Twenty-nine years ago, a 93-year-old made a hole in one here. Five years ago, a famous Tiger prowled its fairways.
There might be plenty of courses in the county that have prettier scenery, trickier greens or tougher layouts, but Dad Miller Golf Course in Anaheim still offers an enjoyable round with a bit of nostalgia. This 36-year-old course is both playable and affordable.
The time-conscious players will appreciate that a maximum of four are allowed in a group. The course's "Keep Pace Program" helps keep weekday rounds near four hours and weekend rounds under the five-hour mark.
The course is easy to walk, and it's only $20 Monday through Thursday, and $26 on the weekends. Senior walk-ons can play for $12, Monday through Thursday.
And there are the good public course conditions.
The tee boxes and greens are plush and the putting surfaces roll nicely. Although there were a few brown spots in the fairways recently, the overall coverage was good.
"It's in excellent condition," said Western High golf Coach Don Crosby, a longtime men's club member whose Western teams began playing at Dad Miller in 1983.
The course is named after Harold George "Dad" Miller, who made that famous ace in December 1970 on No. 11, a 107-yard par three.
Western High alum Tiger Woods also played frequently at Dad Miller, the Pioneers' home course when Woods was a freshman.
"And two teams in our league used it as their home course so we played there a lot," Crosby said.
Not surprisingly, Woods could drive the greens on the 326-yard No. 1, 259-yard No. 4 and 300-yard No. 5. And once, Crosby said, Woods even reached the 614-yard No. 17 in two.
That hole is the toughest on the course, Dad Miller head professional Roger Teel said.
With out of bounds on the left, Teel advises the average golfer to play for bogey. No. 17 is the centerpiece for a tough finish, which includes the 507-yard par-five 18th, which usually plays into the wind, and the 193-yard par-three 16th.
The back nine has more character than the front, with a flood control channel winding its way across numerous fairways. Water comes into play on six holes, including the option-filled 12th.
The 359-yard dogleg left crosses the channel. Long hitters can try to cut the corner over the channel to leave a wedge approach shot, but that tee shot must be accurate.
"From the blue plates, it's a 220-yard carry over the channel to the left side of the fairway," Teel said, "but it falls away to a 250- to 260-yard carry on the right side."
A drive that strays a little right will probably find the hazard. If a tee shot goes left, the channel, trees or bordering Savanna High School could gobble it up. A lay-up off the tee is safer, but leaves a mid- to long-iron approach to a green protected by a bunker on the left.
The front nine--which begins with six par fours--does feature the course's best par three, No. 7. The 176-yard hole has an elevated tee and a green guarded by two bunkers on the right and a grass bunker in the front left.
The course also has a nice practice facility, which features free chipping and bunker play areas, open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
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* Course: Dad Miller Golf Course
* Address: 430 North Gilbert St., Anaheim.
* Phone: Pro shop (714) 765-3481, automated reservations (714) 748-8900.
* Green fees (regular/twilight after 3:30 p.m.): Mon.-Thu. ($20/$13), Fri.-Sun. ($26/$15).
* Carts: $24, nine holes $15.
* Par/Yardage: (Par 71)/championship 6,025, regular 5,756. (Par 72)/women 5,362.
* Rating/Slope: 68.0/108 championship, 66.4/105 regular, 70.2/116 women's.
* Reservations: Automated reservations available eight days in advance, beginning at 10 p.m.