Getting out of the office for a quick round at a par 3 golf course is one of the best ways to incorporate outdoor activities into your workday. Tired at your desk? Need to stretch out before you become permanently hunched over a computer keyboard? While you may imagine yourself out on one of the world’s greatest golf courses, nothing beats the convenience of either a par 3 or an “executive” (shorter layouts without par-5 holes) round.
If you find yourself staring out the window and daydreaming about teeing off on the first hole rather than logging on to the next conference call, these five options give you the chance for a midday escape in Los Angeles.
Rancho Park 3 Par Golf Course
Sitting in the shadows of the 20th Century Fox studio lot, Rancho Park is home to two different golf experiences: An 18-hole round and a shorter par 3 golf course that makes for a great lunchtime escape. With holes starting at 82 yards, you find plenty of chances to work on your short game and putting. The heavy tree growth surrounding the fairways, meanwhile, acts both as an incentive for you to keep your tee shots straight and as shade during the hotter months.
Los Feliz 3 Par Golf Course
For a course that boarders Interstate 5, Los Feliz‘s top executive course feels much more like an oasis than you might expect. The tree-lined fairways make for a beautiful round, especially during the spring and fall months. With the Los Angeles River forming a natural barrier between the course and the freeway, you feel as removed as you can be while still being in a major metropolis. With its straightforward layout and short distance, you stop here when you’re looking to get in short game practice in the middle of the workday.
Roosevelt Golf Course
One of four Griffith Park public golf courses, Roosevelt is a sterling example of a true “executive” course, with six par-4s, including four that measure more than 300 yards. Every club in your bag gets a workout here, among the greenery and sights of LA’s biggest public park. The nine hole course at Roosevelt is one of the more adventurous—in terms of hills—you’ve ever played on. You take a moment to take in the views from the top that extend all the way into Downtown.
Maggie Hathaway Par 3 Golf Course
One of the joys of playing par 3 courses is when you find them tucked into inconspicuous corners. That’s the case for the Maggie Hathaway Par 3, which sits in the back corner of Jesse Owens Park in the Gramercy Park neighborhood. Surrounded by houses and parkland, and directly under flights approaching Los Angeles International Airport, you play the nine holes in less than an hour. That doesn’t mean the course is easy, though. You find some of the trickiest greens in the area at Hathaway, with few flat putts during the round.
Arroyo Seco Golf Course
With a full 18 holes of par 3 golf, this Pasadena favorite attracts duffers from throughout the Southland—and not just during the day. After a busy afternoon at work, the course offers night golfing to help you wind down, thanks to lights positioned throughout the course. It keeps the course open until 10 pm for outdoor activities. Having an actual “back 9” means more variety in terms of holes (most par-3 clubs are nine-hole affairs), and at Arroyo Seco, you play some of those holes over a creek that cuts through the course and around trees hanging over fairways.