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|Designed by Pete Dye, Trump National Golf Club is one of the most talked-about courses in L.A. golf. (David R. Holland/TravelGolf)|
If you're looking for stars, you'll find plenty of big names on Los Angeles golf courses.
But we're not talking about Hollywood icons like George Clooney or Brad Pitt; we're talking about celebrity golf course designers. Though Los Angeles golf is not as developed as the Palm Springs golf scene or even the San Diego golf course circuit, the City of Angels has a handful of solid golf courses by "brand name" designers such as Pete Dye and Tom Fazio.
Here's a rundown of a few of the best celebrity-designed golf courses to play in Los Angeles.
Designed by Pete Dye, Trump National Golf Club, formerly called Ocean Trails Golf Club, reopened earlier this year after more than a year of renovation. It has a bumpy history; a landslide wiped away its 18th fairway in 1999. But now it's back in full form and the views are as magnificent as ever.
"There's no mistaking the sheer cash-register power on No. 1 at Trump National Golf Club," Chris Baldwin writes in a GolfCalifornia.com course review. "You're shooting your approach shot from a low-lying fairway up over a rushing waterfall onto a raised plateau green that has an even larger, louder waterfall behind it. The visual makes you stop and take at a second look, and maybe a third. The noise of the falls requires you to raise your voice to be heard by your playing partners. The mist lightly spraying your hat and getting on your tongue is liable to trigger a big grin or a bemused, offended head shake."
Oak Creek Golf Club was designed by Tom Fazio, one of the most respected names in the business. At just under 7,000 yards from the black tees, the course will challenge the scratch golfer, but four other sets of tees make it accessible to a range of skill levels.
Oak Creek features tapered greens, several beautiful lakes and bull-nosed carved bunkers. If you're feeling a little rusty, hit the practice grounds before your round. It boasts 65 turf tees, a 9-acre all-terrain landing area, three practice greens and a large practice bunker.
The facility also includes a full pro shop and a restaurant, The Oak Creek Cafe.
Word is that Pete Dye and Fred Couples fell in love with the property for the two tracks at Lost Canyons Golf Club: the Sky Course and Shadow Course. The finished product is a sight to behold. Built in a canyon, the Sky Course boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
"The Sky Course offers an up and down journey through Tapo Canyon, with very little civilization in sight," Jeffrey A. Rendall wrote in a story for GolfCalifornia.com. "You'll discover incredible canyon views, and one of the most spectacular skies anywhere on a clear day."
But don't let the picturesque scenery distract you. You'll need all your faculties here, as the 7,250-yard course has a slope rating of 149, making it a PGA-caliber round of golf.
It's companion next door, the Shadow Course, is equally formidable. Measuring 7,250 yards from the tips, Shadow also carries a 149-slope rating, but the stunning visuals might just take your mind off how difficult it is.
July 25, 2007
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