Los Angeles Country Club was originally founded as Los Angeles Golf Club in 1897, when a short 9-hole course called “The Windmill” was brought into play on a vacant 16-acre lot. This site soon became too congested so the club moved a short distance away the following year to another property near Rosedale cemetery, where “The Convent Links” 9-hole course was fashioned.
Again, overcrowding at this second location forced the club to quickly decamp to another nearby property in 1899, with the clubhouse transported intact to its new home. A short period of stability then followed but a decade later the club moved to Beverly Hills, allowing two 18-hole courses to be set out within a large, rolling tract which was ideally suited for golf.
Club founders Joe Sartori and Ed Tufts created the original fairways, along with Englishman Norman MacBeth and another advisor named Charles Orr. Ten years later, in 1921, Herbert Fowler redesigned the layout before club member George C. Thomas Jr. and architect Billy Bell shaped the two courses that are now in play in 1927.
John Harbottle renovated both the North and South layouts in the mid-1990s but it’s the new millennium restoration work carried out by Gil Hanse that has really brought the club out of the golfing shadows into a new light. Re-opened in 2016, the South course offers a complementary playing experience to the tougher North course, with wide fairways transitioning into native grasses and no penal rough.
The South course renovation gave LACC a much stronger and worthy counterpart on the other side of the road. While the course is short and playable by design, the bunkering and green contours will definitely create some tough up and downs. Hanse did a great job of incorporating a mix of short and long 3's and 5's, as well as many different shapes and sizes for the greens. There isn't much wrong with the course, but there isn't a true standout hole (Hole #8 if I knew it wasn't clearly taken from Merion) although all are enjoyable and fair to play.