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.
Looking for the quality and atmosphere found in the top country clubs? You will find it at Vellano Country Club. With four different tees, golfers of all skill levels will enjoy the Greg Norman-designed course -- the first in the Los Angeles area -- which winds its way through a picturesque southern California landscape.
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 18-hole River/Pine at Whittier Narrows Golf Course in Rosemead, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1955. Designed by William F. Bell, River/Pine at Whittier Narrows Golf Course measures 6837 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 116 and a 17.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Situated in the foothills of Riverside, Jurupa Hills Country Club is popular amongst locals for offering one of the most affordable rounds in the area. The layout is player friendly enough for all skill levels to enjoy but there are still some tough holes.
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 Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in Vallejo, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1995. Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, Hiddenbrooke Golf Club measures 6638 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 142 and a 72.
The 18-hole Poplar Creek Golf Course in San Mateo, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1933. Poplar Creek Golf Course measures 6042 yards from the longest tees. The course features 4 sets of tees for different skill levels. Greens and fairways are rye grass.
SkyWest Golf Course is part of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, it's one of two municipal courses. Opened in 1964, the course has a traditional layout with classic lines. Mature trees line the fairways and there are two lakes that come into play. The large greens play true and they can be subtly tricky.
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.
Tahoe Donner Golf Course was carefully carved from forests of pine with streams and creeks that meander across the layout. Overlooking the Truckee Valley, the course epitomizes the beauty of the High Sierra and the commitment to preserving the environment was recognized with the course's certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
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.
Tahoe City Golf Course dates all the way back to 1917, making it one of the oldest courses in the Tahoe area. The nine-hole course has been host to many well known names over the years, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, and Sammy Davis Jr. Despite the course's famous guest list, this underrated gem is still mostly just a secret among the locals.
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 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 Pheasant Run Golf Course in Chowchilla, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1998. Designed by Richard Bigler, Pheasant Run Golf Course measures 7329 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 129 and a 75.
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.
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.
San Juan Oaks Golf Club is a Fred Couples course that is seemingly located in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by mature oak trees and rolling farmland with views that stretch across the neighboring hills, the setting is well worth the drive. The classic Couples design has a player-friendly front nine and a more challenging back nine.
The Club at Crazy Horse Ranch (previously known as Salinas Golf & Country Club) tumbles across the rolling hills of Monterey County's countryside. Opened in 1925, the course is one of the area's oldest and over the years it has come to be known as the friendliest club in the area. Originally opened as a nine-hole layout, the now-18-hole course offers a great round of classic golf but the club is hardly what you would call traditional.
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.
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.
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 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.
Blacklake Golf Resort boasts 27 holes of championship golf that are divided into three nines called the Oaks, Canyons, and Lakes. The nines can be played in three different 18-hole combinations. The Oaks/Canyons Course is the toughest of the three.
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 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.
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.
Situated within the Santa Ana Riverbed, River View Golf Course is conveniently located just minutes from Disneyland, Anaheim, and Long Beach. The course's design intertwines with the river, providing challenging hazards 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.
Carmel Highland Golf Resort, a Doubletree Resort, tumbles across the sloping hillsides just north of downtown San Diego. It has a central location near many attractions that make it ideal for family vacations and golf outings.
Eagle Crest Golf Club is routed through the scenic San Pasqual Valley. Its secluded location and challenging layout have made Eagle Crest one of San Diego's best-kept secrets. The beautiful layout incorporates cascading waterfalls and eight lakes along with colorful wildflowers and rolling green hills.
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.
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!
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.
On the Classic Club's scenic landscape, golfers will find a wide variety of trees including olive trees, towering pines, and California pepper, but unlike the many other golf courses in Palm Springs, there isn't a single palm tree.
This course sits at the intersection of two of the most famous roads in Palm Springs: Bob Hope Drive and Frank Sinatra Drive. Yet, it's one of the better kept secrets in the golf scene. Rancho Mirage Country Club in Ranch Mirage is a semi-private club available to outside play through stay & play packages so it does not do a lot of publicity.
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 Wilcox Oaks Golf Club in Red Bluff, CA is a private golf course that opened in 1957. Designed by Ben Harmon, Wilcox Oaks Golf Club measures 6099 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 124 and a 70 USGA rating.
The 9-hole River Tasalmi Golf Course in Redding, CA is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1990. Designed by Bill Ralston, River Tasalmi Golf Course measures 4104 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 97 and a 61.
Bailey Creek Golf Course is situated along the shores of Lake Almanor with Mount Lassen serving as the backdrop. The course has a traditional mountain design that is both scenic and challenging.
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.
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.
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.
The 9-hole Buckingham Golf & Country Club in Kelseyville, CA is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1955. Designed by James Young, Buckingham Golf & Country Club measures 6216 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 121 and a 69.