9 hole course in the entire USA. Although I have seen no data to back that up. Tee times are not required, but recommended. Talking of which I booked a tee time through the City of LA booking system. I paid a $5 charge which I presumed was a booking deposit. When I arrived at the course I had to still pay the full green fee. The $5 was purely a booking charge. So be warned! If you play at the City of LA courses a lot you can get an annual pass which allows you to book in advance and avoid the fees. It is reasonably priced.

The course is unique in that it seems to only send 5-ball’s out. Each group is formed with 5 players, not the typical 4. If there are only 2 or 3 of you, you will not be allowed to play on your own. You will be paired up. I think that this is due to the popularity of this course. I played early, and I mean early. It is pretty much still dark out and there were only 3 or 4 groups ahead of us. Even then there was waiting at to start every hole. The round took just over 2 hours. If you play any later than 8am, expect to spend 3+ hours to play the 9 holes. When I finished the round (at about 8.45am) there were a lot of people waiting to play. I would estimate there being a good 20-30 people milling around.

The course is a long 9 hole course – 2,582 yards. There are three par 3 holes and six par 4 holes. The longest being 425 yards. This is good as it gives you an opportunity to rip a driver or a wood on a regular basis. Being such a long course I recommend it only for the more advanced golfers. I would not recommend it for beginners or hackers. To play here you should be able to consistently hit a wood/ driver 200 yards. The fairways are narrow on some holes and the key to shooting a low score on this course is long and accurate drives (which I guess is pretty much the same with any course).

The course is your stereotypical USA woodland course. The holes are lined with trees and they are really the only form of hazard. There are a few bunkers out on the course, but not on every hole. The course is extremely flat with no elevation changes on the holes. It is about a mile from the Pacific Ocean and 200ft above sea level. The course can be challenging when the wind blows in off the ocean, but when I played it was perfectly still.

All of the holes are pretty much flat and straight. The exception to this is hole 8. With this 162 yard par 3, you have to hit over a tree from and a slightly elevated tee box. 

The course itself is very well maintained. The grass is cut well on both the fairway and rough. The tee boxes are good and the greens are flawless. The greens are great – really good size and nice condition. They run a little slower than other courses in the area. But that is a plus for me, as it makes putting easier. The greens are generally flat, with slopes or breaks.
Richie says..“Well maintained golf course, especially of a City of LA course. Too busy. I would not play here again, because I don’t like a lot of waiting around. I like to go out there and play. Also there is nothing at this course in the design to set it apart from the others. I actually much prefer the course design at Roosevelt, which is a similar 9 hole course.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 281 yards (par 4)
Hole 1 – 2nd shot (120 yards out)
Hole 1 – green
Hole 2 – 355 yards (par 4)
Hole 2 – 2nd shot (100 yards out)
Hole 3 – 139 yards

Hole 4 – 298 yards (par 4)
Hole 4 – 2nd shot (120 yards out)
Hole 5 – 208 yards
Hole 6 – 436 yards (par 4)
Hole 6 – 2nd shot (170 yards out)
Hole 7 – 342 yards (par 4)
Hole 7 – 2nd shot (100 yards out)
Hole 8 – 162 yards
Hole 9 – 361 yards (par 4)
Hole 9 – 2nd shot (120 yards out)
Hole 9 – green