Rancho Park Par - 3 Golf Course
I have lived in the LA-area for nearly five years but was late to discover Rancho Park GC. It quickly became one of my favorite tracks because of its convenience to Santa Monica, classic layout, muni vibes, and historic legacy. I had heard horror stories of long rounds, but never suffered through one myself until playing on Memorial Day. I booked a tee time for 1:45pm and when I checked in, it was suggested by the starter that I wait "to play with some other good guys after 2:00," which turned into teeing off sometime after 2:20. The short version of the LONG story is that the front nine lasted nearly 3 hours, including four groups stacked up waiting to play the 8th hole. I walked off the course after nine, refusing to risk a 6+ hour round and somehow not finishing before darkness on one of the longest days of the year. Rancho Park will somehow remain in my golf rotation by necessity, but the course should be embarassed for how it manages tee time reservations and encourages fivesomes and ignores basic pace of play courtesy.
A Typical Municipal Course
I was not expecting much more than we got from this course - it was a typical municipal course. The amenities were few, the employees were city employees. The course was in decent shape and was reasonably enjoyable.
Fungus. Patchy. Bumpy. Slow.
They need to fix all the greens.
Occasional punching is no longer enough, apparently. The greens are sad. The City has finally watered the course and have made most of it playable from the fairways. Good grass coverage mostly. But man, the greens.......... so sad. Sad, sad, sad. They have to do something about them. Strip them re-do them, re-build them. It's time. Get a real greenskeeper who cares about the greens and knows what he's doing. The greens are sad.
Once a gem, not so much anymore
I grew up playing this course, and no one needs me to explain its history. Suffice to say it's now in complete disrepair. Very sad.
This course has everything except the water hazard. Beautiful layout and challenging holes that go up and down. Play the black tees to enjoy the challenge.
Same old, same old
So LA City courses recently re-vamped their pricing to match the rest of the areas, and to try to improve conditions and POP by spreading out the tee times to 8 minute intervals, like most other places. Well, the tee times are nice, but the price-hikes are not, especially seeing that nothing has been done to the course so far. It definitely no longer feels crammed or busy, which is good, but I don't think the prices needed to be increased seeing as gas prices have gone down to levels before they hiked the prices almost 6 to 10 dollars from 5 years ago. And they've done nothing to the course. The greens were cut a little bit today, but the rest of the course looked the same, played the same, with the same hard dirt patches. They had cut some tree limbs away and cleaned up some, but it's very disappointing to see that the course is the same as I last played it. Not worth the money, especially since there are other courses that charge less for better conditions.
Good + Muni in LA
I've played this place 4 times now in the last 3 months. I guess you can say its my "home" course. I must say that this is a great place to get your game back on track. Wide fairways, good/clean greens, and tee boxes that are flat (although some times a bit too patchy.)
The course is old, and the facilities show it, but I think that age has made for a great course in the middle of Los Angeles. Large, and sometimes purposefully un-groomed trees make for a heck of a challenge for the fairway-impared. Thick, slick rough also makes for challenging shots, even of you miss off the tee box by just a yard or two. The course definitely has that "classic" vibe that someone who grew up in the desert playing target golf can appreciate.
As for the off-the-course critique, remember this is a municipal course in LA - If you are expecting a modern clubhouse, or even a weekday beverage cart, you are in the wrong place. The people are nice, the restaurant is always full, and the practice greens are great. The biggest positive is the on-course beverage shack between the 10th and 11th. They have an awesome selection of canned beer, and those hot dogs are really on point - just remember to bring cash (no credit/debit excepted.) The biggest gripe is the driving range. Limited space and expensive vending make for a warm-up only reason to use it. For driving range only-useage, I prefer that 6 story complex in K-town...
Over all, I can't complain too loudly about Rancho Park. It's a Los Angeles classic that they are trying their darndest to keep up. I feel its worth the fee, especially if you are saving the $$ by walking....
Starter was very friendly and helpful in pairing me up with a group. Pace of play is slow as usual but tolerable. Greens in great shape
DEPRESSING, on all fronts.
Driving range has been repaired recently, but the balls are so bad, it makes no difference what it looks like out there at the target with the new astroturf and new flags. The starter dude is jovial enough, he says it's been slow lately is why it's fairly wide open. I thought, cool, we'll get to play quick, then. Teeing off just around 10;30, I thought we'd be done by just after 2pm, on a weekday. Boy, was I wrong. The course is trashed. Tees thin, fairways thin, muddy, patchy with all kinds of different grasses that are more obvious in the dormant winter than in the summer, there is no over-seeding at courses like this, so you take what you can for the cheap muni price, but it is as good as it will get at this price. The greens were all bumpy, still! They still show signs of the punching from October! in all kinds of waves and tracks of where the holes used to be. Even with the good rain we've had, they are not laid down, nor flat. Bumpy like crazy, not rolled out. Some firm, fine, but mostly just bumpy. Deplorable. This is LA at its finest, just like the freeway and roads, as the jokes go, around here. No rough to speak of. The whole place all looks the same down-trodden look and condition. Yes it's cheap, it's a muni, and therefore it usually gets more play, but now I saw why people are staying away. This is not acceptable, but I guess it is what it is at this level of muni and pricing, you still get to get out and swing you clubs and play golf and try to make putts and have some fun. And to top it off, there was a total log jam of 4 groups at hole 4 and 5, we saw a marshal, we think, drive by and tell us it looks fine up ahead a couple holes, groups in position like they're supposed to be; but!, if that is the case, then why are 4 groups standing at the 5th tee? I tell you why. Because of 6-minute tee times. Just do the math. So it took just over 5 hours to finish today. It's really a shame and a disgrace, that LA can do this to this classic golf course that is renowned the world over. Like I said, that's the joke around here, that the golf courses run by the City is like the freeways and roads around these parts, that they have some of the worst conditions for one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world. So embarrassing.
Played again a week later, hoping that the greens will have gotten better. Nope! Boy, was I wrong. They had verti-cut the greens! I know it got a bit cold with the very dry, low-humidity weather we're having so the course got firm, but to verti-cut them now, after the greens were punched only a month and half ago, and had not recovered fully! So disappointing. The rest of the course is starting to show the lack of water again too, dry, crusty and patchy in many areas and starting to see less and less of the rough again too. The whole course was strewn with debris from the wind we had the night before, broken branches and leaves everywhere, at least when we played, mid morning thru lunch. The only good thing was the bunkers, they had some newer sand in them and played like normal bunkers, which is an amazing statement for this place, as will all the regulars will attest. But it doesn't excuse the rest of the course.
Six hour rounds are just not acceptable on a weekday. Had to quit after 12 holes because the pace of play was so slow. Illegal pin placement on tenth hole didn't help to speed up play because if you didn't hole your putt it rolled all the way back past your feet.
Greens 5/10, not recovered from punching
Early morning tee time, course was mostly wet and soft . Decent coverage throughout, not much rough to speak of, as always. But the greens are almost unacceptable. To have punched them over a month prior, to see them like this, you wonder if they punched at all. Well you know they did because it's bumpy from the punches still, and they have not cut them or rolled them to pack them down a bit. That #9 green needs to be either totally stripped and started over, or they need to triple roll that compared to the rest of them because the punchy waves are unbelievable on that green, that they can't figure something out for it. May be in another month it'll be better.
This was my fourth time so obviously I do enjoy playing here but today the pace was so slow we were unable to finish the last three holes due to darkness. We were a group of three and our tee time was 11:54. It was very disappointing to say the least. No one from the course apologized. They had to have known this was going to happen when there was a backload at Hole #1. Oh well we three all got Pars on the last three holes. Wink wink.
While checking in the staff question my using GolfNow. Why do they use it if they get upset when people do? Generally a good day. Rather slow the first nine though.
Extremely slow. No marshal
Played 11 holes. Quit after 3 hours. One to two group wait on every Tbox. Course condition OK for a Muni. Would play it again if I could get around in less than 5 hours.
Long time between rounds....
First time back to play Rancho in 20 years....did not remember how hilly it was but I will remember how unfriendly it is to walk. There are no mown areas to walk from the tee box to the fairway, which means you will have some heavy pushing to do if you play from the back tee boxes and use a cart.
Course is in good shape for a muni and the greens play reasonably fast, considering where the pin placements were located when I played.
We were a twosome and got stuck behind a 3-some who would not push the 4-some in from of them. The 3-some let us through and the 4-some got the message. We played the front in 2.75 hours and the back in 2 hours after being let through.
I'd play it again, but riding this time!!
Perfect in LA
Spending a week here in LA , it was quite a challenge to find a golf course open to non members.
This one is perfect , accessible easily and quite friendly staff.
Old facilities except the range which is very nice.
Best course in LA if you're a city monger.
You would be hard pressed to find and play Golf if you live in the city like Los Angeles. Go play this course and you will be greeted by the lush fairway and greens in this drought. Course is in exceptionally good shape considering the traffic is worst than the 405 fwy by all the foot traffic of play this place gets. Pace of play is 4 1/2 he round on Sunday afternoon.
There isn't many choices if you live on the west side of L.A. and this isn't one of them. This course boasts about being championship grade but its in terrible condition. The pace of play if poor and the staff doesn't seem to care or do anything about it.