Golf is for all ages, but some golf is more junior friendly others. If your child has expressed an interest in golf, you just want to expose them to it, or just need a place to play and practice, here is a list of golf facilities in Southern California that tend to be more junior friendly by rolling out the welcome mat. Most of these facilities offer junior programs for kids, some as young as four. Many also offer junior rates. All of these selections offer a short course that include chip and putt to executive length with an assortment of other amenities to go with it.
Lomas Santa Fe Executive Course
Where: 1580 Sun Valley Rd, Solana Beach, CA
Torrey Pines designer, William Bell, also designed and built this little gem in the Solana Beach area. It is only 2431 yards long but it has been named as one of the “Top Short Courses in America” by Golf Range Magazine. It consists of two par 4’s and the rest are par 3’s. It also offers 15″ cups as an option. They are placed in the back of the greens. Lomas Santa Fe hosts Glow Ball night golf which gives juniors another way to enjoy the game.
Where: 12602 Oaks N Dr. San Diego, CA
Nine of Oaks North’s 27 holes are set up for “hack” rounds, but all three executive nines are terrific for beginners.
The east course even played with the forward tees is not all pitch and putt. With three tee shots of around 200 yards it gives juniors the chance to use more clubs. Visitors will find all three nines to be affordable, playable and walkable and the practice facility, which includes a 15-inch cup as well, a great place to learn and be taught.
St. Mark Golf Club/Lake San Marcos
Where: 1750 San Pablo Dr. San Marcos, CA
These two courses in San Marcos are a doubly good destination for kids because they pair a playable regulation course (St. Mark’s) and an executive course in the same community complex.
It’s mostly flat with manageable yardage (6,398 yards/par 71) make it ideal for juniors and beginners. One long par 5 does provide a test.
Where: 2300 N Broadway St. Escondido, CA
This course winds through a wooded area which makes more like a miniature version of a regulation golf course than what most people associate with executive courses.
The bunkering and the greens, however, make it challenging even though it is played with all irons.
Reidy Creek is an aesthetically enjoyable and challenging way to learn the game.
Mission Bay Golf Course
Where: 2702 N Mission Bay Dr. San Diego, CA
Located just minutes from downtown San Diego, Mission Bay Golf Course is a good executive course owned and run by the City. It features ocean breezes and night lighting for a really enjoyable experience? It’s a par 58 with four par 4s and a driving range.
And if you like a little history with your golf, Tiger Woods won a Junior World title here once.
Altadena Golf Course
Where: 1456 E. Mendocino St. Altadena, CA
An expansive stretch of natural grass makes this golf course great for beginners. Choose from PGA certified instructors to teach your child at any skill level. They are highly recommended by former students, and the full six-lesson package is one of the best deals in L.A. for a learning experience in golf. Golfers may enjoy breakfast or lunch at the 10th Hole Bar and Grill patio while taking in the greenery.
Westchester Golf Course and Driving Range
Where: 6900 W. Manchester Ave. Los Angeles, CA
Four instructors, both male and female, with professional backgrounds in golf cater to everyone’s comfort level at Westchester. The course is challenging enough for seasoned pros, but friendly enough for young beginners. Conveniently located near LAX, the range also offers a full snack bar and pro shop. Regulars here come back for the fun course and affordable prices.
Weddingtom Golf and Tennis
Where: 4141 Whitsett Ave. Studio City, CA
This is a hidden jewel of the San Fernando Valley with gorgeous, well-tended trees and green lawns. It offers an array of highly recommended, professional instructors who are independently contracted for private lessons. Their history and knowledge of the sport make them excellent for all age groups and skill levels. Weekdays are preferable for smaller crowds, and are more affordable at $10 for a course with $8 replays, as opposed to $11 a course with $9 replays on weekends.
Various Department of Parks and Recreation, County of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles County Junior Golf program offers free lessons year round at various Parks and Recreation golf courses (5 Los Angeles County Districtrs and includes 17 golf course properties.). Free works well when you’re not positive that your child will stick with the game. Take advantage of their after school programs from 3:45 to 5:00 pm, January through June. Summer programs are also available from 9 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., 12:00pm to 2:00 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Signups are available on a first come, first serve basis and space is limited at each location. Junior golfers can strive to participate in junior championships held every summer.
Tregnan Golf Academy
Where: 4341 Griffith Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA
The City of Los Angeles strives to offer a place dedicated to providing the city’s youth the opportunity to learn golf. The Tregnan Gold Academy will provide children with little to no experience the skills that they need to be confident golfers. The academy offers golf glasses for children ages 5-17, seminars, team play, clinics and more. The academy is located within Griffith Park and makes the game of golf entertaining and affordable for families.
One of the cool things about it is you can go for a hike on their trails while the kids are taking lessons.
For more information on finding junior golf programs associated with The First Tee program in your area. The First Tee reaches young people ages 5-18 through golf instruction and life skills lessons administered at chapters, military installations, and to students in elementary schools.
I hope this list will help you find a place for you and your son or daughter to play, practice, and just spend family time together.
Just remember that your main job is to see to it that they have fun. Kids learn by seeing and doing and not by listening so only give them a tip every now and then and only say positive thing to them.