LPCC History and Trivia
Las Posas Country Club Layout and Hole
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.
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,
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.
Sherwood. Par 4, 367 yards, handicap is 7.
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
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
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
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.
Rockochet. Par 3, 126 yards, handicap is 17.
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
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.
Fader’s Fav. Par 4, 367 yards, handicap is
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
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.
River Run, Par 5, 513 yards, handicap is 15.
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
The hole is a fair test, even for the duffer.
Coyote Casa, Par 4, 376 yards, handicap is
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
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.
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.
Elephant Burial Grounds, Par 3, 212 yards,
handicap is 5.
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
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.
Billy Goat, Par 5, 483 yards, handicap is 13.
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.
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.
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.
Jaws, Par 4, 361 yards, handicap is 9.
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
There are two sets of tee boxes.
If you liked this hole,
you'll like the movie, "Jaws 2."
Windcheater, Par 3, 205 yards, handicap is 11.
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.
Grapevine, Par 5, 485 yards, handicap is 8.
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
Whew, I'm glad it's not the starting hole any more.
Hilda, Par 3, 135 yards, handicap 18.
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.
Heidi, Par 5, 536 yards, handicap is 4.
a difficult par
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
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.
Mini Mesa, Par 3, 164 yards, handicap is 12.
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."
Ilene, Par 4, 333 yards, handicap is 14.
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.
Redan, Par 4, 390 yards, handicap is 2.
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.
Jacaranda, Par 4, 387 yards, handicap is
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.
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.
Downtown, Par 4, 396 yards, handicap is 10.
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
If you're walkin',
sing: "high diddle diddle, straight down the middle, 'tis a shorter walk that way."
Hang Time, Par 4, 375 yards, handicap is 16.
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
a benchmark for the gold tees.
This article was
originally published 18 December 2001. Contact Richard Linde at
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