Santa Cruz County Golf Courses
Boulder Creek Golf and Country Club
16901 Big Basin Highway, Boulder Creek CA 95006; Tel. 831.338.2111
Since its opening in 1961, Boulder Creek Golf and Country Club has excited Santa Cruz golfers with a scenic setting in the redwoods and memorable golf play. This 18-hole 65-par course (67 for women) has a rating of just under 61 and slope of 105. Boulder Creek also boasts a pro shop, practice green and delicious dining at Ironwood's.
DeLaveaga Golf and Lodge
401 Upper Park Road, Santa Cruz; Tel. 831.423.1600
The De Laveaga Golf club boasts 18 holes—and 6,010 yards—of beautifully sculpted fairways and greens in Santa Cruz. From the long tees, the course is a par 72 with a course rating of 70 and slope rating of 136.
Pasatiempo Golf Club
20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz CA 95060; Tel. 831.459.9155
Golf enthusiasts will find that the Inn at Pasatiempo is the prime destination for enjoying a challenging game of golf on a course voted one of the top 100 by Golf Digest . Pasatiempo Golf Club features sweeping Monterey Bay views from an arresting par 70 course designed by world-renowned golf architect Alister MacKenzie, who also designed Augusta and Cypress Point.
Special rates: The Inn at Pasatiempo
Seascape Golf Club
610 Clubhouse Dr., Aptos, CA 95003; Tel. 831.688.5242
Towering cypress trees protect the Seascape Golf Club's 18-hole, 6,034 yard course from the wind, making it an ideal place to golf even when the marine weather isn't cooperative. The long tees have a 70.2 rating with a slope of 129.
Special rates: Seascape Resort Santa Cruz
Spring Hills Golf Club
626 Casserly Road, Watsonville CA 95076; Tel. 831.724.1654
The Spring Hills Golf Club, situated just south of Santa Cruz, features 6,218 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71. The course rating is 68.7 and it has a slope rating of 114.
Valley Gardens Golf Course
263 Mount Hermon Road, Scotts Valley CA 95066; Tel. 831.438.3058
From the long tees, Valley Gardens Course boasts 1,785 yards and nine holes of golf for a par of 31. The course rating is 29 and it has a slope rating of 85 on bentgrass.
Monterey Peninsula Golf Courses
Pebble Beach CA 93953
Pebble Beach Golf Links is often considered the greatest golf course on the West Coast, if not the greatest golf course in the country. Opened in 1919 and designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, Pebble Beach is the St. Andrews of American golf. The history of this Monterey Bay golf course and the people who've called this course home over the years could fill volumes. Pebble Beach has been described by many a golfer as simply heaven on earth. But heaven has a price; Pebble Beach is also one of the most expensive rounds of golf on the planet, with green fees of nearly $500 for the public.
Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course
One Old Ranch Road, Carmel CA 93923; Tel. 831.626.2510
This is a Carmel golf resort in the truest sense of the word; if you want play here, you've got to stay here. There are worse fates, however. The resort is five-star, and the course is not far behind. An innovative design from architect Pete Dye, the course features massive greens and tight fairways, but who cares about the golf courseÑ the views from the tees and greens are spectacular and the service is what one would expect. Best of all, Carmel Valley Ranch has been offering some pretty cheap deals in recent months.
Del Monte Golf Course
1300 Sylvan Road, Monterey CA 93940; Tel. 831.373.2700
One of the four Pebble Beach Courses, Del Monte is the easiest and most affordable. Still, this is a top-notch Monterey golf course as are most tracks in the area. Del Monte is the oldest course in the country west of the Mississippi, first opening in 1897. This Monterey golf course is built on the rolling hills of the Monterey Peninsula and features narrow fairways and mature tree-lined fairways. Green fees are in the $75-$100 range.
Shore at Monterey Peninsula Country Club
3000 Club Dr., Pebble Beach CA 93953; Tel. 831.372.8141
The 18-hole Shores golf course at Pebble Beach's Monterey Peninsula Country Club features 6,361 yards of championship play overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This Seth Raynor, Bob E. Baldock and Jack Neville designed course has a slope rating of 129 and was opened in 1964.
Monterey Pines Golf Course
1250 Garden Road, Monterey CA; Tel. 831.656.2167
Public. Formerly as U.S. Navy Course (and still operated by the military), the Monterey Pines Golf Course is now a well-kept and affordable 18-hole Monterey golf course, one of Monterey's best kept golf deals.
Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Links
77 Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove CA 93950; Tel. 831.648.5775
Nicknamed "The Poor Man's Pebble Beach," this Pacific Grove golf course has a short front nine featuring tight, bending fairways lined by mature Monterey and Cypress pines. Views of the Monterey Bay and Cannery can be seen from most tees. The back nine is a stark contrast, nearly surrounded by the pounding surf of the rocky Pacific Grove shoreline. The long, links-style fairways are separated by playable sand and ice plant. A Golf Digest four-star value course, with green fees in the $25-40 range.
The Links at Spanish Bay
2700 17-mile Dr., Pebble Beach CA 93953; Tel. 408.647.7495
This is part of the trio of Pebble Beach golf courses that make up the Pebble Beach AT and T Pro Am PGA Tournament, formerly the Bing Crosby Invitational. Imagine one of Scotland's finest and oldest links-style courses dropped along the rocky shores of Central California. Spanish Bay is a must-play golf destination, a four-and-a-half star course and ranks in the top 50 nationally for service by multiple golf publications. Green fees are in the $100-$215 range.
Cypress Point Club
3150 17 Mile Dr., Pebble Beach CA 93953; Tel. 831.624.6444
Private. Must be accompanied by member to appreciate this fantasy land of green greens, cypress trees and ocean plays.
Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Spyglass Hill Rd. and Stevenson Dr., Pebble Beach CA 93953; Tel. 831.625.8563
The third of the Pebble Beach dynasty, Spyglass draws its name from the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, "Treasure Island." A unique combination of ocean and forest, Spyglass is widely considered the toughest golf course in California. A must-play course, and winner of extensive awards and accolades, Spyglass plays host to the AT and T, as well as state and national Amateur championship tournaments. Green fees are in the $195-$255 range.
Poppy Hills Golf Course
3200 Lopez Rd., Pebble Beach CA 93953; Tel. 831.622.8239
This 17-mile drive Pebble Beach golf course is considered the best value of the Pebble Beach four- to five-star courses. This Robert Trent Jones II design opened in 1986, situated in the rolling hills of the coastal forest. Green fees are in the $40-$75 range.
Rancho Canada Golf Club
P.O. Box 22590, Carmel CA 93922; Tel. 831.624.6635
This Carmel golf club nestled back into the Carmel Valley features two 18-hole courses, each of the quality one might expect from one of the countries top golf regions. The West course (par-71, 6,349 yards) is considered the more difficult of the two, but the East (par-71, 6,109 yards) has its challenges as well, intersected by the Carmel River. Green fees are steep, $65-$80 not including cart, but the course is known for its special rates and coupons.
Quail Lodge Resort and Country Club
8000 Valley Greens Dr., Carmel CA 93923; Tel. 831.620.8808
Fancy is the best word to describe this posh Carmel golf course, about as nice as it gets anywhere. The California Women's Amateur Tournament is held here every year. It's tough from the backs, 6,515 yards, but from the regular and back tees average golfers can have a good time on this tight track with postage stamp greens. Resort prices are the norm, varying from season to season and course availability. Definitely inquire with as much advance as possible.
The San Jose area boasts a full range of top flight golf courses, including the Coyote Creek Golf Club--a Jack Nicklaus signature course--and Cinnabar Hills Golf Club. There are also excellent 18-hole courses at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, Pruneridge Golf Club, Santa Teresa Golf Club and the ever-popular San Jose Municipal Golf Course