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.
Manteca Park Golf Course is a municipal course with the quality of a private club. With consistently good conditions and a challenging design, the course offers an especially good value for the price. The friendly staff has also added to the course's good reputation.
Located in the Central Valley, Micke Grove Golf Links is surrounded by scenic vineyards. The course is mostly flat and measures to a reasonable 6,565 yards from the back tees, but it is not to be underestimated. There are some tough holes including the par-5 fifth, which requires an accurate tee shot in order to avoid the hazards on both the left and right.
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!
Desert Springs Resort has a longstanding reputation as a luxury resort that offers something for everyone. There are two championship golf courses that sprawl across beautifully landscaped grounds covered with lush vegetation and sparkling lagoons, providing a scenic oasis amidst the desert surroundings.
This is the monster of all monsters, the one that carries so many folktales of golfer terror with it that it should qualify as its own myth. The developers asked Pete Dyeto make this "the toughest golf course in the world" and many argue he succeeded. Too well.
TPC Stadium Course in La Quinta is one of those tracks that any self-respecting golf nut has to play once. Just to experience it. Just to say you did. Just to have stories of golf cruelty to tell at the office water cooler.
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.
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 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.
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.
Carlton Oaks Country Club is the only public Dye Design golf course in San Diego. The course is covered with hundreds of mature trees interspersed with sparkling blue lakes and meandering creeks. The layout offers a diverse mix of holes that all possess a unique character.
Located at the base of Mt. Miguel next to a State Wildlife preserve, Salt Creek Golf Club has a traditional link-style layout that tumbles across the gently rolling hills of San Diego County. Although it stays true to its Scottish heritage in design, it has a truly southern Californian landscape.
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.
The 9-hole Mount Saint Helena Golf Course in Calistoga, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1956. Designed by Jack Fleming, Mount Saint Helena Golf Course measures 5480 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 105 and a 5480 USGA rating.
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.
The 18-hole The Tournament Course at Coyote Creek Golf Club in Morgan Hill, CA is a private golf course that opened in 1999. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, The Tournament Course at Coyote Creek Golf Club measures 7027 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 144 and a 74.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The 18-hole Seven Hills Golf Club in Hemet, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1970. Designed by Harry & David Rainville, Seven Hills Golf Club measures 6557 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 116 and a 70.
Situated amongst the foothills of the San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Mountains, Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon boasts 36 holes of scenic championship golf. The two courses, the Champions and the Legends, are some of the area's most popular. The older Champions Course is host to the PGA Tour Q-School and it is a Nationwide Tour Qualifier.
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.
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 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.
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.
Sterling Hills Golf Club sprawls across acres of lush countryside surrounded by avocado groves and citrus orchards. The layout winds through the verdant hills between Oxnard and Ventura. The versatile layout balances areas of wide-openness with target-style golf. There is contoured mounding along the fairways and some interesting elevation changes.
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.
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.
Graeagle Meadows Golf Club offers a dramatic round with plenty of water, towering pine trees, and elevated tees looking out over breathtaking mountain views. Located just an hour from Reno and Tahoe, the course is a favorite among locals and visitors. The challenging layout will test even the most seasoned golfers from the back tees.
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.
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.
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 Tracy Golf & Country Club in Tracy, CA is a private golf course that opened in 1955. Designed by Bob E. Baldock, Tracy Golf & Country Club measures 6630 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 124 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.
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.