Start your round by basking in the stunning ocean views as you listen to waves crash relentlessly against the shoreline for the first five holes before transitioning to a stretch that takes you through a heavily wooded area, providing a sense of peaceful serenity and quiet.
A Trent Jones design built in 1966, it’s no wonder this gem has found its way onto the rotation of courses that host the annual AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Par: 72 Length: 6,960 yards Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr. Access: Public Price: $225-395
Located inland and nestled in a Valley overlooked by mountains as opposed to sea-side, the Valley Club takes you on a journey through heavily wooded areas with a number of creeks and streams lining the fairways.
Those skilled at reading the greens will tend to fare well here as the sloping putting surfaces can make it difficult to judge your speed.
Par: 72 Length: 6,612 Architect: Alister MacKenzie, Robert Hunter, Tom Doak Access: Members and their guests
7. Pasatiempo Golf Club
Located just off the Pacific in the Santa Cruz area, Pasatiempo Golf Club was designed by Allister MacKenzie and is said to share some of the elements found at Augusta National – another MacKenzie design.
One of our favourite features about this course is the short layout that makes it playable for the average golfer.
However, watch out! Many trees and bunkers are scattered strategically throughout the course, making accuracy a priority.
Less than an hour’s drive from Pebble Beach, Pasatiempo offers some spectacular views of the famous Monterey Bay.
The Lake Course at the Olympic Club is the premier destination for championship golf in San Francisco. As the previous host of five US Opens since its design in 1924, you can bet you’ll have your work cut out for you if you want to score well on this demanding track.
But whether you play well or not, one thing is for certain – the unique views of San Francisco and fairways lined with towering trees make a round at the Lake Course well worth your time.
Par: 70 Length: 7,170 Rating: 76.5 Architect: Wilfred Reid, Robert Trent Jones Access: Members and their guests
5. The Los Angeles Country Club
The North Course at LA Country Club comes in at number five on All Square’s ranking of the top-ten golf courses in California and is situated in the upscale neighbourhood of Beverly Hills.
Throughout your round here you’ll be indulged by premium service and fantastic views on the course – including those found on our favourite hole – the lengthy par-3 11th which offers a splendid sight of downtown Los Angeles.
Par: 70 Length: 7,200 Architect: Herbert Fowler Access: Members and their guests
4. Riviera Country Club
Riviera is another famous California golf destination that has seen countless tour events played on its grounds including the Genesis Invitational (previously known as the LA Open).
Fine amenities, immaculate playing conditions, and occasional celebrity sightings are the norm when making an outing to Riviera Country Club.
Par: 71 Length: 7,322 Architect: George C. Thomas Jr., Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Fazio Access: Members and their guests
3. San Francisco Golf Club
Many are drawn to this course for its authentic and original design. While most other courses in the area have adapted to the longer modern game, at just 6,830 yards the San Francisco Golf Club has retained most of its original setup from when it was built in 1918 by A.W Tillinghast and Tom Doak.
However, that’s not to say playing here is a walk in the park. Shot selection becomes imperative as the smaller layout leaves less room for error.
Par: 71 Length: 6,830 Access: Members and their guests Architect: A. W. Tillinghast, Tom Doak
2. Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach – need we say more?
Many who have been fortunate to have played here considerPebble Beach the crown jewel of all California golf courses. The storied grounds of this marvellous property have hosted several of the most iconic professional events, making it arguably the most famous golf course in the world.
Recently recognised as the second-ranked golf course in California by All Square, Pebble Beach provides first-class service and a top-tier golf experience like no other.
Par: 72 Length: 6,828 yards Architect: Jack Neville Access: Public Price: $550
Created in the late 1920’s by Alister MacKenzie and Marion Hollins, the layout at Cypress Point golf course compliments the natural landscape of the Monterey area. If you’re looking for a scenic experience, this course is among the best in the world.
From long stretches set alongside white sandy dunes to a brief jaunt through the Del Monte forest and a finishing stretch boasting cliff-top views, we couldn’t help but revel in the natural beauty of Cypress Point.
Par: 72 Length: 6,536 yards Architect: Alister MacKenzie Access: Members and their guests