Course of the Month

January 2021

Armand Hammer, USA USA

The surprise win of Francis Ouimet in the 1913 U.S. Open golf championship led to a golf boom in the USA. Even Hollywood moguls were bitten by the golf bug. They didn’t always have time for a full round of golf and by the 1920’s, Pitch and Putt became extremely popular. One of the courses built then is the Armand Hammer course at 601 Club View Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90024.

The moguls loved Pitch and Putt, particularly this 18 holer now run by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks, which owns and operates the largest municipal golf system in the United States. 

Armand Hammer is an 18 hole course located in Westwood, adjacent to UCLA. It is situated within Hornby Park. The course was redesigned in 1940 and was saved from closure in 1981 by Armand Hammer, the Occidental Petroleum billionaire and Hugh Hefner. Hugh Hefner's Playboy mansion lies just just a block down the street.  Just like Sea Aire in Torrance this is a fine Pitch and Putt course. The course measures 832 yards total for the 18 holes, with the longest hole being 68 yards.

Green fees are weekdays $3; weekends $4. Like all the City's courses, Armand Hammer is open for play, conditions permitting, 365 days a year.

Featuring holes mainly in the 40 – 60 yards range and boasting minuscule greens and tiny fairways, Armand Hammer celebrated 90 years of existence in 2019, making it the oldest known Pitch and Putt course in the world.

The 1981 threatened closure was due to a city of Los Angeles budget crisis. Neighbours Hugh Hefner of Playboy Mansion West (the Arthur Letts Jr. house), and Armand Hammer, whose name now adorns the course, collaborated to save the course.