This L.A. Muni is getting a $15 million facelift thanks to the U.S. Open

maggie hathaway golf course

Maggie Hathaway is getting major improvements to the tune of $15 million (!) thanks to two legendary course designers and the U.S. Open.

Bradley Meinz

No portrait of golf in Los Angeles is complete without a picture of Maggie Hathaway. A Louisiana-born blues singer and pianist, Hathaway moved to Southern California in the 1930s and wound up playing a range of Hollywood roles, including a frequent stand-in for Lena Horne.

In sporting circles, though, she became best known as the civil-rights activist who helped break the color barrier in L.A. public golf. In the 1970s, having pushed successfully for the integration of local municipal courses, Hathaway, an avid golfer herself, took over as director of what was then Jack Thompson Golf Course, a nine-hole par-3 layout in southwest L.A.

In 1997, four years prior to Hathaway’s death, the course was renamed in her honor and, through a public-private partnership, established as an outpost for the Western States Golf Association, the oldest minority golf association in the West. To this day, it remains a popular and affordable venue, with sparkling views that belie its $9 green fees.

But it could use some TLC, which is what it’s now on track to get.

With the national championship returning to L.A. for the first time in 75 years, a fundraising campaign is underway to support junior golf throughout Southern California. Spearheaded by the Southern California Golf Association, in collaboration with the USGA and U.S. Open host Los Angeles Country Club, the initiative, which will run through the end of the year, has earmarked $15 million to reinvigorate the Maggie Hathaway course.

For the project, architects Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, who handled the renovation of LACC, have offered their design services for free.

For more information on the project and how you might be able to help, visit

Josh Sens Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.