El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana will become the first golf course in the San Fernando Valley to host a United States Golf Association tournament when the fourth U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship is conducted there on April 28-May 2.
El Cab, with a highly-regarded course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. that opened in 1957 before being reworked by the late John Harbottle in 2005, was the venue for the LPGA Tour’s Office Depot Championship hosted by Amy Alcott from 2002-04.
“The No. 1 factor when we are finding a site for a championship is the caliber of the golf course,” said Rachel Sadowski, USGA tournament director. “We thought El Cab would be a great fit for this particular championship.
“Any time we can be in the Southern California area, especially with how popular golf is there, it’s a great fit for us. The club itself has been really welcoming of the championship. But the course will always be No. 1. It’s a great golf course.”
El Caballero has been the site of U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Open sectional qualifying tournaments, and when the LPGA dropped by for those three years in the early 2000s, the cream rose to the top.
Se Ri Pak of South Korea claimed the Office Depot title in 2002 and Annika Sorenstam of Sweden took home the title the next two years, both of them on their way to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“We feel like we have a gem of Southern California, a Trent Jones Sr. from the mid-20th century when most golf course architecture aficionados would say is when he did all of his great courses,” said General Manager Phil Lopez of El Caballero.
“It’s typical of (Jones’) design style—undulating greens, heavily bunkered, and good strong par 4s. It’s a great test of golf. (The greens) are very undulating, and depending on how quick the USGA wants to get them, they can be pretty scary at times.”
The second Los Angeles Open, now the Genesis Open was played at El Caballero in 1927, with Bobby Cruickshank winning by six strokes over Ed Dudley and Charles Guest.
El Cab, which is located 22 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles off U.S. Highway 101, plays to a length 6,830 yards and a par of 71, with a slope of 132 and a course rating of 73.2.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship is contested by two-player teams of female amateurs with an individual handicap index not exceeding 14.4. After two rounds of stroke play, 32 teams advance to match play.
In both stroke and match play, the lower score of the two partners is used as the team’s score on each hole.
Mika Liu of Beverly Hills and Rinko Mitsunaga of Roswell, N.M., captured the first U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship in 2015 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., Hailee Cooper of Montgomery, Texas, and Kaitlyn Papp of Austin, Texas, prevailed in 2016 at Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, Fla., and Taylor Totland of Tinton Falls, N.J., and Alice Chen, 21, of Princeton, N.J., took the title last year at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, S.C.