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SPORTS WEEKEND

Southland Focus

June 20, 1997|LARRY STEWART, 19 handicap

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

SANTA ANITA GOLF COURSE

Address: 405 So. Santa Anita Ave.

Arcadia

Green fees: $19-23.

Tee Times: One week in advance.

Phone: (818) 447-2331 (starter); (818) 447-7156 (pro shop)

The facility: One of the most popular public courses in Southern California. Located south of the 210 Freeway on Santa Anita Avenue. On race days, you can hear the race calls from neighboring Santa Anita racetrack. The 185-acre plot of land was originally part of Lucky Baldwin's ranch. His daughter, Anita Baldwin, donated it to the county for recreational use after World War I and the 18-hole course was opened Oct. 12, 1938. Rumor is that old Red Line railroad cars are buried under the rolling terrain, but longtime head pro Bud Merriam and associate pro Terry Moeller said that is not true. The course has been privately managed by the Santa Anita Associates since 1987.

The good: Well groomed. Sand traps were redone a few years ago. Moderately challenging but it's unlikely you'll lose any balls, unless you duff one into the wash in front of the fourth tee.

The bad: It's popularity makes it crowded, particularly on weekends.

The score: This 19-handicapper had an 81 here recently, but if you're not on your game, there can be trouble, particularly if you find the trees. No. 3 is 547 yards from the blue tees, but the fairway is wide open. No. 6 has a tough elevated green, making it the No. 1-handicap hole. On the back, Nos. 16 and 18 are tough par fours.

*

Overall course rating: 2 1/2 balls.

* One ball: No-frills golf.

** Two balls: Worth an occasional round.

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

**** Four balls: Where the golf gods play.

*--*

Hole Back Tees Middle Tees Par Front Tees 1 363 306 4/4/4 308 2 365 351 4/4/4 351 3 547 534 5/5/5 533 4 129 112 3/3/3 111 5 370 280 4/4/4 290 6 408 391 4/4/5 290 7 370 351 4/4/4 350 8 193 175 3/3/3 177 9 474 428 5/4/5 427 Out 3,219 2,928 36/35/37 2,937 10 354 324 4/4/4 332 11 408 393 4/4/4 392 12 204 185 3/3/3 184 13 510 478 5/5/5 478 14 323 309 4/4/4 308 15 185 171 3/3/3 170 16 439 424 4/4/5 426 17 291 275 4/4/4 274 18 435 417 4/4/5 417 In 3,149 2,976 35/35/37 2,971 Total 6,368 5,904 71/70/74 5,908

*--*

Rating/Slope: Black--70.4/122, Middle--68.1/113, Front--73.1/121.

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