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Las Posas Country Club
By: Richard Linde, Updated 21 May 2005

The Topa Topas from number two 

Panoramic views, challenging golf, and a quiet setting all highlight one’s visit to the Las Posas Country Club. A fitness center, excellent dining, a swimming pool and tennis facility complete the experience at Las Posas.

That's standard country-club boilerplate. So, what's unique about Las Posas?

Location, location, location. (Click here to link to the official Las Posas website).

Its natural trappings and Mediterranean weather make for a singular setting; however, if you are into trickery, a la Lance Burton, then LP shouldn’t be on your mini-tour. A traditional layout, LP mimics golf courses of the past, eschewing an overabundance of annoying bunkers and endlessly long holes. Its challenging rough and numerous trees play the bad cop; a well-placed ball is always rewarded -- with never the course to blame for a bad outing.

Each hole is unique unto itself, deserving of a name, such as Jaws, Wind Cheater, and Redan.  Some former members are as noteworthy. For example, the musicians of the '70s and '80s who entertained at LP periodically, sometimes long into the night. Way back in its history, LP hosted a challenge match in 1963 and, more recently, a TV commercial, featuring Gary McCord. Former head pro Bruce Hamilton is among golf's top-100 teaching professionals. Former Director of Golf at Las Posas, Jon Fiedler, played on the same college golf team with PGA major winners Craig Stadler ('82 Masters) and Scott Simpson ('87 U.S. Open) while at USC. Currently, Fiedler is playing on the Champions Tour.

Current head-professional Roger Rockefeller has spent most of his professional career in Ventura County. A description of his golfing itinerary and professional experience can be found in the history section of this article.

Hollywood celebrities Dinah Shore, Pete Carpenter, Pat Sherwood Stimming, Dick Martin, Jack Marsh, Gorden Jenkins and Alvino Rey, all former members, once negotiated  its fairways -- as occasionally do PGA professional Corey Pavin and sports legends Dick Butkus and Elgin Baylor.

(Click here "Hole Descriptions" or the button on the left navigation bar for the description of each hole).

Designed by Lawrence Hughes and opened in January of 1958, the golf course lies near the Las Posas Valley, a green belt of farms and lemon trees that stretch northward to South Mountain. On a clear day, the Topa Topa Mountains are visible in the distance. (See the history section for more on Hughes).

The rustic, old course is craftily woven into the terrain, threading its way through a valley to finish around a  hill.

In that respect, LP presents two disparate nines to the golfer. In an S-shape, the first nine meanders through a portion of the Las Posas Valley, while the second nine encircles a small hill counterclockwise, starting with 10, ascending steeply from 11, gradually rising from 12 through 15, until at the turn of the dogleg on 16, where a crescendo is reached, a magnificent view punctuates its setting--all like a clang of cymbals following a steady roll of drums. Past the dogleg on 16, it's a melodic descent to the clubhouse below, except, perhaps, for some discordant notes on 17.

Click on the aerial photo of LP to enlarge (courtesy of www.riverridgefairways.com). 

Located a few miles off the Pacific Ocean, Las Posas flows mainly from west-to-east and east-to-west, the effect of which means playing the wind at times, especially after noon. Be mindful of the stealthy crosswind on 17 that flows from port to starboard--lest, when tied safely to dock, you roll Queeg's steel balls rather than dice.

Estate homes and a variety of trees--pine and eucalyptus among others--line many of the fairways. In sport's parlance, those trappings narrow the playing field for a course that appears deceptively easy, only 6,211 yards from the back tees. However, seven holes (3, 5, 8, 12, 15, 16, 17) can present problems for the long hitter--unless his name is Mulligan. Guided by Murphy's law, an errant drive can cross one of the imaginary lines drawn by the out-of-bounds stakes located on both sides of their fairways. For the raconteur, a Las Posas par (a double-bogey after going out) or the right bounce and a barky can add to a list of anecdotal memories.

Although relatively tight, the course is keen to play, especially for the senior golfer. Hole number 17 is the only hole where going out of bounds can be a quasi-habitual problem for any member. There are four sets of tees: blue, white, gold and silver. Gold and silver tees positions vary little; however, a few white and blue tee settings can change markedly, depending on the inclination of the head pro.

Walking members on straight-line compasses contrast with personal golf carts on ninety-degree routes, and never the twain shall meet, being a battle of bravado versus wit -- take your pick. The number and variety of personal golf carts add to LP's uniqueness; a private cart may take refuge in either the cart barn or an owner's garage at night. Maybe, a third of the golfing members own their own customized carts.

Amidst the gloom of June, with my club on plane and my elbows together, I dream of old Las Posas--of longer drives, crisper irons and putts inside the leather.

Bermuda and Kikuyu grasses fill the fairways and rough, while the greens are a combination of bent grass and Poa Annua. The "leafy" variety of Poa Annua goes dormant in the winter, making for velvety greens with little grain. Most of the Kikuyu grass is kept under control so it won't spread willy-nilly. The fairways are over-seeded most winters.

The front nine, which is mostly flat, plays easily for straight hitters, but because of Las Posas's signature hole, it's hardly pedestrian.

A lake fronts that hole, number two (a par 3), and two waterfalls surround it laterally. On a clear day, the Topa Topa Mountains are visible behind the hole (see the photo at the top of this page and the painting in the clubhouse). Prepare for a water landing if you get caught up in the scenery.

A large lake traverses three quarters of the fourth fairway (a par 5 hole) on its right side. That can be a problem, too, along with a tall tree--which would make good firewood--set on the right side of the fairway, the logistics of which mirror the loblolly pine (Ike's tree) set on Augusta's seventeenth fairway.

More than one long hitter has been bitten by the toughest hole on the course (number 5), which is only 376 yards long and flat. This hole, which I call Coyote Casa, can turn coyote ugly if you stray too far from the short grass.

On 5, a wedge shot targeted towards the small green may find a hazard. At both sides of the green, the rough slopes steeply, with lateral hazards awaiting. Too long a shot will carry into the canyon at the back of the green. The prevailing west wind lengthens the hole.

The rest of the front nine should be a piece of cake for the low handicapper. But the back nine, which is somewhat hilly, is another matter.

A well-guarded secret, the seasons all pleasant, it sits half on a hill without unnecessary frill.

Playing the back nine, the golfer gradually climbs to the top of the hill, which is reached at number sixteen's left turn to the north.  

With out-of-bounds stakes on both sides of the fairways, holes 12, 15, 16 and 17 can end a good round. Back off with your club selection and everything will be copasetic. You still have to putt though, and this nine isn't easy to putt. Because of the hilly terrain, some of the greens on the back nine have undulations that can lead to three putts. Mindfully, it is prudent to keep the approach shot short of the flag on most of the holes of the back nine to avoid some swinging downhill putts. Members like to say that the fifteenth green (A.K.A., "El Diablo") is the hardest green to putt in Ventura County.

As the golfer turns the dogleg on 16, he/she is presented with a panoramic view of the Las Posas Valley and mountains to the north. The best views can be seen from 18, a quintessential Ventura County golf hole (that is, a highly elevated tee with a dance floor below). If you're a wall flower and miss the dance, you can always quaff some brew to hide your disappointment; the 19th is nearby.

(Pictures of the golf holes appear below. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)

Las Posas Country club is well maintained and has one of the best practice facilities of any of the lovely golf courses  in Ventura County. Par is 35, 36, 71. 

Members enjoy a large club house, swimming pool, a fitness center, tennis courts and a tennis facility. In my opinion, Las Posas is the best place to dine in Camarillo, considering its ambience and cuisine.

Corey Pavin, the PGA Pro Tour golfer, practically grew up at Las Posas. Undoubtedly, the course logistics helped him develop his shot-making ability, along with the teaching skills of Bruce Hamilton, his instructor, and former head pro. 

Pavin hosts the annual Technicolor/Corey Pavin golf classic. Proceeds from the tournament go to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Ventura County. The tournament is in its tenth year. 

Pavin says, "It's important to come back and help out a place (LPCC) that's helped me out. I think it's always important to remember where you came from...I look forward to coming back every year and doing the tournament." (The Ventura County Star, 30 April 2002).

For more LP trivia and history, click on the following link. (LPCC historical anecdotes).

Standing on the sixth tee facing a Santa Ana, with snowmen melting on my card, I can hear the roar of stampeding elephants.

Average high temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees all year round. During the summer, around noon, the prevailing winds off the Pacific Ocean air condition the course. In autumn, when the Santa Ana winds blow and the winds shift to the east, the course takes on a new personality, as do its members.

With that in mind, a tongue-in-cheek description of the holes can be found in Table 2, at the bottom. 

BPH Warning: If you have to stop at 14 (AKA "Prostate Stop") for biological needs, you should be playing the gold tees. There's a restroom at the fifteenth tee.

Driving directions: To reach the club from the 101 freeway, take the Las Posas exit and go north on Las Posas, then veer left onto Crestview. Follow Crestview to Valley Vista and turn right. Follow Valley Vista to Fairway Drive (near the fire station at the top of the hill). Drive to the bottom of the hill. The country club is on the left. 

The golf course is private and features equity memberships. The clubhouse and locker rooms were refurbished in March 2003, and sand traps were added to the twelfth and eighteenth fairways.

A memorable course, unlike any I’ve done; when I’m finished, I’ve always won.

And, oh, by the way, "go Huskies"; this is a Washington Husky website if you weren't aware. <g>

Phone Numbers:
Clubhouse - (805) 388-2901
Golf Shop - (805) 482-4518
Tennis - (805) 987-4685

Richard Linde can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com.

Table 1. Ratings, slopes and card (par 35, 36=71)

  Men     Women  
Tee Rating Slope Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 71.3 127 6377 77.4 144
White 70.4 125 6211 76.4 141
Gold 68.5 119 5641 73.3 135
Silver 65.7 111 5308 71.3 130

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Par 4 3 4 5 4 3 5 4 3
Blue 392 132 370 523 406 214 511 362 214
White 367 126 367 513 376 212 483 361 205
Gold  345 102 346 492 340 150 440 341 172
Hdcp 7 17 3 15 1 5 13 9 11
Gold 345 102 346 492 340 150 440 341 172
Silver 297 83 304 437 296 91 434 323 130
Hdcp 11 17 5 1 3 15 7 9 13

Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 5 3 5 3 4 4 4 4 4
Blue 490 137 540 171 335 395 390 400 395
White 485 135 536 164 333 390 387 396 375
Gold 464 114 503 139 303 378 375 359 278
Hdcp 8 18 4 12 14 2 6 10 16
Gold 464 114 503 139 303 378 375 359 278
Silver 464 114 503 139 303 389 375 359 278
Hdcp 4 18 6 16 12 2 8 10 14

Click below to enlarge the replica of the Las Posas scorecard.

Table 2. Names of holes at LPCC (very unofficial) 

1 Sherwood Named for the late Pat Sherwood Stimming, former Hollywood actress and Ladies Club champion.
2 Rockochet Watch out for those “ricks.”
3 Fader's Fav “You can talk to a fade, but a hook won’t listen,” says LT.
4 River Run Over the river and through the woods. Please don’t feed the coots in season.
5 Coyote Casa Give yourself two putts if one is standing on the green. Our bucolic hole. Warning: never pet a coyote during a bucoholic binge.
6 Elephant Burial Grounds Don’t deep-six your drive here.
7 Billy Goat Yep, it’s a goat trail. You might be teeing off from Spanish Hills if they push the tee box farther back.
8 Jaws Avoid the mouth at the front of the green, lest it swallow your ball.
9 Wind Cheater You know how to hit one of those.
10 Grapevine Play Army golf on your first two shots.
11 Hilda It’s like walking up the Conejo Grade.
12 Heidi She’s hiding around the corner, a drawer’s delight. “Drawr it, laddy,” as they say in Scotland.
13 Mini Mesa You will be in a mesa trouble if you mesa the green. Seriously, they say there are bodacious breaks on this green that break towards the ocean, but then again, where the heck is the ocean?
14 Ilene AKA, "Prostate Stop." You’ll be leaning on your second shot if you veer left or right.
15 Redan Redan gets its name from a kind of fortification used by the Russians in the Crimean War against France--also from the seventh hole at Shinnecock Hills.
16 Jacaranda A number of these trees can be found on the course.
17 Downtown AKA, "Oh, S***." Watch your language on this hole; take your Las Posas par (#) and be happy.
18 Hang Time Aim for birdie gulch and feed the squirrels on the way to the dance floor.

(#) Las Posas par: If you go out of bounds and make a virtual par on your second ball; that is, after going out of bounds, making a six on a par-four hole would be a "Las Posas par." 

For a detailed description of each hole, click below. (Detailed descriptions of holes).

Las Posas picture gallery. Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the picture:

lposas2.JPG (47801 bytes) lposas4.JPG (48137 bytes) lposas45.JPG (45640 bytes) lposas46.JPG (32859 bytes)


River Run River Run River Run

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River Run Coyote Canyon Coyote Casa Billy Goat

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Jaws Mini Mesa Hilda Hilda

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Hooker's Haven Downtown


Hang time

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Hang Time Rockochet Sherwood Fader's Fav


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