California is a golfer’s paradise, featuring a wide range of top-notch courses. From the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links with breathtaking coastal views to the challenging layouts of Los Angeles Country Club and Riviera Country Club, the state offers unmatched golfing experiences. Courses like Spyglass Hill and Cypress Point Club seamlessly blend California’s natural beauty with superb golf challenges. Whether you prefer historic Northern California courses or modern gems in the South, California’s golf scene caters to every golfer’s taste. This blog helps golfers discover the best public and private courses in California, ensuring great golfing experiences for all.
TOP 20 Best Golf courses In California
1. Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Features: Spyglass Hill, located in the scenic Pebble Beach, offers a mix of coastal dunes and pine-lined fairways.
Holes: The course features a challenging layout, especially the first five holes, which are among the toughest in the world.
Spyglass Hill is known for its stunning ocean views and rigorous layout, and it provides golfers with an unforgettable experience. Each hole tells a story, with names inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” The course demands precision and strategy, making it a favorite for players seeking a challenge and solidifying its reputation as one of the best golf courses in California.
2. Los Angeles Country Club
Features: Nestled in the bustling city of Los Angeles, this club is an urban retreat with lush fairways and well-kept greens.
Holes: Its North Course is famous for its diverse layout, featuring undulating fairways and challenging par-4s and par-5s.
Los Angeles Country Club is one of the best private golf courses in California, and It offers an exclusive golfing experience. The course is known for its impeccable maintenance and classic design, providing a test for golfers while ensuring a pleasurable round. The signature 10th hole is a standout, showcasing the course’s strategic challenge and aesthetic appeal.
3. Angeles National Golf Club
Features: Nestled at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, Angeles National showcases stunning scenery and modern amenities.
Holes: The 18 challenging holes feature elevations, bunkers, and water hazards, demanding strategic play.
Angeles National is celebrated for bringing a top-notch, public golfing experience to Los Angeles. With designs by Nicklaus, the course provides a beautiful backdrop of mountains and a layout that keeps golfers engaged. It’s a clear contender for the best public golf courses in California, thanks to its commitment to excellence in course maintenance and design.
4. Rams Hill Golf Club
Features: Located in the Anza-Borrego Desert, Rams Hill provides lush conditions amidst the desert landscape, along with panoramic views.
Holes: The Tom Fazio design features wide fairways and strategically placed bunkers across 18 holes, catering to various skill levels.
Recognized as one of the best golf courses in Southern California, Rams Hill invites golfers to enjoy the serene desert landscape while playing on a beautifully maintained course. The thoughtful integration of natural contours and hazards ensures a round full of engaging shots and strategic decisions, making Rams Hill a standout destination for golf in California.
5. Riviera Country Club
Features: Known for its narrow fairways and large greens, Riviera is enveloped by the iconic Eucalyptus trees.
Holes: The course features 18 challenging holes, including the famous par-3 6th with a bunker or rough in the middle of the green.
Nestled in Pacific Palisades, Riviera Country Club is a beacon of golf tradition and challenge. With its storied history and a list of past champions, including the likes of Ben Hogan and Tom Watson, it stands tall among the best private golf courses in California. Golfers here relish the opportunity to test their skills on a course that has challenged the greats of the game. It’s not just a round of golf; it’s a walk through history.
6. Pebble Beach Golf Links
Features: Pebble Beach is celebrated worldwide, boasting cliffside layouts and unrivaled ocean views.
Holes: The 18 holes are spectacular, with the 7th hole standing out as one of the most picturesque par-3s globally.
Pebble Beach Golf Links is more than just a golf course; it’s a sanctuary of the sport. The breathtaking scenery of the Pacific Ocean, combined with a historic layout, offers a golfing experience like no other. Golf enthusiasts from around the world come to tackle its challenges and bask in its beauty, solidifying its status as the best golf course in California. Every hole tells a story, and every swing brings a sense of awe and admiration for this iconic venue.
7. Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Features: Spyglass Hill is famed for its dramatic coastal dunes in the opening holes and its transition to majestic pine trees.
Holes: The 18 holes provide a stern test, including the stunning but challenging par-4 4th hole with its ocean backdrop.
Spyglass Hill Golf Course offers a thrilling blend of beauty and challenge, making it a standout among the best golf courses in Northern California. The course takes golfers on a journey from the rugged coastline, demanding precision and power, through to the sheltered pine-lined fairways, requiring strategic play. It’s a course that commands respect and admiration, delivering a memorable experience to all who play it.
8. Quarry At La Quinta
Features: The Quarry is renowned for its seamless integration into the natural desert landscape, showcasing elevation changes and pristine conditions.
Holes: The course boasts 18 holes that navigate through the rocky terrain, including the elevated tee shot on the par-4 10th hole.
The Quarry At La Quinta holds its place firmly among the best private golf courses in California, providing an exceptional golfing experience. The meticulous design ensures that each hole presents a new challenge, while the stunning desert surroundings create a sense of tranquility. Golfers are treated to pristine conditions and a layout that both rewards and tests, ensuring each round is as enjoyable as it is challenging.
9. Barona Creek Golf
Features: Barona Creek is set amidst the rolling hills of San Diego, featuring wide fairways and a natural, rustic charm.
Holes: The 18 holes provide a variety of challenges, with the par-5 6th hole standing out for its length and strategic bunkering.
Barona Creek Golf Club, set within the Barona Resort & Casino, offers a golfing experience that is as enjoyable as it is challenging. Known as one of the best public golf courses in Southern California, the course’s design respects the natural terrain, providing golfers with fair challenges and rewarding shots. The serene setting and immaculate conditions make every round here a memorable one, solidifying Barona Creek’s reputation in the golfing community.
10. Cypress Point Club
Features: Cypress Point is an iconic course known for its stunning seaside holes and masterful Alister MacKenzie design.
Holes: The 18-hole layout is famous worldwide, especially the par-3 16th hole that requires a tee shot over the Pacific Ocean.
Cypress Point Club is not just a golf course; it’s a masterpiece carved into the Monterey Peninsula, offering breathtaking views and a timeless design. It consistently ranks as one of the best golf courses in California, capturing the imagination of golfers worldwide. The blend of inland and seaside holes provides a diverse golfing experience, with the awe-inspiring scenery and historical significance adding to its allure. It’s a private sanctuary that epitomizes the beauty and challenge of golf.
11. Barona Creek Golf
Features: Barona Creek stands out with its undulating fairways, native grasses, and numerous bunkers, all set in a tranquil valley.
Holes: The 18 holes offer varied play, with the par-4 7th hole providing a particularly memorable challenge due to its strategic bunkering and sloping green.
Renowned for its commitment to environmental sustainability, Barona Creek Golf Club provides a golfing experience that is as thoughtful as it is challenging. Recognized as one of the best golf courses in Southern California, it offers golfers a chance to immerse themselves in a natural setting while navigating through engaging holes. The excellent course conditions, combined with a layout that favors strategic play, ensure every golfer leaves with a sense of accomplishment and a desire to return.
12. Mountain Gate Country Club
Features: Set in the hills of Bel Air, Mountain Gate offers stunning city views, challenging elevation changes, and impeccably maintained fairways.
Holes: The club features 27 holes, split into three distinct 9-hole courses, each bringing its own unique challenges and scenic views.
Mountain Gate Country Club holds a special place in the hearts of Los Angeles golfers, providing an oasis of golf in the bustling city. As one of the best private golf courses in California, it offers a tranquil setting for golfers to challenge themselves and improve their game. The variety provided by the three 9-hole courses ensures a fresh experience with each visit, while the exceptional views and top-notch facilities make every round a memorable one.
13. Lost Canyons Golf
Features: Lost Canyons, set in the scenic hills of Simi Valley, offers a peaceful yet challenging golf experience with its rugged terrain and sweeping views.
Holes: The club features two 18-hole courses, the Sky Course and the Shadow Course, each providing unique challenges and stunning vistas.
Lost Canyons Golf Club stands out as a hidden gem in California’s golf scene. With its dramatic landscape and well-designed courses, it easily ranks among the best public golf courses in California. Players here are treated to a serene escape from the city, with each hole offering a new adventure and a chance to appreciate the beauty of the natural surroundings. It’s a must-visit for any golfer looking to experience the best of California’s golf offerings.
14. PGA West Jack Nicklaus Private Course
Features: This course is known for its immaculate conditions, challenging design by Jack Nicklaus, and stunning views of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
Holes: The 18 holes feature strategic bunkering, undulating greens, and water hazards, demanding precision from players.
The PGA West Jack Nicklaus Private Course holds a prestigious spot among the best private golf courses in California. The Golden Bear’s design has ensured that every hole is a strategic puzzle to be solved, providing a thrilling challenge for golfers of all skill levels. The breathtaking backdrop of the mountains and the course’s pristine condition makes every round feel like a championship experience, creating unforgettable golf moments.
15. The Olympic Club
Features: The Olympic Club, situated in San Francisco, is famed for its rich history, challenging topography, and stunning views of Lake Merced.
Holes: Home to three 18-hole courses, the Lake Course stands out, having hosted multiple U.S. Opens, with its tight fairways and small greens.
Steeped in tradition and challenge, The Olympic Club is revered as one of the best golf courses in Northern California. The undulating terrain and prevailing winds demand the utmost precision and strategy from golfers, making every round a test of skill and resolve. As a venue that has tested the world’s best, it provides a unique opportunity for all golfers to walk in the footsteps of champions and create their own memorable moments on these hallowed fairways.
16. San Francisco Golf Club
Features: Known for its exceptional design by A.W. Tillinghast, the San Francisco Golf Club offers classic golf architecture and an exclusive atmosphere.
Holes: The 18-hole course features strategic bunkering, varied hole layouts, and impeccable course conditions, demanding thoughtful play.
As a bastion of golf tradition and excellence, the San Francisco Golf Club stands among the best private golf courses in California. The timeless design and secluded setting provide a golfing experience that is both challenging and immensely rewarding. Members and their guests enjoy not only the superb golf but also the sense of history and tradition that permeates every corner of the club, making every visit a special occasion.
17. PGA West Private Clubhouse & Golf Courses
Features: Located in La Quinta, this prestigious golf destination offers diverse courses designed by legends of the game, set against a backdrop of stunning desert landscapes.
Holes: The facility includes six award-winning courses, providing a wide array of challenges and scenic beauty for golfers to enjoy.
PGA West is a true golfer’s paradise, renowned not just in California but around the world. With its immaculate conditions and variety of courses, it stands as one of the best golf courses in California. The combination of challenging play and the stunning setting ensures a unique and unforgettable golfing experience, whether you’re navigating the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course or taking on the famous Stadium Course designed by Pete Dye.
18. Torrey Pines Golf Course
Features: Torrey Pines, perched atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is famous for its two 18-hole courses, challenging play, and breathtaking coastal views.
Holes: The South Course, in particular, is renowned, having hosted the U.S. Open, and features long, narrow fairways and strategically placed bunkers.
As a municipal course, Torrey Pines is a testament to the quality of public golf available in California, earning its place among the best public golf courses in California. Golfers from around the world come to experience the challenging play, stunning views, and the chance to walk in the footsteps of golfing greats. Whether playing the South or the North Course, every golfer is guaranteed a memorable round and a true taste of California’s golfing excellence.
19. Sunnyvale Municipal Golf Course
Features: Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale Golf Course offers a relaxed setting with well-maintained fairways and greens.
Holes: The 18-hole, par-70 course provides a friendly challenge with its straightforward layout, making it accessible for golfers of all skill levels.
Sunnyvale Municipal Golf Course is celebrated for its welcoming atmosphere and consistent playing conditions, marking it as one of the best public golf courses in Northern California. It’s a favorite among local golfers looking for a pleasant round, and it serves as a fantastic venue for those new to the game or anyone looking to enjoy a straightforward, enjoyable golf experience.
20. Half Moon Bay Golf Links
Features: Nestled in Stevens Point, this club is celebrated for its rich history and beautifully designed course.
Holes: The 18-hole course offers a variety of challenges, ensuring a rewarding experience for golfers of all skill levels.
Stevens Point Country Club is a true Wisconsin golfing gem, providing an elite private golfing experience. The course’s well-thought-out design and commitment to excellence make every round a memorable event. Members enjoy access to one of the nicest golf courses in Wisconsin, ensuring a premium golfing experience.
21. Cumberland Golf Course
Features: Set along the rugged California coastline, this golf haven offers two distinct courses, both showcasing stunning ocean views and challenging play.
Holes: The Ocean Course and the Old Course each offer 18 holes of unique challenges, with the Ocean Course featuring seaside holes that are simply unforgettable.
Half Moon Bay Golf Links provides an unrivaled golfing experience, capturing the natural beauty and challenge of coastal golf. Known as one of the best golf courses on the central California coast, it offers a blend of breathtaking scenery and golfing excellence. Whether you’re navigating the links-style Ocean Course or enjoying the classic design of the Old Course, every round here is a journey through a golfing paradise.
Summing It Up
California golf courses offer an unparalleled blend of challenging play, breathtaking scenery, and top-notch amenities. From the iconic coastal vistas at Pebble Beach to the historic layouts in Los Angeles, golfers are spoiled for choice in this vibrant state. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a casual player, the diversity of golfing options ensures that every round is a unique and memorable experience. Embracing the rich golfing tradition and natural beauty of California, these courses stand out as not just the best in the state but as some of the most prestigious in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
1-How many public golf courses are there in CA?
Ans: California boasts 540 public golf courses, offering a variety of options for golfers of all skill levels.
2- Where is the golf capital of the world?
Ans: Often referred to as the “Golf Capital of the World,” Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is home to over 100 golf courses.
3-How many people play golf in California?
Ans: Over 3 million people enjoy playing golf in California, taking advantage of the state’s diverse courses and favorable weather.
4- How much money do people spend on golf?
Ans: On a national level, golfers in the United States spend around $2000 to $2500 annually on sports.
5- How many golf courses are in CA?
Ans: California is home to over 900 golf courses, including both public and private options.
6- How many PGA players live in California?
Ans: While the exact number fluctuates, California is the residence of numerous PGA players, given its extensive golfing facilities and favorable climate.