Practice Center Review #9 – Glen Oaks (Glendora)

200 W. Dawson Ave
Glendora, CA 91740
(626) 335-7565

Hours: 7am-10pm

Small bucket (60 balls): $6
Large bucket (115 balls): $8
Jumbo bucket (225 balls): $14

This driving range and practice facility is located in the Glen Oaks Golf & Learning Center complex, just off the 210 freeway in Glendora. There is also a par 3, 9 hole golf course located at this site. Ample off-street parking is available across the street from the golf complex.

I initially came here to play on the course but was surprised at how nice the practice areas were. You have to walk past the driving range in order to get to the 1st tee. The driving range is nice and large. I would estimate about 30 stalls. Each stall has the yardages listed on a sign which is nice. There are plenty of targets to hit at, including greens. The website says the range is 250 yards, but there is a sign on the back fence saying 225 yards. The range runs west to east. So if you are planing on practicing early in the morning, take a hat. As the sun will be rising and will be directly in your eyes when hitting.

The condition is superb. The range grass is very nicely cut and the greens look just like the ones out on the course.  The stalls are nice and clean as is the whole practice area. You hit off mats, which is the norm at pretty much every public facility. The mats look in really nice shape, not worn. Plastic tees are spread throughout the stalls, so I presume they are provided for free.

The balls look to be above average. Not as good as somewhere like DeBell, but they are nevertheless acceptable. There is a giant “ball pit”. You basically take your bucket after you pay and fill it up yourself.

In addition to the range there is a nice chipping area and a putting green. Both are in very nice condition. The putting green did look a little on the small side, but it works. Prices are about average and they offer range punch cards for those you want to practice on a regular basis. I must say that this is one of the nicest driving ranges and practice centers which I have seen on my travels in the whole Los Angeles area. If you live in the local area I highly recommend practicing at Glen Oaks.

Putting green
Chipping area

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.

Practice Center Review #7 – Arroyo Seco

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

Hours: Sunrise-10pm

Small bucket: $4
Medium bucket: $6
Large bucket: $8

Arroyo Seco is located in the South Pasadena/ Highland Park area. The golfing complex, includes a 18 hole par 3 golf course, driving range, practice putting green, chipping area and a bar/cafeteria.

The practice putting green is very large. It has multiple hole locations and several people can practice without being disturbed at any one time. My one gripe with the putting green is that it is very flat. I would much prefer more undulations and elevation changes. The chipping area is located behind the 18th green. There is basically a small putting surface surrounded by long grass and a small bunker. It is adequate, but no where near the standards of the chipping area at the Harding (Griffith Park) range.

Putting green
Chipping area

The driving range is quite nice and reasonably priced. I have had several lessons and enjoyed practicing here. It is of standard length (~250 yards) and there are several markers indicating yardages. There are about 25 stalls. With about half a dozen of those stalls being undercover. The others are open to the elements and have no roof. It can be hot practicing at those exposed stalls in the summer with no shade being present. Whenever I have been the range has been quiet with lots of stalls available. I don’t think I have seen more than 6-8 other people there when I have been practicing.

The balls are in good shape. They are white and above average in quality. Someone told me that they were limited-flight balls. But I have not confirmed that. So FYI if you are working on your yardages. You pay the starter who gives you a receipt with a code. You then go to the ball machine which is located at the center of the range and input the code. The machine then dispenses the balls into your bucket. Remember to place a bucket under the machine before you input your code!

I am not a big fan of the par 3 course, as you can read in my review for the course. However I do like to practice here. It is one of the better places in the area to practice. It is generally quiet and has all the facilities which you need to practice.

Practice Center Review #6 – Monterey Park

3600 W Ramona Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(323) 266-4632

Hours: M-F 6.30am-11pm (closes at 10pm on Sunday’s and Holiday’s

Small bucket (45 balls): $4
Medium bucket (85 balls): $6
Large bucket (120 balls): $8

The Monterey Park driving range is located off the 10 freeway, where the 10 meets the 710. The range is adjacent to the 9 hole executive golf course. There is adequate parking, however note on Friday and Saturday evenings parking can be tough as it is next to the Luminaris restaurant.

The range is of good size about 250 yards to the back fence and pretty wide. There are yardage markers spread throughout. There are 37 stalls and whenever I have been there has been at least half vacant and available to use. You hit off mats and the mats seem to be in good shape. Note that no plastic tees are provided. You have to buy one or bring your own. The facility itself is overall in very good condition. There is one swing analyzing machine where you can pay and record your swing. Similar to what is at the Harding driving range at Griffith Park.

Putting green

The rates here are very reasonable and the balls are decent quality. They seem to collect the balls from the hitting area regularly also. In addition to the driving range there is a small putting green. There is no chipping area however. From my travels this range seems to be one of the better in the Los Angeles area.

NOTE: As published earlier this week in the Pasadena Star News, the course has new ownership. They are renovating the practice facility areas and club shop later this year. I will return and do a new review once the renovations are complete.

Practice Center Review #5 – Western Golf College & Driving Range (Koreatown)

537 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 466-1131

Hours: M-F 7am-9pm, weekends 10am-6pm

$15 for day pass
$60-90 for monthly passes


Outside of range

I have driven past this place many times and finally stopped by to check it out. The Western Golf College and Driving Range is located on Western Ave, between Beverly and Melrose. The parking situation is tough. They have a tiny lot (may be 6 parking spaces) and there is limited street parking. If you plan on visiting here be sure to avoid rush-hour traffic times as this part of the city gets crazy.

This is a tiny (in terms on length) practice facility. There are about 15 stalls and the range is about 20 yards long. The inside reminded me of indoor batting cages. I am personally a visual person and like to see the flight of my ball and where it ends up. If you are not concerned with that and can determine the quality of your hit by touch then this driving range will work for you. The range seemed to be in nice condition inside and the balls seemed to be of good condition. There is no putting green located at this facility or anything other than the driving range itself.

I was greeted by the local pro (Wilson Kang), who gave me his business card. He is a South America Tour Player. He was very friendly and spoke in detail about the pricing. Basically you don’t buy a bucket of balls, you buy a day pass. This is $15. Then they have three monthly pass programs. The first is $60 and with this you have to select an hour block of time – i.e. 7am-8am. You are then only allowed to use the facility between those times each day. The second option is $90. This gives you a set 5 hour window in which you can practice each day. Giving you slightly more flexibility than the first option. For $140 a month you can practice at anytime with no restrictions.

If you plan on practicing frequently, this range costs a lot less than Aroma down the street. I think that Western Golf could be a good neighborhood spot to practice your golf if you live in the local Korean community. If you like the traditional style range and watching your balls fly, the nearest outdoor 250+ yard ranges in the area would be Monterey Park or may be Rancho Park.

Practice Center Review #4 – De Bell (Burbank)

1500 E. Walnut Ave
Burbank, CA 91501
(818) 845-0022

Hours: 6am-10pm

Small bucket (30 balls): $3
Medium bucket (60 balls): $6
Large bucket (130 balls): $10

De Bell is a golf complex in Burbank which comprises of a tight and hilly 18 hole 5,633 yard (par 71) course, a small par 3 “pitch n putt” course and a driving range. The par 3 course is at the bottom of the complex off Harvard. The range and par 71 course is up the hill on Walnut Ave, just past the Starlight Bowl. It is really far up in the Burbank Hills. The location is really nice. It is landscaped beautifully and very peaceful. The clientele here is very good. There is a parking lot next to the range. There is usually no problems with parking. However if you go daytime Saturday or Sunday you may need to park a little further on the street.

The range is outdoors and is relatively small. There are about 20-25 stalls. You hit of mats, which are in good shape. They provide the plastic tee’s for free. Inside the range office there are buckets of tee’s at all the different lengths. You can just help yourself to whatever they need. Despite being a small range is usually quiet. If you arrive at a peak time (i.e. weekend morning) you may have a short wait. Otherwise it is normally wide open. I have been around 7pm in the evening during the week and only seen may be 5-6 other people there.

The range itself is set in the hills. It is short as it is only 175 yards to the mountain at the back. There are lots of targets/ mini greens to hit at. The prices seem standard range prices and they offer discount if you buy in bulk and load up a key. The balls are really great and clean! They are Nike and in A1 condition.

They have a practice putting green outside the pro-shop which is across the street from the range. It is immaculate and runs like a PGA green would.

The professional here is Zach Allen. He does lessons and has a strong emphasis on video recording and analysis of your swing. I remember reading a Golf Tips magazine last year and he was named in the top 10 of golf coaches in the USA.

This is a very nice range. It is very peaceful up in the hills and everything is nicely taken care of. I just wish that the stalls had some kind of covering. They are open to the elements, so on a summer’s day it can get really hot being out in the direct sun. Also I wish it was 50 yards longer. If it was, I would have given it top marks. Other than that I highly recommend this facility.

Practice Center Review #3 – John Wells (North Hollywood)

11501 Strathern St
North Hollywood CA 91605
(818) 767-1954

Hours: M-F 8am-10pm, weekends 8am-9pm

Medium bucket (66 balls): $7
Large bucket (120 balls): $10
Jumbo bucket (220 balls): $16
Big John (550 balls) $35
*Before 4pm, “all you can hit” – $20

The range is located off the 5 freeway in North Hollywood (although in reality it is more Sun Valley). It is not in the best of areas and overlooks the picturesque cement works. The range has a large parking lot and plenty of spaces. They claim to be one of the best public golf driving ranges in the Los Angeles area. I am not sure who/ how that was determined. I think it may be a tagline which John Wells created themselves to market the business.  

This range is very large (60 stalls). It is single story and you hit off mats. The mats seem to be in decent condition. Whenever I have been to John Wells it has always seemed pretty quiet with plenty of stalls available. They use good quality balls and they seem to be replaced regularly. There are plenty of metal picnic tables and chairs behind the hitting area. Allowing you to rest while hitting, or for people to sit and watch.

The surface of the range is very unusual. As you can see from the pictures it looks like hitting on the surface of the moon. For whatever reason the entire hitting area is covered in what appears to be sand. I presume there is grass underneath. The hitting area is large and very wide with plenty of targets to hit at. I personally can not adjust to this hitting area. Call me weird, but I like hitting on regular grass. It just seems so unusual to look out at this landscape. There is a small putting surface, but it is pretty much useless. It is in disarray and need replacing.

They offer lessons at John Wells and have several professionals with bio’s listed on their website. Private lessons are $40 per half hour, 6 for $200. Which is reasonably priced. However if you want the video analysis they charge an extra $5 per lesson. From my experience the video analysis is a must. You can really see your swing mechanics and what needs to be corrected/ improved.

John Wells has a lot of promotions. They have an “all-you-can-hit” for $20 if you go before 4pm. Also they have a website and Facebook page where they have coupons and other promotions. I noticed they have a marketing campaign linked to hitting a lot of golf balls – with a basket containing 550 balls! I could not imagine hitting anywhere near that many in one sitting. When visiting a range it is about quantity not quality. You should take your time and think about each hit, using your usual pre-hit routine. If you just step up and fire off balls like a machine gun, you are not really going to achieve to anything from the practice session.

Overall the range is in good condition and very large. The back fence is 260 yards. I just wished they replaced the hitting surface with conventional grass. As it stands I would personally rather just go to the De Bell range which is 10 minutes down the road in Burbank.

Practice Center Review #2 – Aroma Golf Academy (Koreatown)

3680 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 387-2111

Hours: M-F 6am- 11pm, weekends 7am-11pm

Pricing: see below for various “scenarios”


The Aroma Golf Academy is located in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles (Wilshire/ Serrano). If you are staying in downtown Los Angeles, then this is probably the most convenient location for you. As it is in the center of the city parking can be tough. There is an underground parking lot and at the time of this post, it is free for 3 hours if you use the golf facilities. In addition there is street parking with parking meters varying with 1 and 2 hour time limits.

This range is the kind which you see on TV in places like Japan. It is high (4 stores, each with 15 stalls) and crammed into a dense city area. I am not a big fan of heights, so try to keep to the lower levels if possible. The range can get extremely busy. In fact I would recommend that you probably should avoid it at peak times. They have recently started an allocation system. Which means when you pay they give you a stall number. So there is no longer the experience of walking up and down all of the stairs (there is also an elevator) in order to find a vacant stall. Talking of paying, you literally need a degree in mathematics to figure it out. It is so overly complicated. They have three different plans and then the price changes according to your stall. The higher you are, the cheaper it is.

The range is 150 yards long. That is a negative for me as you can not really see how your drives turn out. That being said it is good for practicing irons. You hot out into the range which has a giant net at the bottom. The net is sloped so that all of the balls roll back to be collected. There are a few flags indicating distance, but generally due to the size of the range and the netted hitting area, there are no greens to shoot to.

Now, the best part of this range… it is automated! The balls automatically pop up from the floor and onto the tee. As it is automated there is no need to bend down and pick up a ball to put it on the tee. This is clever from a business sense as it speeds up the process. People hit more balls – thus spend more. As it is all automated, there is obviously no need to buy or bring tees.


There is a smoothie bar at the range; then additional food/ drink places (including Starbucks) located in the adjoining building. I believe there is also a spa, gym and swimming pool at this location. But a membership is required to use those facilities. The other people frequenting this location and some of the staff are not that friendly or engaging. It is pretty much a place where you put your head down and just concentrate on hitting your shots. I love all of the technology, but due to the popularity of the place, traffic in Koreatown (some of the worst in the country) and my dislike of heights, I do not go to Aroma all that much.


Practice Center Review #1 – Harding Municipal Golf Course (Griffith Park)

4730 Crystal Springs Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: (323) 663-2555
Hours: 6.30am to 9pm, 7 days
Small bucket (30 balls): $3
Medium bucket (60 balls): $6
Large bucket (100 balls): $10
**Mon and Fri special – $21 for 3 tokens for large buckets

This practice facility is located at the Harding Municipal Golf Course within Griffith Park. It is a little tricky to find, but there are signs at each intersection within park to guide you.  Warning, there is a 25 mph speed limit through the park and often I see Park Ranger’s checking speed and writing tickets!
The range is on two levels with about 50 stalls total. The most desirable spots being in the shade on the lower level. There is also a misting system on the lower level, which they run during summer months. The upper level is exposed with no shade or cooling sources. I wish they would put a roof over the upper level, as in the summer it gets extremely hot. So hot that it is uncomfortable to be there during the day. You hit off mats and tees are not provided. You should bring your own plastic tee or they can be purchased at the club shop for $1 each. The mats are in decent condition.

The range itself is 250 yards long and relatively wide. There are several small greens and targets spread throughout. They regularly collect the balls and the range itself is really good. The problem for me with this range is the balls. The balls on the range are really poor quality. They are old and dirty and need to be replaced more regularly. However since this is a City of Los Angeles facility, there are probably some funding issues.

In addition to the range there is a large putting green and two small greens with a bunker for chipping. These practice greens are excellent and the chipping greens are the best practice ones I have seen in this area. The putting green is very large and can accommodate several people at any one time.  These practice greens are totally free of charge to use.
Putting green

Practice greens for chipping
 As with most (if not all) ranges they offer lessons. I offer a word of warning first though. Be sure to check references and reviews before selecting someone. Once I was here at the Harding range and a lesson was going on in the stall next to me. The instructor was terrible. I wish I got his name so I could put a warning out. He had zero educating skills. He had no patience with his student and seemed very cranky/ unhelpful. I remember thinking at the time how glad I was that I didn’t spend any money being coached by this guy.

Although I feel the range is sub-par due to the bad quality of balls; the practice chipping and putting greens make up for it. Parking can be tough at weekends, but there are usually spaces at the side of the street further down. This range gets busy at peak times, but usually there is always an available stall located in the corner of the upper level. Prices are reasonable and they offer a special on Monday’s and Friday’s where you can buy three large bucket tokens for $21. These tokens can be used at any time.