Spotlight

Tahoe Donner Golf Course

A peek at the peaceful mountain golf course of Tahoe Donner in Truckee

There's no secret that the golf in this area is stellar, with courses like Old Greenwood, Coyote Moon and Gray's Crossing, to name a few. But not to be overlooked is one of the area's oldest courses, Tahoe Donner Golf Course, a challenging championship test of more than 7,000 yards cut through tall pines.
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Lake Tahoe Golf Course

The other course near the southern shore of Lake Tahoe: Lake Tahoe Golf Course

Lake Tahoe Golf Course may not have the pedigree of its neighbor Edgewood Tahoe, six miles to the north, but it shouldn't be overlooked by anyone making a trip to the South Shore of Lake Tahoe to play golf. Opened in 1962, this William Bell design is nestled in a meadow with plenty of views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
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Links at Terranea golf course - hole 8

Short but sweet: The Links at Terranea near L.A.

The Links at Terranea is one of the most unique golf facilities on the west coast and ranks among the best par-3 courses in the U.S. Its blown-out bunkers would look right at home at Bandon Dunes or Whistling Straits. The course is a fun shot-making test, Jason Scott Deegan writes.
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California Destinations

  • 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!

    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.
    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.
    The 18-hole Cathedral Canyon Country Club in Cathedral City, CA is a resort golf course that opened in 1970. Designed by David Rainville, Cathedral Canyon Country Club measures 6505 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 130 and a 71.
  • 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.

    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.
    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.
    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.
  • 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.

    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 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.
  • 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.

    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.
    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.
    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.
  • 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.

    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.
    Royal Vista Golf Club offers 27 holes of golf that are played in three different 18-hole combinations. The East/North combination is the longest of the three layouts. The course features elevated tees, narrow fairways lined with trees, and elevated greens, many of which are bordered by deep bunkers.
    Opened in 1923, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Golf Course is one of California's first great courses. Over the decades that the course has been open, it has hosted a number of professional players and celebrities ranging from Arnold Palmer to Will Smith.
  • 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.

    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.
    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.
  • 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.

    Nestled in the heart of California Gold Country, La Contenta Golf Course wanders through the foothills of the Sierras. Being surrounded by beautiful mountains, the course feels peacefully secluded and enjoys stunning views, yet it is conveniently just a short drive from Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley.
    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.
    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.
  • 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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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 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.
    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.
    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.
  • 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 Welk Resort San Diego offers two 18-hole championship golf courses, the Oaks and the Fountain. Both courses stretch out across over 600 acres of lush, beautifully manicured terrain that incorporates both forests and wetlands. The Oaks gets its name from the plentiful 100-year-old oak trees that blanket the golf course. The 18-hole, par-3 course is ideal for anyone looking to improve their short game, regardless of skill level.
    San Vicente Golf Resort sprawls across lush rolling hills in Ramona, though it is conveniently only 20 minutes from San Diego's many attractions. Situated in the Valley of the Sun, the golf course boasts scenic views of the surrounding mountains as well as temperate weather for most of the year.
    There is no shortage of golf courses in the San Diego area, but Woods Valley Golf Club still manages to stand out. The design of the course carefully incorporated the gentle contours of the rolling hills, creating a layout that requires strategy, accuracy, and distance. The course offers a front nine with a different set of challenges than the back nine.
  • 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.

    There are 27 holes of championship golf at Blacklake Golf Resort, allowing golfers to mix and match to suit their preference and skill level. The holes are divided into three nines: the Canyons, Oaks, and Lakes, that can be played in different 18-hole combinations. The Lakes/Canyon combination strikes a good balance between being challenging and player friendly.
    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.
  • 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.

    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.
    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 aptly named Hidden Valley Golf Club feels secluded set between two large hillsides, amongst carefully preserved boulder outcroppings, ravines, and an abundance of native flora and fauna. The challenging layout demands accuracy and it will also test your shot-making skills.