Griffith Park in downtown Los Angeles offers a whole range of amenities and activities, including the Los Angeles Zoo, Planetarium Observatory, and the Gene Autry Western Museum and, of course, its two 18-hole golf courses.
The Harding Golf Course
The 18-hole Harding Golf Course is one of two public courses at Griffith Park. The par 72 layout plays some 6,500 yards from the back tees with five sets of tees, three for men and two for women, that offer a wide range of options for play. For a public golf course in a major city, the layout is a well-maintained, open tract with narrow, tree-lined fairways and open greens. The Harding Municipal Golf Course was Griffith Park's first all-grass course originally designed by George C. Thomas and renovated with later by William P. Bell & William Johnson. It opened in August 1923 as Municipal #2, also known as the Riverside course. The layout was renamed the Warren G. Harding Memorial Golf Course in 1924 beginning a tradition of naming Griffith Park golf courses after American Presidents. Harding first held the L.A. City Championships in 1923 and co-hosted the Los Angeles Open from 1936-1938 along with the Wilson Golf Course.
The Wilson Golf Course
The Wilson Golf Course is the sister layout at Griffith Park, an 18-hole, public course named for President Woodrow Wilson, is fairly open with tight fairways lined with trees. Again, for a public golf course, the par 72 layout is well-maintained but plays a little tougher than the Harding: it’s longer, more than 6,900 yards from the tips, and the greens are smaller. The Wilson also has five sets of tees, three for men and two for women. Both golf courses stay very busy, so it’s best that you call ahead.
Griffith Park also has a full-service golf shop and a 50-tee double-decked driving range.
Where to Stay and Play
Los Angeles is one of America’s great cities, and that means the opportunities for golf are just about endless. There are grand resorts (and even some small resorts) and grand golf courses, scattered around the city for a 100 miles, or more. And, if the residents of Los Angeles are anything like those in most other major cities, they will have little to no idea just what is available to them. So, resident or visitor, if you’re looking for that ultimate golf getaway, for a weekend or even longer, the following will be of great interest to you: