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Factors to consider when choosing a golf course in California


There are many things to consider when you are choosing a golf course.  Golf can be an expensive sport, so you want the place you play to be well worth the cost for a round of golf.  It’s important to check out the golf courses you are considering in person.  Throughout this blog you will find some possibilities for golf courses in various areas of California.  My hope is that will give you a start to narrow down your choices and find the best fit for you.   California has over a 1000 golf courses, that’s a lot to choose from!  The factors that I list below are some things to look for when you are making your decision.


  • Location

The location of a golf course is important.  You want to consider the courses proximity to where you live.  Some golfers prefer a course that is close to their work.  This way they can shoot a quick round on an extended lunch or after leaving work.  If you utilize your golf course for business networking then having the course close to your workplace will probably be important.   If you prefer to golf on the weekend when you are at home then a course by your home makes the most sense.  Another factor with location to consider is what is the traffic and parking like where the course is.  You probably don’t want a golf course that is 10 minutes from your house but takes 45 minutes to get there due to parking and traffic getting there.  Ideally you want a course that’s within a half hour of your home or work.


  • Water

This might seem like an odd factor but in California where water can be an issue you want to make sure the golf course you choose has a steady supply to water and is sustainably set up.  Nothing would be worse than playing on a course that doesn’t have beautiful greens.

  • Routing

You want to look at the direction the holes need to be played in.  Do you prefer a variety of directions?  Most golfers prefer the variety.

  • Course Variety

Many golfers prefer a course with a variety in the types of holes.  The more land a course has the more variety they can provide.  Having a variety of long, straight and short holes can make for a better round of golf.


  • Variety of tees

Do they offer different tees that you can tee off of depending on your ability?  You want to consider your skill level and make sure the course fits your level of play.  A course that is too easy for you will be boring to play after a short period.  A course that is too challenging with no easier options will be really frustrating and not enjoyable.

  • League

Is there a league available to play in that is your level of play.  Does the schedule of the league work with your work schedule so you can get to all the matches.


  • How crowded is the course?

Are you going to have to wait for a long time to take a shot because there are too many people on the course at the same time?  Will you feel rushed taking your shot because you can see the line behind you?   Do they spread out tee times enough so you can enjoy yourself and not feel rushed?  Do they squeeze tee times in and you end up feeling on top of the other golfers who are playing around you?  This is important to consider as it will determine how you feel while playing a round of golf.


With these factors on hand you should have a checklist to help you evaluate your choice of golf course to play.  Keep an eye out for some highlights of various courses you might have an interest in playing.

What to look for when choosing a golf course in California


When you are looking for a golf course in California you will want to consider a few factors before narrowing down your choice of where you want to play.  You will certainly want a course that is close to where you live or are visiting.  You will want to look for something within a half hour of your home so it doesn’t take to long to get there when you venture out for a round of golf.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you want to choose a public or private course?
  • A public course is open to everyone and can be a more affordable option. It is run by the town or county that it is in, so the quality can vary. If you consider a public course you’ll want to make sure that the grounds are well maintained and check out the club house.   You might want to see if the public course has a league or any restricted hours of play.  This is good for two reasons, you might want to join a league, and you will want to know if there times you won’t be able to play.


  • A private course has more restrictions and cost associated with it. Consider what the cost is and if that is an issue for you.  Remember many private clubs have initiation fees as well as minimums to spend. You will also need to consider if you have a sponsor to join the club.    Check out the grounds are they high quality? Most private clubs do have high quality grounds. Do they have a variety of whole types?  Do you think it fits your style of play?  A private course has some amenities that a public course doesn’t have.  Does it have a locker room?  Does it have a restaurant?  These are all things to consider. What are the playing hours are they very restrictive?


  • What are the amenities of the course and what is important to you? Is the club house welcoming, is it a place you want to spend time in.  How is the staff?  Are they friendly and helpful?  Or do you have to look for someone to help you?   Do they have a pro shop where there is helpful staff to help you get the right equipment?  Is there a restaurant, or snack bar?  These are all things of personal preference.  If a nice restaurant or a luxurious locker room is important to you then you’ll want to find a club that has these features.


  • What are the hours for the course and the weekly schedules? Do they fit your needs?  What are the restrictions of times to play?  Do they have pro staff to give lessons and work with you?  If you are interested in a league do they have one that fits your level of play?   Does the course have driving range, putting green and bunkers that you can practice on?  Do you need to pay extra to use these facilities?  What are the hours for these facilities?



  • What level of play are you looking for? Are you more comfortable with par 3 course?  You might prefer a regulation course that will offer you pare 3, 4, and 5 holes.  Another thing to consider is how much time you have to play.  Some style courses can be played in under 2 hours.  While the regulation course could take 8 hours.  If you are a beginner you might prefer a course that has more 3 par holes with shorter drives.  If you are a seasoned golf player you might prefer the challenge of an 18 hole regulation course.  It is personal preference but something to think about before signing up as a member at a club.


These are just a few of the considerations.  Keep an eye out for more posts regarding specific courses and what to think about when choosing a golf course.

Beautiful Places to Golf in Southern California


Southern California is a beautiful place to live and visit.  It has the most incredible scenery and beaches.  Many golf courses take full advantage of the beautiful location.  Below are a few Golf Courses that will not only be fun to play but beautiful as well.

  • Torrey Pines Golf Course

Torrey Pines is a municipal course, located in beautiful La Jolla, California.  The golf course sits on the coastal cliffs of the Pacific Ocean.  Torrey Pines is a premier municipal golf course.  If you live in the city of San Diego, California you are able to book tee time up to 7 days in advance.  For Non residents you would need to book 8-90 days in advance (Residents can do this as well if they prefer).  The City of San Diego Resident I. D Card’s annual fee is $25.00.  This will allow you to reserve within the 7 day time frame offered to residents.  There is an advanced booking fee assessed of $30 for residents and $43 for non residents.  The price for a round of golf for a resident ranges from $24 to $76 depending on the day and time of day.  For non-residents the rate ranges from $60 to $229.  The golf course offers two 18 hole golf courses.  There is a North Course that offer some holes on top of bluffs overlooking the coastline.


The South course offers holes with views of the Pacific.  The views are amazing from some of the South Course Holes. The course is home to the yearly PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open.    It is a well known facility that is available to everyone because it is Public Course.  Torrey pines has one of the largest golf shops in the United States on it’s grounds.   There are practice putting greens and a driving range.  There is a restaurant on the course as well as food and beverage carts in case you want to have a little lunch before or after your round of golf.  Torrey Pines Golf course has been recognized many times as a top golf course including America’s Best Municipal Course by Golfweek Magazine in 2009 and America’s Best Public-Access Courses for California by Golfweek Magazine in 2006.  Torrey Pines is known to be a challenging course but one that is very scenic.


  • Pelican Hill Golf Club

This beautifully scenic course is located in Newport Beach California.  There are 2 eighteen hole courses offered at Pelican Hill Golf Course, the north course and the south course.  The North Course has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean at every hole.  The south course has beautiful landscaping and views of the Ocean.  A few of the holes are directly on the coast. Pelican Hill Golf Club is 14000 yards of beautiful golf grounds. There are luxurious men’s and women’s locker rooms.  The course offers special Escape Packages if you are coming in for a visit.   The Pelican Grill is a luxurious Restaurant located on the grounds that is the perfect end to a round of golf.  There are various membership options you can choose at Pelican Hill.


All levels of membership will give you access to Pelican Hill’s Ocean North and South courses as well as Oak Creek golf club. The levels of membership vary from the preferred program which has a $650 enrollment fee and costs $190 for a round of golf to the Platinum Membership which costs $26,500 for the annual fee.  It offers unlimited golf at Pelican Hill and Oak creek.  The fee for a resort at Pelican Hill Guest is $300.  There are practice facilities that are included in the round of golf.  As you can see the Pelican Hill golf course is a pricey option for those who can afford it.  It is a luxurious experience for those who can pay the fees.


These are just two examples of the beautiful courses you will find in California.  Keep your eyes out for more course highlights coming soon to the blog.

Great places to golf in California for $75 or less


There are many great golf courses that are available in California.  California can be an expensive place to live and play.  Some of the Golf courses in California can be very pricey and luxurious but there are some great golf courses that are fun to play for a more reasonable price.  You don’t have to pay a small fortune to get a great round of golf in with beautiful views.  Today I am going to highlight some fantastic courses that you can play a round of golf for $75 or less in California.


  • West Ridge Golf Club

The West Ridge Golf Club is located in La Habra, California close to the Los Angeles skyline and not far from the San Gabriel mountains.  The course was designed by architects Robert Muir Graves and Damian Pascuzzo.  The course has more than 60 sand bunkers and includes a number of water hazards.  The club offers a double decker lighted driving range as well as a putting green.  There is a small golf pro shop on site at The West Ridge Golf Club.  You can get snacks and drinks at the Ozsky Bar and Grill.  The club offers lessons on Tuesday and Thursday nights that are included in the purchase of any range bucket or Key purchase.  They offer group lessons and customized clinics for companies.  The cost to play a round of golf depends on the day and time.  The range is $25 to $70.


There is discounted pricing for Seniors and Juniors. They have a convenient online platform for booking your tee times.  You can purchase a bucket of balls for the range for $5 to $10 depending on the size of the bucket you choose. They offer a gold membership option that offers unlimited year round golf.  The gold membership includes discounts for the pro shop and the bar and Restaurant.  This is an affordable and very playable course for golfers of all levels.


  • Catalina Island Golf Course

This course is located in Avalon, California.  The Catalina Island Golf Course is the oldest operating golf course west of the Rocky Mountains.  The course was originally built in 1892.  It had a few renovations throughout out the years and has changed in length.  The club sponsors the Catalina Island Junior Golf Tournament.  Many famous golfers have played in this tournament including Corey Pavin and Tiger Woods. The course measures 2100 yards and has 9 challenging holes.  They have 2 sets of tees for 18 – hole play.  There are both par 4 and par 3 holes.  The course is long and narrow.  It moves through a canyon environment towards the Ocean.  There are small greens and deep bunkers, making this a course for golfers of all levels.


There is a pro shop on the grounds that include snacks and beverages as well as golf clothes and souvenirs.  The course is open every day from 7 AM to 6 PM.  The pricing varies depending on the day and number of holes you play.  For a 9 hole game on Monday through Thursday it costs $41 and on Weekends $50.  For an 18 hole game it costs $65 Monday through Thursday and $75 on the weekends.  There are discounts for Seniors.  They also offer packages that include a pull cart and club rentals if needed.  The rental clubs are made by Wilson. You can also purchase a 10 round punch card for $185.  This punch card can be shared by 2 people.   They offer annual membership for $65, a 9 hole membership round of golf costs $25.  You can rent a locker for the year for $365.  If you prefer to just store your things for the day, the daily rate is $5.


These are a couple of the amazing and affordable places you can golf in California.  Post a comment with any questions and or experiences at these or other similar courses you have had.

The Top Public Golf Courses in California


There are many amazing public golf courses throughout California.  The advantages of a public golf course are that typically they are less expensive and either for the average golfer to access.  Below are some of the top courses in California.


  • Pebble Beach

Pebbles Beach Resort is located in the Monterey Peninsula in California. This incredible golf resort has four internationally well known courses.  One of the four courses is public and features the only par 3 executive course that is public in the Monterey Peninsula area.  The par 3 course is an executive course – a course that is small and easily played in under two hours.  This perfect for squeezing in a round of golf on your lunch break. This resort features world class Accommodations and facilities.  If you are planning to travel to California and want to stay at a luxurious facility this is the place for you. Pebbles Beach golf links can be played when you are staying at the hotel.  You will want to call ahead for tee times and reservations. Spy Golf Hill Golf course at Pebble Beach Resort Is rated as one of the hardest golf courses from the championship tees. The Spy Golf Hill Golf course has two very different styles of terrain.  When playing this course you can be on the sandy beach and then be in a Forrest terrain.  The links at Spanish Bay is an ecologically sensitive course with beautiful scenery.  Del Monte golf course has been in existence for over 100 years and is great for golfers of all levels.


Peter Hay golf course is a 9 hole par 3 golf course that is open to the public.  This golf course is fantastic for golfers of all levels.  It is a great fit for beginners.  It costs $395 for a single base membership.  You can add a spouse for $150 and a family card is $595.00.  The total yardage of this course is 819.  Many  golf tournaments are hosted at Pebble Beach Resort, including: the annual Pebble Beach Pro-Am, The annual Nature Valley First Tee open at Pebbles Beach, and the annual Clay Walker Charity classic At Pebbles Beach.   Spy Golf Hill golf course has received many recognitions, including America’s Top 100 Greatest public Golf Courses by Golf Digest 2015/2016 and # 2 best courses you can play in California by golfweek, 2016.  Pebbles beach has been in existence since 1919 and golfers have been enjoying this amazing facility for all those years.


  • Rustic Canyon

It is located in Moorpark, California is a course created into the natural landscape of it’s surroundings.   The greens at Rustic Canyon are fast and true, making it important to use thoughtful strategy in your game.   Rustic Canyon was named #1 Best Value in the United States in Golf Magazine as well as #4 in the state of California’s “Best Courses you can Play” list in Golf Weekly Magazine.


The rates to play range depending on the day you play and time you play.  They have rates for prime, mid-day, Late-day, Twilight, and Super Twilight.  The range is $15 for super twilight on a Monday-Thursday to $67 on a Saturday or Sunday during a prime tee off time.   The cart fee per rider ranges from $10-$15.  There is a driving range available and the cost ranges from $5 for 30 balls- $12 for 90 balls.  You can make reservations at the course 8 days in advance if you do it online.  You can make reservations in person or by phone 7 days in advance.


They have a variety of Golf Lesson options available at Rustic Canyon ranging from individual lessons to group sessions.  Rustic Canyon offers a well stocked pro shop and lounge area.  They offer putting and chipping areas to practice your short game.  There is a casual Restaurant called the Rustic Canyon Grill where you can get breakfast or lunch after a round of golf.  Rustic Canyon is an enjoyable club to play at and is an affordable option for the average golfer.


Keep an eye out for future posts that will highlight other golf course options in California.

Par 3 Courses to Check out in Southern California

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There are some great par 3 courses available in Southern California.  If you are a beginning golfer or just enjoy a shorter and quicker course then read on, there are some great courses to check out.

  • Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course

This golf course is located 20 minutes outside of downtown San Diego.  The course has beautiful ocean views throughout the 18 hole course.   The course was designed by William Bell in 1973.  The course measures 2404 yards.  The greens are smaller than average and the course offers 29 deep bunkers and 2 water hazards.  Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course has been voted one of the “Top Short Courses” by Golf Range magazine. Depending on the time of day and the day you choose the fee’s range from $18 to $35.   The course offers a practice facility to help practice your putting game.  There is an option to get a membership at Lomas Santa Fe Executive golf course which would entitle you to special privileges and discounts on green and cart fees.


  • Oaks North

Located in San Diego California offers 3 executive 9 hole courses.  It is terrific for beginner golfers yet fun for experienced golfers.  It an affordable and walkable course to practice on.  It offers beautiful views and a fantastic driving range.  The course also offers a putting green and chipping area where golfers can warm up and practice. There is a Golf Pro Shop  that offers a variety of Golf equipment.  There are lessons and instruction offer by PGA Professionals. While it is a course with affordable pricing it offers an excellent level of service.  The pricing ranges depending on the day and how many holes you are playing, the range is from $15 to $37. The courses range in yardage from 3417 to 3608.  It would take about 3 hours to play 18 holes of golf at Oaks North Golf Course.


  • Reidy Creek Golf Course

This course is located in Escondido, California. This course was designed by Cal Olson and offers 18 distinctive holes.  This course can be a challenge for experienced golfers yet playable for the beginner golfer.  The course is woven through a wooded area.  The 18 hole course can be played in under 3 hours.  You can choose if you want to play 9 or 18 holes. It is a very well maintained course and quite affordable.  There is a Cafe on the premises that offers snacks as well as an assortment of wine and beer.   There is a full service Golf Shop with the latest golf equipment.   They offer Golf Lessons taught by PGA Professionals.  The cost of a round of golf varies based on time of day, day of the week and if you are a resident of Escondido or Southern California.  The range is from $13 to $45, quite an affordable round of golf.


  • Mission Bay Golf Course

It is located in San Diego at Pacific Beach.  Mission Bay Golf Course is an 18 hole executive course.  The course was designed by Ted Robinson.  The course measures 2719 yards.    This course features night lighting, so you can play even when it gets dark!  Most of the holes on the course are par 3 with four par 4 holes as well.  There is a driving range, practice putting greens, sand traps and chipping greens for practicing and perfecting your game.  They also offer a snack bar in case you are hungry or thirsty.  The cost of this course ranges depending on if you are a resident, non-resident, and the day of the week you are playing and how many holes you are playing. The cost ranges from $10 to $36.


So if you are on the search for a course to play a quick round of golf, perfect your game or bring your kids, these courses should be a good start for you!!  Keep an eye out for more California golf courses to be highlighted on the blog!

Where to golf for $60 or less in California

Many people have a great love for the game of golf.  Golfing can be relaxing and exciting all at the same time.  There are a variety of types of golf courses.  There are the luxury golf courses where you can get your clubs cleaned, relax in an elegant locker room and pay quite a bit of money for that ambience.  Most people cannot afford to live in the lap of luxury.  For those people a good course that is affordable is the most important thing!  Today I will highlight golf courses you can play for less than $60 in California.  This is just a sampling of the courses but it will give you an idea as to what is available.

  • Marriott’s Manhattan Beach Par 3

This golf club is a Public golf course located in Manhattan Beach California.  It is located 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  It is a great place for a vacation.  The golf club is built into the hilly terrain of Manhattan Beach.  It is a 9 hole golf course that can challenge players of all levels.   The holes range in size from 112 yards to 187 yards.  They offer a putting green to practice and improve your game.  They have an in-house PGA Teaching Professional that you can get lessons from.  They offer both group and private lessons.  There is Restaurant called the Escape Lounge that you can get beverages and snacks before or after your round of golf.  Their rates vary depending on the day of the week with weekends being more expensive.  The range is $19 to $22.  Juniors and Seniors have discounted prices.  They also offer a discount to Manhattan Beach residents.


  • The Links at Terranea

It is located in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California.  It is located right by the Pacific Ocean with some incredible views.  The course was designed by Todd Eckenrode.  It is a 3 par, 9 hole golf course in Los Angeles County.  It measures 1239 yards from the back tees.  The holes are championship Caliber. It is a walkable coast featuring a beautiful coastal backdrop.  There are two target greens, three bunkers and a variety of lie conditions for practicing your chipping, bunker shots, short pitches and putting.  They offer a putting course is set up on the weekends in the summer.  The Links at Terranea has received many golf awards.  The following are just a few of them.  It has been recognized by Golf Magazine where it was Ranked #2 of “top Par-3 Golf Courses”.


In 2009 it was voted “Best New Courses” by Links Magazine.  In 2015 Terranea Resort was appointed to the Emerald Tee Collection, The finest golf courses in the world by The Golfer magazine.  The links at Terranea offers a golf academy to help improve your game.  Through the academy  they also offer a Full-Swing Golf Studio which will give you feedback and statistics to help you improve your game. To play the course the cost varies depending on the day of the week.  It will cost $45 Monday through Thursday and $55 Friday to Sunday and Holidays for a round of golf.  There is a golf shop that sells golf clothes and outdoor seating for an after golf drink.


These are just a couple of the many reasonable options there are available for a round of golf.  You don’t have to break the bank to have a beautiful place to golf.  I will continue to post more of these great gems in the future.  Keep an eye out for more great courses that are reasonable to play in California as well as other highlighted courses.

Great Golf Courses in Northern California


There are some incredible golf courses and locations in Northern California.  They have a wide variety of natural scenery.  Some are by the ocean while others are in the Mountains.  Today a I will highlight some of the fabulous options that are available in Northern California to play golf.


  • Half Moon Bay Golf Links

This golf course is located in Half Moon Bay California.  This course is a luxury golf resort located on the coastline.  It is 19 miles from San Francisco.  The Ritz – Carlton at Half Moon Bay is located on the grounds.  It is a luxurious facility with 36 holes of golf on the ocean. The resort was built by the Ritz-Carlton in 2001.  There are two courses, The old Course and the Ocean Course.  The old course at Half moon was designed by Arnold Palmer.  It was renovated by the architect Arthur Hills in 1990.   This course is considered among the most challenging golf courses in the San Francisco area.   This course offers a traditional parkland style environment.  The ocean course is considered a true links course.  It is 6914 yards.   The ocean course hosted the Ladies U.S. Open Qualifier in 2012.  The ocean course has views of the ocean from almost every hole.  There are multiple Restaurants and bars on the premises.  Half Moon bay also features a Golf shop.  There is a 4 acre short game practice area.  The course offers valet parking.


The Half Moon Bay Golf Links has won many awards over the years.  A few of the recent ones were: North America’s Golf Resort of the year in 2014 by IAGTO, # 18 Golf Resort in North America by Golf Digest Magazine, and Number 2 resort in Northern California by ACES.  The grounds also offer 4 Bocce Ball courts.  This is not normally something you would find at a course.  The resort offers stay and play packages.  This includes a 60 minute massage, glass of champagne at the spa and one round of golf on either the Ocean course or the Old Course.   They also offer a Fore the Golfer package which includes one 18 hole round of golf.  Legends of golf offers the treat of unlimited golf on the Old Course and the Ocean Course.  The price for a round of golf varies but is approximately $149 and up.


  • Pasatiempo

Located in Santa Cruz, California this course has a reputation for being very challenging.   This course was designed by architect Alister MacKenzie.  This is a semi private course, but they set aside certain tee times for the public every day.  This course is ranked #13 by Golf Magazine’s top 100 courses you can play in 2012. This is a championship golf course that is beautifully maintained.  There is a driving range that can be used by members and guests.  The course offers a practice facility with large putting and chipping greens as well as multiple bunkers.  They’re offer golf lessons for individuals and groups by appointment. The course is hilly and has many changes in the terrain.  It takes approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes.  The club encourages this goal.  They offer caddy service if you would like it.  Members have certain times reserved for them.   To set up a tee time you can set up a regular time 7 days in advance or priority with up to 365 days ahead.  The green fee is about $240.    There are multiple restaurants available on the course.


These are a couple of the incredible golf course options that are available to choose in Northern California.  Keep an eye out for more posts highlighting more golf courses.