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...GT logos out of 4

  1. No Carts - It's such an easy walking course...I love that they keep it this way
  2. It's short, but long enough - #1 is sledge and wedge, but #5 is a stout 200 yd. par-3 and #6 is a 400 yd. par-4 that won't waste your time; you may get to use more clubs than you expected to move around this place
  3. Wide fairways, no water, few traps, and barely-there rough - Golf is hard enough without that crap.  For the over 50 crowd, it's nice to hit from the blue tees and still get home in regulation all day
  4. Flat Greens - You'll two-putt all day and it's cool to shoot a low score!
  5. Easy to get out - Remarkable that you can walk on without a tee time in LA County
  6. Loudspeaker by #1 tee - Hearing Starter Dan yell, "Will the group on the tee please hit already" makes you feel welcome
  7. The 19th hole - The coffee shop is both the restaurant and the bar.  It's also where you pay $3.00  to rent a pull cart.  Rustic and charming, with happy folks gathered drinking beer from plastic cups and eating from paper plates.  Keeping it real in LA, baby! I love it.
  8. Location:  At the end of the Santa Monica Airport runway - Hey, you never know who'll drop in; Harrison Ford has checked out the course recently
  9. Value Proposition - The Best Value in LA County, considering the golf course fun factor and the antics of Dan the Starter.  I  can't think of a better example of West Coast Tracking

Keeping with the 9-hole theme, here are nine characteristics that I think make Penmar a fun experience for Goat Trackers:

Seasoned Trackers know  that a 9-hole layout usually presents a prime Goat Tracking opportunity and Penmar is proof positive of that.  This gem is located just off the end of the Santa Monica Airport runway.  Opened for play in 1962, Penmar is a 53-acre rectangle, measuring 2,582 yards, with tons of personality.  Its three par 3's combine with six par 4's, presenting enormous opportunities for fun at a reasonable price.  Did I mention personality?  It starts with Dan the Starter/cashier.  Picture Gordon Ramsay retired from Hell's kitchen as the starter at the local muni.  Dan has the potential to really piss people off, if you take him the wrong way.  Note to City of Venice:  "encouraging employees to 'just be themselves' can be a big mistake in the customer service field."

L.A. is at the epicenter of the super self-absorbed.  What it lacks in seasonal temperature variation, it makes up for with pretense.  Seems that everyone you meet is into some new age nonsense.  Do you know that Mercury is in retrograde right now?  I do and I hate that I know that.  On a recent visit, while co-workers were down at Venice Beach, amusing themselves with trendy extreme sports, I found sanity tucked away in a residential area on the Venice/Santa Monica border, called Penmar Golf Course.

Summary:  Located within ten (yes, only 10) miles of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Penmar represents the complete opposite of that sort of phony posing.  The experience is authentic and as pastoral as you can get in a County of 10 million people.  The only negative is the pace of play.  They push out 5-somes right on top of each other on the first tee.  Maybe Starter Dan could wait until the group in front was on the green before telling the group behind to start firing away at them on the short par-4.  The end result is that there's a lot of time spent standing around talking with others in your group.  That's why I know that Mercury is in retrograde...

One should plan on spending three hours to finish 9 at Penmar...and for that reason...I have to lower the GT rating to: 

“There are no Seasons in Los Angeles” – A review of Penmar Municipal Golf Course in Venice, California
Submitted by Sherpa JB, March, 2015