RANCHO PALOS ESTATES, Calif. -- A nod to the past has rejuvenated Palos Verdes Golf Club, a historic William Bell/George Thomas design 30 minutes from LAX.
"PV" dates back to 1924. Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design used old photographs to restore the course to its former glory with a few modern twists. The work completed last year revamped bunkers, blanketing their slopes with gnarly kikuyu grass; recontoured multiple greens and their surrounds, creating shaved areas where players can chip or putt; added length and removed hundreds of trees, opening up long-lost vistas of the Pacific Ocean while enhancing playability.
This semiprivate course is no longer a hidden gem. The new PV (stretched from 6,219 yards to 6,430 yards) belongs on everybody's must-play list in southern California, especially fans of Thomas, who designed Riviera Country Club and Bel Air Country Club.
Palos Verdes originally touted ocean views from 13 holes. That same majestic view of the Santa Monica Bay greets players once again at the par-3 second hole. Wildly hilly terrain that dances over barrancas makes for great theater.
Palos Verdes Golf Club is only available for public play after 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and after 2 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. Nearby Terranea Resort sells stay-and-play packages with slightly discounted afternoon green fees and transportation to and from the course.