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SPORTS WEEKEND

Southland Focus

March 21, 1997|STEVE KRESAL, 17 handicap.

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

Anaheim Hills Golf Club

Address: 6501 Nohl Ranch Road, Anaheim, 92807.

Green fees: $30-$36 (cart included).

Tee times: Seven days in advance.

Phone: 714 748-8900.

The facility: There doesn't seem to be much middle ground at this city-run, hilly course, which opened in 1972. Critics don't like its blind shots or the lack of level ground. Watching a well-hit drive slide across a sloped fairway toward a creek has angered several players who swear they won't return. Others love the course because of its varying elevations and demand for precise shotmaking. Carts are mandatory. Driving range.

The good: Much has been done to improve the course in recent years including cutting brush back and removing a creek that ran through the 10th and 18th fairways. It now runs underground. The 12th hole, a difficult uphill par five, has had a terrace feature added in front of the green to hold short approach shots that used to roll toward the bottom of the hill. A lake has been added in front of the par-three seventh.

The bad: The greens were sanded and aerated about three weeks ago but the real problem is slow play. Canyons and creek are nice to look at but have a magnetic effect on balls. The city has a keep-pace program designed to limit rounds to less than five hours.

The score: The course is at its best in the early morning when play is quicker and rabbits and birds are out. Many players use long irons from the tee on several par fours to help keep the ball in play.

*

Overall course rating: *** 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 1 484 467 5/5 441 2 383 373 4/4 283 3 428 410 4/4 327 4 296 287 4/4 264 5 254 245 3/3 183 6 347 340 4/4 331 7 142 134 3/3 117 8 295 288 4/4 274 9 424 419 4/5 415 Out 3,053 2,963 35/36 2,635 10 359 339 4/4 330 11 398 349 4/4 325 12 501 490 5/5 441 13 207 200 3/3 134 14 375 362 4/4 320 15 366 360 4/4 329 16 350 338 4/4 324 17 164 139 3/3 122 18 472 465 5/5 401 In 3,192 3,042 36/36 2,726 Total 6,245 6,005 71/72 5,361

*--*

Rating/Slope: Blue--69.6/117, White--68.4/114, Red--70.0/115

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