The Unbelievable Golf Course That’s Secretly Hiding a Hidden Hole – Can You Find It?

Imagine playing a round of golf at a prestigious course, only to discover that there’s a hidden hole that’s been concealed from the majority of the members for decades. This is the story of the hidden hole at Los Angeles Country Club, which has recently been brought back to life.

The Hidden Hole of Los Angeles Country Club


The hidden hole, known as “Little 17,” is a 110-yard par-3 located near the 17th green on the North Course. Designed by George Thomas Jr. and Herbert Fowler in 1921, the hole was initially intended to be part of the course but was later removed due to its treacherous conditions. The green was notorious for drying out quickly, making it difficult for players to hit accurate shots.

The Story Behind the Hole


The hole was first imagined by Herbert Fowler, who enlisted George Thomas Jr. to supervise the 1921 reimagining of the original Beverly Course. Thomas described the shot required in his 1927 book, “Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction.” “The shot was a pitch, and near the narrow shelf where the flag waved there was danger both in front and behind the green, and to hold the ball near the flag required a superlative shot,” Thomas wrote.

The Controversy Surrounding the Hole


The hole incited more fury than joy when it was first introduced. Prior to Thomas’ redesign, the North Course hosted the 1925 Cal State Open and 1926 Los Angeles Open, the inaugural edition of what is now called the Genesis Invitational, which the PGA Tour contests annually at nearby Riviera Country Club, another Thomas gem. It was at that Cal State Open that “Little 17” first showed its severity. Thomas was in charge of setting up the course for the final round, and he placed the pin in the front-left portion of the small, narrow, sloping green. Thomas described the shot required in his 1927 book, “Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction.” “The shot was a pitch, and near the narrow shelf where the flag waved there was danger both in front and behind the green, and to hold the ball near the flag required a superlative shot,” Thomas wrote.

The Restoration of the Hole


Despite what Thomas described as “danger signals,” most of the competitors that day went right at the flag. As high scores piled up, a large gallery gathered around the hole, heightening the sense of embarrassment for those who struggled. One player, Thomas recalled, missed the green well right, his ball ending up behind a tree. His next shot went over the green, and after getting on the dance floor with his fourth shot, the player then four-putted for a quintuple-bogey 8. Yet, Thomas also added that a few players played the hole smartly, including the “fine, cool, calculating” Macdonald Smith, who pitched to the center and three-putted for bogey after an overly cautious birdie lag. Smith would win the tournament.

The Modern-Day Reaction to the Hole


In recent years, the hole has been rediscovered and restored to its former glory. Golf enthusiasts can now play the hidden hole, which offers a unique and challenging experience. The hole requires precision and strategy, as the green is narrow and surrounded by obstacles.


YardageParGreen SizeObstacles
1103Small, narrow, slopingBarranca in front, bunkers left and long, severe drop-off into a large sycamore tree right

Challenges:

  • Narrow green
  • Obstacles in front and behind the green
  • Severe drop-off into a large sycamore tree right

Strategies:

  • Pitch to the right of the flag in the widened center of the green
  • Avoid the dangers in front and behind the green
  • Use a superlative shot to hold the ball near the flag

The hidden hole at Los Angeles Country Club is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of golf course architects. The hole’s unique challenges and obstacles make it a must-play for any golf enthusiast.

So, can you find the hidden hole at Los Angeles Country Club? If you’re a golf enthusiast looking for a unique challenge, this is definitely a course you should consider visiting.