Rustic Canyon - no. 16
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Rustic Canyon - no. 16
Designed by Gil Hanse and L.A.-based golf writer Geoff Shackelford, beautiful Rustic Canyon Golf Course in Moorpark, Calif., is one of the best values in the Los Angeles metro area. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
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Rustic Canyon - no. 1
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Rustic Canyon - no. 1
Right away you get a feel for the openness of Rustic Canyon with the par-5 first hole. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 2
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Rustic Canyon - no. 2
A large bunker guards the par-4 second at Rustic Canyon in Moorpark, Calif. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 5
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Rustic Canyon - no. 5
A large bunker guards the green at the 570-yard par-5 fifth at Rustic Canyon. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 6
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Rustic Canyon - no. 6
The par-3 sixth at Rustic Canyon can play as long as 206 yards. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 7
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Rustic Canyon - no. 7
Rustic Canyon is a good walking course, as illustrated on the par-4 seventh hole. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 8
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Rustic Canyon - no. 8
High fescue sometimes comes in play, but more often than not, it simply gives the course color like here on the par-3 eighth. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 9
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Rustic Canyon - no. 9
There are three par 5s on the front nine of Rustic Canyon, including the ninth. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 10
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Rustic Canyon - no. 10
The 10th at Rustic Canyon is also a par 5, the first of two on the back nine. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 11
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Rustic Canyon - no. 11
The tee shot on the par-4 11th at Rustic Canyon Golf Club. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 13
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Rustic Canyon - no. 13
The green on the par-5 13th at Rustic Canyon surrounds a bunker. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 15
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Rustic Canyon - no. 15
The short par-3 15th at Rustic Canyon. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 16
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Rustic Canyon - no. 16
The tee on the 479-yard par-4 16th represents the highest point at Rustic Canyon. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Rustic Canyon - no. 18
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Rustic Canyon - no. 18
Rustic Canyon ends with a 456-yard par 4. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor

In photos: Rustic Canyon Golf Course is well worth the drive north of Los Angeles

MOORPARK, Calif. -- Opened in 2002 and designed by Gil Hanse and Geoff Shackelford, Rustic Canyon Golf Course is a minimalist design and one of the most popular public courses in Southern California. Located about an hour northwest of Los Angeles, the course features a links-like design with wide fairways, closely cropped surrounds, and plenty of options around the green, including putting as well as chipping and pitch shots.

Named America's Best New Affordable Course for 2002 by Golf Digest, green fees generally top out at around $50. The course also allows golfers to walk and plenty of golfers do just that. Rustic Canyon sits at the base of Happy Camp Canyon up against the Santa Susana Mountains, Golfers enjoy a fairly flat walk through the first nine, while the back nine climbs into the base of the mountains, across barrancas and over 240 feet of elevation change. (Read Mike Bailey's review of Rustic Canyon.)

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

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In photos: Rustic Canyon Golf Course is well worth the drive north of Los Angeles
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