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Las Posas Country Club Layout and Hole Descriptions
By Richard Linde, updated 4 March 2004

I'm a high-handicap golfer, a member of the Las Posas Country club — and not an expert on golf or golf course design. Geez, that was hard to say. Be aware that the description of each hole is presented from my point of view, something sorely lacking at this club. The names of each hole are mine as well and, unfortunately, are not officially sanctioned by the board of directors, the fusty, fuddy-duddies.

(Click here to link to the official Las Posas website)

Although the course is relatively tight, playing the gold tees widens the course considerably, both physically and psychologically. One can always find a set of tees that is golfer-friendly at almost any golf course, and Las Posas is no exception. If your handicap is over 16, I recommend playing the gold tees. 

The golf course is not punishing and easily walked. Before you begin play, warm up a bit to strengthen your fighter and build mana points for your mage's mojo. Playing the course gives you both wisdom and intelligence points. My, gosh, role-playing geeks play golf, too.

The descriptions below assume you are playing from the white tees, the men's tees.

Click on the photos to enlarge them and on the button on the left navigation bar to go back to the main page, where more information is available.

  1. Sherwood. Par 4, 367 yards, handicap is 7.

    lposas01.JPG (37307 bytes)The starting hole at Las Posas plays downwind and is easier than its 7 handicap says it should be — the one caveat to that being, you must find the fairway with your drive. If you miss the fairway, it's hard to play back to it without losing a stroke.

    Playing from an elevated tee, the high-handicap golfer will have some trouble lining up the tee shot. A nerdish proviso written all over the tee box says that if you draw a straight line bisecting the tee box, starting from its center and extending it forward, it will vector the driving range on the right side of the fairway about 200 yards from the tee. This forces the golfer to aim left, which for the well-meaning dolt portends a slice.

    Out-of-bounds markers traverse the left side of the driving range, which parallels the right side of the hole. Aiming left means avoiding a sand trap located approximately 240 yards from the tee. The driving chute is narrowed by pine trees on the left and shrubs on the right. 

    With that said, in my opinion, it’s not a bad starting hole. It usually plays downwind and going out of bounds shouldn’t really be a problem. Sherwood is not as golfer-friendly as the first hole at La Cumbre (Santa Barbara), but not many golf courses have a starting hole so "affable" —  you know, wide fairway, baby, wide fairway. The hole is named for the late Pat Sherwood Stimming, former Hollywood actress and Ladies Club champion.

  2. Rockochet. Par 3, 126 yards, handicap is 17.

    lposas24.JPG (45125 bytes)After doubling the first hole (doesn't everyone?), Rockochet — the signature hole — could be a problem if you’re suffering from aqua-phobia. Four of its properties, water in front of the green, a waterfall at each side and a barranca (Beardsley Wash) in back, each in its own portends a second double. What else could go wrong?

    In the winter, on a clear day just after some rain, the Topa Topa Mountains should be snow-capped — which could be a fatal attraction. Regardless of the season, mesmerized by this signature's beauty, your tee shot could find the water, ricochet off the rocks at the front of the green, or "Coug it" by going out of bounds on the right. Inside the clubhouse, check out Rocochet's painting, pull your thumb out of your mouth, belly up to the bar and order a flubber-whooskie, this Husky's favorite drink.

    If you long for hole-in-one and can afford to buy the suds, Rockochet could lighten your wallet. We pay homage to Washington State University on this Husky website, the Cougars being a ship that always manages to implode (Coug it), while its sails billow in the sea of success.

  3. Fader’s Fav. Par 4, 367 yards, handicap is 3.

    lposas03.JPG (30850 bytes)This is the first of three holes (3,4, 5) that plays directly into the prevailing west wind, especially so, when it freshens in the afternoon. However, if a fade is in your bag, this will be your favorite hole at the Las Posas Country Club — it’s a dogleg right.

    Now for the bad news. The out-of-bounds markers on both sides of the fairways, the prevailing wind, and the waste area, which parallels 2/3 of the right side of the fairway, all could dampen your enthusiasm. Two sand traps (left and right) and some trees on the right side protect the green, which is relatively small, like most of the greens at LP. The fairway is framed on its left and right sides by Ramona Drive and Beardsley Wash respectively. The tee shot must cross a mini-canyon that is 150 yards long and climb to a slightly elevated fairway that slopes to the right towards the waste area.

    It's a three handicap hole, so don't complain if you take a "Las Posas par," that is, a six after going out of bounds. It's the first of the "Las Posas" par holes, numbers 5, 8, 12, 15, 16, and 17 being the others.

    LT says, you can talk to a fade but a hook won't listen. Don't get too carried away with that Las Posas par stuff; it's just some local dribble, sour grapes, used to blame a bad outing on the course.

  4. River Run, Par 5, 513 yards, handicap is 15.

    lposas45.JPG (45640 bytes)If the wind shifts to the east, this hole can be the easiest par 5 at Las Posas. Otherwise, it plays directly into the prevailing west wind. It is bounded by homes on the left and a large lake on the right (a lateral hazard), which resembles a river. Sand traps on the left and a large tree on the right side of the fairway (about 220 yards out) challenge the drive.

    Aim left on this hole, otherwise the second shot must jockey some pine trees located on the right side of the fairway.

    Two teeing areas are in place, left and right. On the left, the farther the hole should play, the more difficult it is to line up your drive because at its back point, the tee box stretches away from the fairway and points to the river on the right side. When using the right teeing area, which fronts the river, power a fade to wrap a drive around some trees on the right. The gold and Silver tees are never set on the right teeing area because of its difficulty.

    The hole is a fair test, even for the duffer.

  5. Coyote Casa, Par 4, 376 yards, handicap is 1.

    lposas55.JPG (46961 bytes)More than one long hitter has been bitten by this animal, the meanest at LP. An oxymoron, being ferociously innocent, she's just 376 yards long and flat, like most of the holes on the front nine. But 30 yards or so of teeing area extending back beyond the rated distance of the hole can add just enough yardage for a slice to bury in some brush. If so, yell "fore" quietly, in deference to the sleeping coyotes.

    This hole, which I've named "Coyote Casa," can turn coyote ugly if you stray too far from the short grass. If you target your wedge shot towards the small green surrounded by trees and a canyon and miss, you'll pay the price by going into a lateral hazard. There are no bailout bunkers to the sides of the green or in the back. At both sides of the green, the areas of rough slope sharply, with lateral hazards waiting. Too long a shot will carry into the canyon at the back of the green. The prevailing west wind makes the hole play longer. Beardsley Wash parallels the right side of the fairway.

    The out-of-bounds markers that line the right side of the fairway morph into red stakes — which delineate a lateral hazard — 150 yards from the green.

    It's our bucolic hole. Warning: never pet a coyote during a bucoholic binge.

  6. Elephant Burial Grounds, Par 3, 212 yards, handicap is 5.

    six.JPG (69448 bytes) This hole, which normally plays downwind, is bounded on the right side by a lateral hazard. If you’re a short hitter, you need to aim your tee shot left to avoid the mini-canyon — which the members call the “elephant burial grounds" — fronting the green. You can’t see the green if you are buried with the elephants, so make note of the flag position as you descend into the graveyard.

    This can be an exasperating hole for the high-handicap golfer, because a well-hit drive can land in the burial grounds and sometimes lodge on a steep, aggravating upslope — which could provide a most difficult second shot.

    In my opinion, the hole is somewhat unfair to the duffers, but it does carry a 5 handicap. Some judicious, tactical planning could pay big rewards for the golfing challenged.

    After doubling the first five holes, while standing on the tee with a Santa Ana scorching my face, I can hear the roar of stampeding elephants. 

  7. Billy Goat, Par 5, 483 yards, handicap is 13.

    lposas6.JPG (41083 bytes)This S-shaped hole, which normally plays downwind, could be another exasperating hole for the short hitter because it is narrow and winding, with a steep hill and out of-bounds markers on its right and a small hill on its left. Unfortunately, for golfers like Mini Me, as the two hills converge, the fairway narrows to nine yards approximately 200 yards from the tee; this leaves a small neck to shoot through (click on the photo to enlarge). The long hitter’s drive will carry well past the opening, leaving him/her with a middle or long iron into the green and a fairly easy birdie attempt.

    The two-tiered, elevated green is surrounded by several bunkers. A shot past the green could carry onto Ramona Drive.

    There are 20 yards or so of teeing area extending beyond the rated distance of the hole that can lengthen the hole when the tee markers are placed back.

    Enjoy Billy Goat for what she is—a beautiful golf hole—and if you're a worn-out old goat, don't grouse as you climb a stress-testing hill. In 1963, Aussie Bruce Crampton went rough to rough on his second shot. With an 8-iron to the green, he settled for a par.

  8. Jaws, Par 4, 361 yards, handicap is 9.

    lposas08.JPG (40306 bytes)Although there are out-of-bounds markers on both sides of the fairway, for the most part, Jaws is a straightforward hole to play because it plays downwind most of the time. Jaws shouldn’t prove baleful unless her large trap fronting the green swallows a chunky shot. The green, which slopes back to front, can be difficult to putt if the ball is above the hole because it is hard to judge the speed going down hill, especially when the hole is placed way up front. As the old saying goes, when in Spain, check the grain, for it's the fool, not the tool. Ha, I made that one up.

    There are two sets of tee boxes.

    If you liked this hole, you'll like the movie, "Jaws 2."

  9. Windcheater, Par 3, 205 yards, handicap is 11.

    nine.JPG (77282 bytes) As its name implies, the hole plays directly into the prevailing west wind. The elevated green lengthens the tee shot considerably. If the tees are set back beyond the rated distance, with a smack-dab wind aimed at the golfer, the tee shot may be equivalent to 240 yards or so.

    Out of bounds stakes mark the right side of the fairway, and the green is protected by two traps at its sides.

    Don't get too carried away with your front nine score, the hilly back nine awaits.

  10. Grapevine, Par 5, 485 yards, handicap is 8.

    ten.JPG (58053 bytes) This can be a difficult par 5 for a golfer whose tee shot strays from the fairway. A ball hit to the right side of the fairway may land out of bounds or under some trees. Trees on the left side of the fairway may divert a low-trajectory drive. The short hitter needs to aim left, though, because the hole doglegs to the right. A long hitter shouldn’t have any problems with this hole, other than trying to reach the elevated green on his/her second shot. Out-of-bounds stakes line the entire right side of the fairway.

    Whew, I'm glad it's not the starting hole any more.

  11. Hilda, Par 3, 135 yards, handicap 18. 

    eleven.JPG (47119 bytes)This is an easy par three, although out-of-bounds stakes on the left may punish a poorly hit tee shot. The elevated green requires one more club than the distance indicates. Most of the terrain runs steeply uphill. Two sets of tee boxes, viva la difference, ensure the hole won't become monotonous to play. The green runs down hill from back to front, the slope of which can turn a putter into a driver. 

    There is a great view of the Las Posas valley from the green.

  12. Heidi, Par 5, 536 yards, handicap is 4.

    twelve.JPG (56144 bytes) Heidi, a difficult par 5, takes a ninety-degree left turn about 180 yards out. Out-of-bounds stakes on both sides of the fairway narrow the driving lane. Long hitting skilled golfers may attempt to cut the dogleg by aiming the tee shot over some houses and fairly tall eucalyptus trees. Cutting the dogleg means the hole plays much shorter, a birdie, eagle or albatross in the offing. In my opinion, no one should play a shot over a house, so please don't try.

    From the dogleg on in, out-of-bounds markers parallel the fairway on both sides. The green is bisected by a left-to-right swale and guarded by two sand traps at its sides. At the turn of the dogleg, the fairway runs mostly down hill to the green, except for a rise in the fairway at the 150 yard mark, where two sand traps, one on each of its sides, are located. Four more traps, two on each of its sides, are located at the 130 and 30 yard marks. Because of the rise in the fairway and subsequent downward slope, those four traps, as Heidi would have it, are hidden from view at the turn of the dogleg. In other words, a straight second shot won't hurt.

    This hole taught me to swing through with reckless abandon, lest I take a Las Posas par.

  13. Mini Mesa, Par 3, 164 yards, handicap is 12.

    lposas13.JPG (36929 bytes)If you mesa the green, you'll be in a mesa trouble. However, for the long hitter, this hole shouldn't be messy; it normally plays downwind. The high-handicapper could have some problems because of the out-of-bounds markers on the left and right. For him, a shot hit short of the green could land on an upslope or at the bottom of a small canyon that fronts the green. Because of the canyon, the hole plays longer than its measured distance, forcing the golfer to carry the green. The severe slope of the green, from back to front and left to right, makes the hole difficult for birdying, let alone to par. Keep the tee shot short of the flag on this hole.

    As my ball goes right, I yell "fore."

  14. Ilene, Par 4, 333 yards, handicap is 14.

    thirteen.JPG (49342 bytes)Because of its yardage, this hole appears deceptively easy. A birdie will most likely reward a well-hit drive. For the slicer, the out-of-bounds stakes on the right side of the fairway come into play unless a faithful ball ricochets dutifully off some trees. Going out-of-bounds on the left shouldn’t be a problem. If the golfer fails to center cut his drive, he/she could be standing above or below the ball for a second shot. Hence, its name, Ilene.

    One hundred yards or so away from the tee, the terrain begins to rise, and since it's all uphill to the green from that point on, the hole plays longer than its measured distance. The fairway, which slopes on each side to a funnel in the middle, flattens out near the green.

    The green can be difficult to putt because it slopes sharply from back to front and left to right. It is prudent to keep the approach shot short of the flag, as it is should be on most of the holes at LP.

    I tee the ball a wee bit higher, for 'tis easier on me back that way.

  15. Redan, Par 4, 390 yards, handicap is 2.

    fifteen.JPG (37542 bytes)This used to be the number one handicap hole before the two nines were switched. Redan is made nasty by a prevailing west wind, an uphill contour, an elevated green with body-guarding trees, out-of-bounds stakes on both sides of the fairway, and a putting-nightmare-to-be on a multi-directional sloping green. Because of her sloping left-to-right fairway, with little forgiveness on the left — but remittance on the right — Redan is a shot blocker's dream come true.

    An approach shot hit just short of a red flag, one placed at the front of the green, may back peddle down the hill in front of the green. The incoming shot to the green is narrowed by trees on the left and right and made more difficult because of the out-of-bounds markers placed on the sides and back of the green.

    This hole gets its name for its green, which is a raised, well-guarded "fortification," like the same Redan used by the Russians against the French in the Crimean War. Some solace: On most clear days, the Channel Islands are visible on the right.

  16. Jacaranda, Par 4, 387 yards, handicap is 6.

    The fairway runs slightly uphill, then downhill about 200 yards from the tee where it turns to the left. The turn at the dawgleg (say, "go Huskies" at this point) marks the highest elevation on the course. Out-of-bounds stakes line the relatively narrow fairway. After the golfer turns the corner of the dogleg, he/she is presented with a view of the Las Posas Valley and the mountains to the north. It is possible to cut the dogleg, but it is not prudent to do so because of the houses that line the left side of the fairway. Frankly, I don’t recommend shooting a golf ball over anyone’s house, anywhere on the course. That should be a no-no.

    seventeen.JPG (31140 bytes)Enjoy the scenery, it will make you feel serenery. Picture to the left taken at the turn of the dogleg. (Click to enlarge.) Many Jacaranda trees line the golf course.

  17. Downtown, Par 4, 396 yards, handicap is 10.

    A 180-degree panoramic view going from the Channel Islands (left) stretching to the Topa Topas (right) fronts the tee boxes. The setting aside, if you’re inclined to go out of bounds, this is not your hole. Since the prevailing wind blows left to right, a slice off the tee will most likely cost you two strokes, saving some trees gracing the right side. After a few epithets, pulling a ball left most likely will cost you two more, the ball flight crossing a road that runs along the first half of the fairway. Hitting straight means the hole plays shorter than its measured distance because the fairway runs downhill all the way to the cup. Keep your driver in the bag, lest you "Coug it." The fairway doglegs to the right.

    If you're walkin', sing: "high diddle diddle, straight down the middle, 'tis a shorter walk that way."

  18. Hang Time, Par 4, 375 yards, handicap is 16.

    lposas18.JPG (24736 bytes)For the men, this is the “fun” hole to play at Las Posas. It plays downwind most of the time, from a highly elevated tee. The tee shot must carry 180 yards or so across a canyon to reach the fairway. Landing on the fairway, the ball will most likely roll down a hill, cross  “birdie gulch” and then run back up a small hill, leaving 60 or 80 yards to the green. It’s a legitimate birdie possibility. A blue tee is available for the low handicapper.

    You'll love this hole and with a "bird" in the offing, it will bring you back. If you can't reach the fairway with your drive, try the gold tees next time out. Eighteen's drive is a benchmark for the gold tees.

    This article was originally published 18 December 2001. Contact Richard Linde at malamute@4malamute.com

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