California is home to some of the most iconic and challenging golf courses in the world. From the rolling hills of the Napa Valley to the coastal cliffs of Pebble Beach, the Golden State offers a diverse array of golfing experiences. The famed Pebble Beach Golf Links, host of numerous PGA Tour events and the U.S. Open, is widely regarded as one of the best courses in the world.

Other top courses in California include Spyglass Hill, Pasatiempo Golf Club, and the Links at Spanish Bay. The state is also home to several championship courses designed by legendary golf course architects like Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Fazio. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a casual weekend warrior, California has a golf course to suit your skills and preferences.

Here Are The Top Ten Golf Courses In California

Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach

Located on the Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and iconic golf courses in the world. The course was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, and it first opened for play in 1919. The layout is known for its stunning ocean views, as well as its challenging holes that require precise shot-making. Pebble Beach has hosted numerous major championships over the years, including five U.S. Opens, and it is a must-play for any golf enthusiast visiting California.

Spyglass Hill Golf Course – Pebble Beach

Spyglass Hill is another top-ranked course on the Monterey Peninsula, and it is often paired with Pebble Beach for 36-hole days. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., and it first opened for play in 1966. Spyglass Hill is known for its tight fairways and small greens, which require accurate approach shots. The course is also home to several memorable holes, including the par-3 16th, which plays over a large pond to a well-bunkered green.

Spyglass Hill Golf Course - Pebble Beach

The Olympic Club – San Francisco

The Olympic Club is a private club located in San Francisco, and it is home to two highly regarded golf courses: the Lake Course and the Ocean Course. The Lake Course was designed by Sam Whiting and Willie Watson, and it first opened for play in 1927. The course has hosted numerous major championships over the years, including five U.S. Opens. The Ocean Course, which was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, is a nine-hole layout that offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

Shadow Creek Golf Course – Las Vegas

Shadow Creek is a private golf course located in Las Vegas, and it is known for its luxurious amenities and challenging layout. The course was designed by Tom Fazio, and it first opened for play in 1989. Shadow Creek is known for its dramatic elevation changes, as well as its risk-reward holes that offer multiple options for golfers. The course is also home to several memorable holes, including the par-3 17th, which plays to an island green.

The Links at Spanish Bay – Pebble Beach

The Links at Spanish Bay is another top-ranked course on the Monterey Peninsula, and it is known for its links-style layout and panoramic ocean views. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tom Watson, and Sandy Tatum, and it first opened for play in 1987. The Links at Spanish Bay is known for its fast, undulating greens and strategic bunkering, and it is a must-play for any golf enthusiast visiting California.

The Links at Spanish Bay - Pebble Beach

The Farms Golf Club – Rancho Santa Fe

The Farms Golf Club is a private club located in Rancho Santa Fe, and it is known for its picturesque layout and challenging greens. The course was designed by Tom Fazio, and it first opened for play in 1992. The Farms Golf Club is known for its strategic bunkering and risk-reward holes, and it is a favorite among golfers in southern California.

Pacific Palms Resort – City of Industry

Pacific Palms Resort is a public golf course located in the City of Industry, and it is home to two highly regarded layouts:

The Industry Hills Golf Club and the Los Angeles County Club. The Industry Hills Golf Club was designed by William F. Bell and Ted Robinson Sr., and it features two 18-hole courses: the Ike and the Babe. The Ike Course is known for its challenging layout and elevated greens, while the Babe Course is a more forgiving layout that is suitable for golfers of all skill levels.

The Los Angeles County Club is a classic parkland-style course that was designed by William F. Bell and opened for play in 1971. The course is known for its tree-lined fairways and well-bunkered greens, and it is a popular choice for golfers in the Los Angeles area.

PGA West – La Quinta

PGA West is a public golf resort located in La Quinta, and it is home to six highly regarded courses: the Stadium Course, the Nicklaus Tournament Course, the Greg Norman Course, the Palmer Private Course, the TPC Stadium Course, and the La Quinta Resort Mountain Course. The Stadium Course is the most famous of the six courses, and it was designed by Pete Dye and opened for play in 1986. The course is known for its challenging layout and risk-reward holes, and it has hosted numerous PGA Tour events over the years.

PGA West - La Quinta

The Nicklaus Tournament Course is another top-ranked layout at PGA West, and it was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened for play in 1987. The course is known for its strategic bunkering and well-protected greens, and it has also hosted numerous PGA Tour events. The other courses at PGA West are also highly regarded, and they offer a range of styles and difficulty levels to suit every type of golfer.

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain – Marana

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain is a private club located in Marana, and it is home to two highly regarded courses: the Saguaro and the Tortolita. The Saguaro Course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened for play in 2009, and it is known for its challenging layout and beautiful desert setting.

The Tortolita Course is a more forgiving layout that was designed by Tom Lehman and opened for play in 2008. Both courses offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and offer a unique golf experience in Arizona.

Napa Valley Country Club – Napa

Napa Valley Country Club is a private club located in Napa, and it is known for its picturesque layout and beautiful surroundings. The course was designed by Robert Muir Graves and opened for play in 1963, and it is known for its tree-lined fairways and well-bunkered greens. Napa Valley Country Club is a popular choice for golfers in the Bay Area, and it offers a challenging yet enjoyable round of golf in the heart of California’s wine country.

Conclusion:

California is home to some of the best golf courses in the world, and these ten courses represent the cream of the crop. From the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links to the luxurious Shadow Creek Golf Course, these courses offer a diverse range of layouts and styles to suit every type of golfer. Whether you are a scratch player looking for a tough test or a high-handicapper looking for a more forgiving layout, you will find a course in California that suits your needs.

Q1. What are some of the top golf courses in California?

Ans: There are many renowned golf courses in California, but some of the top ones include Pebble Beach Golf Links, Shadow Creek, Pasatiempo, Torrey Pines Golf Course, and The Olympic Club.

Q2. What is the cost of playing golf at Pebble Beach?

Ans: The cost of playing golf at Pebble Beach can vary depending on the time of year and day of the week. The peak season rates for a round of golf at Pebble Beach are around $525, while the shoulder season rates can be around $450.

Q3. What is the difficulty level of the courses at Torrey Pines?

Ans: The Torrey Pines Golf Course offers two 18-hole courses, the South Course and the North Course. Both courses are known for their challenging layout and beautiful coastal views. The South Course is considered to be one of the more difficult courses in California, and it has played host to numerous professional tournaments including the US Open.

Q4. Can non-members play at Shadow Creek?

Ans: Shadow Creek is a private golf club and therefore, only members and their guests are allowed to play. However, non-members may have the opportunity to play at Shadow Creek if they are a guest of a member or if they stay at the Shadow Creek-affiliated MGM Grand Hotel.

Q5. Are there any golf courses in California that are open to the public?

Ans: Yes, there are many golf courses in California that are open to the public. Some examples include Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz, and The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Additionally, many of the municipally-owned golf courses such as ones operated by city or county are open for public use, with reasonable green fee.