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Black Gold Golf Club - hole 18

Five for five: Some of the more memorable par-5 golf holes in Orange County

They're often the no. 1 handicap hole on the course, but they can be good birdie opportunities as well. We're talking par 5s, where good players can sometimes hit the green in two or at the very least set up a wedge shot for a possible up and down. On the other hand, the average player has to hit three good shots in a row to set up a birdie putt, a daunting task for most players, but not impossible. Add a few hazards and usually a smaller green and you've got a great challenge. Here are five of the best par-5 holes in Orange County.
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Golf Club of California - 7th

The Golf Club of California: A gentle experience among the avocado hillsides

Located just outside of Temecula and San Diego, in the heart of avocado country, the Golf Club of California is basically a public golf facility disguised as a private club. It's fun to play, scenic, well maintained and has excellent customer service. From the first to the last, golfers will enjoy well designed holes, excellent greens with plenty of white-sand bunkers, water hazards and mountain views to keep their interest.
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Sandpiper Golf Club

Santa Barbara: Bringing out the best in California's golf contrasts

Santa Barbara has always served as a release valve for Los Angeles. It is the easy getaway that still has the best of southern California weather, beaches and lifestyle. As for golf, you don't have to travel far to get a completely different feel in terms of weather, temperature and lifestyle.
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California Destinations

  • Monterey Peninsula

    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.

    For a variety of reasons, some of which include the challenging layouts and stunning views over the Monterey Peninsula, the Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses have hosted to numerous PGA legends such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as well as several U.S. Presidents and foreign dignitaries.
    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.
    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.
  • Central Valley

    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.

    Perched just above the northern California fog line, Diablo Grande enjoys scenic views and sunny days throughout the year. The club is home to two of the area's finest golf courses, the Ranch and the Legends. The Ranch Course wanders through oak forests and across rolling green hills. The diverse terrain ranges from dramatic elevation changes to subtle contours. The natural water features, including the meandering creek, come into play on several holes.
    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.
  • Inland Empire

    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.

    Situated amidst the beauty of the Temecula Valley, CrossCreek Golf Club enjoys a peacefully secluded setting enclosed by groves of mature oak and sycamore trees. Arthur Hills designed the course, using the rolling hills to incorporate tricky blind shots to elevated greens. His design is a true test of target golf.
    The Country Club at Soboba Springs was founded in 2004 when the Luiseno Indians purchased the property. It had long been a dream of the tribal leaders to own this golf course, which borders their reservation. The tribe's leaders hired Cary Bickler, a disciple of the course's original designer, Desmond Muirhead, to update the layout and pave the way for it to once again be one of southern California's premier golfing destinations.
    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.
  • Lake Tahoe and the High Sierra

    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.

    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 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.
    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.
  • Orange County

    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.
    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.
    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.
  • Shasta Cascade

    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 Bailey Creek Golf Course in Lake Almanor, CA opened in 1999. Bailey Creek Golf Course measures 7040 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 129 and a 72.
    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.
  • Los Angeles

    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.

    Located just minutes from LAX, Rio Hondo Golf Club is conveniently accessible from the South Bay and Orange County. Golf Digest has ranked the course as one of southern California's "Places to Play." The course features tight, tree-lined fairways and subtly contoured greens that are faster than they look. It's not a particularly long layout but the par 3s provide some good length. Golfers will face a variety of challenges throughout, but there is also plenty of scenic respite.
    Marshall Canyon Golf Course is nestled within the scenic foothills that overlook La Verne. The course is seemingly short at 6,110 yards from the back tees but it's not to be underestimated. The hilly terrain provides more than enough uneven lies and blind shots.
    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.
  • San Diego

    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.

    Rancho Carlsbad Golf Course is an executive layout that is one of the area's best values. It's not a terribly formidable course but it's great for getting in some short game practice. The course is gentle enough for beginners and juniors, making it a good place for families.
    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.
    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.
  • Palm Springs

    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!

    Located in the heart of the Palm Desert in the Coachella Valley, Woodhaven Country Club offers panoramic views that stretch across the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains. The golf course has a traditional desert landscape but the stunning mountain views elevate it to a truly unique experience.
    Nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, Indian Canyons Golf Resort offers two championship courses with stunning views. The two golf courses, North and South, have completely different layouts but they are both sheltered from the wind thanks to the surrounding mountains. The South Course is the shorter of the two, making it the more player-friendly course. That is not to say it is not a challenge though.
    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.
  • Napa/Sonoma

    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 18-hole Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course in Hidden Valley Lake, CA is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1965. Designed by William F. Bell, Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course measures 6667 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 124 and a 72.
  • Central Coast of California

    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 Oaks/Canyon at Blacklake Golf Resort in Nipomo, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1965. Designed by Ted Robinson, Sr. , Oaks/Canyon at Blacklake Golf Resort measures 6034 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 124 and a 69.
    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.
    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.
  • San Francisco

    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.

    Situated within the Oakland Hills, Lake Chabot Golf Course offers stunning views that stretch across Oakland, Bay Bridge, and the Lake Chabot area. The terrain is hilly, which makes flat lies hard to find. Accuracy and precise shot placement will get you far. The stretch of holes from the 15th to the finish has the best scenery on the golf course.
    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.
    Tucked away in the Pittsburg foothills, Delta View Golf Club offers exactly what its name implies, beautiful views of the Delta as well as Mount Diablo in the background. The course originally opened as a nine-hole layout in 1947 but it was lengthened to an 18-hole course in 1991. The rolling terrain allows for elevated tees and undulating greens that make it feel longer than the 6,333 yards indicated on the scorecard.
  • Sacramento & Gold Country

    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.
    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.
    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.