Vista Valencia Golf Club – Executive

24700 Trevino Drive
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 253-1870

18 holes (par 61)
Yardage: 4,366 yards
Hours: 5.30am-sunset
Green fees: weekdays $22.50, weekends $29.50 (reduced rates available after noon), carts $6-10

Vista Valencia is located about 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Just off the 5 freeway (exit Lyons) and located close to Six Flags Magic Mountain. There are two courses here – a 18 hole executive golf course and a 9 hole par 3 golf course. This review is for the executive golf course. This is the furthest north I have traveled to date and the first time playing in Santa Clarita. I continue to travel around bringing you a comprehensive guide of golf in the Los Angeles area. If you click on the map in the sidebar you can see a full list of courses covered.

In addition to the two golf courses there is a driving range and full practice facility at the location. The driving range looks nice with plenty of stalls. The main building (clubhouse) looks like a church from the outside, but once inside there is a pro-shop/ starter office, a bar area and a cafeteria. Prices seemed a little on the high side – $3 for a bottle of Gatorade. There are lots of tables and chairs inside the building.

To date this is the longest executive golf course which I have played in the Los Angeles area (at 4,366 yards). Vista Valencia is over 1300 yards in length longer than Scholl Canyon. There are six par 4’s ranging between 320 and 427 yards. The par 3’s are also on the longer size than your average executive golf course too. Most noticeably hole 2, which is 222 yards. This hole plays as a par 3 for men and a par 4 for ladies. Being such a long executive course this is not one I recommend for beginners. If you are starting out, I would recommend playing and getting comfortable with the 9 hole, par 3 (Chica) course which is also located here. This course however is great for those taking the next step or wanting to play “full-size” golf. It is just like the standard par 72 golf courses out there – minus the par 5 holes.

We found the back nine was considerably easier to play than the front. Also it was more enjoyable. Out of the 18 holes, I enjoyed playing the stretch of smaller par 3 holes (holes 12-14).

One of the standout holes on the course is hole 17. It is a 158 yard par 3. The hole is on an island and completely surrounded by water. It reminds me somewhat of 17 at TPC Sawgrass. You have to drive your cart up a path to an elevated tee. It is one of the most memorable and unique holes in the whole LA area. I would have given this course an overall rating of 3.5/5, but purely based upon hole 17, I bumped it up to 4/5.

The course is in decent shape. The ground is very hard and the greens in particular are very dry. I think this is pretty much due to where it is located. The course is up in Santa Clarita where it is typically about fifteen degrees hotter than downtown Los Angeles. The greens were large, however challenging to play. I gentle tap and the ball would go blasting 20ft past the hole. I would like to see them water the greens a little more. The first nine holes feature a lot of water hazards. There are ponds/ small lakes with lots of geese present. They seemed to be at home on the course and reluctant to move out of the way of the cart at times.

The course is littered with bunkers. Almost every hole (if not every hole) has challenging and multiple bunkers. Some have deep faces and take a lot of skill to recover from. The sand is average, very dense in consistency and not the best quality. Vista Valencia is in a nice setting, there are lots of trees spread throughout and there were good elevation changes throughout the course. We played on a weekday afternoon and it took us about 3 hours 20 minutes to complete the round. There were a sprinkling of people out there and everyone seemed to play at a nice pace. By using carts (rather than walking), it certainly helps to speed up play. Also with the heat I give props to those who were walking. They must have great stamina.

Thanks to Dan Wheeler of American Golf for setting up my visit to Vista Valencia.

Richie says… “This is a very long course, possibly just on the verge of being classified as an executive course. The back nine was a lot more fun than the front nine. The course is challenging with lots of hazards, best suited for intermediate/ advanced players. Drink plenty of fluids, it gets very hot there.”


Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 373 yards (par 4)
Hole 1 – 2nd shot (!00 yards out)
Hole 2 – 222 yards
Hole 3 – 196 yards
Hole 4 – 374 yards (par 4)
Hole 4 – 2nd shot (100 yards out)
Hole 5 – 104 yards
Hole 6 – 167 yards
Hole 7 – 320 yards (par 4)
Hole 8 – 145 yards
Hole 8 – green
Hole 9 – 423 yards (par 4)

Hole 10 – 452 yards (par 4)
Hole 11 – 194 yards
Hole 12 – 92 yards
Hole 13 – 81 yards
Hole 13- green
Hole 14 – 144 yards
Hole 15 – 344 yards (par 4)
Hole 15 – 2nd shot (100 yards out)
Hole 16 – 396 yards (par 4)
Hole 16 – 2nd shot (100 yards out)
Hole 17 – 158 yards
Hole 18 – 181 yards

Bixby Village Golf Course – Executive (Long Beach)

6180 Bixby Village Dr
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 498-7003

9 holes (par 30)
Yardage: 1,795 yards
Hours: 6am-sunset
Green fees: weekdays $14, weekends $16

Bixby Village is a nice part of Long Beach. It is known as the place where they filmed the American Pie movies. There is a Bixby Village Golf Center and a  Bixby Village Golf Course. It is confusing and they are about 20 minutes apart. Do not make the mistake like I did and show up at the wrong place! Being in Long Beach the weather was good. You get that ocean breeze and it is cooler that out in the Valley. Which makes it a good spot to play in July/ August when the Valley is 100+ degrees.

The course is a 9 hole executive golf course, with three short par 4 holes.  There is a small parking lot and a starter office. Within the office is a small cafeteria area. There is a putting green but no driving range located at this site. We booked online with the club direct and got a great rate, paying under $9 each for the round.

Immediately upon checking in we were able to start. We were paired with someone else who was on his own. We played 10am Saturday morning and the course was quiet. We played at good pace. May be on two of the holes we had a wait of a couple of minutes other than that we worked our way around the course in good time. It took the three of us 1 hr 40 minutes to complete the 9 holes. I consider that is good going on a Saturday morning. I saw no one behind us the whole way around.

The course had a great flow and design to it. There was good variation of hole lengths which allowed you to use pretty much every club in the bag throughout the 9 holes. I really enjoyed the course design and consider it one of the best 9 hole layouts which I have played. You start with the first three holes and then walk through a tunnel to the other side of the road where you play the remaining 6 holes. The course had it all – water, sand, trees. Hole 2 has a challenge in a form of a lake which you have to hit over (120 yards). Hole 3 had a lot of trees down the left. Hole 4 was a straight par 4 with lots of bunkers along the center of the fairway. Then hole 6 had an awesome green. It was modeled after a hole at River; there was a bunker right in the middle of the green.

The course condition was good. The grass was green and generally not patchy. The greens were large and really nice. Several greens had elevation changes or breaks which made putting challenging, yet fun. There were a lot of bunkers out there. My only criticism is with the sand. The sand was very course and like hitting in dirt. If they were to spend a few bucks and put in the fluffy white kind of sand it would really transform the course and make each hole very eye-catching.

Richie says… “One of the best 9 holes I have played. I really enjoyed playing here. Every hole is unique. One hole you can hit a wood and the next you are teeing off with a wedge. I like the variety and it is nice to take out the big-stick every once in a while.”

Chris says… “Nice course. Saturday morning and not busy at all. Good price – cost effective. It is an open course, but I like it. Well maintained and good bang for the buck.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 146 yards
Hole 2 – 121 yards
Hole 2 – green
Hole 3 – 320 yards (par 4)
Hole 3- 2nd shot (80 yards out)
Hole 4 – 284 yards (par 4)
Hole 4- 2nd shot (100 yards out)
Hole 5 – 155 yards
Hole 6 – 105 yards
Hole 6 – green
Hole 7 – 189 yards
Hole 8 – 350 yards (par 4, dog-leg right)
Hole 8 – 2nd shot (50 yards out)
Hole 9 -125 yards

South Gate Municipal Golf Course – Par 3

9650 Pinehurst Ave
South Gate, CA  90280
(323) 357-9613

9 holes (par 27)
Yardage: 1,010 yards
Hours: 8.30am-dusk
Green fees: weekdays $5, weekends $6.50

South Gate Golf Course is located in South Gate Park, exit the 710 Freeway at Firestone Blvd. For those who are unfamiliar of the area, South Gate is a small industrial city about 5 miles of downtown Los Angeles.

 The golf course is a City owned facilities. It is cheap and you get what you pay for. There is adequate parking next to the golf course. Also I understand that there is a driving range at the location, although I did not see it. I did not notice a putting green either. The starter was friendly and advised me to start hole 3 as there was a large group about to tee off on hole 1. I did so and managed to play the round quickly and returned to play hole 1 and 2 at the end.

The course is in a park-like setting. Basically the holes just run up and down the park. With the first five holes being around the 100 yard range. There were two bunkers in the course, other than that no hazards. Each hole is divided by trees. I did have a little difficulty with following the course layout around holes 6 to 8. Once completed hole 6, you have to cross the green of hole 8 to get to the tee box on hole 7. It was quiet when I played, but I would be worried it could be a little crazy when busy. With crossing holes and each hole being so close to the other, I would expect that you will have people on other holes inadvertently hitting into you or getting in the way. The course is super generic. The only hole which stood out which hole 8. It was 156 yards (the longest hole on the course) and had a bunker in the front lip of the green. Which looks like it could cause some issues if you landed into it.

The course looked well watered and grass lush. The greens were the issue for me. They were pretty small in size. The grass was really long and patchy. It was like putting on shag carpet (see video below). Also the greens were flat with little or no break. You just need to line up your putt and shoot it at the hole.  At South Gate, like most small municipal par 3 courses you hit off mats and no tees provided. There is a bench at each tee box, but I only noticed two ball washers on the whole course.

Overall if you are a casual golfer and just occasionally play and enjoy a beer with your buddies, this course could work for you. If you are a serious golfer this is a course to miss. I am glad I tried it out, but I would not return to play here again. It is not worth traveling to and if you do live in the area, you have Maggie Hathaway close by in Inglewood. Maggie Hathaway is a much superior course for the same price.

Richie says… “Cheap and cheerful. Good for kids and casual players. Not for the serious golfer – better course options are located nearby. If you like to play early note that this course does not open until 8.30am each day.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 82 yards

Hole 2 – 99 yards
Hole 2 – green
Hole 3 – 105 yards
Hole 3 – green
Hole 4 – 102 yards
Hole 5 – 100 yards
Hole 6 – 120 yards


Hole 7 – 136 yards
Hole 8 – 156 yards

Hole 8 – green
Hole 9 – 110 yards

Arroyo Seco Golf Course – Par 3 (South Pasadena)

1055 Lohman Lane
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(323) 255-1506

18 holes (par 54)
Yardage: 1,960 yards
Hours: Sunrise-10pm
Green fees: weekdays $14, weekends $16 (9 holes; $12)

 Arroyo Seco Golf Course is located in the South Pasadena/ Highland Park area. It can be a little tricky to find. From Arroyo Drive take Stoney Drive. Make a left on Lohman and you will pass some tennis courts just before you reach the golf parking lot at the end of the road.

Arroyo Seco is a 18 hole par 3 golf course. There are not too many 18 hole par 3 courses around, most are 9 holes which you have to play twice. There is a cafeteria/ bar located at the course. There is also a nice practice facility. Which includes a driving range, large putting green and practice chipping area. There is also a 9 hole miniature golf course at Arroyo Seco.

I have played here several times and each time the starter has been abrasive and impatient whenever I have asked any questions. The starter office and cafeteria buildings are run-down and need of a coat of paint or a renovation. There is only a couple of bucks difference between the 9 hole and 18 hole rate, which means that the majority of patrons play the 18. The pace of play is standard and you should expect to take about 3 hours to play 18 holes. I like the fact that hole 1 and hole 10 are located next to each other. So if the front 9 looks busy, you can easily start with the back 9.

The course condition is good – above average. The greens are a nice size and run smoothly. I played here a couple of years ago and they were a lot worse. I think the course condition goes in spells – sometimes good, sometimes average. When I played last the grass is nicely maintained with few bad patches. You hit off mats and plastic tees are provided – both for left and right handed golfers. The mats seem to be in good condition.

The course design is somewhat generic. All the holes are pretty much the same length – in the 90 to 110 yard range. Which is great if you are looking to practice your GW or PW; but means you can leave your long irons at home. There is a small creek which flows through the middle of the course and comes into play on several holes. This is pretty much the only hazard on the course. There are no sand traps. There are plenty of trees on the course and some come directly into play. In particular hole 17. There is a large tree to the left which impedes the line to the green. Therefore forcing to hit right to reach the green. All the holes at Arroyo Seco are pretty much of the same. The only hole which comes to mind when I think of the course is hole 15. This is a longer hole – 145 yards for men, 115 yards from the ladies tee. It is a straight hole but has a small lake/ marsh kind of area to the right of the green. This is also the longest hole on the course. The course flows pretty well and each hole is signposted. There are ball washers at the tees, but they are really old looking. 
When it comes to the course design with Arroyo Seco I always feel somewhat underwhelmed when I have finished my round. It feels like I have playing the same hole over and over. The last time I played I walked past the miniature golf course (as I was leaving the 18th green) it came across my mind that I may have had more fun playing that.

Overall, if I lived in the Pasadena area and wanted to play 18 holes of par 3, I would recommend Arcadia. Arcadia is in the same price range (if not cheaper with a $10 GolfNow deal). Plus Arcadia is much better quality course and the staff there are fantastic. I wish the starter at Arroyo Seco had a more friendly demeanor.
Richie says… “I like the practice facility, but the course is too generic and repetitive to me. I think they need to spend a little money on the place. Install new ball washers, paint the starter buildings etc. I have played here several times and each time have come across multiple people with Scottish accents. It just stands out, as I have not encountered a Scot on any other course I have played in Los Angeles.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 88 yards
Hole 2 – 89 yards
Hole 3 – 96 yards
Hole 4 – 120 yards

Hole 5- 111 yards
Hole 6 – 102 yards
Hole 7 – 110 yards
Hole 8 – 115 yards
Hole 9 -127 yards
Hole 10 – 95 yards
Hole 11 – 92 yards
Hole 11- green
Hole 12 – 104 yards
Hole 13- 116 yards
Hole 14 -89 yards

Hole 15 – 145 yards
Hole 16 – 118 yards
Hole 17 – 129 yards
Hole 17 – green
Hole 18 – 114 yards

Rancho Park – Par 3 (Century City)

This course is located in West Los Angeles, just south of Century City and by the Fox Studios. There is adequate parking provided. This par 3 course runs north of the 18 hole par 72 Rancho Park golf course. The par 3 course has a starter office and restrooms. There is no snack bar, but there are a couple of vending machines. The starter is usually abrupt and unfriendly at this course.

Rancho Park is a fun course to play. The course has a nice flow. The hole lengths vary which adds interest; the shortest hole being 82 yards, while the longest being 148 yards. This is a woodland course and each hole is lined with trees as with Los Feliz. There are three bunkers on the course which come into play on 4 of the 9 holes.

Hole 9 at sunset – pic courtesy of Tim E (Yelp)

The condition of the course has deteriorated over recent years. It used to be really nicely maintained for a City owned course. However now it is just average condition. There are large areas of grass which have turned to mud and need replacing. Also whenever I play here the grass is really wet and soggy – no matter what time of year. They either have a drainage issue or water way too much. This is very prevalent on hole 2. The tee box is in the shade and it is always muddy.

Unfortunately as with most par 3 courses, patrons tend not to replace divots or pitch marks on the green.

I don’t play at this course much mainly due to the location. As it is in the middle of a densely populated area it is usually very busy at peak times. I try and go early in the morning or during the week if I play here. If you go at the weekend be prepared to have 3-4 groups ahead of you before you start.

Richie says… “Good course at a reasonable price. If you avoid playing at peak times you should have no problems in completing your round at a good pace. Watch for the cars heading down Pico on hole 5!”

Albino says… “Great par 3. The course is cool and the price is fair.”

Chris says… Another great course. One of my favorites in Los Angeles. It can get busy. So if you want to play, play in early morning. Watch out for afternoon’s as it gets ridiculously busy.” 

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 98 yards
Hole 2 – 100 yards
Hole 3 – 148 yards
Hole 3 – green
Hole 4 – 90 yards
Hole 5 – 131 yards




Hole 6 – 82 yards
Hole 7 – 88 yards
Hole 7 – green
Hole 8 – 135 yards
Hole 9 – 120 yards

Oakhurst Links – USA’s First Golf Course

Oakhurst Links was the first golf course to be built in the USA. It was built in 1884 and held it’s first competition in 1888.  It was built in the grounds of Russell W. Montague estate (the course designer). His house served as the Oakhurst Links clubhouse.

Russell Montague learned about golf in Scotland and build the course with some friends, before any other golf course existed in the United States.

Oakhurst Links is a 9 hole golf course and is located in Suplhur Springs, West Virginia. In 2001 the course was listed in the National Register of Historical Places. The course ceased golfing operations in 1912 and an effort to restore it started in the 1990’s. The owners ran into some cash difficulties and the course was bought by the Greenbrier resort in 2012. The course in now once again open for people to play. Oakhurst Links is operated exclusively as an amenity for registered guests and members of the Greenbrier.

The course keeps the historic approach to the game – no modern equipment is allowed. You play with clubs which have hickory wood shafts and use gutta-percha golf balls. No tee’s, you simply take some sand from a bucket which is on the tee box and make a small mound from the sand to place your golf ball on. The rules of the course are of the period also. No ball makers. If your playing partner’s ball is in the line of your putt, you have to chip over it or hit around the other ball. Also if your ball breaks during the hole you have to continue with it, until the next hole. Where you can use a new ball.

To play 9 holes costs $125. This includes rental of the equipment, balls, tour of the museum and commemorative certificate. Players are encouraged to wear “turn of the century clothing”, which includes knickers, tall socks, caps, shirts and ties. All of which can be purchased at the club store.

“turn of the century golfing attire” including knickers, tall socks, caps, shirts and ties – See more at:

is operated exclusively as an amenity for registered guests and members of The Greenbrier. – See more at:
operated exclusively as an amenity for registered guests and members of The Greenbrier – See more at:
operated exclusively as an amenity for registered guests and members of The Greenbrier – See more at:
operated exclusively as an amenity for registered guests and members of The Greenbrier – See more at:

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


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


Links: What are Links Golf Courses?

Merriam-Webster dictionary definition – “Scottish word; sand hills especially along the seashore“. 

Links courses tend to be on, or at least very near to, a coast, and the term is typically associated with coastal courses, often amid dunes, with few water hazards and few if any trees. This reflects both the nature of the scenery where the sport happened to originate, and the fact that only limited resources were available to golf course architects at the time, and any earth moving had to be done by hand, so it was kept to a minimum. Even today, some links courses do not employ a greens staff, use only basic machinery such as hole cutters without boards to ensure that the hole is cut unevenly, and use grazing animals to keep the grass cropped.

Although the term links is often considered synonymous with any golf course, few golf courses have all of the design elements of true links courses and are built on linksland. The presence of a seaside location does not guarantee a links golf course. Many famous courses that claim to be links do not have all of the necessary characteristics (e.g., Pebble Beach Golf Links, Old Head Golf Links at Kinsale, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island). On the other hand, some courses located hundreds of miles from a coast can have all of the characteristics of a seaside links except for proximity to water. One notable example of such a course is Sand Hills Golf Club, located in the midst of the Sand Hills of Nebraska.

The style of play on a links golf course is considerably different from the style of play on other types of courses. The challenges of links golf fall into two categories: Firstly the nature of the courses themselves, which tend to be characterized by uneven fairways, thick rough and small deep bunkers known as “pot bunkers”; and secondly, due to their coastal location and lack of trees, many links courses are frequently windy. This affects the style of play required, favoring players who are able to play low accurate shots. As many links courses consist literally of an “outward” nine in one direction along the coast, and an “inward” nine which returns in the opposite direction, players often have to cope with opposite wind patterns in each half of their round. The combination of the sand-based turf, sand dunes, general lack of trees, and seaside location means that links courses are frequently exposed to strong winds. As a result, successful links golfers learn to control the trajectory of their shots by playing a lower ball flight. Greens on links courses tend to be free of fronting hazards, allowing golfers to bounce the golf ball into the green rather than hitting high approach shots with strong backspin.

Here is a video which gives an example of a true links course. It features the Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland. This course was voted in the top 50 of golf courses worldwide.

Arcadia Golf Course – Par 3

620 E. Live Oak Avenue
Arcadia, CA  91006

18 holes (par 54)

Yardage: 1,947 yards
Hours: 6am-sunset (7pm latest)
Green fees: weekdays $13, weekends $16

Arcadia Golf Course is located in the San Gabriel Valley, just south of the 210 Freeway, Myrtle exit. The golf course is about 5 minutes south of the Santa Anita Horse Racing Track.

Arcadia is an 18 hole par 3 golf course. The course is short – average of 108 yards per hole. The longest hole being 153 yards. There are lights on the course which enable extended playing times. It is advisable to book a tee time. You can do this up to 7 days in advance using the golf course’s website – You have to set up an account and use a credit card to hold the reservation against no-show. You then pay once you arrive to play. Carts are available for rent at this course, but we walked as usual – good exercise!

I must say that the staff here are the friendliest I have come across in the 15+ courses I have played in the Los Angeles area. The starter was friendly. Then the marshall was very proactive. He was out on the course coordinating play ensuring larger groups were allowing smaller groups to play through. His name was John and he did a great job. He came and checked on us several times throughout the round and said if we needed any drinks to let him know and he would send someone out. There was a “cart-girl” who periodically drove around the course selling water, sodas and beer.

The other people on the course were friendly and nice also. A couple of five person groups allowed us to play through and we completed the 18 holes in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Much better pace than the previous week at Pico Rivera where it took 3 hours for 9 holes!

The course has a range and a practice putting green on site. There is a small pro-shop with a cafeteria inside. The course itself was in great condition. One of the nicest courses we have played. The grass was green, well watered and cut to a nice length. The greens were nice and ran fast. Although I felt some of the greens were a little on the small side.

The course design was somewhat generic. As you can see in the pics below each hole was somewhat similar to the others. No water, but there were a few bunkers sprinkled throughout the course. The course had a lot of trees and was a little like Los Feliz in that aspect. There was a nice flow to the course and the holes were clearly marked. Each tee box had a bench and ball washer. You hit off mats and no tees were provided. Most of the holes had two mats, ladies and gents. The ladies yardage for the course is 1,876 (101 yards shorter than the mens). The key to playing this course is accuracy. The holes are relatively narrow. If you are hitting straight you will avoid any other the trees and hazards and shoot a low score. The pin positions were set in challenging locations, often within 10 feet of the edge of the green.

The standout hole for me was number 15. It was a 106 yard hole with a large bunker right at the front of the green. When we played the pin position was set right behind the bunker about 10 feet back onto the green.

Richie says… “I really enjoyed playing here. One of the better short golf courses in the Los Angeles area. Very well maintained and the pace of play was good. It gets hot, so I recommend playing early. The course is short so you only need to bring half your clubs.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 93 yards
Hole 2 – 101 yards
Hole 3 – 153 yards
Hole 4 – 102 yards
Hole 5- 95 yards

Hole 6 – 82 yards
Hole 6 – green
Hole 7 – 98 yards
Hole 8 – 111 yards
Hole 9 – 93 yards
Hole 10 -126 yards
Hole 11 – 100 yards

Hole 12 – 123 yards
Hole 13 – 100 yards
Hole 14 – 105 yards
Hole 15 – 106 yards
Hole 15 – green
Hole 16 – 119 yards
Hole 17 – 107 yards
Hole 18 – 134 yards
Hole 18 – green

Scholl Canyon Golf & Tennis Club – Executive (Glendale)

3800 E. Glenoaks Blvd.
Glendale, CA  91206
(818) 243-4100

18 holes (par 55)
Yardage: 3,039 yards
Hours: 6am-10pm
Green fees: weekdays $17, weekends $23 (cart $7-$12)

Scholl Canyon is nestled up in the mountains behind Glendale. From the 2 Freeway exit Holly and then head along Glenoaks all the way up until the end of the road. The golf course is clearly sign posted from the freeway. You will travel about 2 miles on a private road up until the top of the mountain. The road is recently surfaced and in great condition. Once you get to the golf course there is a large parking lot. There is a driving range, putting green, tennis courts and starter office. The starter office contains a small pro shop and a small snack bar.

I have nicknamed this course “Machu Picchu”. If you see an overhead picture you will see why. It is a canyon course and weaves around the mountain top with steep elevation changes. It is a short 18 hole course – just 3,039 from the back tees, 2,400 from the ladies tees. There are 6 short par 4’s. The longest hole being 324 yards. All the par 4’s could be reached with my 3 wood – with the exception of hole 13, which you have to lay up. There was a nice breeze that went through the course due to the elevation. Also I noted that it was 6 degrees cooler up there, than at the base of the mountain in Glendale.

There are lots of price variations in the green fees. If you play after 3pm it gets really cheap. You can also find great prices on I booked through them to play a weekday afternoon. It cost me just $20 including the cart. Talking of which, you must rent a cart. You can not walk this course as there are a couple of holes where you have a long cart ride to get to the next. Also there are some steep inclines. 

The pace was good – probably because everyone was using carts. It took me just under 3 hours to play the 18 holes. The front 9 were quick and then there were some hold ups on the back 9. I joined two other groups to play the last five holes and we sailed through them really quickly. Now remember this was a mid-week early afternoon. I would imagine that this course can get busy at weekends. So it may well be a 4+ hour round. But I would be interested to hear from others who have played Scholl Canyon at the weekend.

The course design was excellent. The designer did a superb job working the holes around the mountain. Great use of space! It is a true canyon course. Lots of elevation change. The first 9 holes are relatively flat. However after hole 10 you drive up a long steep road to play the rest of the holes. These holes are a good 200 feet higher than the rest of the course. I found the last 9 more challenging holes than the first. There are 30+ bunkers spread throughout the course. Also some holes hug the mountain, so you have to be straight otherwise the ball will fall hundreds of feet down. The standout hole for me was hole 13 (par 4, 289 yards). It was a dog-leg right. You have to lay up with an iron and then hit a wedge over a ravine into the green. Hole 15 was a lot of fun too. This is a par 4, 252 yard hole. But the green is a lot lower than the tee box. I used a 4 iron and almost made the green in one shot. In fact there were so many fun holes to play on this course.

The condition of the course was very good (above average). The greens were nice and the grass on the course was good. Although a little dry. The bunkers were nicely raked and in good shape, with the sand being of very firm texture. You hit off regular grass. No mats here!

Scholl Canyon was a treat to play. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think it was one of the best, if not the best short course I have played in Southern California. The people working there and other golfers were friendly and there was a nice vibe.

It is a great transition to playing par 72 golf. My recommended strategy for beginners who want to play “full-sized” golf would be to start with the small and cheap municipal 9 hole, par 3’s. Then once you are comfortable with those play an executive course like Scholl Canyon or Van Nuys. Then from there you can step it up to the 6,000 yard par 72’s. Scholl Canyon is also great for females who can not hit 260 yard rockets. It is short, but not too short where you can enjoy playing your game and a multitude of different shots in one round.

Richie says…“One of the best, if not the best short courses in the LA area. Great layout and very fun to play. Amazing views of the whole LA basin and valley.  It is a nice escape from the busy city – up in the mountains with no traffic or noise. A must play if you are visiting the Los Angeles area.”

Hole by Hole

Hole 1 – 259 yards (par 4)
Hole 1 – 2nd shot (50 yards out)

Hole 2 – 103 yards

Hole 3 – 324 yards (par 4)
Hole 3 – 2nd shot (50 yards out)
Hole 4 – 122 yards
Hole 5 – 167 yards
Hole 6- 127 yards
Hole 7 – 83 yards

Hole 7 – green
Hole 8 – 140 yards
Hole 9 – 262 yards (par 4)
Hole 9 – 2nd shot (75 yards out)
Hole 10 – 253 yards (par 4)
Hole 10 – looking back from behind the green
Hole 11 – 89 yards
Hole 12 – 145 yards
Hole 12 – green
Hole 13 – 289 yards ( par 4)
Hole 13 – 2nd shot (100 yards out)
Hole 14 – 108 yards
Hole 15 – 252 yards (par 4)
Hole 16 – 87 yards
Hole 17 – 125 yards
Hole 18 – 104 yards