In the state, there are hundreds of superb golf courses; just the San Diego region contains 92. Any time of year is ideal for a round thanks to the legendary Californian climate, and there are plenty of possibilities whether you want a beach, woodland, desert, or mountain environment. These are our picks of the Top 10 Golf Courses in California that you must play.
10. Shore at Monterey Peninsula Course
Originally created by Bob E. Baldock in 1960, the Monterey Peninsula course truly rose to fame in 2004 when renowned classic architect Mike Strantz changed six holes and added 12 new ones. His course's layout, which starts and finishes in a pine forest, also makes the most of a long stretch of shoreline. Fairways are bordered by delicate native grasses, and dramatic rock outcropping surrounds several greens and tees.
9. Pasatiempo Golf Club Course
Pasatiempo is a little farther inland than Cypress Point, which is about an hour to the south, but its high points offer vistas of the Pacific and the whole route. Alister Mackenzie's impact on this course is evident in its enormous paw print bunkers and its huge undulating greens. Currently a semi-private golf club, this former top 100 course has daily public tee hours.
8. Valley Club of Montecito Course
Another brilliant creation from Alister MacKenzie, the courses aren't scary, and distance isn't an issue, but because of the club's challenging playing surfaces, hitting these greens from the best side of the fairway is crucial. The valley club is shaped like an hourglass and has a variety of holes, including the third, which plays hard against a barranca, the downright hilly 10th, the gorgeous canyon-carry 14th, and the sweeping serpentine 15th.
7. The Olympic Club - Lake Course
The Olympic Club - Lake course is always a delight to uncover since it pays tribute to the forgotten art of shot-making. For instance, the fourth hole's reverse camber fairway requires a draw off the tee since the hole swings right to left yet the fairway tilts left to right. A fade shot is required for yet another hole. Recent clearance has increased the splendor of the cypress trees that grace this hillside overlooking lake Merced, complementing the beautiful course.
6. California Golf Club Course of San Francisco
For the majority of its 80-year existence, the California Golf Club has offered a challenging but reputable bay area course, helped by its association with Ken Venturi. Many people believe that this private course can compete with those that are located north of Cypress Point. due to a Kyle Phillips redesign completed in 2008, which included both repair and redesign. The course will definitely capture any wind that blows because it is situated on a hill's slope. The course provides everyday challenges thanks to its fescue fairways and the site's extensive hills.
5. San Francisco Golf Club Course
The San Francisco Golf Club is a private social club and sports club with a section of the course extending into Daly City. It is located in San Francisco, California. It is one of the most exclusive private membership clubs in the nation. With this San Francisco course, AW Tillinghast may have created his most stunning collection. The most well-known hole on the layout is the drop shot par-3 seventh, sometimes referred to as the duel hole. However, the course's power minus fours, such as the second, tenth, and twelfth, are also worth mentioning.
4. The Riviera Country Club
The value of a skilled architect is illustrated in vivid detail in the instance of Riviera Country Club. Given that it was constructed in a narrow canyon, there was no reason to have great hopes for this course, yet thanks to George Thomas, one of the game's strategic design marvels emerged. He revolutionized the design of angled greens and bunkers in the 1920s. If you want evidence of Riviera's mystical prowess, go no farther than the 311-yard path or 10th hole. Due to the bunker's excellent location near the sloping green, possibilities are endless for how to play this small hole well.
3. Los Angeles Country Club Course (north)
In 2010 we saw the restoration of George Thomas's masterpiece to its former glory by Gil Hansar and his crew. Fairways have been widened and reconstructed, bunkers have been moved and changed in shape, and the natural barranca has been brought back as a tactical hazard. The balance and sense of place on the course are excellent.
2. Pebble Beach Golf Links Course
Pebble Beach is the first significant public oceanside course in the United States. Its smart routing directs golfers to the water's edge before leading them into the woods and back. There is now no more thrilling or beautiful stretch of golf than holes four through ten. The last stroll up the par-5 18th hole as it bends left over Carmel Bay is incomparable. It's unusual for a well-known course to surpass initial expectations, but this one does, which is an impressive accomplishment.
1. Cypress Point Club Course
That a facility as stunning as the Cypress Point Club Course was made accessible for golf is nearly incomprehensible. MacKenzie skillfully leads the golfer around the many acres for those who are lucky enough to be able to play here, providing one of the finest walks in the sport. Golfers will never forget the heaving dunes and rugged shoreline, as well as the par-3 16th hole that runs into the churning Pacific, which is perhaps the most picturesque and photographed course in the game.