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Baseball

Dodgers. You can watch the Dodgers take on its National League rivals while munching on pizza, tacos, or foot-long "Dodger dogs" at one of the game's most comfortable ball parks, Dodger Stadium. Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., exit off I–110, Pasadena Fwy., Los Angeles, CA, 90012. 323/224–1507. www.dodgers.com.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made headlines after acquiring home-run hitter Josh Hamilton from the Texas Rangers for $125 million in late 2012. Angel Stadium of Anaheim, 2000 E Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA, 92806. 714/940–2000. www.angelsbaseball.com.

Basketball

L.A.'s pro basketball teams play at the Staples Center (1111 S. Figueroa St., Downtown 213/742-7340 box office www.staplescenter.com).

Los Angeles Lakers. See where Magic Johnson once strutted his stuff. It's not easy to get tickets, but if you can, don't miss the chance to see this championship-winning team—especially if the Lakers are playing their rivals, the Celtics, Clippers, or Spurs. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, 90015. 310/426–6000. www.nba.com/lakers.

Clippers. It's often easier and cheaper to score tickets for L.A.'s "other" basketball team, the Clippers. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA, 90015. 213/742–7100. www.nba.com/clippers.

Los Angeles Sparks. After the 2010 retirement of WNBA superstar Lisa Leslie, the Los Angeles Sparks have put the spotlight on forward Candace Parker, who was named MVP in an all-star game in 2013. Staples Center, 1111 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA, 90015. 310/426–6031. www.wnba.com/sparks.

University of Southern California. The Trojans of the University of Southern California play at the Galen Center. Galen Center, 3400 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA, 90007. 213/740–4672. www.usctrojans.com.

University of California at Los Angeles. The University of California at Los Angeles Bruins play at Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus. Pauley Pavilion, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90095. 310/825–2101. uclabruins.collegesports.com.

These schools go head-to-head in Pac 10 competition.

A lesser-known team that has lately stirred the waters is Malibu's own Waves of Pepperdine University.

The Titans of California State University at Fullerton experienced an upswing under coach Bob Burton and made it to the NCAA tournament in 2008. They are now being led by Dedrique Taylor.

A local team worth watching is the Lions at Loyola Marymount University.

Football

Since the L.A. Avengers are now no longer, football in Los Angeles is all about the college teams. Fortunately, because they're some of the best matchups in the league, stadiums are packed and the games are well worth the price of admission.

USC Trojans. The USC Trojans play at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, both a state and federal historic landmark. L.A. Memorial Coliseum, 3939 S. Figueroa St., Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, 90037. 213/740–4672. usctrojans.collegesports.com.

UCLA Bruins. The UCLA Bruins pack 'em in at the Rose Bowl. Rose Bowl, 1010 Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, 91103. 626/577–3100. uclabruins.collegesports.com.

Hockey

L.A. Kings. The National Hockey League's L.A. Kings was the first professional hockey team to make California its home. The team made a name for itself nationally when it cinched the Stanley Cup for the first time in 2012. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA, 90015. 213/742–7100. www.lakings.com.

Anaheim Ducks. The Anaheim Ducks push the puck at Honda Center (2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim 714/704–2500). Long an underdog team, it became the first Southern California team to win the Stanley Cup in 2007. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 92806. 877/945–3946. ducks.nhl.com.

Golf

Given the near-perfect weather year-round in Southern California, golf is incredibly popular in Los Angeles. Beautiful public courses can be found in just about every area of the city.

For those who love to watch the pros in action, the hot golf ticket in town each February is the PGA Northern Trust Open. The $6.4 million purse attracts the best golfers in the world to its week of competition at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

City Courses

The City Parks and Recreation Department lists seven public 18-hole courses in Los Angeles, and L.A. County runs some good ones, too. Rancho Park Golf Course is one of the most heavily played links in the country. It's a beautifully designed course, but the towering pines present an obstacle for those who slice or hook. There's a two-level driving range, a 9-hole pitch 'n' putt, a snack bar, and a pro shop where you can rent clubs.

Griffith Park has two splendid 18-hole courses along with a challenging 9-hole course. Harding Municipal Golf Course and Wilson Municipal Golf Course (4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles 323/663–2555) are about 1½ mi inside the park entrance, at Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Boulevard. Bridle paths surround the outer fairways, and the San Gabriel Mountains make a scenic background.

The Holmby Park Pitch 'n' Putt is truly cozy: the longest hole is 68 yards.

Los Feliz

You may recall the 9-hole pitch 'n' putt Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course from the movie Swingers.

The 9-hole Roosevelt Municipal Golf Course can be reached through the park's Vermont Avenue entrance.

The Valley

Several good public courses are in the San Fernando Valley. The Sepulveda Golf Complex has the Balboa course (par 70) and the longer Encino course (par 72), plus a driving range.

Five lakes and occasional wildlife spottings make the Woodley Lakes Golf Course fairly scenic. It's flat and thus somewhat forgiving, but the back 9 is more challenging, with only one par 4 under 400 yards.

Pasadena and Environs

If you want a scenic course, the county-run, par-71 Los Verdes Golf Course has fierce scenery. You get a cliff-top view of the ocean—time it right and you can watch the sun set behind Catalina Island.

Sitting on landfill, the Scholl Canyon Golf Club may only be a par 60, but it's fun and challenging, attractive for its top condition as well as its ups and downs and elevated views.