This won't mean much to those outside of LA--and frankly inside LA city limits since the course is virtually unknown--but Bob Pool reports that the hidden gem that is the "VA Course" has been closed because as much as $200,000 has been stolen. Built by members of Hillcrest for recovering veterans, the 9-hole par-3 course is also home to beginners and the occasional celebrity working on their game in anonymity. All for just $12, all you can play.
Gates to the rolling 7-acre course were padlocked March 30. The lush links are located beneath the Getty Center on the north side of the VA complex, which is divided by Wilshire Boulevard.
A VA spokeswoman initially attributed the closure to "operational issues" related to scheduling problems between public play and VA patients' therapeutic golf outings.
This week, officials acknowledged that "financial improprieties" at the course were to blame.
"It's not a scheduling conflict. We have no means to take money for public play," said Ralph Tillman, director of asset management at the medical center.
Tillman said local VA officials plan to contract with an outside vendor -- perhaps a nonprofit group -- to operate the course in the future. He said there are no plans to redevelop the course for any other purpose. "We'll reopen when we get an outside partner to run it," he said.