Rustic Canyon Golf Club - Moorpark, CA
Even though there are an abundance of top private clubs in the LA area, good courses for the public golfer are hard to find. Fortunately, there is Rustic Canyon. Rated the #1 best new public course of 2002 by Golf Digest and the best value in the United States by Golf Magazine in 2010, Rustic Canyon is a real gem. The course was designed by Gil Hanse with assistance from Geoff Shackleford. Completed in 2001, the course takes a magnificent approach to using the given land. It is the natural terrain and slope of the land that make for some of the most memorable golf holes. For me, the 3rd, 6th, and 16th holes stuck out as particularly good... and then there was the par 3 8th hole.
On the back end of an LA golf buddies trip, Ben Garrett took to the tee box on the 8th hole. Usually, in this situation, we bring out the ace cam to film the ace attempt. However, on this occasion, Ben fired one off in a hurry, even yelling out "Ace Cam" as the balled hurdled towards the flagstick. It struck the green about 15 feet beyond the hole and started rolling back towards the hole. We just watched it trickle and demanded "Go in!" Usually in this situation, the ball just rolls past the hole and everyone goes on with their lives. But this time, the ball actually went in the hole. ACE!!!!
An explosion of cheers erupted from the tee box. The three of us began jumping and screaming like we had just won the lottery. It was excessively loud screaming, not normal screaming. The high fives were extra hard high fives, the kind that sting your hands. But we didn't care one bit. Then we paused for a second and then we screamed and high fived some more.
As cruel as golf can be most of the time, it can also be an amazing experience.