Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Swinging a Club along the Arroyo Seco

Walking along the Arroyo Seco the other day, I heard the 'whiff' sound that is music to those of us who are avid golfers.

While I often talk about restoring the Arroyo Seco, playing golf near the stream is one of many outdoor recreational reasons why I want this urban nature paradise to remain open and bucolic.

There are actually 2 golf courses along the Arroyo Seco: Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena next to the Rose Bowl, which is actually comprised of two courses (http://www.brookside.americangolf.com/) ; and the Arroyo Seco Golf Course (http://www.arroyoseco.com/), one of LA's top 10 par 3 courses, in South Pasadena.

What makes each of these courses special is that the Arroyo Seco runs through Brookside Golf Course, albeit in channelized form, while the Arroyo Seco Golf Course has a bubbling brook, a diversion of the nearby Arroyo Seco stream, running through it. What also makes them special is that both courses are public, open and accessible to everyone. In this post, we'll focus on the Arroyo Seco Golf Course.

One of the pleasures of the Arroyo Seco Golf Course is that since it is a Par 3 course, rank amateur golfers can play it without totally embarrassing themselves while more seasoned players can get in a quick game before or after work. In addition, the course features a miniature golf section for family fun, a large driving range and putting green.

Even if you are not a golfer, you will enjoy bringing your family to the 1950s era clubhouse and grill, where the kids can enjoy a burger and mom and dad can have an ice cold beer.

A short walk across the golf course's parking lot offers visitors a panoramic view of the Arroyo Seco, at one of its widest points south of Pasadena. Here the arroyo rock-lined stream offers southward vistas to and beyond the historic York Blvd. bridge, and northward vistas of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The Arroyo Seco Golf Course is part of South Pasadena's Arroyo Seco Park, which also includes equestrian trails, baseball diamonds, lighted tennis courts, and trails to the bucolic South Pasadena nature park along the Arroyo.

Directions: From the north: Arroyo Seco Parkway (Highway 110) south to York exit. Left at stop sign. Left onto York. Cross the bridge (stop and see the sights ~ see York Blvd. Bridge post). Left onto Arroyo Blvd. Look for Arroyo Seco Park sign on left. Left turn down into the park.

From the south: Arroyo Seco Parkways (Highway 110) north to Marmion Way/Avenue 64 exit. Take Avenue 64 to York Blvd.. Right on York. Cross the bridge and follow the remainder of the directions noted above.

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