Max Behr, a native of New York, became the first editor of Golf Illustrated magazine in 1914 but he resigned from the publication four years later after the death of his wife and moved to California, where he continued to write about course architecture and construction.
In the early 1920s he began designing and remodelling courses, believing in wide fairways and multiple pin locations to influence tee shot placements. Alister MacKenzie, no less, was an admirer of his layout at Lakeside Golf Club, which opened for play in 1924. In his book, The Spirit of St Andrews, the doctor described Lakeside as “one of the world’s greatest golf courses”.
Along with Bel-Air, Lakeside attracts the Hollywood elite and has counted people like Frank Sinatra, Jack Nicholson and Andy Garcia as members. The course is set out on a compact property, with tree-lined fairways leading to small greens, and an overall yardage of just over 6,500 yards.
There are only two par fives on the card (at the 2nd and 4th) and three of the four par threes are played on the front nine. The original long par five 13th is long gone (due to land sold to Universal Studios) but the short par four that’s now in its place is actually a more than adequate substitute.