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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

  • 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.

    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.
    Roddy Ranch Golf Course is known for being one of the best values in the East Bay. The layout was carved from a 2000-acre working cattle ranch. The course sprawls across 235 acres, offering an expansive links-style layout complete with undulating greens framed by strategically placed bunkers.
    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.
  • 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.

    The 18-hole Fallbrook Golf Club in Fallbrook, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1962. Designed by Harry Rainville, Fallbrook Golf Club measures 6223 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 125 and a 71.3 USGA rating. The course features 2 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    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.
    Mt. Woodson Golf Club is one of San Diego County's most popular courses for a number of reasons, one being the spectacular setting. Nestled in the Ramona Valley, the course is sprawls across a dramatic landscape of towering oak trees, enormous granite boulders, and sparkling blue lakes.
  • 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.

    The 18-hole Stevinson Ranch Golf Club in Stevinson, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1995. Designed by George Kelley and John Harbottle III, Stevinson Ranch Golf Club measures 7180 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 143 and a 75.
    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.
  • 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.

    The 18-hole Shandin Hills Golf Club in San Bernardino, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1985. Designed by Cary Bickler, Shandin Hills Golf Club measures 6556 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 127 and a 70.
    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.
    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.
  • 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.

    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.
    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.
  • 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.

    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 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.
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Pacific Grove Golf Links is perched at the tip of the Monterey Peninsula looking out over Point Pinos and the sparkling blue Pacific. The championship course has an interesting layout that combines both parkland and links holes. The golf course begins inland through densely forested areas and then makes its way towards the coast.
    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.
    The 18-hole Pajaro Valley Golf Club in Royal Oaks, CA is a public golf course that opened in 1922. Designed by Floyd McFarkland, Pajaro Valley Golf Club measures 6684 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 124 and a 71.
  • 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.

    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.
    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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

    Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Golf Club enjoys one of southern California's most stunning settings. The club is conveniently located less than an hour from downtown L.A., making it an easy getaway that feels much further than it actually is. The layout is target golf at its finest with a combination of mountains, valleys, towering trees, and thick rough.
    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.
    The Links at Victoria Golf Course has a convenient location in Carson that is easily accessible from the South Bay, downtown Los Angeles, or Orange County. William Bell, the mastermind who crafted the Torrey Pines courses, also designed the Links at Victoria. The course has a traditional design that features wide, gently undulating fairways and large, well manicured greens.
  • 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.

    Whitney Oaks Golf Club in Rocklin sits just half an hour from Sacramento but the stunning landscape blanketed with thousands of live oaks feels much more secluded. In addition to the trees, massive granite outcroppings accent the course. It is both a visually stunning and formidable championship layout.
    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.
  • 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!

    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 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."
    The Players Course is one of two championship courses at Indian Wells Golf Resort, both of which are ranked in the top 20 golf courses in California. Opened in 2007, the course is still young but the landscape's existing trees were carefully incorporated into the layout to give it a more mature feel. The terrain has many assets to offer a round of golf, including plenty of water features and elevation changes.