Named a top place to play in Southern California by Golf Digest, the course at Rio Hondo Golf Club leads players on a zigzagging path toward glimpses of glittering lakes and waterfalls. Separated from adjacent holes by aisles of stately pine, the narrow fairways traverse rolling hills and mounds strategically placed to create tricky lies and inhibit golf-cart drag racing. When a rusty swing holds back progress, the club facilitates game improvement with a lighted, 30-stall practice range, as well as lessons with head PGA professional Steve Labarge and his band of instructors. The new 23,000-square-foot clubhouse houses the buzz of activity, inviting players to down cold beers while enjoying the emerald panorama.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-71 course
Total length of 6,360 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 70.5 from the back tees
Course slope of 122 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole
Getting away from it all doesn't have to mean leaving town. Amid the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, Aroma Spa & Sports members luxuriate in spa services. Guests release stress during Swedish massages, rejuvenate their skin with body scrubs, and reduce signs of aging during facial appointments.
But the spa isn't the only thing that makes Aroma Spa & Sports stand out. In keeping with its name, the center houses fitness facilities complete with a workout studio for Pilates, spinning, and kickboxing classes. Elsewhere in the sprawling confines, a pool beckons lap swimmers and a racquetball court helps players work on their serve while quizzing each other on what a racquetball is. The center rounds out its wealth of offerings with a 150-yard golf range with automated teeing equipment available on all four levels.
Blind 9 Golf equips duffers with clubs from elite makers including TaylorMade, Mizuno, and Adams, along with course-ready duds that owe their sporty collars to the stitch masters at Adidas, Puma, and other top brands. Along with a wide selection of putters, wedges, irons, and drivers, the golf emporium sells useful golf accessories, streamlining golf trips with travel bags and informing golfers of their exact distance from flagsticks and territorial forecaddies with GPS units and rangefinders. Clients can also sign up for a loft/lie fitting session with Blind 9’s recently acquired club-fitting equipment, which measures players' current sticks and swing path to determine optimal loft and lie.
A graduate of the Golf Academy of America and current candidate in the PGA Apprentice Program, Andrew Lee calls upon his extensive golf background to help players improve both mentally and physically. Andrew helps beginners make a smooth foray into the game and applies his knowledge to help advanced players improve their skills, deftly incorporating training aids and video-swing technology via an iPad to develop muscle memory. He can teach lessons in both English and Mandarin, which not only broadens his client base but also helps non-native speakers scold their clubs in a language the equipment will understand.
Long Beach Golf Learning Center furnishes players with everything needed to calibrate their strokes and lower their scores—especially the space to practice. On its 19-acre plot, an 11,000-square-foot putting area hones short games while more than 80 hitting spaces look out over a 340-yard-long driving range. Of those spaces, more than 20 are authentic grass and 40 come furnished with a Power Tee—an automated teeing system that saves guests the effort of leaning over to set up their ball or the bubblegum required to hire a toddler to do it. When more than space is necessary to bring about improvement, players can opt for lessons with director of instruction Eric Manley or have an expert club fitter tweak their equipment’s loft, lie, or shaft frequency at The Fitting Studio.
Named America's third most difficult golf course by Golf Digest, Ko'olau Golf Club's Dick Nugent–designed course snakes through the crags of the picturesque, 2,000-foot Ko'olau Ridge mountain range, where duffers contend with dramatic elevation changes and the thick vegetation of the tropical jungle. The breathtaking course spans 5,102 yards from the forward tees and 7,310 yards from the back tees, with two sets in between, and its length is compounded by a series of deep ravines, massive sand bunkers, and driver-stealing Pacific loons. After enduring 17 intricate holes, golfers must steel themselves for the dramatic, par 4 18th, where two forced carries and 22 sand bunkers may turn even the boldest of wedge-wielding knights into a quivering lickspittle. Though the formidable seashore paspalum monolith may mangle scorecards, its sweeping, tropical vistas and cascading waterfalls make the course a beautiful and enjoyable haunt for all.