Letter to the Editor | Save Our 18 Hole Arroyo Golf Course

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com News | SPTOR Golf Tournament 2021 brought the community together. The 2021 event returned after a year off due to COVID-19, bringing about 125 golfers to the Arroyo Seco Golf Course

Dear City Council and Community Members,

I have lived in South Pasadena for more than 35 years now. My children grew up and graduated from our school sustem and I took my turn as PTA president and Fun Fair Chair for several years to support our schools. I helped lead the volunteer effort for the first big bond initiative that our town proudly passed and so I know many family names of long-time residents who have also been a part of our town. For the last 10 years I have been a member of the South Pasadena Women’s Golf Club, so I believe that I really know our town and have enjoyed and helped support our many amenities through the years.

From our parade to our wonderful library and parkes, we have a lot to offer, but our Arroyo Seco Golf Course is truly a jewel of our town. I don’t think the committee that recommended getting rid of our 18-hole par-3 course understood where our course fits in the world of golf or the demographics of our special community.

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An 18-hole 3-par course allows golfers to have a whole golf experience in only 2-3 hours instead of the 4-6 hours to play Brookside in Pasadena or Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, as my brother does. Our course is the perfect place for children to learn the game of golf and we see many parents and children on our course giving their children the experience of a full course that they can handle. Along with our Golf Academy, our course is training the next generation of golfers to love the game.

Golfers know that as we age, the long courses become harder to play and many golfers sadly stop playing by their 50’s as their drives and fairway shots begin to slow down the pace of play for younger golfers. At the Arroyo Seco, golfers can continue to play our shorter greens. Our team includes members from their 40s to mid-80s, plus new retirees who are beginners at golf who take up the sport!

We take pride in being a family community, so why would we get rid of our 18-hole par-e course that will continue to serve the youngest and oldest members of our town, especially when the number of retirees is growing and looking for a healthy activity?

The pandemice provided a great example of the viability of our course as people came from all over, looking for an opportunity to stay active and discovered our gem of a course. In face, we have 7 new members this year.

The proposed Executive Course would appeal to the working community who has more time on weekends to play golf while young and retired players give a steady traffic of participants throughout the week. Plus, the problem with an executive course is that the longer holes have different safety reuqirements which I don’t think the Committee understood. We don’t have space for the suggested 4-par holes that would be included even at our existing footprint. I am worried that we would lose the place for our 18-hole course in phase 1, and when it came time to develop the Executive course, developers would be unable to present a viable plan and we would wind up losing our course completely as Verdugo Hills did.

Years ago, my daughters and I joined in the demonstration to tape off the intended 710 freeway path on Monterey Road to show the effect the freeway would have on our small town. Unfortunately, the effect on our town of losing our 18-hole par-3 course will be felt by many for now and coming generations, but not as easy to see until it is too late to save.

Please upgrade the facilities, including the driving range, miniature golf, bathrooms and restaurant, but don’t eliminate our 18-hole par-3 course for us and future generations. 

  • Deborah Fox – South Pasadena resident
  • Citizens can let their voices be heard on this matter at the forthcoming City Council Meeting Wednesday September 6 at 6pm at the Amedee O. Richards Jr. Council Chambers at 1424 Mission Street in South Pasadena. You may also join the meeting with Zoom Webinar ID: 825 9999 2830. no password required. Written comment must be submitted by 12 noon September 6 by emailing ccpubliccomment@southpasadenaca.gov
  • Further information and a link of the project proposal can be provided upon request by emailing arroyoproject3par@yahoo.com