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Olivas Links

Olivas Links

Ventura, California
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Patrick Koenig
Patrick Koenig
Ventura, California
  • Address3750 Olivas Park Dr, Ventura, CA 93001, USA

Originally called Olivas Park Municipal Golf Course and operated as a 27-hole facility by the City of Ventura since the 1960s, the Olivas layout was prone to flooding, so it was reconfigured down to 18 holes by the local authorities in the 1970s.

GalleryPatrick Koenig
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Patrick Koenig

Fast-forward thirty years to 2008 and a completely new 18-hole course called Olivas Links opened for play, fashioned by Forrest Richardson and Associates.

Why the “Links” moniker? Who knows? Four large bodies of water are alien to links courses, while the interconnecting streams may be a nod to Scottish burns, but if you’ve experienced the real thing you’ll know that Olivas Links is faux. However, the coastal location adjacent to the Santa Clara River and Ventura Harbor often provide the breeze that’s synonymous with real links courses.

Several thousand rather sickly trees were removed in the process of fashioning Olivas Links. According to the architect: “The final result is a graceful, links-oriented golf course that serves as a primary public open space of a growing harbor and recreation area. The design embraced an approach to instead of fighting the land, use the lay of the land and natural features to form the basis for all decisions. The result is a course that flows and cascades over the land, rather than through it.”

If you are looking for a links-like experience at a truly affordable price, Olivas Links will tick both boxes. It’s certainly a compelling layout that cost a pretty penny to create ($5.2m to be precise), so we endorse its inclusion as a Californian GEM and we applaud the City of Ventura for the endeavour, but not for the choice of name.


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