Westridge Golf Club: Rising above Orange County

Often mistaken for a private club, the public facility in La Habra offers great value

After driving through the entry gates and seeing all the amenities Westridge Golf Club offers, first time visitors to the impressive layout in La Habra frequently ask Head Professional Jamie McCance the same question.

“About 15 times a day, someone who hasn’t been here before will come up to me and say, ‘this is a private club, right?’” McCance said. “They see the beautiful golf course and clubhouse and the great practice center we have, and figure Westridge must be a members-only place for the people who live in those spectacular million-dollar houses on the hill above us.”

But Westridge Golf Club is in fact a public facility, accessible to all, and players in the know understand the great value and tremendous golf experience Westridge offers. Manarino Sports Entertainment recently took over management of Westridge, and has done extensive renovations to the entire club. From the lighted Practice Center open until 10 p.m., featuring a new double-decker driving range, to the Grille on the Hill sports bar and lounge, substantial upgrades have been made throughout Westridge.

“We’ve made $2 million in improvements, and made a beautiful property even more gorgeous,” McCance said. “The golf course itself is really healthy now, and it’s definitely one of the top public course in California.”

Westridge was designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Muir Graves and Damian Pascuzzo. Graves and Pascuzzo utilized the spectacular natural elements of the property, which sits in the shadow of the looming San Gabriel Mountains. From the front of the clubhouse, the view west takes in successive ridges, topped with leafy neighborhoods. The vista north reveals the uplands of La Habra Heights. With the mountains on one side and the expansive skyline of the Los Angeles metro area on the other, Graves and Pascuzzo crafted the course with sloping greens to match the rolling landscape.

The design also features more than 60 bunkers, water hazards on holes 4, 16 and 18, and a ravine crossing the 14th fairway. Players face uphill and downhill shots, making club selection especially important.

“It’s a true championship golf course, a true test of golf,” McCance said. “But we’ve got multiple tee boxes, so players of all skill levels can enjoy their round.”

Peter Dalkas is the Director of Golf for Westridge, and the club’s Golf Academy enables students to benefit from the more than 40 years of combined expert instruction experience from Dalkas and McCance. Dalkas is well-known in the golf community for his highly regarded work as a General Manager and Director of Golf at clubs in Florida, Las Vegas and Southern California, and has degrees in Horticulture/Golf Course Management and Sports Psychology.

Westridge’s Golf Academy features group clinics, individual lessons, holiday and junior camps, video analysis, custom technology club fitting and more.

“We cater to all skill levels, and we’ve got programs to attract all types of players,” McCance said. “And even if someone doesn’t necessarily want lessons or clinics, they can improve their game at our practice center, which is unbelievable with the lighted double-decker range, the short game area, and the putting green.”

Players will find great values at Westridge. Current specials include $50 green fees before noon during the week, as well as $40 senior rates. Players can also check online for daily tee time specials at  www.westridgegolfclub.com. Westridge also offers practice facility happy hours, with beers and buckets of balls 50 percent off; players also get extra large practice buckets of 140 balls for the price most clubs charge for 100 balls.

In addition to the golf course and practice center, Westridge features a 500-person ballroom which is a perfect spot for receptions and other special events. The lakeside gazebo is an extremely popular place for weddings. The improvements to the Grille on the Hill restaurant are also popular with visitors, McCance says.

“We’re dong a lot of fun stuff with our food and beverage,” McCance said. “The Grille on the Hill is a great place to watch a game, because it’s set up as a sports bar, and we’ve got a lot of great deals on drinks and meals.”

Located at 1400 S. La Habra Hills Dr. in La Habra, Westridge Golf Club is centrally located for residents of Orange County, the Los Angeles area, and the Inland Empire. Just minutes from Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, Westridge is accessible via the 5, 57 and 91 Freeways. The entrance to the club is located just east of the intersection of Beach Blvd. and Imperial Highway.

“Once players make that drive up through our gates, they’re hooked,” McCance said. “And when they find out we’re a public facility, they wish they’d played with us a lot sooner.”

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