The Lakes at El Segundo
El Segundo (Map)
Rates: $11 weekday, $14 weekend (non-resident)
This is a great course, especially for the price. A mix of short and long holes, with two Par 4's mixed into the 9 holes.
Pro: A very well maintained course, with water and bunkers coming into play just enough to keep you on your toes.
Con: The Lakes can get crowded and slow during peak hours, so keep that in mind before you head out.
OTC Tip: If you're anything like me, you like to enjoy a few beers in between hacks, but remember that you will be walking the course, so unless you want double the weight of your bag, stick to a few cans of beer. Or just bring liquor.
Manhattan Beach (Map)
Rates: $17 weekday, $19 weekend (weekends start at noon on Fridays)
A hidden Par 3 gem in the South Bay, I had driven with a block of the course hundreds of times and never knew it existed. Tucked behind the Marriot Hotel off of Rosecrans, the 9 holes have a nice array of water hazards and pristine grass
Pro: It tends to stay on the uncrowded side, relative to other courses in the area.
Con: Somewhat on the pricey side for 9 holes; hard to find.
OTC Tip: Although all golfers are always expected to follow golf etiquette, remember that these are low-key courses. Don't get too mad at other groups if they break the sacred golf rules, just enjoy the fact that you're hitting a little white ball with a stick for 2 hours.
Alondra consists of a North and South course, with the South being an 18 hole Par 3. I've always walked up to the pro shop and never had to wait for more than 10 mins to tee off. Note that some of the greens relocate, while the distances aren't updated, so if the pin looks 30 yards too far, it probably is.
Pro: Cheap rates for18 holes.
Con: The course isn't in the best shape, with the occasional mat filling in for groomed tee boxes.
OTC Tip: Bring cash to Alondra, or you'll have to use the ATM in the snack bar to pay for your round.
Los Angeles (Map)
Rates: $7 weekday, $8 weekend
Along with a full 18 hole course, Rancho offers a 9 hole Par 3 on the Pico side of the park.
Pro: Very cheap course, and short - most golfers can get by with a few wedges, a 9 iron, and a putter.
Con: Very cheap course - mats are in use on each tee.