There are very few links-style courses here in SoCal as most of the land is taken up by houses looking at gorgeous views of the Pacific. To satiate my links fix, I had to travel an hour away from Los Angeles to Ventura California where Olivas Links resides.
The first thing you notice about Olivas are the practice facilities. Grass driving ranges, two (2!) different chipping areas. A huge undulating putting green. This course has it all and then some.
As OL is near the ocean it also has ocean weather and I believe the only cloudy spot the entire weekend in the Southlands was in Ventura with clouds hanging out until early afternoon. Of course, I didn't mind as the grey skies put me in a Irish mood.
The course itself is beautifully maintained with great fairways and the greens are in amazing shape.
The course was also in full bloom so if your drive wasn't the best, at least it landed in some pretty flowers!
The fairways here are pretty generous and while some of the holes run parallel to each other, you never get a sense of crowding or players hitting on top of each other. The starters also do a good job or spreading out the groups and except for a few bottlenecks on par 3 holes, we clipped around the course at a good pace.
Clipped so good that I finished the round in 4 hours! Almost unheard of for SoCal on a weekend but I suspect that is a standard round at OL.
Even though none of the holes are on the Pacific, make no mistake, the wind off the ocean and the swale grass all around the course will remind you that you are playing a true links course.
The logo for Olivas is an Adirondack chair and it did my heart and my butt good to sit in these chairs during lulls in play.
I was up and down all day at Olivas. I got on a par 5 in 2 which made my day (birdied it to boot!) and also killed some worms here and there. Still I ended par/par on the last two holes which kept the warm feeling in my heart.
Overall, I can't say enough good things about OL. Great course, great staff (managed by Kemper Sports so this is no surprise), great location. If you are in Southern California, make a roadtrip up the 101 to play this track!
For more info on the course, check out this link: http://www.olivaslinks.com/