Verdugo Hills – Par 3 (Tujunga)

6433 La Tuna Canyon Road
Tujunga, CA 91082
(818) 352-3161

18 holes (par 54)
Yardage: 1,782 yards
Hours: 6.30am-9.30pm
Green fees: weekdays $16, weekends $18

Verdugo Hills is a 18 hole par 3 golf course. It is located just off the 210 Freeway at La Tuna Canyon. The course has a decent sized parking lot, a driving range, putting green and what appears to be a cafeteria/ bar area. There is also a small pro shop at the starters office.The buildings are a little dated and run down. This is probably as there is a legal fight to turn the golf course into condo’s. So they are probably not investing a lot into the course, for obvious reasons.

In addition to the par 3 golf, there is frisbee (disc) golf on the course. Next to each hole is a basket where people throw the discs into. There were a few people playing that when I was out there. But they did not impede or affect the golf play.

The course is a very short par 3 course. The front nine is only 763 yards! To put this course into proportion; 18 holes at Verdugo Hills is about the same yardage as 9 hole at Lindero Canyon. The majority of the holes are in the 90-100 yard range, with just three holes 120+ yards. Those all being on the back nine. As it is so short, you really only need a putter, wedge and a short iron for the longer holes. Looking at the scorecard, I am not entirely sure that it is accurate. Some of the holes seemed slightly different to what was on the card. Also some of the tee boxes had yardages written into the concrete of the tee box and those yardages also did not totally jive with what was printed on the scorecard.

To be honest I had read some poor reviews for the course and had low expectations. In fact it was pretty low on my “to-do” list. The course however surprised me. Despite being so short, it was a lot of fun to play. It is in a nice setting, however there is a lot of traffic noise from the 210 freeway which runs parallel with it. There are no hazards – no water, no sand. The greens were of fair size and very slow, making putting easy. The course itself is one of the easiest out there to play and not very challenging at all. Therefore making it great for kids or newbies.

The course was quiet when I played and I completed my 18 holes in just 90 minutes. The course design was good and it flowed very well from hole to hole. I enjoyed the front nine a little more. It is super short, but through the hills with nice elevation changes. The back nine was a little longer and the holes were on flatter ground. The holes were also a little more generic. There were two interesting holes on the course – 8 and 17. They are pretty much the same hole, next to each other. You hit off an elevated tee and the green is down a steep hill below.

The course condition was average. There were patchy areas of grass, but in all it was in good shape. The greens were nice. They were a little soft, which made them run slow. There were only about two ball washers on the whole course, but there was a bench at every tee box. You have to hit off mats. They looked like they had been replaced recently. They were in great shape and had plastic tees for both right and left handed golfers on every mat.

Richie says… “Better than I expected. This course was fun to play. It gets hot, so in the summer I recommend playing first thing in the morning to beat the heat. The course is short and not very challenging. Great for kids!”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 59 yards
Hole 2 – 92 yards
Hole 3 – 95 yards
Hole 4 – 67 yards
Hole 5 – 84 yards
Hole 6 – 105 yards
Hole 7 – 64 yards
Hole 7 – green
Hole 8 – 96 yards
Hole 9 – 101 yards
Hole 10 – 135 yards
Hole 11 – 125 yards
Hole 12 – 99 yards
Hole 13 – 94 yards
Hole 14 – 148 yards
Hole 15 – 80 yards
Hole 16 – 126 yards
Hole 17 – 106 yards
Hole 18 – 106 yards
Hole 18 – green

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

Sea Aire – Pitch n’ Putt (Torrance)

22730 Lupine Drive
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 543-4653

9 holes (par 27)
Yardage: 510 yards
Hours: Mon 1pm-dusk; Tues, Wed and weekends 9am-dusk; Thu, Fri and holidays 1pm-dusk
Green fees: weekdays $8, weekends $9 ($1 less for City of Torrance residents)

Sea Aire is a pitch n’ putt course located in Torrance. It is located in a residential neighborhood just west of Sepulveda Blvd. If you do not have GPS, I recommend printing directions before you go. There is a parking lot at the golf club, but when I arrived it was full. I had to park down the street. It was weird as there were only two others out on the course and the course had just opened five minutes prior. There is an adjacent school and I think that the cars in the parking lot were school-related.

There is just the golf course located at this site. There are no practice facilities or putting greens. In addition to the starter office, there is a small meeting room where I think the Women’s Club meets. The starter was very friendly and polite. If you are a Torrance resident with valid ID you can get $1 off the rate. I think the rate for kids was only about $4.

This is a pitch n’ putt course, so it is obviously short – 510 yards. In fact it is the shortest golf course in Los Angeles. This course is a different beast to your standard golf courses, or even the par 3 courses which I have reviewed on this site. This whole course is only a few yards longer than your average par 4 golf hole. I have tried to review and rated this course based upon what it is. Even though I gave it an overall 3.5, it should not be compared to other types of longer courses. 

These courses are great to take your kids and get them into the game. Also for the occasional recreational golfer. They are a step-up from miniature golf and not designed for the serious golfer. Each hole is about 50 yards – the longest being 84 yards. So you can rarely take a full swing, even with a wedge. The greens are super small – some about 12ft wide. Which make them hard to hit. All you need is a wedge and a putter. In fact the club rules state that players may not carry more than 3 clubs onto the course.

The course was easy to navigate and as it was so small it was possible to start on a number of different holes. Which was good if there was a large group or a slower-group out on the course. It took me just 30 minutes to play a round. Which is about half the time which it took me to drive there! When I played they were doing some work on a telephone tower, so the first hole was closed. I was told to just play one of the other holes twice to complete my nine hole round.

The greens although small actually are not all that bad. I have seen worse greens on other larger par 3 golf courses in the Los Angeles area. Each tee box has a metal bench, but there are no ball washers on the course. You hit off mats and no plastic tees are provided.

Richie says.. “Sea Aire is for kids or people wanting to practice their 50 yard chip shots. It is not for the serious golfer. As par as pitch n’ putt courses go, it is above average. Check for the opening hours before you go as they have some unusual opening times.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 57 yards
Hole 2 – 66 yards
Hole 3 – 51 yards

Hole 4 – 55 yards
Hole 5 – 84 yards
Hole 6 – 44 yards
Hole 6 – green
Hole 7 – 53 yards
Hole 8 – 49 yards
Hole 9 – 51 yards
Hole 9 – green

Practice Center Review #8 – Sinaloa (Simi Valley)

980 Madera Rd
Simi Valley, CA  93065

Hours: 7am-7pm, 7 days
Small bucket: $4
Medium bucket: $6
Large bucket: $8

This range is located at the same location as the Sinaloa par 3 golf course (see previous review).  The golfing complex is located south of the 118 freeway, Madera Rd exit. Just follow signs for the Reagan Library once you exit the freeway.
We went on a weekend and there was plenty of parking. This is an outdoor range and there are about 15-20 stalls. It was pretty quiet with about 70% of the stalls being available. The range itself is in fair to average condition. The mats need replacing. As you can see in the picture to the right, they are worn. The ranges does seem to supply the plastic tees though.

There is no putting green, but there is a small chipping area. There is a bunker and an area where you can chip onto a small green. The green is not of the same quality as on the golf course. It is basically just a shorter cut of grass. Still this area works for chipping. 

Chipping area


The prices seems fair, however the quality of balls does not look great. The balls are yellow and seem to have gotten a lot of use. I would rate their quality adequate. I was told by someone that they are limited flight golf balls. Meaning they are designed not to travel as far as a regular ball. Be aware of this fact if you plan on dialing in your yardages for each of your clubs, as the results will not be accurate to what you will see on the course.

The range is 220 yards to the back fence. There are a couple of flags, but generally you are aiming at the yardage markers. There are no greens to hit onto.

If you live in the area this is an adequate place to practice. But not worth traveling outside your neighborhood for.

Heroes Golf Course – Par 3 (Brentwood)

11301 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90073
(310) 473-0710

9 holes (par 27)
Yardage: 1,144 yards
Hours: sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week
Green fees: $12, $13 on weekends and holidays

Heroes golf course is a 9 hole par 3 golf course located at the West LA VA Hospital. It is just off the 405 freeway at Wilshire. You have to drive through the huge VA campus. The course is well signposted, so it was not all that difficult to find. Once there there is a dirt parking lot and the starter office is in a small shed with a corrugated iron roof. The whole area looks like a set from MASH. This is the second VA course I have played, having played a couple of times at Mission Hills previously.

If you are a veteran than there are big discounts to play here (you get $5 off). If you are just a member of the public it is $13 at the weekend. Which is an average rate for the area.

The course is quirky. I say that as the layout is really disjointed and does not flow well. From hole 4, you have to walk back to where you started the hole and the fifth tee is just to the left of it. There are several instances of this kind of thing throughout the course. The course is also very open with all the holes kind of mingling together. It may be a little hectic if the course was busy, but when I was there it was not – so this was a non issue. The course is pretty basic. There are a couple of tiny sand areas in the whole course and that is about it. The greens are small and grass long, so run slowly. However they seem to be in decent shape.

The fifth hole is the longest on the course – 178 yards. The rest are around the 120-130 mark. The ninth hole is interesting. It is just 95 yards long, however you have to hit over a ravine. With the greens being small, the course can be challenging to play.

The course is average in condition. The staff work very hard on maintaining it, but they are working with a limited budget. The staff were friendly and the greens-keeper even asked me to take a photograph of his dog, which I obliged.

I went at sunrise and the course was smothering in a marine layer from the nearby Pacific Ocean. It added a kind of enchantment to the course, which you can see from the pics below.

Richie says… “Quirky design and difficult to navigate the first time around. If you live in the area, this course makes a change to playing at Rancho Park.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 120 yards
Hole 2 – 133 yards
Hole 3 – 125 yards
Hole 4 – 146 yards
Hole 5 – 178 yards
Hole 5 – green
Hole 6 – 78 yards
Hole 7 – 133 yards
Hole 8 – 136 yards
Hole 9 – 95 yards

Norwalk Golf Center – Par 3

13717 Shoemaker Ave
Norwalk, CA 90650
(562) 921-7047

9 holes (par 27)
Yardage: 1,001 yards
Hours: 7am-7pm
Green fees: $7

Norwalk is a 9 hole par 3 golf course. It is located in the City of Norwalk which is about 15 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles. From the 5 freeway, exit Rosecrans. The course is visible from the road and pretty easy to find. There is a large parking lot with plenty of parking.

The starter was very friendly. There is a practice putting green, small driving range (about 100 yards long with 6 stalls). There is no cafeteria or bar on site, just a fridge with some drinks for sale. I was told by staff that on Friday evenings (summer months only) they bust out the grill and barbecue food for people at the course.

Norwalk is a great value – just $7 to play 9 holes; $4 for a replay. The course itself is great and fun to play. 8 of the 9 holes had sand traps. There is also water which comes into play on hole 9. The longest hole is 140 yards, but the others are around the 100-110 yard range which makes it good for beginners. Each hole has variation and the design is very good. Hole 9 is 140 yards and you have to tee off over a small lake (pond). There are three tees which makes the hole playable for people with all abilities. The greens at Norwalk are a nice good size and really well maintained. They have undulations and run really well. When I played there was not a pitch mark or defect on any of them. The grass throughout the course is very good.

You tee off mats and tees are provided for both right and left handed golfers. The mats seem to be in good condition. Also each tee box has a bench and ball washer. All of which is in great shape. It is remarkable to find a course so well maintained for so little money. I have to say that Norwalk Golf Center is the best course I have played in the Los Angeles area for under $10! My only issue with Norwalk was with the maintenance guys. On two occasions when I was on the tee box and getting ready to take a shot. The maintenance guys then moved onto the green to water/ cut the grass. I had to stand and wait for a few minutes. They really need to let the golfers play and wait until I was finished. Especially as there was no other group directly behind me.

The pace was good and everyone when I played were playing at a good speed. After I had finished playing I chatted to staff. They told me during the week it is quiet, especially mid-afternoon. I was told that the busy time is on Sunday. So I would recommend avoiding Sunday if you wish to play here. They have lights throughout the course, however close pretty early (7pm). I presume the lights are mainly used for winter months when it gets dark earlier. This course does not require you booking tee times. Just show up and play. Note the course is reserved each Saturday 10am-noon for the Junior Golf Academy.

Richie says… “Amazing value for money. Nice course design and very enjoyable to play. If I lived closer I would be all over this course like a fat kid on a cupcake. However it is a little far for me to travel and play here on a regular basis. I highly recommend trying this course if you have not already.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 98 yards
Hole 1 – green

Hole 2 – 119 yards
Hole 3 – 120 yards
Hole 3 – green
Hole 4 – 99 yards

Hole 5 – 111 yards
Hole 6 -114 yards
Hole 7 – 91 yards
Hole 8 – 109 yards
Hole 9 – 140 yards
Hole 9 – looking back at the 3 tee locations