Op-Ed | The Best Benefit in South Pasadena

Our own Arroyo Seco offers smooth, green fairways, sparkling greens and lovely shade trees year-round.

PHOTO: SPWGC | South Pasadenan.com News | South Pasadena Womens Golf Club

By Deborah Fox

Wednesday mornings are the best day of the week, playing golf at our own Arroyo Seco Golf Course right here in South Pasadena! Not only does our city have its own course, but we also have a ladies golf group that brings a whole new perspective to the game.

First, if you are worried that you won’t be good enough, then consider my experience with one of the highest handicaps in the group. If my ball goes awry, as it frequently does, I hear reassuring comments like, ‘you’re just warming up,’ or if it’s later in our game, ‘well we’re just getting tired now.’ And the occasional good shot elicits rounds of praise, even cheers and sometimes whoops! If my ball misses the cup I was robbed and if it goes in, I’m hailed for my stellar shot!

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Next, if you’re worried that the game will be too competitive, you needn’t be concerned because you will establish your own handicap over time and settle into the flight that matches your skill level! Meanwhile, you get to play with different players from all skill levels and know that when scores are tallied at the end you might be the day’s winner if you had a good day, or just keep your handicap for the time being when you too are having a no-good day. Plus, as you play more and observe other players you will learn more and improve naturally.

“The worst day of golf is still better than the best day of work,” my husband used to say. And when you are out on our own Arroyo Seco course that the city maintains so beautifully, you can’t help but agree. With short fairways, from 90 to 140 yards you can always see the flag and the ladies club rules offer a hand distance from any shot so you can place your ball to best advantage.

Unlike other 3-par courses in the area, our own Arroyo offers smooth, green fairways, sparkling greens and lovely shade trees year-round. It’s always a treat to jump in the car for a 10-minute drive from anywhere in our small city and arrive in a lovely park where you can get a little exercise as you enjoy the squirrels and birds. Over the years we have appreciated the occasional baby animals from skunks to Canadian geese, shepherded by their parents to avoid the local very healthy-looking coyote that you just might see.

“Did you have fun today?” my husband has learned to ask instead of “how did you do?” because as I always remind him, women’s golf at the Arroyo is about fun, not competition. And while ladies have opportunities to challenge themselves with monthly prizes for closest to the pin and best net scores in both the A flight best players and B flight not-so-good players groups each the month, the biggest tournaments each year are scrambles.

Competing as a team against other teams, we match worst and best players for even competition, playing best ball for each shot. It’s a delight to cheer our members good shots and hope another player will ‘save’ our team from the worst shots. And because the handicaps are matched, any team can have a good day and take the prize (which we all chip in a few dollars at most for—it’s more about the glory than the money after all!).

If you have hesitated to try golf or get back into it because you are concerned about the cost or commitment, then the Arroyo is also your best bet. Because it is a city course, green fees are about the cost of a movie nowadays, and if you choose to join our ladies group, the membership fee is just $25 a year. Best of all, we complete our 3-par course in around 3 hours, in time for impromptu lunches with other ladies at local restaurants or whatever afternoon plans you might have — with all your exercise for the day done before noon.

I have lived in South Pasadena for more than 35 years now and always loved our small-town atmosphere, from our tree-lined trees to our charming Fourth of July parade, and all our community’s benefits. But as much as I have enjoyed the many benefits of our city through the years with my children and friends, the Arroyo Seco area, with our own 3-par public golf course that our city provides is probably the best benefit of all.

Whether you are a young person who has birthday parties at the miniature golf course or a student who is learning about the joy of golf in our academies, you can learn about a life-long sport in South Pasadena. For the busy adult, a visit to the driving range, or a quick 9-holes to polish your game on weekends or holidays is a great option. And what better option for active seniors than an easy round of golf any time where waiting to play is a rarity.

Finally, for women who are looking for fellowship and a supportive environment as you enjoy a healthy activity, why not make a healthy resolution this January to check out the Arroyo golf course and our golf group for women on Wednesday mornings. For today’s workers with a flexible schedule or those retired and looking for safe and healthy outside activities, our group offers women the chance to meet others from all ages and backgrounds over a casual activity that you can work around your vacations and work and family responsibilities.

For more information, you can contact southpasadenawomensgolfclub@gmail.com and info@arrorosecogc.com or just ask Sheila Ballesteros, this year’s president of the group or any of the ladies you see on a Wednesday any questions you might have.

PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | SouthPasadenan.com News