The City of Los Angeles runs a whole BUNCH of golf courses in the Southland, 13 courses in total. Most of these courses are known to the LA golfer, Rancho (host of an LA Open or 2), Wilson and Harding in Griffith Park, Penmar (the only golf course in Santa Monica), etc.
Oddly, the one that has the best reviews online is one of the least known amongst my LA golf friends. That would be Harbor Park, a 9 hole course but with 2 par 5's, 2 par 3's and a host of interesting par 4s will give you everything you want in a golf outing.
Harbor Park starts with a short and straight par 4, which almost must be a design requirement for LA City courses as Roosevelt, Penmar and Hansen Dam all start with basically the same hole.
Indeed as the course goes along for the first 3 holes you might think to yourself, "this is an interesting course, kinda like a poor man's Sharp Park" but then the course kicks into high gear with multiple holes offering views of the harbor with beautiful background shots of San Pedro.
The par 4's are no joke either if you play from the back tees you are looking at 400+ making Harbor Park a truly "big boy" course.
The course kinda, sorta, routes itself around a college so there are a few holes that skirt buildings and parking lots but the holes are so intriguing that you concentrate more on the hole than the surroundings. For example, there is a short par 4 that requires a draw over the bunker or a fade also the bunker, all depending on where the flag is as the green is treacherous despite most people taking 3/5 wood off the tee.
Overall the routing of the holes is straightforward for the most part but the greens are devious and you will need all the help you can get if you find the trees that line the fairways. Overall, color me a fan of this course, well well worth it if you find yourself in the South Bay/San Pedro area of LA.
For more information about Harbor Park, check it out here: http://www.golf.lacity.org/cdp_harbor.htm