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SPORTS WEEKEND | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

March 07, 1997|MIKE JAMES, 11 handicap

A weekly look at golf courses open to the public in Southern California.

Marshall Canyon Golf Course

Address: 6100 N. Stephens Ranch Rd., La Verne.

Green fees: $19-$23.

Tee times: Seven days in advance.

Phone: (909) 598-8211.

The facility: The heavily treed, L.A. County-run course was built in 1968. Winter winds have felled more than 100 trees, but there are still enough oaks, pines and eucalyptus to cause plenty of problems. The rolling layout is in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, with sloping greens that can be very tricky, particularly when they are dry and fast.

The good: Can't beat the views when the air is clear. Generally gets a little less play than nearby San Dimas and Mountain Meadows golf courses. With an arroyo running through part of the course and sloping fairways, it drains well. Good par threes over areas you need to avoid. Par-three seventh, uphill at 202 yards from the back tee, might be the toughest par on the course.

The bad: Even from the blue tees, it's only 6,110 yards. Three of the par fours are reachable from the tee for big hitters, though there is a gamble involved. The longest of the three par fives is only 482 yards. Turf on fairways is a little scratchy.

The score: The tight fairways place a premium on accuracy, not length. Low handicappers might tire of hitting wedges to many of the par fours, but the layout isn't entirely lacking in character. On a nice day, it's a fine location for a walk.

*

Overall course rating: ** two balls

* One ball: Like an X on the scorecard.

** Two balls: Worth an occasional round.

*** Three balls: Like shooting four strokes under your handicap.

**** Four balls: Where the Publinx Golf Gods play.

*--*

Hole Chcp Blue Tees Regular White Tees M/W Par Ladies' Red Tees 1 471 462 5/5 450 2 163 154 3/3 145 3 356 340 4/4 314 4 368 356 4/4 351 5 414 404 4/5 401 6 313 304 4/4 304 7 202 195 3/3 185 8 303 297 4/4 287 9 352 342 4/4 323 Out 2,942 2,854 35/36 2,760 10 482 469 5/5 461 11 177 161 3/3 138 12 318 297 4/4 296 13 424 417 4/5 402 14 352 342 4/4 329 15 376 351 4/4 340 16 175 161 3/3 117 17 460 451 5/5 402 18 404 393 4/4 319 In 3,168 3,042 36/37 2,804 Total 6,110 5,896 71/73 5,564

*--*

Rating/Slope: Blue--69.5/120, White--68/118, Red--72.3/117

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