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If you’re looking to unwind with a round of golf, why not do it somewhere scenic? These 17 California courses are cradled by mountains or oceans, with manicured grounds, vibrant flowers, sparkling water features and native trees.
This course is connected to the Park Hyatt Aviara, a AAA Five Diamond Resort that features manicured grounds, multiple dining options and incredible views of the Batiquitos Lagoon. The 18-hole, 7,007-yard course was designed by Arnold Palmer, and is the home of the LPGA Kia Classic. Packages, which include overnight lodging, golf, and spa treatments, are available. As an added bonus, Carlsbad’s perennially lovely weather allows golfers to enjoy this course year-round.
The Crossings is another great Carlsbad option. This 18-hole course was designed by landscape architect Greg Nash and features views of the Pacific Ocean. This course is suitable for all skill levels, thanks to multiple teeing options. The clubhouse contains a golf shop, as well as a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, plus brunch on Sundays.
Designed by Greg Norman, this NorCal course is suitable for players of varying skill levels. It cuts through the vineyards for a unique and pastoral view. There is also an on-site restaurant and tasting room.
Pasatiempo Golf Club is located in Santa Cruz County, and was designed by Alister MacKenzie. It’s been open since 1929, with the first group to play through including Marion Hollins, Bobby Jones, Glenna Collett and Cyril Tolley. It can be a challenging course for some, but is often named as one of the top courses by golfing enthusiasts and the setting is idyllic. This club is defined as semi-private, meaning the public is allowed to reserve select tee times, which can be done online.
Pasatiempo, 20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz, CA, USA, +1 831 459 9169
Golf Digest has named this course the number one in America since 2003. It has played host to numerous golfing events, and boasts some of the best ocean views around as it overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Carmel Bay. It’s not cheap to play, with rates for non-resort guests starting at $495 with cart fees, but it is beautiful.
On the site of a former crude oil production facility, Sandpiper Golf Club is now a pretty, seaside course. You can continue to enjoy the ocean views at the course’s casual Sandpiper Grill, which serves breakfast and barbecue.
Torrey Pines Golf Course, located in La Jolla, is owned by the City of San Diego. There are two courses here, titled North and South, each consisting of 18 holes. The South course is the larger of the two at 7,698 yards, and was redesigned by Rees Jones. The North was redesigned by Tom Weiskopf. The course is located near Torrey Pines State Reserve, so named for the Torrey Pine tree, and golfers will enjoy scenic, cliffside ocean views.
CordeValle, located in San Martin, features a bucolic, 7,360-yard course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The course features creeks and sycamore trees, as well as views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is invitation-only, so it might behoove you to make friends with a member.
CordeValle Golf Club, 1 Cordevalle Club Drive, San Martin, CA, USA, +1 408 695 4500
Indian Wells Golf Resort features multiple courses. The Players Course opened in 2007, and was designed by John Fought. It features mountain views and lots of natural trees and foliage, and is the more challenging of the two 18-hole courses. The other, the Celebrity Course, opened in 2006 and boasts multiple water features throughout. There is also a free, nine-hole putting course on the property.
Spyglass Hill Golf Course is a challenging, 18-hole course located in Pebble Beach. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. in 1966, and each hole is named after characters or references found in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Stevenson is believed to have used the area, long before the golf course existed, as inspiration for his novel.