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Located across the street from the landmark Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, the Roosevelt Municipal Golf Course, which is operated by the city, is no ordinary nine-hole course. It's fairly challenging — watch out for the many sand traps and narrow fairways — but not overwhelmingly so, with incredible views of the Griffith Observatory. Regulars have spotted coyotes and rattlesnakes. As you walk the beautiful yet hilly terrain and whack a golf ball around, you're transported into another world, where big-city pressures, sights and sounds fade away. Expect to wait to tee up on weekends, because it's a popular place (although you can make an advance online reservation). With no golf carts allowed, it's just nature, a lot of quiet, you and a nine-iron in your hands in the middle of Los Angeles. 2650 N. Vermont Ave., Griffith Park. (323) 665-2011, golf.lacity.org. —Patrick Range McDonald