Recreation Park 18-hole Golf Course
5001 E. Deukmejian Road.
Long Beach, CA 90804
Recreation Park 18-hole Golf Course, commonly referred to as “Big Rec” or simply “The Park”, was the original site of the Virginia CC, and was built in 1910 by Colonel Charles Rivers Drake. While private, 15 memberships were reserved for guests of his Virginia Hotel on the downtown waterfront in Long Beach; the hotel was named after his daughter, Virginia. Hotel guests could take a train to Zafaria Junction at the intersection of Anaheim Street and Obispo Avenue (now remembered by the Plaza Zafaria Park north of the old train junction at Redondo Avenue and PCH) and then take a horse and buggy down the dirt road, which is now Anaheim Street to the course. When Virginia CC’s members bought the land for the current site of the club from the railroads, PGA member Richard “Dick” Linares – a 2015 inductee into the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame – convinced the City to take over the lease in 1921. Linares was named the first professional of what was called “The Municipal Links”, and the City eventually bought the land outright.
Big Rec is one of the busiest courses in the United States, averaging over 120,000 rounds of golf annually through most of the 1990s, and still recording nearly 100,000 rounds per year today. Originally designed by prolific architect William F. Bell, it is not considered long by today’s standards, stretching to barely over 6,300 yards from the tips, but the hilly terrain and exceptionally manicured and fast “push up” greens offer golfers a fun and challenging test. All of the bunkers were redone between 2013 and 2014 to better reflect the current game.
PGA Tour members Paul Goydos and John Merrick both grew up at The Park, and the course was featured in John Feinsteins’ book A Good Walk Spoiled, which had a chapter on Goydos.
Along with a night-lighted driving range and excellent chipping and putting greens, the course offers a Café, which serves a full breakfast and lunch menu and banquets can be held in the Historical Landmark Clubhouse which has a newly renovated Bride’s Room and can accommodate 150 guests.
Visit the website for the Recreation Park Men’s Golf Club: