Course Guide

Here you can find information, directions, and comments about the following Southern California golf courses:

By: Greg Long

(click on any course to jump to its info)

I have compiled the following information based on my golfing experiences in the last four years. The comments are all honest opinions (both good and bad) based on the personal experiences I've had at each course. This listing is mainly comprised of courses in the general USC area that are convenient and available for USC students. Most of them can be played at a good price, though I have also included a few of my more pricey favorites that I think are worth the extra cash.

I hope you find this directory helpful in deciding where to play.
Brookside Golf Course
    (2 for 1)
1133 N Rosemont Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone: (626)796-8151
This course is located adjacent to the Rose Bowl and is the best course close to USC.  There are 2 full courses to choose from and both are usually kept in excellent shape.  Course #1 is much longer (7000 yds. from the back) and more difficult, but course #2 is equally well kept and is still a challenge.  The greens here are usually in superb condition and some of them can seem impossible due to tricky pin placements.  There are plenty of big trees on the course to cause problems, and water will come into play on a couple of the holes.
                    The rates here are $32 to walk on the weekdays which is a little over-priced for the course.  However, Brookside will accept the American Golf 2 for 1 certificates which are available to TGC members.  I'd recommend calling 7 days ahead for a tee time as the course fills up quickly, especially on weekends.  Expect at least a 5 hour round every day of the week.
                    I've been to Brookside many times and sometime they've struggled with the finer "customer service" skills which make for a pleasant day.  However, they are most definitely improving and making strides to correct any problems.  When they are busy, patience is definitely a necessity here.  Course management seems to be very interested in making Brookside one of the top public courses in the area, so look for even more improvements in the future.

The practice green is pretty poor and their mats-only driving range is just ok.  Also beware, they use the course as a parking lot for Bruin football games, so it is rough in the fall and winter.

Camarillo Springs Golf Course
    (2 for 1)
791 Camarillo Springs Rd
Camarillo, CA 93012
Phone: (805)484-1075

This course is located just of the 101 Freeway in Camarillo.  It's a very nice course with some of the best holes in the area in my opinion.  The middle 6 holes here are as good as they get for a public course around here.  They go into the mountains and have some elevation changes and very scenic backdrops.
                    The rates here are very reasonable for a course like this, the only major drawback is the 50 minute drive to get there.  The course is located next to a neighborhood full of senior citizens, so they dominate the course during the week.  I'd recommend making the trek out there at least once to check the place out.

Course Web Site
       
Coyote Hills Golf Course 
1440 E Bastanchury
Fullerton, CA 92835
Phone: (714)672-6800
This is one of American Golf's premier golf courses in our area.  It is meticulously kept and the greens are always superb.  The course is shorter than average, but they make up for it with lots of elevation change and plenty of "environmentally sensitive" out-of-bounds areas.  Coyote Hills is pricey at about $75 per round, but they treat you well and make you feel like you're at a country club.  If you are looking for a top notch course relatively close by, Coyote is the place to be.
Cypress Golf Club
4921 Katella Ave
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: (714)527-1800

CLOSED

This course is one of my personal most recent discoveries.  This Dye design team beauty lies just 35 minutes south of USC.  The fairways and greens here are the absolute finest I've ever played on a public course in the LA area.  The fairways are like smooth carpet and the greens are quick and true.  There is water and huge rolling hills all over the place and it is really easy to lose a lot of balls and pick up plenty of penalty strokes here.  Set amongst endless rolling hills, Cypress has the most unique layout and most distinct character of any course around.
                    The greens fee are $80 with a cart, but they have a great super twilight rate of $25 with a cart which begins about 4 hours before sunset.  It is by far one of the best values I've come across in Southern California.  I would recommend that every golfer make it down to Los Alimitos to check this one out, and the super twilight rates makes it possible for students to do.

Dominguez Hills Golf and Practice Center 
(2 for 1)

19800 S. Main Street
Carson, CA 90745
Phone: (310)719-1942

Go HERE to practice, go HERE to practice, go HERE to practice.  I give Dominguez Hills 1 star for their little par 3 course, and 4 stars for their excellent driving range.  This large double decker range is the best I've been to and certainly the nicest and closest to USC.  It has a great automatic ball dispenser system where the golf ball comes right out of the ground and onto the adjustable tee.  A true golfers dream, you never even need to bend over to tee up your shot!  In the land of mats-only driving ranges, this one is certainly the best.  Monday thru Thursday, they'll be happy to give out free range balls to TGC members who use the coupon provided by the Club.  Great practice, great price.

* Update: Discount for range balls is $3 for a $6 range card.  This applies 7 days a week when a USC student ID is shown.

Eagle Glen Golf Club
1800 Eagle Glen Pkwy
Corona, CA 92883
Phone: (951)272-4653
This course opened up this past year and is one of the best I've ever played.  At the price of $95, it better be.  The front nine is amazing and winds through canyons and up and down the hills of Corona.  Cliffs and ravines abound as natural hazards, and there's not a straight hole in the group.  Each hole is as spectacular as the last with plenty of tough shots to challenge your game.  It is one of the most dynamic and picturesque nines I've ever played on.  The back nine takes a totally different look with more of a long links style feel.  Set in rolling hills and sloping fairways, the back nine demands length and accuracy.  Also water begins to come into play on several holes.  Both sides feature some superb par 3's with big drops on elevation from tee to green.  Finally, this course has the biggest greens I've ever played on.  That is great for keeping up your GIR%, but it is easy to end up with some treacherous 100 foot putts here.

El Dorado Park Golf Course
2400 N Studebaker Rd
Long Beach, CA 90815
Phone: (562)430-5411
This is one of the City of Long Beach public courses and is probably the best of them.  This past year they have done some large renovations and improvements of the course which should make it even better.  The greens here are bigger than average and usually in good shape, while the fairways are also ok.  One thing this course has that many area courses don't have is plenty of grown trees for golf balls to hide behind.
                    Priced around $20 to walk, it is a great deal.  If you're under 18, it costs something like $4 to play during the week.  One difficulty with making a tee time is that non Long Beach residents can only make a tee time 3 days in advance, but this is not that big of a deal for weekday play.  I've also had good experience simply walking on with no tee time.
                    One great plus to this course is that it boasts the closest GRASS RANGE to USC that I am aware of.  Additionally, I've never used them here, but the 2 for 1 and range coupons should be valid at El Dorado.
Griffith Park Golf Club
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, Ca 90027
Phone: (323) 664-2255
This is an LA public golf course actually worth playing.  At Griffith Park you'll find 36 holes of good golf for about $20 a round.  The courses are right in the middle of Griffith Park next to the zoo and recreation areas.  You'll encounter horseback riders, families on a picnic, and (in typical LA fashion) the 5 freeway during your round.  The Wilson course is a bit longer and more difficult than the Harding course, but both are kept in equally decent condition.  By no means is this course something to write home about, but the nice setting and good price makes for a good day.
                    A couple of warnings here: you can't make a tee time without a LA Reservation card so you'll have to walk on or pay $20 for the card.  The wait is usually an hour, but with two courses they do take lots of people off the wait list.  Prepare yourself for a 5+ hour round as they will put as many people as possible onto the course.  Remember that the employees do work for the city, so don't expect bright and shiny faces at the starters window.  Finally, they operate on a cash only basis, which, although ridiculous, is "just the way it is" at Griffith Park.
Industry Hills Golf Club
One Industry Hills Pkwy
City of Industry, CA 91744
Phone: (626)965-0861

This is the HARDEST COURSE in the Los Angeles area, both in my opinion and as ranked by the SCGA.  Actually, there are 2 courses here and both are harder than any other in the area.  They are long, they are tight, and the greens are super fast and crazy hilly.  As the name suggests, both courses (The Babe and The Ike) wind up and down and around the once trash dump hills of Industry.  The courses are located on the property of the Sheraton resort which also features a world class swimming complex and a very nice hotel and conference center.
                    The rates here are a little pricey, about $40, but I think it is worth it for the challenge.  The rate does include the mandatory cart (you'd die without one), but carts must stay on the cart path which is kind of a pain and slows down play.  For a little cheaper trip, I'd advise playing twilight which usually begins 4-5 hours before sunset.  Golfers who are not members of the Industry Hills Golf Club may only reserve tee times 3 days in advance, so it does make it tough to get a weekend time.  One last cool feature of these courses is the furnacular to take you up the hill from the front nine to the back nine at the turn.  Home of the 2000 SCGA championships, I think everyone should check this place out at least once.

Knollwood Country Club
(2 for 1)
12040 Balboa Blvd
Granada Hills, CA 91344
Phone: (818)363-8161
This is a good course for a change of pace around the LA area.  The layout is very hilly and there are plenty of trees -- unusual for around here.  The condition of the course is simply average and the greens in particular have been sub-par in my experience.  It's a cheap public course with an interesting layout, but nothing really too special.
Lakes at El Segundo
400 S Sepulveda Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245
Phone: (310)322-0202
This is a short executive course just south of the airport.  They have a good practice green and bunker/chipping area, and a decent driving range.  The course itself is nice for an executive course (Par 3's and short Par 4's) with greens you'd normally find on a regulation course.  There is even a little elevation change and water in play on a few holes.
Lakewood Country Club
3101 E Carson St
Lakewood, CA 90712
Phone: (562)429-9711
This is the course I love to hate, but play a lot.   It's got lots going against it, but a few things which make it good for USC students.  The Club will never return here for an event because of all our bad experiences: 6+ hour rounds on Fridays and Saturdays, confusion over starting times, bad information from employees, failure to be flexible.  I once had a 12 player back-up on the 2nd tee here!  This place is messed up from the start.  The course is run by one company; the pro shop, carts, and range are operated by a second company; the restaurant by another company; and the on course snack shop is run by yet another company.  Best of all, none of them work well or in conjunction with the others.  The guy that sells you a cart will refuse to answer a question about a tee time and the starter won't tell you how much range balls cost.  The two guys stand next to each other behind the same counter, but won't help each other out, won't answer the other's phone, and won't help you out much either.  This place is always understaffed, to the point where I once saw the starter take all the phones off the hook because he was so tired of "that damn thing ringing in my ear."  Honest.
                    So with all the bad stuff, why do I play here?  Well, it is very close to USC compared to most courses, the course itself is challenging and usually in good shape, and you can usually walk on during the week.  If you can bear the lunacy of everyone who works there, check it out
Los Verdes Golf Course
(2 for 1)
3101 E Carson St
Lakewood, CA 90712
Phone: (562)429-9711
This is the cheapest course with ocean views you'll ever find.  Located right on the Pacific, this public course is a real treat if you can get a tee time.  The city of Palos Verdes restricts the fees American Golf can charge, so this is reknown as one of the best values around.  Many holes have great ocean views and all holes are effected by the tricky putting breaks being on the shore provides.  Always remember... the putts break toward the ocean.
                    The course itself is very nice and the greens are always in superb condition.  Expect a 5+ hour round as they are known for throwing as many fivesomes on the course as possible.  Tee times are hard to come by here because of the great value and every weekend old men sleep in the parking lot to be the first in line to get on the waiting list or make a time for the next weekend.  Seriously.  The best chance to play is to wait until the TGC goes there and join in for the fun.
Meadowlark Golf Course
(2 for 1)
16782 Graham St
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
Phone: (714)846-1364
Site of this year's Club Championship, this is a nice course that is a change of pace from your average course.  It is a little shorter than most courses, but I don't think it is any easier.  Plenty of big trees and some ill placed water here add to the difficulty.  Most of the holes involve a dogleg or some other hazard which make the hole play longer than the yardage would suggest.  My experience has been that the greens are in great shape.
                    Meadowlark's got a great new clubhouse and excellent snack shop that add to the experience, and they usually do a good job controlling the pace of play.
Oak Valley Golf Club
1888 Golf Club Dr
Beaumont, CA 92223
Phone: (909)769-7200
This is the site of my all time favorite California golfing experience.  A 75 minute trek out the 10 East finds you in the middle of no where with one fantastic golf course.  The price is about $70 with a cart, but you can play for $35 during twilight.  This awesome course has super fast and tricky greens, and an unusual mix of desert and traditional layout terrain.  Every hole has the potential to bring you to your knees, but if you can keep it in the fairway it is possible to put up a low score here.
                    Every hole here seems to get better than the last, and the scenery is beautiful.  The PGA of Southern California is building their 36 hole complex right across the freeway, so soon I expect Beaumont to become a prime golf destination.  This course has it all from the practice area to the clubhouse, and from tee to green.  Check it out if at all possible.  It is well worth the drive and price.
Rancho Park Golf Course
10460 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2342
Phone: (310) 839-9812

The rounds are LONG, but the course is fantastic. Definitely worth going down at dawn (before work or class) and playing the back nine to get your day going

~ Richard Marshall, Class of '89 (AB), '93 (JD)

Recreation Park Golf Course
5001 Dukemajian Dr
Long Beach, CA 90804
Phone: (562)494-5000
Another of the Long Beach public golf courses, this one is the shortest of the three.  Rec Park is fairly open and easy, but they do keep it is good shape and you can play it for less than 20 bucks.  This is one of the busiest courses around, so expect a wait if you don't have a tee time.  Oh yea, tee times are only available to Long Beach Residents with a reservation card until 3 days prior to the day you want to play.
Redhawk Golf Club
45100 Redhawk Pkwy
Temecula, CA 92592
Phone: (909)302-3850
Statistically speaking, this is the most difficult course in Southern California from its back tees.  From other tees, it's just plain hard.  I think this is a great course and everyone should try to play it if possible.  Each hole is a new and different challenge and you will find everything here.  Some long holes, some narrow, some with drastic elevation changes, and some with everything.  As you would expect, the fairways and greens are in great shape and they treat you like you're at a country club.  Just to add to the amenities, Redhawk's 5-tiered practice green is the largest in Southern California.
SCGA Member's Club
38275 Murrietta Hot Springs Rd
Murrieta, CA 92563
Phone: (909)677-7446
This club is run and maintained by the SCGA and they offer greens fee and merchandise discounts for all their members.  The course is just another of the fantastic courses in the Temecula area.  Last time I was there, the fairways were better than any other course I had played.  They are right at the top of the class with Cypress, Eagle Glen, and Oak Valley.
                    This course features a traditional layout with some severe elevation changes and a little water.  They also have a good grass practice area and the weekday members' afternoon rate of $25 is one of the best deals around.  Well worth the 90 minute drive.
Simi Hills Golf Course
(2 for 1)
5031 Alamo St
Simi Valley, CA 93063
Phone: (805)522-0803
This is one of my favorite places to play for a variety of reasons.  It is inexpensive, the course is challenging, and the greens are always in good shape.  I consider this one of American Golf's best public courses in our general area.  Best of all, unlike many of its AGC brethren, they will treat you well and help out whenever possible.  The people at Simi are always willing to accept our 2 for 1 and free range certificates, and they love helping out the Club by giving us advance tee times without a surcharge.  If you don't mind the 50 minute ride into Simi Valley, this course is the place to be.
Upland Hills Country Club
1231 E 16th St
Upland, CA 91784
Phone: (909)946-4711
This is the only course I've ever actually walked off of mid-round.  After 3 hours and 15 minutes, and only 9 holes complete, I had enough waiting.  The course didn't seem to mind though because they didn't even have one ranger out on the course to speed things along.
                    The course itself is shorter than most, but it is pretty tight.  The facilities and practice green are nice, but no driving range doesn't help this course's cause.
Westchester Golf Course
(2 for 1)
6900 W Manchester Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: (310)649-9168
This 15 hole night-lit golf course is one of my favorite places to go for some golfing fun and is only about 15-20 minutes from USC.  If taken at face value, Westchester is a great place to go.  The course is made up of par 3's and par 4's ranging from 110 yds to 350 yds.  The greens are in good shape and the rest of the course ok.  This is the perfect place to go for fun, especially at night where the fairway and green lights will let you play until they close down between 9:30 and 10:00 pm.  I would never go during the day on a weekend because they'll charge you $17, but their evening rate of $7 is outstanding.  The folks at Westchester are happy to take our 2 for 1 and free range ball coupons, and they even have a grass range open on Sundays.  For a unique and fun time, check this place out.


USC Trojan Golf Club
Lyon Center
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2500
Fax: 213-740-9739

You can e-mail us at: scgolf@usc.edu

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