You really can't mention the Los Feliz Par-3, the nine-hole municipal golf course tucked next to the LA River, without mentioning that scene from Swingers: Jon Favreau and Ron Livingston racking up strokes as they discuss whether the latter should take a part as Goofy. "Why does it have to be Goofy?" Whether it was Swingers or just the giant sign, the place has become an eastish-side icon, although it's still kind of mysterious to anyone who hasn't played a few rounds there. Luckily SB Nation has made an in-depth exploration and explains it all, from the regulars ("geriatrics whose doctor told them to stay active ... boyfriends to teach girlfriends the subtleties of a chip ... struggling actors looking to pass a few hours before a nighttime audition or part-time wait gig") to the treacherous layout:
-- The Los Feliz Par-3 was built in the 1940s as a driving range and is technically part of Griffith Park.
-- It was converted into a pitch-and-putt in the 1950s, but "Not a true pitch-and-putt, that is; you need three clubs to play: A putter, a wedge, and whatever iron will get you from tee to green, an average length of 116 yards."
-- The course hosts more than 40,000 rounds a year.
-- A round costs $5.50, $4 for seniors; it's $2 for "the back nine," aka a second round.
-- If you get there after six, you can try to squeeze in a free round pre-sunset.
-- The "unofficially-named Morning Crowd" shows up around 9:30 every morning--it can range from four to ten men between 33 and 78 years old ("Now mostly-retired, their jobs range/ed from hairdresser to acting teacher to maintenance worker at a local cemetery to track coach to, of course, independent movie producer.")
-- "Looking at the hole layout found on the course's website, the design looks straightforward, true fairways without hazards, tightly-packed."
-- Holes two, three, and four lie against the western fence by the river, and "are the domain of squirrels ... They scamper across fairways, fearless of the rarely-accurate white projectiles."
-- Holes five, six, and seven sit under "a canopy of sycamore trees" that demand either extremely low shots or super-high ones. There was a proposal a few years ago to remove some tree limbs, but "local birdwatchers halted the action after noticing the trees are nesting areas."
-- The hipsters come in the afternoon, often with tall boys.
-- The Par-3's cafe is housed in a converted World War II Quonset Hut. We hear good things, but it's only got three stars on Yelp.
· A Simple Game [SB Nation]