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.
Nestled within the foothills that lie just next to Monterey wine country, Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Gilroy enjoys a stunning landscape with incredible views. The course takes advantage of the natural contours of the oak-studded hills, allowing them to dictate the placement of the bunkers for the maximum level of challenge but also utilizing the panoramic views offered by the dramatic elevations.
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.
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.
Meadowlark Golf Club in Huntington Beach is a player-friendly layout that is a popular choice amongst locals. Like most classically designed layouts, the course is short and tight but that also makes it easily walkable. The pin placements on the greens can be tricky and there are also some challenging water hazards that come into play on several holes.
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.
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.
Located at the base of a ski resort, Northstar California Golf Courserse possesses two completely different nines. Robert Muir Graves, the designer, fully utilized the rugged Tahoe landscape, creating a course that partly plays across grassy meadows before moving on to more mountainous terrain.
Old Brockway Golf Club is a family-owned and operated course that is a Lake Tahoe golfing tradition. There are few nine-hole courses that have as impressive a guest list as Old Brockway. The course has hosted everyone from Bob Hope and Dean Martin to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Situated on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, the golf course wanders through forests of mature Jeffery pines, which frame most of the holes.
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.
Eagle Glen Golf Club has a beautiful backdrop provided by the Cleveland National Forest. It's a course that is as scenic as it is challenging with an unforgiving terrain that has mature trees lining the fairways and quite a bit of undulation. Each hole slopes differently and you'll face a different challenge on each from split fairways to deep bunkers.
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.
Nestled in the foothills of Riverside County, Indian Hills Golf Club incorporates a range of different elevation changes. The elevated tees provide great views of the surrounding hills while the tricky raised greens make up the bulk of the course's difficulty.
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.
The 18-hole Sunnyvale Golf Course in Sunnyvale, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1968. Designed by David W. Kent, Sunnyvale Golf Course measures 6255 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 118 and a 70.2 USGA rating. The course features 5 sets of tees for different skill levels.
The 18-hole The Ranch Golf Club in San Jose, CA is a public golf course that opened in 2004. The Ranch Golf Club measures 6656 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 152 and a 72.
Shadow Lakes Golf Club sprawls across rolling hills with Mount Diablo looming in the background. Dramatic elevation changes characterize the course, providing both challenges and scenic views of the East Bay Area. The undulations of the terrain range from subtle to dramatic and helped to determine the strategic placement of the sharply sculpted bunkers, of which there are many.
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 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 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.
Teal Bend Golf Club runs alongside the Sacramento River, enjoying a lush landscape covered in natural wetlands. One of the characteristics the course is known for is its stunning scenery, which works against the challenging layout by being almost too distracting.
Perched just above the northern California fog line, Diablo Grande Golf & Country Club enjoys scenic views and sunny days throughout the year. The golf course rolls through a stunning valley filled with canyons, creeks, wildlife, and vineyards.
The 18-hole The Ridge Golf Course in Auburn, CA is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1999. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. , The Ridge Golf Course measures 6749 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 140 and a 73.
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!
It's not easy to outdo and overshadow Pete Dye. But many golf observers feel that Gary Player's done just that with this design at Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage.
Gary Player Signature Course is the second course at Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, having followed Dye's South Course.
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."
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
There are two championship courses at Foxtail Golf Club, the North and the South. Situated in the heart of wine country, both courses enjoy a lush, scenic landscape and pleasant views of the surrounding countryside. The longer and more difficult North Course was completely redesigned to make it more challenging but the player-friendly South Course has remained a favorite destination of both Sonoma and Marin Counties for its playability. It provides a more beginner-friendly option than the North, but there are still plenty of challenges in store.
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.
The 9-hole Creekside Course at Moorpark Country Club in Moorpark, CA is a semi-private golf course that opened in 2002. Creekside Course at Moorpark Country Club measures 3507 yards from the longest tees. The course features 5 sets of tees for different skill levels. Greens and fairways are bermuda grass.
DeBell Golf Club in Burbank offers an 18-hole Regulation Course and a nine-hole par-3 course. The Regulation Course has a tight layout with narrow fairways and a variety of elevation changes that range from subtle to dramatic. Accuracy is the key to doing well on this golf course but it's not overly punishing.
The David L. Baker Memorial Golf Course is an affordable public course located in Fountain Valley. It has an approachable layout that is versatile enough to appeal to a range of different skill levels. No two holes are alike but all of the greens and fairways share the same excellent conditions.
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 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.
Sea Pines Golf Resort is situated at the southern tip of Borro Bay, with the ocean neighboring it to one side and the Montana de Oro State Park and charming village of Los Osos on the other. This ideal spot is just minutes from the area's wine country and the attractions of historic San Luis Obispo. The nine-hole layout offers beautiful views of the bay and Morro Rock from almost every hole.
The 18-hole Links Golf Course of Paso Robles in Paso Robles, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1996. Designed by Rudy Duran, TLinks Golf Course of Paso Robles measures 7056 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 118 and a 73.
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.
St. Mark Golf Course is tucked away in the coastal foothills of north San Diego County less than 10 miles from the ocean, boasting a landscape of mature trees and idyllic backdrops. Its proximity to the ocean also provides refreshing coastal breezes.
The 18-hole Regulation at Marine Memorial Golf Course in Camp Pendleton, CA is a military golf course that opened in 1948. Designed by William P. Bell, Regulation at Marine Memorial Golf Course measures 6865 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 130 and a 72.
The 18-hole Eastlake Country Club in Chula Vista, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1991. Designed by Ted Robinson, Sr. , Eastlake Country Club measures 6606 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 116 and a 70.