golf stories



Los Angeles. The city known by tourists for its glitz, glamour and the entertainment industry. When people imagine visiting LA, they think of random sightings of Gwyneth Paltrow or Kim Kardashian while eating brunch in Beverly Hills, watching the ninth Range Rover pull up to valet.  They imagine being invited to play a round at Riviera or Hillcrest Country Club, rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. 

To me, Los Angeles is best represented in gritty movies like Training Day, Blood In Blood Out and Boyz in the Hood showing a different but true aspect of the city I love.  Los Angeles, for most of its golfing residents, is muni golf, city golf, gritty golf, where the fairways aren’t perfect, greens are sometimes slow and shaggy and rocks in the bunkers might chip away at your irons.

Do not get me wrong.  I love being invited to play private clubs like Red Hill, Saticoy Club and Hacienda Golf Club, but I will never feel at home at these courses. Public golf in Los Angeles is where I learned the game, built life-long friendships and see myself playing until the day I die. 

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite public courses.  

Wilson Golf Course. In the heart of Griffith Park, this is my home course. Long and challenging with beautiful views and abundant deer and coyote sightings.

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Hansen Dam Golf Course.  The front 9 lined with trees that require somewhat accurate shots off the tee and a back 9 with wide fairways and expansive greens.  The tale of two nines.

Brookside Golf Club – Koiner

The course adjacent to the world famous Rose Bowl known for its quick greens and the Arroyo Seco river running through the middle of the course.  

Roosevelt Golf Course

The Nine-Hole executive course with scenic views of Downtown LA and the Griffith Observatory.

Olivas Links. 

Although not located in LA County, it is worth the one-hour drive north to Ventura.  My favorite public course outside of Los Angeles.

Soule Park Golf Course

Located 1.5 hours north of Los Angeles, in the beautiful Ojai Valley and possibly the least expensive green fees of the list, excluding Roosevelt.

Words and Imagery by James Byun (g.r.e.a.m golf)

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