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

  • 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.

    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.
    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.
    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.
  • 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.

    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.
    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.
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    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.
    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 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.

    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.
    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.
    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.
  • 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 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.
    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.
    Alhambra Golf Course has a player-friendly design that is ideal for beginners but also great for more experienced players who are looking for a quick but fun round. It may not be long but it offers plenty of other challenges. There is plenty of variety between the two vastly different nines.
  • 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.

    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 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.
    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.

    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.
    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.
  • 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.

    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.
    The 18-hole The Tournament Course at Coyote Creek Golf Club in Morgan Hill, CA is a public 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.
    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.
  • 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.

    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.
    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.
    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.
  • 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 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.
    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.
  • 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 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.
    Nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, Yucaipa Valley Golf Club enjoys a stunning backdrop on most of its holes. Yucaipa Valley offers the unique combination of being both challenging and affordable, for this reason it's a local favorite. The layout is player friendly enough to appeal to a wide range of skill levels.
    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.
  • 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.
    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 Golf Club at Terra Lago boasts two 18-hole courses, the North and the South, that provide some of the most stunning and unique views of the Coachella Valley. Terra Lago's North Course is the longer of the two at 7,060 yards, which is partly a reflection of the dramatic elevation changes that the golf course tumbles across.