Those who drive the famous Highway 101 up the California coast will agree there is no better ocean drive in the United States -- and perhaps the world. The beauty of the coastline is highlighted by 17-mile drive along the Monterey Peninsula, which passes through beach towns as well as one of the world's most coveted golf vacation destinations.
The 18-hole Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1986. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. , Poppy Hills Golf Course measures 6872 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 140 and a 73 USGA rating.
The Black Horse was built after the unexpected popularity of its sister course the Bayonet that was built 10 years prior in 1954. Situated on the site of the former Fort Ord, both share a rich military history. Both also offer unrivaled vistas of Monterey Bay, but the more open nature of Black Horse allows for more panoramic views
The 18-hole Boulder Creek Golf & Country Club in Boulder Creek, CA is a resort golf course that opened in 1961. Designed by Jack Fleming, Boulder Creek Golf & Country Club measures 4396 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 105 and a 60.
Northern California's High Sierra makes for some of the world's most spectacular natural mountain wonders. It's home to Yosemite National Park, home to mighty waterfalls and marvelous glacial rock formations. To the north, sparkling Lake Tahoe sits at an elevation of over 6,000 feet and provides one of the West's great winter and summer escapes, home to skiing in the winter, and boating, mountain climbing and plenty of golf in the warmer months.
The 18-hole Nakoma Golf Resort in Clio, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1998. Designed by Robin Nelson, Nakoma Golf Resort measures 6791 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 139 and a 72 USGA rating. The course features 7 sets of tees for different skill levels.
The 18-hole Lake Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1962. Designed by Larry Mancour, Lake Tahoe Golf Course measures 6741 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 126 and a 70.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Gold Country, Apple Mountain Resort has a dramatic landscape that provides plenty of elevation changes, making it a nearly impossible course to walk. Some of the drops from tee to green are unbelievable, offering unrivaled views of the surrounding mountains. Nearly every hole enjoys a stunning backdrop.
The year 1849 and the California Golf Rush are long gone, but "Gold Country" is still an attractive region of the state. Also nicknamed the "Mother Lode" region, it includes the capital city of Sacramento to the west and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which head into Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park to the east in Mariposa County, the state's largest.
Established in 1926, Plumas Lake Golf & Country Club has long been one of the Sacramento Valley's most treasured courses. First opened as a nine-hole layout, the course expanded to a full 18 holes in 1960. Mature oak trees line the lush fairways and small greens and there is also a canal that snakes through the entire property, coming into play on 12 holes.
Whitney Oaks Golf Club in Rocklin sits just half an hour from Sacramento but the stunning landscape blanketed with thousands of live oaks feels much more secluded. In addition to the trees, massive granite outcroppings accent the course. It is both a visually stunning and formidable championship layout.
Turkey Creek Golf Club in Lincoln sprawls across rolling hills that are covered with mature oak forests. The back nine even closely resembles Germany's Black Forest. The centerpiece of the course is the old granite quarry that was transformed into an expansive lake that comes into play on the third and final holes.
Between the bustling metropolises of Los Angeles and San Francisco runs an unparalleled stretch of American beauty that is the Central Coast of California. State Route 1 along the Pacific has long been aptly numbered in inspirational value for painters, writers, vacationers, and, of course, golfers.
The 18-hole La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1986. Designed by Robert Muir Graves, La Purisima Golf Course measures 7105 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 143 and a 75.
The 18-hole Hunter Ranch Golf Course in Paso Robles, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1994. Designed by Kenneth Hunter and Mike McGinnis, Hunter Ranch Golf Course measures 6741 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 138 and a 72.
Avila Beach Golf Resort is located right along the bay, giving it a scenic setting that has made it the most well known of the Central Coast golf courses. The layout offers plenty of variety with a hilly front nine that features small, often elevated, greens that are surrounded by oak-lined valleys and a back nine that that is routed across a tidal estuary.
Although Orange County might be best known as the original home of Mickey Mouse, the area anchored by Disneyland offers plenty of other entertainment options for travelers, including scores of diverse golf courses, both on the coast and inland.
The 18-hole Anaheim Hills Golf Course in Anaheim, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1972. Designed by Richard Bigler, Anaheim Hills Golf Course measures 6245 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 117 and a 69.
Tucked away in the hills of San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Golf Course is situated midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Its location is conveniently close to Legoland, Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, and miles of sandy beaches. The championship golf course underwent a major renovation of its fairways and greens, making them some of the best in south Orange County.
The 18-hole Dad Miller Golf Course in Anaheim, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1961. Designed by Dick Miller, Dad Miller Golf Course measures 5892 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 114 and a 67.
San Francisco is a favorite destination for travelers all over the world, thanks to a strong mix of cultures, unique attractions and mild weather year round. It's easy to stay busy on a San Francisco vacation, from riding cable cars throughout the city to exploring one of the many unique neighborhoods, each with its own appeal.
Nestled at the base of Mount Diablo, Deer Ridge Golf Club wanders through rolling, oak-dappled hills. The course has several challenging holes but the hazards are balanced by more player-friendly elements like wide, forgiving fairways and generous greens. There is also plenty of room off the tees and at just over 6,300 yards it is a manageable length as well.
The 18-hole Zinfandel/Merlot at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1996. Designed by Rees Jones and Steve Weisser, Zinfandel/Merlot at Poppy Ridge Golf Course measures 7128 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 137 and a 74.
The 18-hole Hillside/Diablo at Brentwood Golf Club in Brentwood, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1994. Hillside/Diablo at Brentwood Golf Club measures 6487 yards from the longest tees. The course features 4 sets of tees for different skill levels. Greens and fairways are rye grass.
California's Central Valley stretches over 450 miles through the center of the state and parallels the Pacific Ocean. Also called the "Sacramento Valley," it encompasses such towns as Bakersfield to the south, past Sacramento and Fresno to Stockton at the northern end.
Wildhawk Golf Club is a challenging championship layout that is one of Sacramento's most popular public courses. The verdant landscape is dotted with scenic water features, including a cascading waterfall. Water is naturally a prominent presence but the unique shape and positioning of the bunkers also makes the course stand out from other public tracks.
The 18-hole Madera Municipal Golf Course in Madera, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1991. Designed by Bob Putman, Madera Municipal Golf Course measures 6833 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 119 and a 71.
The 18-hole Rancho Del Rey Golf Club in Atwater, CA is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1963. Designed by Bob E. Baldock, Rancho Del Rey Golf Club measures 6703 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 124 and a 72.
Desert hotbed Palm Springs anchors the Coachella Valley, a region home to a collection of cities with a wealth of golf communities. The valley is a favorite spot for seasonal residents and retirees, especially those after sunny winters on golf courses in prime, lush and green condition. Between January and April, few spots on earth are better for desert golf!
Nick Faldo brings his exacting, often critical eye to West Coast golf for the first time at this Shadow Ridge Golf Course in Palm Desert. Faldo wanted a design that forced a ton of strategic choices and the architect team of Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt delivered for him.
Escena Golf Club in Palm Springs is a return to what made desert golf great. This Nicklaus Design course with stunning views stretches to almost 7,200 yards to challenge the most skilled players.
The Shark's turned in what's widely regarded as the second-toughest course at PGA West - Greg Norman Course in La Quinta. No small feat considering the developers of the neighboring TPC Stadium ordered Pete Dye to make it, "the hardest damn golf course in the world."
From wine tasting to redwoods to quaint small towns bursting with arts, shopping and history, the North Coast of California may be the most relaxing region in the state. Here, you can explore the famous Sonoma vineyards, drive a car through a giant Redwood or experience the best of outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, river rafting, mountain biking and, of course, golf.
Established in 1892, Mare Island Golf Club is the oldest course west of the Mississippi. The course was originally just a nine-hole layout before it was recently expanded to a full 18 holes. Now, the golf course offers two distinct nines. It starts out with a more traditional front nine featuring small greens and tight fairways lined with Eucalyptus trees.
Nestled in the foothills of Napa Valley, Eagle Vines Vineyards & Golf Club is bordered by endless rows of grapes. Unlike many other vineyard courses that sell their grapes, Eagle Vines produces their own wines. Surrounding the vineyards is a landscape of 200-year-old oak trees and lush, grassy meadows, an ideal setting for golf.
Peacock Gap Golf Club extends along the shores of San Pablo Bay, but it sits inland enough to avoid the fogginess of the coast and enjoy consistently sunny weather throughout the year. The course's layout has undergone many renovations over the years that have brought it to its current playability
Composed of the Ontario, Riverside and San Bernardino areas, the Inland Empire is the fifth largest urban area in the state of California and quickly becoming one of the most diverse. Although it holds onto to its agricultural roots, which includes the Temecula Wine Region, the area is growing in terms of cultural arts, sports and recreation, including golf.
Redhawk Golf Club is one of California's 10 best public courses. Located on the outskirts of San Diego in Temecula, the course is home to one of the southern California's only island greens. The layout is challenging no matter what your skill level but it is still immensely enjoyable.
Shorecliffs Golf Course wanders through the coastal canyons and valleys of San Clemente, heading towards the beautiful shoreline. Situated just steps from the ocean, the course enjoys cool ocean breezes and a temperate climate, which makes it a year-round haven for golfers.
El Prado Golf Course boasts two different 18-hole courses: Butterfield Stage and Chino Creek. Early in California's statehood, stagecoaches would make the 2,700 mile trek from St. Louis to San Francisco. The property used to be a stop on this trail, which is where the Butterfield Stage Course gets its name.
For travelers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape the crowds, there's no better area than the Shasta Cascade region of northern California. Located in the shadows of Mount Shasta and the Cascade Mountains, this eight-county area, which makes up one-fifth of the state of California, is much the way it was centuries ago, albeit with a few more towns and a few peaceful golf courses sprinkled into the mix.
The 9-hole Lake Redding Golf Course in Redding, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1959. Lake Redding Golf Course measures 3685 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 87 and a 58.9 USGA rating.
The 9-hole Churn Creek Golf Course in Redding, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1977. Churn Creek Golf Course measures 6299 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 123 and a 70.3 USGA rating. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
The 18-hole Mount Shasta Resort in Mount Shasta, CA is a resort golf course that opened in 1993. Designed by Jim Sommers and Sandy Tatum, Mount Shasta Resort measures 6065 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 121 and a 68.
The Los Angeles area, which includes Hollywood and Beverly Hills, has often been called the land of make-believe and dreams, but one thing is certain: There's plenty to do and plenty of ways to do it. From the movie studios, to the beaches, to the Dodgers and Lakers, to enjoying the sunny weather on the golf courses, it does indeed seem to never rain in Southern California.
Opened in 1923, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Golf Course is one of California's first great courses. Over the decades that the course has been open, it has hosted a number of professional players and celebrities ranging from Arnold Palmer to Will Smith.
Opened in 1929, Willowick Golf Course in Santa Ana is Orange County's oldest public golf course. It is a challenging layout that has garnered a quite a following over the years. The course features wide fairways and large greens that offer ample room. There aren’t any water hazards a few strategically placed sand traps come into play and there are also mature trees lining the fairways.
Nestled in the foothills of the Conejo Valley, Los Robles Greens Golf Course is less than 40 miles from L.A. but feels much further thanks to the beautiful mountain surroundings. It sits at 900 feet above sea level and tumbles across a variety of elevation changes.
Nobody does weather better than San Diego, which makes the area a perfect location for many great outdoor activities such as shopping, hiking, surfing, sailing sunbathing and playing golf.
Boulder Oaks Golf Club in Escondido has a scenic location that offers stunning panoramic views of the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. The course meanders across rolling hills dappled with century-old oak trees. In addition to the towering trees that shade the fairways, native chaparral and impressive boulders edge the rough and fairways.
Situated just outside of Temecula, the Golf Club of California enjoys a scenic landscape provided by the rolling hills north of San Diego. Although there is an abundance of trees, the course still has many wide-open areas. The layout is not particularly long, but golfers should be prepared for a challenging round of target golf.
Mt. Woodson Golf Club is one of San Diego County's most popular courses for a number of reasons, one being the spectacular setting. Nestled in the Ramona Valley, the course is sprawls across a dramatic landscape of towering oak trees, enormous granite boulders, and sparkling blue lakes.