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Los Angeles a dream golf city for golfers with big bucks

By S. Adam Cardais,
Contributor

Trump National Golf ClubThere are few places in the world better suited to a golf trip on a bulging wallet than Los Angeles.

Shopping on Rodeo Drive, dining at Spago, golfing at Trump National Golf Club - these are not things you could do on a budget, or would want to. If you've got three days and money to burn, the City of Angels is the golf destination for you.

Here is a three-day L.A. golf itinerary that won't disappoint, on or off the course.

Friday

Check in Friday morning at the historic Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills just a few minutes from Rodeo Drive, this hotel defines luxury. It has 395 rooms, including 137 suites. The three-bedroom penthouse suite is a good choice for splurging, with its 12-person dining room table and three full Italian marble bathrooms. If you don't need quite that much room, check out the presidential suite, designed to resemble a European palace.

The Mondrian Los Angeles, with its sleek, modern d├ęcor, is another option. The 237-room hotel was called "An elegant masterpiece" by Newsweek. It has a restaurant, several bars and spa.

Canyons Golf ClubJust because you're staying in the lap of luxury, that's no excuse to waste any time at the hotel or strolling along Rodeo Drive. Once your settled, head to Trump National Golf Club. Designed by Pete Dye, this course, 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.

"Just spending a day here enjoying the views, soaking up the warm southern California sun, being lucky enough to see the plume of a passing gray whale ... has been enough incentive to keep them busy despite a portfolio of only 15 playable holes," David R. Holland wrote in a 2002 review for GolfCalifornia.com.

In L.A., there are plenty of world-class restaurants to choose from, so selectivity is a must. Go with Spago Beverly Hills, Wolfgang Puck's flagship restaurant, for dinner Friday night. Chef Lee Hefter's innovative cooking and the restaurant's exceptional service are consistently recognized as the pinnacle of fine dining.

Saturday

Wake up a little early Saturday to make the modest drive north of L.A. County to Simi Valley, home to the Lost Canyons Golf Club. Its Shadow Course, built into a canyon, is a sight to behold. It's also a challenge to be respected: the 7,250-yard course has a slope rating of 149. Its companion on premises, the Sky Course, is equally formidable.

After battling on the course all day, you'll need something serious for dinner. Try the Arroyo Chop House in Pasadena. Its menu features a range of prime cuts, including a Kobe Ribeye.

Sunday

The busiest, if the not the best course, has been saved for last. The Rancho Park Golf Course is one of the most trafficked tracks in the state, a good sign it's worth playing.

Accurate players will do best on this long, obstacle filled course, but even if your score is less than stellar going into the final hole, don't worry, there's a little pick me up at the end.

"[I]f you're heading to the 18 with a score that makes you blush, check out the plague at the tee box, commemorating Arnold Palmer's 12 on that hole," William K. Wolfrum wrote in a story for GolfCalifornia.com.

 
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