One of the biggest detriments to playing golf, besides cost, is the length of play. Rounds at heavily impacted courses—such as the ones most of us can afford—can take four hours, and if you’re stuck behind some slow fuckers, it can stretch way longer. Add time driving to the course, warming up and getting pickled at the 19 hole, and half a day is gone. So why not cut it in half? Instead of playing 18 holes, stick with nine. You can do that at many courses, playing nine holes at a reduced rate, or you can take advantage of one of OC’s last stand-alone nine-hole courses (which opened in 1950 and was called Aliso Creek Inn and Golf Course for years). The longest hole is 318 yards, so you won’t need your driver—or the extra time searching for errant balls. But it will test your iron and short games, and located in Wood and Aliso canyons, it offers killer views and elevation changes. Green fees top out at $44 on weekend mornings, and you can play for as low as $25 during the week.
31006 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (800) 223-3309; www.theranchlb.com.
Readers’ Choice: The Ranch at Laguna Beach