The Best Golf Courses in California
The Golden State of California is the most populous state in the country boasting a population of over 37 million. Much of the state is known for its tropical weather, which is why California has some of the best golf courses in the world. There are literally thousands of courses scattered throughout the state and below we break down which ones are the best, starting with number one.
Cypress Point Golf Course3150 17 Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Pebble Beach is perhaps the most famous golfing town in the world, having hosted the PGA Tour’s U.S. Open Championship five times and is slated to return in 2019. Cypress Point Golf Course is an 18-hole course designed by famed course designer Alister MacKenzi that features 6,536 yards of golf. The course is a standard par-72 and is mostly blue grass. Opened in 1928, it's not only the top rated course in California, but it's also considered one of the top 100 courses in the entire country by several leading golf publications like Golf Digest and GolfWeekly.
Pebble Beach Golf Links1700 17 Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
This spectacular 18-hole course was designed by the legendary team of Jack Neville, Douglas Grant, and Jack Nicklaus. Opened in 1919, one of the great features of Pebble Beach Golf Links are its breath taking views of Carmel Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Stepping onto the same course played by greats such as Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, and Phil Mickelson, it's any golfer's dream. In addition to 6,828 yards, 144 slope, and a par-72 on rye grass, there's also a driving range and resort on the property.
Admiral Baker Golf Course2400 Admiral Baker Road
San Diego, CA 92120
The Admiral Baker Golf Course features 6,822 yards from the longest tee for a par-72. Designed by Jack L. Daray and opened in 1957, the Navy Golf Program currently manages the facility. Admiral Baker is a challenging course and takes a lot of strategy to navigate because of its unique layout and strategically placed hazards. The course is known to be a favorite with Hollywood celebrities.
Shorecliffs Golf Course501 Avenida Vaquero
San Clemente, CA 92672
Shorecliffs Golf Course, in the Orange County city of San Clemente, is known for its ocean views, great climate, and Spanish style architecture. Just six miles south of San Juan Capistrano, Shorecliffs is a par-71 with a total of 6,140 yards of golf. Opened in 1964 and designed by Joe Williams, it's known for being a tough course, with arguably the most difficult par-5 in the county. The course winds directly through the community with several homes nearby, which can make some novice golfers nervous.
Rio Hondo Golf Club10627 Old River School Road
Downey, CA 90241
Found in Downey, just 13 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Rio Hondo Golf Club was designed by John Duncan Dunn and opened in 1929. Steve Labarge serves as the local pro and course manager. A local favorite known for tight fairways and very fast greens, Rio Hondo is always in immaculate shape no matter the time of year.
Golf Club at Glen Ivy24400 Trilogy Parkway
Corona, CA 92883
The Golf Club at Glen Ivy is located in the Riverside County city of Corona. Nicknamed “The Trilogy” the course features 18 holes of championship golf stretching over 6,673 yards for a par-72. Designed by the famed Ted Robinson and opened in 2002, Glen Ivy provides spectacular scenery and residence-lined fairways. A Very well-maintained course with a lot of water and sand, the most popular hole may be the 18th, where you hit the ball off the top of a mountain to the valley down below.
Santa Anita Golf Course405 South Santa Anita Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91006
The 18-hole Santa Anita Golf Course is a par-71 featuring 6,386 yards of golf. Designed by James Harrison Smith, the San Gabriel Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for the course, which makes it a pleasure to play. Since its opening in 1935, Santa Anita is known for its smooth layout, making it fairly easy for an above average golfer to score low.
Westlake Golf Course4812 Lakeview Canyon Road
Westlake Village, CA 91361
Westlake Village Golf Course is located at the western edge of L.A. County is the region known as Conejo Valley. With 18 holes that that's a par-67 with 5,080 yards of golf, the course was designed by Ted Robinson and opened in 1964. Well-maintained and with fast greens, Westlake can sometimes get crowded by so many who enjoy its nice scenery. Weaker players will get rushed ahead by the Marshall, but it's a great course for those with time for a leisurely round.
The Olympic Club Lake Golf Course599 Skyline Drive
Daly City, CA 94015
Known as being the home of the underdog, “The Lake” has been played by some of golf’s greats in many PGA showdowns, such as when Billy Casper came back to beat the legend Arnold Palmer. A par-71 with 6,842 yards, the rye grass course was designed by Wilfrid A. Reid and Robert Trent Jones and first opened in 1924. The Olympic Club Lake Golf Course has only one fairway bunker and no water hazards, yet the changes in elevation, shapes and variations make it a tough course to play.
Willowick Municipal Golf Course3017 West 5th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92703
The par-71 Willowick Municipal Golf Course was designed by William P. Bell and covers 6,061 yards. Having opened in 1929, the Willowick is well-maintained and a favorite for beginners due to its extremely wide greens. The holes run parallel with each other so be sure to watch out for flying golf balls.