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.
Situated along the beautiful Sonoma County Coast, the Links at Bodega Harbour enjoys stunning views of the Pacific. The golf course is a true links-style layout with rolling fairways and undulating greens. Accents of native coastal rough are reminiscent of its Scottish links heritage. Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the back nine in 1978, which was the original course before the front nine was added in 1987.
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 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 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 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.
Westridge Golf Club is a challenging layout designed by Robert Muir Graves, a familiar name in California golf. Graves has designed many of the state's most popular courses including Boundary Oak in Walnut Creek and Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel. At just under 6,600 yards, Westridge G.C. is seemingly short but what it lacks in length it makes up for with more than 60 sand bunkers strategically placed alongside the narrow fairways and sloping greens.
Nestled in the foothills of eastern Ventura County, Tierra Rejada Golf Club is known for its picturesque setting and stunning views. The club overlooks the Reagan Presidential Library. Tierra Rejada is unique in that it offers a formidable test for low handicappers from the championship tees but it is also accessible to mid and high handicappers thanks to the Players Course.
Angeles National Golf Club is the only Nicklaus Design course in Los Angeles County. It is tucked away in the Angeles National Forest. This championship course is known for being one of the area's most challenging with tough greens that are lightning fast and more than 50 strategically placed bunkers. There are also two lakes and a creek that come into play.
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!
The trademark railroad ties and pot bunkers are visible throughout this Pete Dye course. The ruthlessly hacker crushing holes are not. At Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa Pete Dye Resort Course in Rancho Mirage, Dye very much keeps the resort player in mind. It is still target golf when you get closer to the greens, but it's not impossible target golf.
Indian Canyons Golf Resort boasts two championship courses, the North and South. The courses are surrounded by the San Jacinto Mountains, providing scenic views while also sheltering them from the wind. The North Course is the longer of the two. It has a classic layout that was designed by William Bell. Thousands of trees blanket the course, including palms and olive trees as well as several varieties of native trees.
Desert Dunes Golf Course has a unique layout that combines a traditional links design with true desert-style golf. The course winds through natural sand dunes that are accented with mature trees and an abundance of native vegetation. It offers one of the most challenging rounds in the valley with narrow fairways, dramatic elevation changes, and fast, sloped greens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lone Tree Golf & Event Center sits at the base of Mount Diablo State Park, tumbling across rolling hills that provide panoramic views of the scenic San Juaquin River Delta region. It is one of the most popular golf courses among local Bay Area golfers. The name of the course is misleading since the beautiful landscape is covered with mature forests filled with a variety of indigenous trees including majestic Red Oaks, Cypress, Eucalyptus, and Ponderosa Pines.
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 The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, CA is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1999. Designed by Andy Raugust, The Reserve at Spanos Park measures 7132 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 133 and a 74 USGA rating.
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.
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.
The 18-hole The Valley Course at Coyote Creek Golf Club in Morgan Hill, CA is a public golf course that opened in 2001. The Valley Course at Coyote Creek Golf Club measures 7066 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 135 and a 74.
The 18-hole Airways Municipal Golf Course in Fresno, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1952. Airways Municipal Golf Course measures 5286 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 110 and a 67.9 USGA rating. The course features 2 sets of tees for different skill levels.
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.
Nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, Yucaipa Valley Golf Club enjoys a stunning backdrop on most of its holes. Yucaipa Valley offers the unique combination of being both challenging and affordable, for this reason it's a local favorite. The layout is player friendly enough to appeal to a wide range of skill levels.
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.
The 18-hole Dos Lagos Golf Course in Corona, CA is a public golf course that opened in 2007. Designed by Matt Dye, Dos Lagos Golf Course measures 6544 yards from the longest tees.
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 Franklin Canyon Golf Course in Hercules, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1970. Designed by Robert Muir Graves, Franklin Canyon Golf Course measures 6550 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 132 and a 71.
The 18-hole Redwood Canyon Golf Course (formerly known as Willow Park Golf Course) in Castro Valley, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1966. Designed by Bob E. Baldock and Robert L.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Maderas Golf Club is one of San Diego's most popular courses. Although it is less than an hour from Torrey Pines, it has a stunning landscape and challenging design that rivals that of the famed seaside course. Maderas may not have the ocean views, but its beautiful landscape provides just as much scenery.
Pala Mesa Golf Resort is situated between Temecula wine country and the beautiful countryside of San Diego's North County. The course was carefully carved from the surrounding hillsides, providing rolling fairways and undulating greens throughout the layout.
The 18-hole Ivanhoe Course at Cottonwood Golf Club in El Cajon, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1953. Designed by A. C. Sears and O. W. Moorman, Ivanhoe Course at Cottonwood Golf Club measures 6764 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 126 and a 72.
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.
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.