Fore!: The Haute 5 Golf Courses in Los Angeles

The game of golf is really hit or miss.  You either love it or you hate it, and if you haven’t decided yet, its time to choose a side.  With golfers, there are many particulars that need to be ironed out for a good run on the green – you need the right clubs, the perfect caddy, beautiful weather, and a course that’s just challenging enough to tug at your competitive spirit, but simple enough to maintain your coveted handicap.  With non-golfers, the game has been likened to watching paint dry or grass grow.  We say, to each their own, but if you’re going to don the argyle socks, do it at one of Los Angeles’ most haute golf courses.

Brentwood Country Club

One of the more notoriously closed off country clubs in LA, the only way to become a member of the Brentwood Country Club is if another member leaves his or her space to you in their will or if they sell it to you for a hefty fee.  A veritable who’s who of the Westside, the Brentwood Country Club plays host to members who enjoy a tricky, fabled course.  Hidden from the bustle of San Vicente Blvd, the course lies generally flat, but is still widely considered fit for a challenging game.  This club is the perfect place for golfers with a penchant for people watching – so basically all golfers.

Brentwood Country Club is located at 590 S. Burlingame Ave in Los Angeles (310) 451-8011

Malibu Country Club

For the loosened-tie version of a scenic golf course, make your way to the Malibu Country Club.  In fact, take off the tie altogether and un-tuck that shirt while you’re at it.  Open to the public for $75 during the week and $100 on weekends, Malibu Country Club is on the opposite side of PCH from Point Dume, meaning you’ll smell the ocean air while setting up your next drive.  The experience includes spectacular views, delectable snacks, and a new excuse to hang out in the Clubhouse for longer than usual – traffic on the PCH will be murder at this hour!

The Malibu Country Club is located at 901 Encinal Canyon Road in Malibu (818) 889-6680

Bel-Air Country Club

All right, so put the tie back on, tuck your shirt in, and quit swearing like a sailor.  Where do you think you are, Malibu? Denim is strictly prohibited, as are cell phones and shorts at the Bel-Air Country Club, where old-fashioned rules and regulations come into play for the particularly traditional and serious players.  There isn’t a single member of this private club that’s on the fence about golf – the course is a player’s dream and is a truly stunning locale.  Up in the hills of Bel-Air, with sleek white bridges and a classic bar/restaurant called the Bel-Air Room, there’s no guessing as to where you are.  For those in-the-know golfers, we’re told the course is rated 72.0, has a par of 70, and has a slope rating of 133 on Bermuda grass.

Bel-Air Country Club is located at 10768 Bellagio Road in Bel-Air (310) 472-9563

Rancho Park Golf Course

Located a stone’s throw from Fox Studios on the Century-City-meets-Rancho-Park border, the Rancho Park golf course is a surprisingly beautiful respite from Pico Blvd. induced road rage.  Open to the public for approximately $50 on weekdays and weekends, Rancho Park is the young golfer’s home court.  The amenities are lovely, but don’t tread even close to country club status; you’ve got a pro-shop, coffee shop, and other expected facets of a good golf course without the whole white-gloves politesse.  It’s a high rated course and perfect for newcomers to the game just as it is a welcomed, centrally located, escape from the office.

Rancho Park Golf Course is located at 10460 W. Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles (310) 838-7373

Riviera Country Club

With rolling greens, a long and storied history, a fully outfitted tennis club, and an enormous chateau-like Clubhouse, the Riviera Country Club makes it very easy to forget you’re in Los Angeles.  Set off an idyllic house-lined side street in the Pacific Palisades, the Riviera Country Club really drives the point home – golfers play on a course originally built in 1926 during the day and young, native Angelenos learn to ballroom dance for cotillion by night.  The course itself is tree-lined and lush with holes that have been rated as among the toughest on the PGA Tour.  This club is a throwback in every sense – a lady always wears her white gloves into the Clubhouse for her mint julep, thank you very much.

Riviera Country Club is a members-only club and is located at 1250 Capri Drive in the Pacific Palisades (310) 454-6591