Penmar Golf Course, Santa Monica & Where Indiana Jones ‘Safely’ Missed The Green In Regulation.

Penmar Golf Club is a better-than-average nine-hole golf course in the suburb of Venice near Santa Monica on the Pacific Ocean shoreline in California.

The club is located just three miles from the famed Santa Monica Pier and only seven miles from the exclusive Riviera Country Club and host each year to the Genesis Open on the PGA Tour and it was the tournament won by Dustin Johnson, and a victory that saw him go to No. 1 in the world, that drew me to Penmar.

But then there was an event in March 2015 that drew far greater and, in fact, worldwide attention to this humble suburban golf course that had been officially opened for play in 1962.

What occurred that day was nothing to do with the golfing skills of any club member nor visitor.

Harrison Ford, and star of the block-busting Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, crashed-landed his bright-yellow vintage 1942 Ryan Aeornautical single-engine plane around 2.20pm to the left of the 7th green and coming to rest in between two tees at the par three 8th hole.

Harrison Ford takes a huge divot in crash landing on the Penmar course.

Ford was lucky not to have landed on a busy road in striving to make his way back to the close-by airport.

I am not sure of the ruling in a situation like this but the golfing gods were shining brightly on the then 72-year old Ford.

It also is not the first time a pilot has used a golf course to crash land and I remember mid last year a light plane crashed into one of the lakes on the Liverpool course to the south of Sydney

Ford managed to land his plane right-side up but hitting a tree branch and also leaving the biggest divot seen on the course since its opening.  Fortunately for both pilot and plane the damage could be repaired.

Harrison Ford’s light plane comes to rest in an area between the two tee boxes on the 8th hole.

Harrison Ford’s ‘sorry-looking’ plane just short of one of the 8th hole tee boxes.

Luck also had it that there was a Dr. Sanjay Khurana, a spine surgeon who was among the players on the course that afternoon and he ran to help after seeing the plane go down.  Khurana is on record saying he saw Ford was slumped over, bleeding profusely and moaning. Ford had a very large scalp laceration but was able to speak and move, according to Khurana.

Ford was conveyed to hospital in fair to moderate condition and according to Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Patrick Butler the Hollywood actor had also suffered a couple of broken bones and required surgery.

And while Ford clearly missed the 7th green-in-regulation the veteran actor won praise for his forced landing.

Bernie points to the tree Harrinson Ford’s plane clipped in making a crash landing on the Penmar GC course.

The branch marked with an ‘x’ that Harrison Ford’s plant clipped.

“I would say that this is an absolutely beautifully executed — what we would call — a forced or emergency landing, by an unbelievably well-trained pilot,” said Christian Fry of the Santa Monica Airport Association.

Ford’s publicist, Ina Treciokas, said in a statement the actor was “banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care.”

“The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery, Treciokas said.

FORE LEFT! The area to the left of the 7th fairway and green ihere Harrison Ford crashed landed in March 2015 and lucky to have found the gap in the trees.

Now no evidence or a plaque where Harrison Ford crash landed his plane in March 2015

More than two years on there is no plaque at the spot where Hans Solo ala Indiana Jones ala Dr. Richard Kimble crashed landed his plane and there also is no reference in the clubhouse of the incident nor was any part of the aircraft souvenired for later display in the Penmar clubhouse.

I also understand, which is a real pity if true, but no-one nor the club received any correspondence from the multi-million dollar Hollywood actor thanking those playing the course that day who had pulled him to safety nor for the disruption he caused.

Penmar Golf Club and the scorecard of the course.

Penmar Golf Club – View from behind the 1st green (Photo –

Penmar Golf Club – View of the 2nd green (Photo –

The Santa Monica City Council met the costs of repairing Ford’s ‘divot’ which speaks to Ford’s alleged lack of contact with the club post his near fatal accident.

It was in 1954 the Recreation and Parks Department of the City of Los Angeles were planning to build a nine hole golf course on the west side of Los Angeles, to help ease the congestion on the Griffith Park and the new Rancho courses.

The funding would come from a $40 million dollar Recreation & Parks bond proposal that wouldn’t pass until 1957, allocating $300,000 for the new Penmar Golf Course.

Penmar Golf Club – View off the 6th tee at Penmar GC (Photo –

View of the 7th tee at Penmar GC (Photo –

The course was designed by a David W. Kent who designed a number of municipal courses in the ’60s.

It had been expected to open for play in late 1961 but then  construction was again delayed by the discovery of very hard ground and rocks making it difficult to shape. A second opening was planned for New Years Day of 1962, but again the opening was delayed by heavy rains that lasted through February.

Finally all was in place and with the course officially dedicated by city golf supervisor Americ Hadley on Tuesday March 27, 1962 and opened to the public the next day, and nearly eight years after the initial proposal.

Penmar GC- View of the 7th green. (Photo –

Penmar GC – View off the 8th tee. (Photo –

Penmar is not long measuring 2, 582-yards off the Blue or the back tees, 2,474-yards from the white and 2,308-yards off the Gold tees.  There is a mix of three par 3s, the third, fifth and the eight, and the remaining six all par fours.

The shortest of the par 3s is 139-yard third hole while the fifth plays the longest of the threes at testing 208-yards.

The longest hole, and off the Blue, is the 436-yard sixth and also the No.1 index, and the shortest par four being the 281-yard opening hole.

You don’t need a pilot’s licence or a flash car to play golf at Penmar Golf Club – Spotted in the car parks and with the clubs in the back.

One of the great joys in playing a golf course like Penmar was just how comfortable it was to get a tee time and how relaxing the walk the course AND without the fuss you get at some many private golf courses.  Also I have to compliment the staff for a wonderful and warm welcome which.

And in leaving the club, I can assure you I either replaced or filled-in every divot I made.



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