Course Spy: Rustic Canyon Golf Course

Rustic Canyon, near Los Angeles, is one of the best values in America.
Rob Brown

Rustic Canyon Golf Course
Moorpark, Calif.
6,988 yards, par 72
Green Fees: $37-$73
805-530-0221, rusticcanyongolfcourse.com

SERVICE
A+! "You sure you want to pay $60 for these Callaways?" asked the pro shop attendant. "You can get 'em a lot cheaper at Roger Dunn." Another staffer passed along some useful advice on the greens: "Every one breaks toward the valley — except 17."

PACE OF PLAY
Unlike the aneurism-inducing 405 Freeway, this L.A.-area course is fairly open on weekdays. We played a 4.5-hour Thursday round without waiting or being pushed. But beware weekends, when bargain-hunting locals can mean five-hour-plus rounds.

QUALITY
Coming in at No. 83 in our Top 100 You Can Play, this superb, not-too-tight layout offers a particular test of your putter, which must battle vast, slanting greens surrounded by generous aprons. Some holes leave you happy with a 3-putt.

VALUE
It's a steal — and about $50 cheaper than nearby Lost Canyons, albeit with less dramatic mountain views. Our penny-pinching twosome paid a shade under $100, with a cart. Get thee to Rustic Canyon before they jack up the price!

VERDICT
Recession-friendly rates, a fun design, greens that roll true, and all less than 45 minutes from the "Hollywood" sign. We'd pay double to play here. Its proximity to daily-fee-starved L.A. makes this one of the best bargain courses in America.

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