Located in Santa Clarita, California (an unincorporated city within LA County), Vista Valencia consists of an executive 18-hole par 61 and a 9-hole pitch and putt named Chica. The clubhouse has an old-style 1970s vibe with carpet floors, a full-service bar, trophy cabinets, and a slightly aged stench. Vista Valencia’s staff is incredibly welcoming and friendly in the kitchen and pro shop. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, access inside the pro shop has limits. But from afar, the selection of golf equipment and accessories was scarce. The clubhouse does, however have rental clubs available, which may come in handy for your out-of-town friends.
The driving range consists of 28 mats spread out over an 85-yard-wide open area extending to 330 yards from the mats. The range has clear distance markers, but aging and worn-out mats are waiting to get replenish.
Golf Tee times are tough to come by nowadays. However, Vista Valencia has Tee Times available five days in advance. Other courses within a 30-mile radius are complete two weeks out. This could be due to the location or possibly the tendency for the system to play slowly.
Beginners typically play the Chica Course (9-hole pitch and putt). As well as the occasional avid golfer trying to dial in their short game. Varying skill levels play the Vista course due to the low prices and open availability for the locals.
Vista Valencia’s starter box stands out as an older gentleman greets you with a good old golf joke; “if your gonna cheat, don’t get caught”.
Vista is a blast to play, a medley of short par 4’s, long par 3’s, and a few 100-yard par 3‘s. No need to whip out that fairway wood on this course! There are no par 5’s, and the longest par 4 is Hole 10, a slightly downhill 452-yard-long hole. The course wasn’t maintained as well as you would wish, specifically the tee boxes. Fairways were in pretty good shape. Yet one often finds greens under repair due to high saturation or dried up grass ground down to the dirt. Above all the play at Vista Valencia is enjoyable. It’s top-notch budget golf, perfect for a weekend round with your golf buddies.
Notable Holes – Vista Valencia Golf – Hole 17
Hole 17 is a par 3 overseeing an island green located 159 yards away and elevated 33 feet below the Tee Box. At first glance, the beautiful view will distract you from the inevitable duff into the water. But the nerves tend to peak on the tee box. This “play it like 140 yards” pitch suddenly seems like a 250-yard reach.
For those not worthy enough to reach the green in one, a safe-haven drop zone is located a hole high just before the water crossover.
After teeing off, you’ll enjoy the ride down to the green, anxiously admiring your Greens in Regulation until you reach the bridge. The moat-styled green is accessible only via a walking bridge. Crossing over, you can’t help but peek over at what seems to be swamp water mixed with septic byproduct. At first glance, the water is reminiscent of the radioactive water that turned Dr. Harleen Quinzel into Harley Quinn. Look again, and there is an abundance of live turtles, fish, birds, and lizards.
I’d like you to please be sure to take a moment to look back up at the tee box and admire the natural topography and the trajectory your ball carried to the green. Please proceed with your four-putt for a double bogey and move it to the next hole to wrap up your 105 round.
Santa Clarita Valley History
Santa Clarita is a fast-emerging area aggressively developing its residential and commercial industries. Although seemingly far on Google Maps, the City of Santa Clarita is 33 miles north of downtown LA.
Santa Clarita is most recently acknowledged as the city with Six Flag Magic Mountain, but the city is enriched with California history; the gold rush and early oil drilling both started in Santa Clarita. The town also consists of the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles, the Saugus Café, which opened in 1887 and is still open for business today. Unfortunately, the city bears the scar of the St Francis Dam failure, known as one of the most disastrous engineering failures in history.
Film-making has been a part of the Santa Clarita name for decades. The infamous actor William S Hart worked on movies and ended up living in the city o Santa Clarita. Hart’s home is still standing in Old Town New Hall and is open to the public as a museum. Presently Disney has a large studio in the area where they continue to film for shows and movies.