Los Angeles C.C. (North)
8th hole, 530 yards: This double dog-leg is a true three-shotter, with no give-away shot. The tee shot is to a fairway that slopes left-to-right toward the wash on the right. The second shot is then played with the ball below the player’s feet, but he would like to draw it as the hole now bends left – a difficult task. The third shot is to a nicely bunkered target that slopes from right-to-left. A long hole where the better player is happy with a five, a rarity in this age.
11th hole, 245 yards: The architectural merits of the hole equal the one-of-a-kindview and it’s a mystery where Thomas/Bellgathered all thefill for creating this push-up green, which iswell elevated from its surrounds. Puttingis difficultto gauge – is the putt downhill or uphill? A sad three putt has been the end for many a golfer on this green.
13th hole, 455 yards: Over perfectly rolling land, Thomas and Bell placed a series of stylish bunkers that both dictate play while enhancing the beauty of the surrounds. (This statement is not made lightly as the Playboy Mansion is past the thick hedge behind the green). MacKenzie, Tillinghast and Thomas share a common characteristic : they are unmatched at creating longtwo shottersthat are a delight to play again and again.
14th hole, 565 yards: This par five twists to the right and then gradually downhill to a well-bunkered green. The long hitter can attempt to reach the hole in two by knocking his tee shot over the bunker at the inside corner of the dogleg. The price of failure is high, as the ground slopes away hard on the right toward out of bounds. In fact, the green is so fiercely protected by the natural contours of the land that even an eighty yard wedge third shot seems no bargain. The authors nod in agreement with Geoff Shackelford when he says it is one of his all-time favorite greens. This cleverthree shotteris the favorite hole of several members.
16th hole, 445 yards; Brilliantly routed, the 16th hole plays along topof a hill, with the 10th hole inthe valley to its right and the 11th hole inthe valley to its left. As at the 4th at Rye Golf Club, the challengeboils down tohitting the ball both far and straight in two shots.
17th hole, 430 yards:A two-shotter that is made excellent thanks to the diagonal array of greenside bunkers. The green is broad rather than deep and its right to left angle favors the golfer who flirts with wash down the right side off the tee.
While the eight holes profiled above are as good asparkland golfgets, lesser architects than Thomas/Bell have tinkered with the course over the years. Many of Thomas/Bell’s bunkers are gone and such innovative do-or-die holesas the 2nd, 6th and 8th holes no longer exist in their original form. As a result, the back nine is the clear pick of the two nines. Regardless, the course still appears homogeneous, a fate that other tinkered with parkland courses such as Oak Hill, Scioto and Inverness cannot claim.
Like any course of great merit, this one is distinctive; there is only one LA North and for challenging, inland golf in an idyllic setting, it’s tough to beat.