Los Angeles Country Club (North)Golf Course Review by: Bill Satterfield
Designer: George Thomas in 1921
Phone Number: (310) 276-6104
Directions: Get here! - 10101 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California
Accolades: Ranked 41st on Golf Digest's 2013-14 Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America list and 6th in the state of California.
Signature Hole: 11th - 244 Yard Par 3 - Easily the signature hole of the course and one of the best par 3s anywhere. In fact, some years ago Golf Digest rated it the 23rd best par three in America.
What to Expect: Los Angeles Country Club is a historic club dating back to 1897 with the famous North course being developed in 1921. The club's first course was the 18 hole South course which ends up playing second fiddle to the championship North course. The USGA has begged LACC for years to host a U.S. Open or other major event but the elite membership has continually turned them down. The George Thomas design is first rate and features nice elevation changes while the William Bell bunkers are visually appealing yet still penilizing. It is a classic walkable course that represents one of the best parkland courses in America.
By the Numbers:
Individual Hole Analysis
Best Par 3: There is no arguing that the reverse Redan 11th at LACC is not only the best par 3 at the North course, but one of the best in the world. All the par 3s at Los Angles Country Club's North Course have a significant amount of length to them, but the 11th gives golfers the opportunity to fly the ball a shorter distance and utilize the slope that funnels into the green.
Best Par 4: A barranca protects the left side of the hole and leads into a plateau portion of the very contoured fairway at this uphill hole. From there, an intimidating shot over a William Bell bunker that fronts of the green is required in order to find the putting surface. In the picture below you can see the Los Angeles skyline look back towards the tee box from behind the green.
Best Par 5: A barranca disects the fairway and creates two separate alleys to play through. Given the angles of the fairway and placement of the trees, this hole becomes a true three-shot hole that features a cascading second fairway and 30 yard deep green. Utilizing the barranca throughout the design is one of Thomas' strong points at LACC and the golfer seems some of his best work at the 8th.
Birdie Time: An excellent risk/reward opportunity is afforded to the golfer at the short 6th hole. A barranca encircles the green like a mote protecting a castle and strikes fear into the golfer banging on his driver in hopes of finding the green, or a short chip. The 90 degree dogleg right hole requires a 225 carry just to catch a view of the green on a safe line straight off the tee box. But the stories on this hole never have been told about the guy that took the safe line . . .
Bogey Beware: At 453 yards this two-shotter protected by six bunkers is tough enough, but the real difficulty is the mental distraction the golfer has as he realizes the Playboy Mansion sits beyond the trees behind the green. Uphill all the way to the green, try to stay focused on the task at hand and not the distraction beyond the tall fence.
Final Cut: Grade A+