FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana, Calif.

Apr 1, 2015
2015 / March 2015

The land El Caballero Country Club occupies was aptly owned at one time by Brig. Gen. Harrison Grey Otis, the original publisher of the Los Angeles Times and a Civil War hero who helped secure Abraham Lincoln’s bid for The White House. After his death, his estate sold the ranch to Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan novels, who moved into the Grey Otis home and ranch and named it Tarzana.

Burroughs was the genius behind the building of a golf course on the site and using his home, perched high on a hill, as the clubhouse. Unfortunately, the Roaring Twenties came to an end with the Great Depression and Burroughs lost the land. Over the years, the club and land transferred to various players until 1955, when it came into the hands of Bernie Shapiro. Shapiro wanted to create a non-restrictive club open to anyone. Perfectly timed for the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the current El Caballero was born.

Famed golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., designed the course, which embodies all his signature elements including tight fairways, challenging doglegs and significant greenside bunkers. The course winds through elevation changes, lovely mature trees and the gentle El Caballero Creek (most of which is channeled under the course in California’s never-ending zeal to capture water).

Global Traveler Globility Board member and subscriber Steve White invited me to play the course, and he graciously allowed me to invite Bill Noonan of Asiana Airlines and my “crackerjack golfer” nephew, Haydn Sonnad, who plays for the Agoura High School golf team.

It was fitting to tee up and play El Caballero, given its history and links to publishing.

Hole 1 | 497 yards, par 5
Trent Jones likes to ease you into El Cab with a fairly straight par 5. Off the tee box, you must keep your drive as straight as possible due to out of bounds on the left and a line of mature trees on the right. Out of the gate, Steve and I hit decent drives to the fairway, mine favoring the right side. Our caddie, Mike, assured me I would have a clean second shot. Haydn and Bill got hung up in the trees on the right and kept hoping for that miracle recovery through the branches.

My second shot was straight on as Mike suggested, and Steve followed through systematically as well. I lost a stroke to the green, underestimating the length and uphill location. While I was able to card a bogey, Steve secured his first par of many.

Hole 6 | 174 yards, par 3
From an elevated tee box, golfers can gaze toward their attack, a green elevated beyond and surrounded by trees. Four bunkers heavily guard the green, but they were no match for Steve, who slammed a shot and rolled within a few inches of the cup. For the rest of us amateurs, we hit decent shots but missed the mark for bogeys. Steve carded his first of two birdies.

Hole 7 | 501 yards, par 5
This long hole features a sharp dogleg right, which includes out of bounds for players who try to cut the corner. But Haydn took no care of this danger when he launched his drive perfectly, favoring the left side. The green is heavily bunkered with four traps covering every point on the compass. Steve joined Haydn as they both put together strings of nearly perfect shots to the green for par. Bill and I struggled. I landed on the left side of the fairway in a grove of trees that knocked my ball around like a woodpecker.

Hole 10 | 141 yards, par 3
This pretty par 3 includes a water feature in front and on the right of the green with a kidney-shaped surface. Two traps just behind the green lie ready to catch players adding a little too much muscle in an attempt to avoid the water. Steve, naturally, made a lovely shot to the center of the green for par. Bill equally teed up and drove his ball home for the second par. Haydn and I took a more traveled route, both ending up on the left side and chipping far enough away to two-putt and score bogeys.

Pond at El Caballero Country Club

A pond bordering a green © El Caballero
Country Club

Hole 11 | 381 yards, par 4
In typical Trent Jones fashion, a dogleg right makes things more interesting here. As if this is not enough for struggling players like me, trees on the right side of the fairway can block your shot to the green. I landed near the farthest left tree, which offered a psychological effect: I could envision myself hitting this tree squarely and knocking myself back. I decided to take a little more club — Mike agreed with my yardage assessment — and cleanly hit the ball, adding a slightly right turn to the shot and landing on the green within 15 feet of the cup. My partners struggled, Bill losing a ball and Steve disappearing on the left. Haydn’s drive was so long and strong he was in the next county! I carded a par, one of my few during the round that day.

Hole 17 | 421 yards, par 4
The second-to-last hole at El Cab can either make you or break you. It took a chunk out of Steve’s par/birdie streak as he carded a bogey. Haydn hit one of his 300-yard drives askew and landed near some trees on the right. It is a beautiful hole, running ever so slightly downhill to the green, with a pond in front and to the left. I drove a weak shot from the tee box but made up the distance with a 3-wood, landing in front of the green on the bank of the pond. A make-or-break chip paid off by holing out, to the cheers of Steve, Haydn and Bill. It was a great day for golf at a historically rich club in Southern California. I must be a good luck charm for Steve, who carded a 74 for one of his all-time lows.

El Caballero Country Club

18300 Tarzana Drive
Tarzana, CA 91356
tel 818 654 3000
elcaballerocc.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 14, 2024

Former 1940s-Era Italian Bank Transformed Into Rome EDITION Hotel

It is hard to resist the pleasures of Rome, a city filled with world-renowned paintings; sculptures; thousands of colorful cafés; and hundreds of ancient buildings still standing and often used as offices, homes and museums. Certainly, Rome is the cradle from which all that is best about Italy emerged. It is difficult to open a new hotel in Rome without connecting it to the city’s history, art and culinary tradition. When Rome EDITION opened last year, it was the perfect fit for a city that lives and breathes all things extraordinary.

Welcome to Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro

Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro, operated by Aimbridge LATAM, opened its doors, welcoming guests to one of the most iconic and traditional properties in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Boasting 229 rooms and suites, the hotel, part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, is ready for discerning travelers. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the largest hotel franchise company in the world with approximately 9,100 hotels in more than 95 countries.

June 2024
Jun 14, 2024

Loyalty Programs Revamp to Meet Changing Customer Preferences

Airlines and hotels consistently tweak loyalty programs to draw brand engagement based on shifting consumer habits, and the demands of younger generations make an impact. According to Chris Galloway, executive vice president, Strategy & Design, for brand loyalty experts Brandmovers, millennials are more active and engaged in loyalty programs than any other generation to date, and as Gen Z gains in buying/spending power, they also accelerate in their desire for loyalty and rewards programs.

Daily
Jun 14, 2024

Luxury Italian Farmhouse Launches 3 Seasonal, Hands-On Culinary Experiences

This summer, guests staying at Casetta Firenze, a luxury farmhouse in the Chianti region of Tuscany, can book three culinary workshops led by experts in the art of pasta making, traditional Tuscan dishes and vegetarian cuisine. Each workshop offers a multicourse meal, local produce and complementary wine.

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

Daily
Jun 14, 2024

Top U.S. States for Golfers

Relocation experts at My Baggage recently conducted a study to determine the top U.S. states for golfers by analyzing the distribution of golf courses, driving ranges, tournaments and golf coaches per 100,000 residents in every state, along with the number of platinum clubs. From there, each location was assigned a score and ranked accordingly.

Daily
Jun 12, 2024

Langham Hospitality Group Opens Cordis-Branded Hotel in Foshan, China

Langham Hospitality Group opened a new hotel under its upscale Cordis Hotels & Resorts brand, situated in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, a key urban center in the country’s Greater Bay Area. The Cordis, Foshan and Lingnan Tiandi Hotel is becoming a promising destination for both tourists and business travelers thanks to its planned upgrades and prime location in Lingnan Tiandi.

Fill Your Heart with Ireland

Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 12, 2024

Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs Review

It’s often declared Paris’ Left Bank, or La Rive Gauche, the local side of the Seine —  where bohemian and chic are used superfluously, albeit with some veracity. It only makes sense that travelers looking to stay on the Left Bank would seek as local an accommodation as possible — Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs is the new kid on the block and certainly delivers this with its design following the likes of a Parisian art collectors’ residence.