When you think of the South Bay area of Los Angeles, you may think of surf and sand, not sand traps. But if swinging a club appeals to you more than catching a wave, there are plenty of public, nine-hole “pitch and putt” courses in the South Bay to test your swing. Cool temperatures, sea breezes and smaller crowds make the area a nice alternative to Westside courses that tend to get more crowded, hotter and perhaps even more competitive.
Nine hole courses are a great place for beginning golfers, for golfers looking to get the rust out of their game, or for those who don’t want to spend all day on the links. From El Segundo on the north end of the South Bay, to Palos Verdes in the South, there are plenty of places to tee up. Among those are The Lakes at El Segundo in El Segundo, the Marriott Golf Course in Manhattan Beach, Sea Aire Golf Course in Torrance and The Links at Terranea in Palos Verdes.
The Lakes at El Segundo is a municipal golf course owned by the city of El Segundo. Opened in 1994, the 1,220 yard, 27 par course offers a mix of short and long holes and nicely maintained greens and fairways. The course offers some respite from busy Sepulveda Blvd. to its west and a business/industrial area to its east. Two water features and some resident wildlife, including ducks and foxes, will challenge your game. Green fees are reasonable and the course offers a discount to El Segundo residents. If you’re not ready to play the course, there is a putting green and double-deck driving range, as well as a well-stocked pro shop and restaurant/bar with outdoor seating overlooking the course.
Just down the street from the Lakes is the Manhattan Beach Marriott Golf Course. Situated between the rear of the hotel and the Manhattan Village residential neighborhood, the Marriott is a 27 par, 1174 yard course that is more flat and straight than The Lakes. The palm tree-lined course ends at Lake Kathleen, a large water feature. There is a small putting green and pro shop. It is a great practice course and easy to walk with just a few clubs.
In Torrance, the Sea Aire Golf Course has been entertaining golfers since 1957. Sea Aire in a nine hole, 27 par pitch and putt. The city-run course is a little over six acres nestled in the Seaside Ranchos neighborhood of south Torrance. This hidden gem is a great place to bring your kids to teach them the game of golf. The course, which is a little bit old and funky but a bargain at under $10, can be played in an hour or less.
For a special golf treat, follow the ocean to The Links at Terranea in Palos Verdes. Part of the new Terranea Resort, this dramatic, oceanfront course has stunning views of the Pacific. The resort describes this course as a collection of nine “championship-caliber par-three holes, masterfully routed and integrated with each other and the natural surroundings.” This is a challenging course, with strong winds, bunkers and sand traps at every turn. Simply put, it’s a spectacular, but pricey, place to play pitch and putt. Celebrate or drown your sorrows afterward at the spectacular Nelson’s restaurant at the resort.
Play any of these nine-hole courses in the South Bay to learn the game of golf, tune up your game, or just relax and have fun. It’s outdoor exercise, relaxation and fun for the whole family.