Whether navigating Pebble Beach’s oceanside links or exploring the birthplace of golf at St. Andrews in Scotland, golfers know that a little rain can turn a trip of a lifetime into a water-logged disappointment. Players Club Golf removes sogginess from the equation; the center’s three full-screen golf simulators unlock instant access to more than 60 global courses without the hassles of commuting, fickle weather, and long round times. The facility smoothes the oft-difficult road toward better scores with practice configurations that allow players to immediately see a wealth of shot parameters on each swing, including launch angle, ball speed, and carry. The virtual driving range facilitates improvement through repetition and target practice, which also helps when trying to ring the doorbell of a neighbor across the street without getting off the couch.
When improvement reaches a plateau, players can enlist the expert instruction of teaching professional Brent Mann. Members also enjoy access to a facility gym stocked with $40,000 worth of equipment. Here, golfers improve their endurance on elliptical machines and strengthen postround handshake grips on a full complement of weight machines.
GolfTEC has thirteen convenient locations in the Los Angeles area, all staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of golfing robotics. Motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s PGA specialists point out your flaws, strengths, and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval when you’ve executed a perfect stroke or cracked an especially witty golfing joke.
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.
Like an island in the middle of a raging sea, Aroma Spa & Sports resides on multiple floors of the Aroma Wilshire shopping center, a fastness of solitude rising from the city's chaotic bustle. There, club members unwind by swimming in a Jr. Olympic-size pool, practicing swings on a four-level indoor driving range, or desperately trying to sneak shots past the racquetball courts' walls. Along with recreation, Aroma Spa & Sports fosters relaxation, too, with a third floor devoted to a quiet, well-lit spa staffed by massage therapists and aestheticians, who restore youthful appearances with treatments ranging from European facials to Korean body scrubs.
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
Most rounds of golf end when the sun goes down. But when the sun sets off the coast at Van Nuys Golf Course, lights illuminate the fairways for late-evening rounds. Whether catching a round after work or in the afternoon, golfers can take on one of two challenges: an 18-hole par-three course or a nine-hole executive course. Both courses present golfers with their own obstacles, including water hazards, sand traps, and bending fairways. Above the peaceful scene, soars a wide range of aircrafts—such as WWII Warbirds and F-16 Falcons—each landing at the nearby Van Nuys airport or dropping parachuting caddies onto the greens. Van Nuys accompanies its unique rounds with various amenities, too, including a practice range, PGA instructional staff, and newly remodeled pro shop stocked with gear.
Executive Course at a Glance:
18-Hole Course at a Glance: