9 Things You Didn't Know About Los Angeles Golf Club

Learn more about the host venue for the third men's Major of the year

The clubhouse on the North Course at the Los Angeles Country Club ahead of the US Open golf championship in Los Angeles
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Los Angeles Country Club is set to take centre stage in the golfing world as the game's biggest names descend upon the Hollywood venue for the 2023 US Open.

It is the first Major that will be held at the private club that is located in the mega-affluent West side of LA, meaning a new challenge awaits most players. It also means fans get the chance to see a course out with the normal rota.

With that in mind, here are a few things you might not know about LACC...

1. Designed in 1928, revamped in 2010

The current North Course was designed by George Thomas in 1928, who was also responsible for Riviera Country Club and Bel-Air Country Club, both of which are nearby. It features some trademarks of Thomas's work, notably the gentle par-5 opener, not dissimilar to Riviera's.

Thomas was said to like giving players easy passage into a round before offering up a variety of different challenges, designed to test every facet of the game and give players options as to how to tackle each hole.

Gil Hanse, an equally renowned course architect, was drafted in to lead the redesign project at the end of 2009 to restore the course to its former glory after some of the features had been softened by time.

The result is a 7,421-yarder that looks different to the atypical US Open venue. However, it is not to be taken lightly. The fairways may appear wide but hit them in the wrong spot and catch a rogue slope and untold trouble awaits. Thick rough will obviously feature while the barranca and scruffy bunkers will snare a few victims.

The size and shape of the putting surfaces mean there will be little respite. The commonly held belief is that LACC is a 'second-shot golf course' so expect to see plenty of fun and games around the greens.

2. The par-3 holes

LACC's par-3s have received plenty of attention in the build-up to this year's US Open. It's easy to see why. The first picture to do the rounds was the 11th-hole sign that read 290 yards, making it the second-longest par-3 in the tournament's history, but delve a little deeper and there's a far more interesting proposition awaiting players this week.

The 15th is officially listed at 124 yards but due to the size of the tee and shape of the green, it can play as little as 78 yards. Defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick described it as "amazing", adding that standing with a lob wedge in hand will likely be more challenging than a fairway wood.

"I would argue that at 78 yards, stood there with a lob wedge in your hand, you're going to be a little bit more intimidated than stood there with a 3-wood in your hand," he said. "I would probably say that's pretty truthful amongst everyone in the field.

"I imagine that the target is going to be very small and you're going to have to hit a good shot. I think we need more short par-3s that are challenging, so I'm excited to see what that looks like."

3. Private and pricey

The fact LACC is only now hosting its first Major is not because it's an undesirable or unworthy venue. No, the extremely wealthy and exclusive club has previously kept its doors shut when the USGA has come knocking in the hope of hosting its flagship event over the North Course.

Like most things in golf, though, attitudes appear to be shifting, with LACC also agreeing to hold the US Women's Open in 2032 and the US Open again in 2039, as the USGA looks to book up venues for the remainder of the century.

As for the land itself, being in Beverley Hills means LACC is worth a pretty penny. With the 36 holes covering more than 300 acres, were it to hit the market, it's valuation would likely be in the billions.

4. Bermuda is back

For the first time since the 2005 US Open, the rough will be made up of bermuda grass. You'd be forgiven for thinking certain parts of the rough look quite light looking at a course flyover, but the bermuda means there's going to be a premium on finding the short stuff.

The bermuda is thicker than most other types of grass, as explained in the video below, making it harder to make anything like clean contact when attempting to get back into position or hit a delicate greenside shot.

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5. Shades of the 10th at Riviera

As well as the par-3s and the gentle opening hole, the short par-4 sixth is likely to provide plenty of drama. It's 330 yards on the card but plays 54 feet downhill, meaning almost all 156 competitors will be able to drive the green. Sounds simple enough.

However, the green, which is the smallest on the course, is well guarded by the narrowest of entrances and a massive bunker well below the level of the surface, while the lay-up is far from easy. It's a left-to-right hole but the tee shot for those bailing out is blind and the fairway cambers away from the green. 

It's sure to make for spectacular viewing, with more than a few players certain to come unstuck.

6. Hosted the Walker Cup

Team USA captain John "Spider" Miller, Maverick McNealy, Will Zalatoris, Stewart Hagestad, Norman Xiong, Cameron Champ, (Bottom L-R) Braden Thornberry, Doc Redman, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, and Doug Ghim pose with the Walker Cup Trophy after defeating the Great Britain and Ireland Team 19-7 at the 2017 Walker Cup on September 10, 2017 at the Los Angeles Country Club

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This may be LACC's first Major but it isn't its first USGA event. It has hosted four, with the most recent being the 2017 Walker Cup, as a star-studded US team hammered the visiting Great Britain and Ireland side.

Current World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler was part of an American team that also featured Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris and Cameron Champ, with the hosts running out 19-7 victors.

7. Homa's course record

There's a reason Max Homa is much-fancied this week. Not only is he a local boy, he also holds the course record at LACC. He set it on day one the 2013 Pac-12 Championship and it still stands today.

Homa was five-under through 13 that day 10 years ago before birdieing four holes in a row from the 14th, arguably the toughest stretch on the course, and parring the last for a nine-under 61. Should he find anything like that form this week he'll be tough to beat, as well as a welcome winner.

8. Noisy neighbours

Believe it or not, what used to be the infamous Playboy mansion, home of Hugh Hefner until just before his death in 2017, borders the course next to the 14th tee.

It was sold for $100m to Daren Metropoulos and also has a zoo at the back of the property, meaning players will enjoy anything but silence when they come through that part of the course. It is said to be home home to various animals, including monkeys, with Smylie Kaufman capturing the kind of background noise that might permeate LACC this week.

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9. Secret tunnels

Sticking with the theme above, according to a now-deleted story on the Playboy website which has been referenced in a Golf Digest article, tunnels underneath LACC may or may not have existed at one time.

They were said to connect the homes of famous actors Jack Nicholson, Warren Beaty, Kirk Douglas and James Caan to the Playboy mansion in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

According to the original story, the date on the polaroid of the blueprints was 1977, while the source was quoted as saying they heard the tunnels were "closed up sometime in 1989."

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x