February 17, 2015
One thing I have learned from playing several of the Trump National courses is that Donald Trump has purchased some fantastic golf sites. The club in Los Angeles is no different with its stunning cliff-side views of the Pacific Ocean.
After playing two days at Pelican Hill, I didn't think my experience in Los Angeles could get much better. However, this round will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the first time I have ever broken 80.
|A look across the course from the top of the hill.|
|The entrance sign to the club.|
|The front of the clubhouse at Trump National Los Angeles.|
|The clock near the starter area.|
|A look down the fairway from the 1st tee box.|
|A look onto the 1st green from 75 yards out.|
|A closer look onto the first green.|
|The flag found on every hole at Trump National.|
Hole 2 is a par 5 that plays to 475 yards. The left side of this fairway should be favored as balls will bound back to the middle of the fairway. The green is open in front, thus allowing many players to reach the green with their second shot. The narrow green has several undulations, however, essentially separated it into three distinct tiers. I made a second birdie in a row on this hole and started my round at -2, the first time I have ever done that!
|A look down the fairway from the 2nd tee box.|
|A look towards the 2nd green from 175 yards out.|
|A closer look into the 2nd green.|
The 3rd hole is a 368 yard par 4. As with number 2, the tee shot should favor the left side of the fairway. The approach is slightly uphill to a green that once again features 3 distinct tiers and provides perhaps this hole’s greatest defense to par.
|A look down the fairway from the 3rd tee box.|
|A look into the 3rd green from 150 yards out.|
|A closer look at the 3rd green.|
The fourth hole is the first par 3 of the day. It plays at 150 yards from the blue tee. Length is not the challenge on this downhill Par 3, however, as it often plays into a crosswind. Instead, it is the deep, narrow green and cavernous bunker on the right that creates this hole’s greatest challenge.
|A look onto the green from the 4th tee box.|
The fifth hole is a longer par 4, playing to 444 yards (513 yards from the black tees). This long par 4 begins a difficult stretch through the ninth hole known informally as “Trump’s Corner”. Typically playing into the wind, this hole requires a carry off the tee and typically a middle-to long iron to a green whose shape favors a draw for the approach.
|A look down the fairway from the 5th tee box.,|
|A closer look at the 5th fairway.|
|A look into the 5th green from 100 yards out.|
The sixth hole is a par 4 that plays to 409 yards. Bunkers on both sides of the fairway make this a challenging driving hole. And as this hole generally plays into the wind, most are left with a long-iron approach to a green carefully protected by bunkers.
|A look down the fairway from the 6th tee box.|
|A look into the 6th green from 80 yards out.|
The seventh hole is a long par 5, playing to 540 yards. This fairway is deceptively wide and, given the hole plays downwind, can be a bit of a breather during this tough stretch of six holes. The lay-up is also to a fairway that is wider than it appears, and the gentle, uphill approach to a large green must avoid the deepest bunker on the course – at 12 feet – to the right of the green.
|A look down the fairway from the 7th tee box.|
|A look towards the 7th green from 200 yards out.|
|A closer look onto the 7th green.|
This 201 yard, par 3 is typically into the prevailing wind. It is made more difficult by a large lake that fronts the green. While there is some bail-out area short and right of the green, and the large green provides an ample target, this hole provides a strong test near the conclusion of the front nine.
|A look into the green from the 8th tee box.|
The ninth hole is a long par 4 that plays 445 yards. This long par 4 doglegs slightly left around the largest bunker on the course (120 yards long). While the fairway is deceptively wide, the approach shot tests even the best players as the three-tiered green is fronted by a lake and bordered to the back and right by bunkers.
|A look down the fairway from the 9th tee box.|
|A look into the 9th green from 120 yards out.|
The back nine starts off with a short par 4, playing to only 300 yards from the blue tees, or 440 from the back. With spectacular sights and sounds of the ocean, this is one of the most spectacular and enjoyable holes on the course. Depending upon the wind direction, you can opt to try to drive the green or lay a tee shot into the fairway for a wedge approach, all the while avoiding seaside cliffs to the left of the fairway and green.
I really enjoyed the fairway of this hole as it had numerous ridges that likely leaves a different shot every time you play this hole. The green is also tricky as it takes an almost perfect shot to keep the ball within 15 feet of the flag.
|A look off to the left of the 10th tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the 10th tee box.|
|A look into the 10th green from 120 yards out.|
|A closer look at the 10th green.|
|A look into the green from the 11th tee box.|
Hole twelve is a 500 yard par 5. This downhill hole is another hole with a deceptively wide fairway, this hole is reachable in two shots for most players given the typical prevailing winds. Approach shots may run onto the green from the left, and a long bunker fronting the right half of the green should be avoided. Should the green be missed, be ready for a severe green complex.
|A look down the fairway from the 12th tee box,|
|A look towards the 12th green from 220 yards out.|
|A look into the 12th green from 150 yards out.|
|A closer look into the 12th green.|
The thirteenth hole is a spectacular par 4 that plays 418 yards along seaside cliffs to the right of the fairway and green. A gentle dogleg to the right, the fairway width is ample and the green is open in front. However, well-placed bunkers next to the green add to the challenge already provided for by the ocean.
|A look down the fairway from the 13th tee box.|
|A look into the 13th green from 120 yards out.|
The fourteenth hole is a par 5 that plays to 485 yards. This uphill hole places a premium on shot-making through a narrow fairway, deep bunkers aligning it, and a small canyon crossing the fairway 140 yards from the green. The green features two distinct levels and is well-bunkered.
|A look down the fairway from the 14th tee box.|
|A closer look at the 14th fairway.|
|A look towards the 14th green from 200 yards out.|
|A closer look into the 14th green.|
The fifteenth hole is a par 3 that plays 150 yards from the blue tees, 175 from the tips. Trump National’s shortest hole may prove to be the course’s most deceptive as the green is the smallest on the course and is encircled by a bunker.
|A look into the green from the 15th tee box..|
The sixteenth is a par 4 that plays to 300 yards. This hole features ample landing area in the fairway for a myriad of club choices off the tee. The green is fronted by a pond and features three distinct levels, thus placing a premium on the approach shot.
|A look down the fairway from the 16th tee box.|
|A look into the 16th green from 80 yards out.|
The seventeenth hole is a 206 yard par 3. Another waterfall is the primary feature of this hole, providing a stunning backdrop and providing for a penalty for those shots hit through the green. While the green features a lot of undulation, there is nothing fronting it thus you have a number of shot options off the tee.
|A look into the green from the top of the hill.|
|A look down the fairway from the 18th tee box..|
|A look into the 18th green from 250 yards out.|
|A closer look at the 18th green from the fairway.|
|A look onto the green from the cart path.|
|A look onto the green from just off the front left.|