On a recent trip to L.A. to visit our kids and newly arrived grandson, I had a spur of the moment impulse to pay a return visit to the Penmar Municipal in Venice, CA. For the non-resident price of $16, I had a pleasant 9-hole walk with a couple of locals-Big Al and Gary. The course was lush and the weather conditions were idyllic, though the caterpillar pace of play the first six holes was a bit unsettling. Gave us plenty of time to get acquainted.
No clubs on hand, I had to resort to this $5 unmatched rental set
The collection represented the full breadth of club vintages, equipment brands, and engineering breakthroughs from over the last 50 years.
-Callway 10.5 degree 450 CC Driver-unknown shaft and a Jumbo (Sammy Sosa variety)
-Titleist 15 degree 3 Wood-Aldia Voodoo Firm graphite shaft
-Callaway V 19 degree 5 Wood-senior graphite shaft
-Ping Eye 3 4 Iron-standard Ping steel shaft
-Lynx Paralex Cavity Backed 6 Iron-steel men’s regular shaft
-Clone 7,8,9, and PW-Ladies graphite shafts
-Cleveland forged 56 degree sand iron with a super large bounce
-Acushnet Bullseye Bronze Putter circa 1966 (I owned this in my teenage years)
I also invested in hand cart rental for $2 and the finest sleeve of performance balls available in the Snack Bar/Pro Shop. These are state of the art low compression Callaway Superhot 55’s.
They proved to be a perfect match for the variable requirements of the inventory of clubs I had to work with.
The driver was out of play because I was uncomfortable with a full baseball grip and pine tar that would have been required to handle it. So I worked the Voodoo Magic of the Titleist 3-metal about 210 off the tee on the driving holes to great satisfaction.
The trick was figuring out how to match swing speed with the wide variety of approach clubs that were available. This is how I imagine it must have been to play proficiently with a set of Hickory Shafts back in the day.
Overall the middle of the set performed admirably in that I registered three pars across the nine. One with a flush Lady’s shafted 7 Iron from 125 yards in a cross wind to 18 feet on the Par 3 third. The second was with a slinging draw 5 Metal around and over the trees onto the back fringe, after I bounced the Voodoo 3 Wood off the chain link fence on the seventh hole tee shot. Finally an awesome up-and-in on the tricky 360 yard final hole with the 56 degree Cleveland SW and a channeled 14 year old’s putting stroke from my past with the vintage Bullseye.
What a rush!
All in all it was a nostalgic walk with a couple of new friends on a delightful municipal track in sunny California.
(Click to see more on Penmar in our Postcard From Penmar Municipal)
Moe and Kathy
Congratulations on the birth of your grandson!!!
I’m qvelling for you. So cool.
Your round at Penmar sounds fun. I have my original Haig Ultras from 1960.
Other old old Tony Lema Hickory heads.
I joined a new club at the beach. Check it out. Kings Creek CC in Rehobeth. I really like this course and can’t wait to play it with you.
Moe – Penmar by the Sea – what a gem indeed! Believe it or not, my first house when my wife and I lived out there was three houses up from the course, on 17th St., with a Santa Monica address… (and you didn’t mention the airport! – no planes buzzing you when you played my home track?). After living near that golf course, with midnight rendezvous and stories best left un-told, what a wonderful experience, I always wanted to live near a course, and now live on a course!… Glad you shared this story- how bout the best hole on the course, the par 3 8th, working it around the trees… wonderful memories… Mark Olson (we met last year when we played in the Senior B Team match at Manor)
Cool place. My daughter lives in Mar Vista so I have played here three or four times. I remember seeing on the news a few years ago when Harrison Ford crash landed his plane on the eighth trying to abort a take off from the airport.
I like the hole, that tree makes a draw curve the preferred flight. My punch Lynx Paralex 6 fluttered short right. Failed to make the 10 footer to save par.
The tree just right off the ninth tee has given me issues. Like that hole Because the green orients counter to the approach line so finding the surface is a real challenge.
Ahhh!—I know it’s Spring when the master wordsmith starts penning his blog. It’s as sweet as “pitchers and catchers report”! Freaky