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Courses

The best courses you can play in Los Angeles

February 15, 2024

You might think a city filled with Hollywood elites and luxurious excess would have a similarly exclusive golf scene. In many ways Los Angeles does, with private clubs like Los Angeles Country Club and Riviera Country Club catering to the city’s high society and ranking among our nation’s best.

Yet, for the average player, L.A. boasts a surprisingly accessible public golf scene, filled with historic munys and affordable courses designed by some notable names. Sure, there are the high-end offerings—the first course on this list notably boasts that it cost $250 million to build—but there are plenty of quality courses with greens fees under $100 (or much less).

Whether you’re planning a golf trip or looking for a quick round on your next visit to Southern California, we’re here to help with this guide of the best courses you can play in Los Angeles.

With such a sprawling city, you’ll notice some of these courses are a bit of a drive, depending on where you’re staying. Still, we’ve included the best public courses in all parts of the city, so you can find the best option for you. (Editor's Note: We didn’t include Newport Beach-area courses like Pelican Hill in this guide.)

Scroll on for the complete ranking of the best courses you can play in Los Angeles, and be sure to click through to each individual course page for bonus photography and reviews from our course panelists. We also encourage you to leave your own ratings on the courses you’ve played … so you can make your case for why a course should be higher or lower on our rankings.

The best courses you can play in Los Angeles

Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles
Public
Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
3.9
44 Panelists
Just 30 minutes south of LAX, the Pete Dye design features Pacific Ocean views on every single hole. Built among the jagged cliffs of Palos Verdes Peninsula, Trump National Los Angeles is reportedly one of the most expensive courses constructed in the United States, as the Trump Golf folks claim it took $250 million to develop this scenic public golf experience.
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Rustic Canyon Golf Course
Public
Rustic Canyon Golf Course
Moorpark, CA
4
63 Panelists
Rustic Canyon earned the honor of Golf Digest's Most Affordable Public Course in 2002, and it has continued to generate attention as one of Southern California's best public options since. With wide, generous fairways routed through a seasonal stream bed in the foothills north of Los Angeles, this Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and Geoff Shackelford design is a natural, minimalistic and strategic gem that should be on any list of the best in California.
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Oak Quarry Golf Club
Public
Oak Quarry Golf Club
Riverside, CA
3.9
55 Panelists
Built on the site of a 100-yard-old marble quarry, Oak Quarry presents some terrific golf amidst magnificent views. Hidden just off an exit ramp on the way from L.A. to Palm Springs, this course is a thrill ride with bouncy, big-shouldered fairways framed by white-granite cliffs that amaze almost as much as they antagonize. —Mike Stachura
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Los Robles Greens
Public
Los Robles Greens
Thousand Oaks, CA
3.5
27 Panelists
Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains—just up the road from Los Angeles—Los Robles Greens is an old-school layout. The par 70 tips out at 6,300 yards, but the rolling terrain, narrow doglegs and well-placed bunkers create a variety of shot options throughout the round to sufficiently challenge the player.
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Rancho Park Golf Course
Public
Rancho Park Golf Course
Los Angeles, CA
Situated between Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, Rancho Park hosted the Los Angeles Open in the late 1950s and 1960s with Arnold Palmer, Charlie Sifford and Billy Casper all winning here. This Los Angeles muny also hosted the 1949 U.S. Amateur Public Links. With weekday rates under $40 and junior rates under $10, Rancho Park offers an accessible way to play a historic championship course.
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Black Gold Golf Club
Public
Black Gold Golf Club
Yorba Linda, CA
Black Gold Golf Club traverses up and down hilly terrain, creating plenty of elevation changes and scenic views of the surrounding foothills. Just outside Anaheim, this Arthur Hills design is challenging, with many narrow, sloped fairways and undulating greens.
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Soule Park Golf Course
Public
Soule Park Golf Course
Ojai, CA
3.9
17 Panelists
Some of the best architecture you can play for the price ($40!). Gil Hanse renovated this William F. Bell (architect of Torrey Pines, among others), giving public golfers a chance to play a course with invigorating, strategic options. The greens are interesting—and depending on where the pin is on the day—force the player to focus on shot placement from tee to green.
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Los Verdes Golf Course
Public
Los Verdes Golf Course
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Perched on bluffs overlooking the Pacific less than 20 miles south of LAX, Los Verdes is a William F. Bell design offering terrific value, with rates under $50. Though the conditioning might not meet the standard of a private club, Los Verdes is an old-school design worth playing for its stunning views of the Pacific and of Catalina Island.
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Griffith Park Golf Course: Wilson
Public
Griffith Park Golf Course: Wilson
Los Angeles, CA
One of the oldest courses in Los Angeles County, the Wilson layout at Griffith Park dates to the late 1920s. Babe Ruth famously signed to play for the New York Yankees after playing a round at Griffith Park’s original layout in 1920. The Wilson track hosted the Los Angeles Open from 1937-’39, with Babe Didrikson Zaharias playing in 1938. Today, the muny can tip out around 7,000 yards, with the narrow, sloped fairways providing a solid test.
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Griffith Park Golf Course: Harding
Public
Griffith Park Golf Course: Harding
Los Angeles, CA
One of the oldest courses in Los Angeles County, the Harding layout at Griffith Park was laid out in the early 1920s. Babe Ruth famously signed to play for the New York Yankees after playing a round at Griffith Park’s original layout in 1920. Today, the course remains an affordable public track—with weekday rates under $40—though much of the original design, including the greens and bunkers, have been altered over the years.
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Angeles National Golf Club
Public
Angeles National Golf Club
Sunland, CA
Angeles National is a desert-style track with terrific mountain views located about 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Designed by the Nicklaus Design Group, the course has relatively wide fairways, many of which are guarded by desert on both sides. Though Angeles National is a solid public layout, it’s worth noting that the conditions are often not at the level of a private club.
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Santa Anita Golf Course
Public
Santa Anita Golf Course
Arcadia, CA
Situated at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in Arcadia, Santa Anita provides great value, with weekday rates under $50. The course dates to the mid-1930s and has plenty of character, with swales, mounds and hollows present throughout, creating many uneven lies. Unfortunately, the conditioning is often hit-or-miss, but the affordable price and intriguing design makes it a solid option in the L.A. area.
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Lakewood Country Club
Public
Lakewood Country Club
Lakewood, CA
Less than a mile from Long Beach Airport, Lakewood is a tree-lined Billy Bell design that opened in the 1930s. With very little elevation change, the course is an easy walk. Water comes into play on seven holes at Lakewood, which tips out over 7,000 yards. Still, with five sets of tees available, it’s a playable track that offers weekday rates under $50.
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Industry Hills Golf Club: Dwight Eisenhower
Public
Industry Hills Golf Club: Dwight Eisenhower
City of Industry, CA
Located at Pacific Palms Resort just east of L.A., Industry Hills has hosted U.S. Open Local Qualifying, PGA Tour Monday qualifiers and the 2011 Kia Classic on the LPGA Tour. The Eisenhower course, known as “The Ike,” was designed by William F. Bell and has plenty of elevation changes, providing vistas of the San Gabriel Mountains. Though the design has compelling variety, with doglegs moving in each direction along the rolling terrain, the conditions may not be up to a private-club standard.
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Industry Hills Golf Club: Babe Zaharias
Public
Industry Hills Golf Club: Babe Zaharias
City of Industry, CA
Located at Pacific Palms Resort just east of L.A., Industry Hills hosted the 2011 Kia Classic on the LPGA Tour, with a composite layout of both courses used. Much like its sibling Ike course, the Babe Zaharias layout—known simply as “The Babe”—has plenty of elevation changes that create some tough shots to many narrow fairways. This William F. Bell track is demanding from tee to green, with tree-lined fairways demanding accuracy and the rolling terrain creating uneven lies.
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The Links at Terranea
Public
The Links at Terranea
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
This nine-hole par-3 course set on the coast in Rancho Palos Verdes offers terrific views of the Pacific and of Catalina Island. With holes ranging from 104 to 173 yards, Terranea is a great option for beginners and children, as well as golfers looking to practice their short irons and wedges. Though the Pacific is visible throughout, the 173-yard eighth hole—dubbed “Catalina” by the course—offers a stunning vista with the prominent island in the background.
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