With four sets of tees, anyone can enjoy this true championship layout that measures over 7000 yards from the tips. The slope is 124 and the course rating is an impressive 72.9 from the Blues. Ladies can play Lakewood Country Club at 5900 yards, although their slope is still a respectable 126. The LA County Parks System has set up Lakewood to include a set of Orange, or Junior, tees that further reduce the course’s length to just over 4000 yards.
This Long Beach area course offers well kept tees and greens and lots of sand. Many bunkers have been updated. The bermuda fairways typically offer little margin for error. You will quickly see why this track was named ‘Lakewood.’ Water abounds and the trees have matured during the eight decades the course has been open. The two substantial lakes within the course’s confines have a total surface area of 11 acres. As a result, unforgiving water hazards will multiply your score when mistakes are made. Once you are on the greens, your work is not over. The poa greens can get pretty fast sometimes. There are some serious slopes to contend with, and reading these greens can be challenging. However, ‘challenging’ is what a championship course should be.
Most of the holes are pretty straight, although the 379 yard eighth bends sharply to the left up near the green. Keep your head down on the 181 yard 3rd. That big pond in front of the tee won’t come into play unless you chunk it. Hit it long and solid on the 454 yard 6th, ranked as the toughest hole on the course.
Holes 10, 11, and 12 at Lakewood Country Club are unrelenting as they work their way around the water. These holes work their way around the lake in counterclockwise fashion. This means that there’ll be water on your left on each hole. If you’re duck hooking it on the day you play, it’s best that you take some serious precautions to avoid the water. You don’t want to find yourself offering to buy golf balls from your playing partners once yours all go in the drink.
Two 400+ yard par fours are followed by a 248 yard par three. That’s right, number 12 is 248 yards long from the Blues, with water up the left side as well. This stretch is somewhat reminiscent of numbers 10 thru 12 at the Masters. No wonder that stretch has been dubbed ‘The Amen Corner’ at Augusta. Lakewood’s offering at 10, 11, and 12 could be called ‘Amen Corner West.’ After those holes, the Orange tees might start looking pretty good to many.
Pace yourself because the final two holes are long and demanding as well. The 17th is a long 217 yard par three. For long hitters and optimists, the 551 yard 18th can offer one final opportunity for a birdie.
Lakewood Country Club is a full-featured facility with driving range, two practice greens for both chipping and putting, and a fully stocked pro shop. There is a snack shack between the second and third holes. Lakewood offers numerous golf programs and camps. Lessons of all types are available, including individual instruction. Weekday twilight golf can combine more relaxed play and good rates.
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