Rio Hondo is owned by the City of Downey and is a muni in name only. The course is in fantastic shape during the middle of the Summer here in LA with the fairways rolling green and true, the sand fluffy and pace of play pretty good (I will take what I can get in LA).
The course is definitely a parkland track with trees suggesting the routes but they aren't thick enough to stop you from trying to scramble back into the fairway. In fact, the course has a wide open feel despite having several holes running parallel to each other on each of the 9s.
The superstar of the course is the bunkering like our friends on 17 above where huge tracks of land contain sand and make the player really think about where they should hit the ball. The course is kinda on the shortish side and is rather flat so a lot of the challenging is positioning your shots in the correct place and avoiding the fluffy stuff if you can.
The course also has an insane amount of water, several ponds disrupt the proceedings including the "classic" SoCal par 3 over water 7th hole. The course is slightly compressed in on itself as several holes meet up near greens or stretch themselves around each other, which is very reminiscent of Hacienda and several other SoCal tracks. However, in a true testament to Rio, you never feel claustrophobic and the trees and fencing help keep everyone from being on top of each other.
Rio is also pretty cheap and given its quality this is a real deal here in the Southland. In terms of architecture, Rio mostly delivers. Some of the par 3s are a little too straightforward and there is a bit too much similarity between holes it would be interesting to see if a small refresh, with tweaks to landing areas could turn this course from very good to great.
Rio doesn't seem to be mentioned much in the conversation of quality SoCal public tracks but that is the fault of the reviewers, this is a really solid track that offers a fun public golf experience and many courses in SoCal can't say the same.
For more info about Rio Hondo check out the following link! https://www.riohondogc.com/