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Golf Courses Emerge as a Fix for L.A.’s Affordable Housing Crisis

A Los Angeles architect argues that the solution to the city’s housing woes might lie on the 18th green. Urban golfers don’t agree. 

Housing-starved Los Angeles maintains the largest municipal golf system in the United States. Should some of that land be used for something else?

Housing-starved Los Angeles maintains the largest municipal golf system in the United States. Should some of that land be used for something else?

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Corrected

The Rancho Park Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 71 municipal course in the affluent West L.A. neighborhood of Cheviot Hills, near Century City. The greens used to be the domain of a private club, but became part of a Los Angeles city park after World War II. It’s the former home of the PGA’s Los Angeles Open, and site of a handful of memorable golf milestones, including, in 1969, the second tour victory for Charlie Sifford, the first African-American pro to play on the PGA tour.

“It’s a really pretty park,” says Dermot Connell, an L.A. golfer who is very involved in the city’s municipal circuit and serves as a Rancho Park board member. “From almost every point at Rancho, you can get a perspective of the city. It’s unique in the sense that you’re in the middle of a major metropolitan area — yet there you are, walking along a tree line in a little oasis of solitude.”