Best Golf Courses in Southern California

Exploring the Best Golf Courses in Southern California

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Golf is a popular sport played and enjoyed by many in Southern California. With its sunny weather, picturesque landscapes, and numerous golf courses, the region is a haven for golf enthusiasts. However, not all golf courses are created equal, and some stand out as the best in the area. In this article, we will explore what makes a golf course the “best” and highlight the top golf courses in Southern California.

Best Golf Courses in Southern California 6

When ranking golf courses, several factors come into play. Some of these include the course design, conditions and maintenance, location, amenities, and prestige. Taking these factors into consideration, let’s take a look at the top golf courses in Southern California.

  1. Pebble Beach Golf Links: Located on the Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach Golf Links consistently ranks as one of the top courses in the world. The course’s stunning ocean views and challenging terrain make it a favorite among both amateurs and professionals.
  2. Torrey Pines Golf Course: Another picturesque course, Torrey Pines Golf Course, is situated atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Diego. This course is known for hosting the U.S. Open in 2008 and offers breathtaking views and challenging holes.
  3. The Resort at Pelican Hill: With two courses designed by Tom Fazio, the Resort at Pelican Hill offers a luxurious golfing experience. The courses are known for their impeccable conditions and stunning ocean views.
  4. Trump National Golf Club: Located in Palos Verdes, this course boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. The challenging course and luxurious amenities make it a favorite among golf enthusiasts.
  5. The Riviera Country Club: This course is a favorite among professional golfers and has hosted the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open. The classic course layout and beautiful views of the Santa Monica Mountains make it a must-visit for any golfer.

Aside from the factors mentioned above, these top golf courses in Southern California stand out for their unique features. The location and scenery of these courses offer breathtaking views that add to the overall experience. The course design and layout provide a challenging yet enjoyable game, and the conditions and maintenance are top-notch. Additionally, the prestige and history associated with these courses make them highly coveted among golfers.

When choosing the best golf course for you, it is essential to consider your budget, look for special features or amenities that appeal to you, and read reviews and ask for recommendations from fellow golfers. With so many exceptional options available in Southern California, you are sure to find a course that meets your needs and preferences.

In conclusion, Southern California offers some of the best golf courses in the world, and each one has its distinct features that make it stand out. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, there is a course for everyone in this beautiful region. So, grab your clubs and tee off at one of these incredible golf courses in Southern California.


Key Takeaways:

  • The best golf courses in Southern California are known for their stunning locations, well-designed layouts, pristine conditions, and rich history.
  • When choosing the best golf course for you, consider your budget, special features or amenities, and read reviews or ask for recommendations.
  • Some of the top golf courses in Southern California include Pebble Beach Golf Links, Torrey Pines Golf Course, The Resort at Pelican Hill, Trump National Golf Club, and The Riviera Country Club.

The Top Golf Courses In Southern California

Southern California is home to some of the most stunning and challenging golf courses in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, these courses offer an unforgettable experience for golfers of all levels.

In this section, we will take a closer look at the top golf courses in Southern California, including the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links, the breathtaking Torrey Pines Golf Course, the luxurious Resort at Pelican Hill, the prestigious Trump National Golf Club, and the historic Riviera Country Club. Get ready to tee off at these must-visit destinations for any golf enthusiast.


1. Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach Golf Links in Southern California is renowned for its stunning location and world-class course design. This iconic golf course offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and challenging holes that attract top players. Known for its rich history and prestigious tournaments, such as the U.S. Open, Pebble Beach Golf Links is a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts.

Overview: Pebble Beach Golf Links is one of the most iconic golf courses in the world, offering an unforgettable experience with dramatic coastline views and a rich tournament history.

Course Highlights:

  • The course meanders along the rugged coastline, providing stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Its famous 18th hole is one of the most celebrated finishing holes in golf.

Best For: Golfers who want to experience a piece of golfing history on one of the most beautiful courses in the world. Ideal for those looking to tick a major item off their golfing bucket list.

When considering playing at Pebble Beach, be prepared for a premium experience and higher green fees. However, the opportunity to play on this famous and picturesque course makes it worth the investment.

2. Torrey Pines Golf Course

Torrey Pines Golf Course is a premier golf destination in Southern California, offering stunning ocean views and a challenging layout that attracts both professional and amateur golfers. The course’s picturesque location, with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, adds to the overall golfing experience. In addition to its scenic beauty, Torrey Pines is meticulously maintained, ensuring top-notch course conditions. As a pro tip, make sure to book your tee time in advance to secure a spot at this renowned course. Whether you’re a dedicated golf enthusiast or a casual player, Torrey Pines Golf Course promises an unforgettable golfing experience.

Overview: Torrey Pines, situated atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is one of the most picturesque golfing locations in Southern California.


  • South Course: Host of the 2021 U.S. Open, it’s renowned for its challenging layout and stunning ocean views.
  • North Course: Recently renovated, offering a slightly less demanding round but equally enjoyable with breathtaking vistas.

Best For: Golfers looking for a championship experience with spectacular ocean views. Ideal for those who enjoy playing on courses that test the skills of the world’s best players.

With a name like Pelican Hill, you know this golf course will have you soaring to new heights on the leaderboard.

3. The Resort At Pelican Hill

The Resort at Pelican Hill is one of the top golf courses in Southern California, offering breathtaking views and luxurious amenities. Designed by Tom Fazio, this course showcases stunning coastal scenery and meticulously manicured fairways and greens. With its championship layout and impeccable course conditions, it provides an exceptional golfing experience for players of all levels.

The Resort at Pelican Hill also boasts a rich history, having hosted prestigious tournaments and renowned golfers. Whether you’re a golf enthusiast or simply seeking a memorable golfing experience, The Resort at Pelican Hill is a must-visit destination in Southern California.

Opened in 2008, The Resort at Pelican Hill quickly gained recognition as one of the finest golf resorts in the country. Its commitment to providing an unparalleled golfing experience and world-class amenities has earned it numerous accolades and a loyal following. With its stunning Mediterranean-inspired architecture and breathtaking ocean views, The Resort at Pelican Hill remains a top choice for golfers seeking a truly exceptional golfing experience.

4. Trump National Golf Club

Trump National Golf Club is renowned as one of the top golf courses in Southern California. It stands out for numerous reasons.

Firstly, its prime location and scenic views provide golfers with breathtaking ocean views and stunning cliffs.

Secondly, the course’s design and layout offer a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels.

Thirdly, the course is meticulously maintained, ensuring optimal conditions for play. Lastly, the club’s esteemed reputation and rich history add to its appeal. If you are considering playing at Trump National Golf Club, you can anticipate a world-class golfing experience in a picturesque coastal setting.

Fun fact: Trump National Golf Club has even hosted professional golf tournaments in the past.

Golfing at Riviera Country Club: where the courses are challenging and the caddies are skilled in finding lost balls (and egos).

5. The Riviera Country Club

Overview: Riviera Country Club is a historic and exclusive club known for its classic design and status as a regular PGA Tour stop.

Course Highlights:

  • Features a timeless design with narrow fairways and well-placed bunkers.
  • Known for its challenging par-4 10th hole and the unique, bunker-in-the-middle-of-the-green par-3 6th.

Best For: Players seeking a classic and exclusive golfing experience. Riviera is a course that challenges skilled golfers while offering a sense of history and prestige.

With a longstanding history and world-class facilities, The Riviera Country Club offers golf enthusiasts an unforgettable experience.

6. La Quinta Resort & Club, Palm Springs

Overview: La Quinta Resort & Club is a legendary destination nestled in the Coachella Valley. Known for its luxurious amenities and world-class golf facilities, it’s a favorite among golf enthusiasts and professionals alike.


  • PGA West TPC Stadium Course: Designed by Pete Dye, this course is famous for its challenging layout and iconic island green on the 17th hole.
  • Mountain Course: This course offers a stunning backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains, featuring elevated tees and picturesque views.
  • Dunes Course: A Dye-designed course that offers a slightly more forgiving play but still requires strategic thinking.

Best For: Golfers seeking a luxury resort experience combined with top-tier golfing on courses that have hosted numerous professional tournaments.

7. Pasatiempo Golf Club, Santa Cruz

Overview: Pasatiempo Golf Club is a historic gem designed by the acclaimed architect Alister MacKenzie. This semi-private club offers one of the best golfing experiences in Northern California, with a course that’s consistently ranked among the top in the nation.

Course Features:

  • The course is known for its challenging layout and impeccable conditioning.
  • It presents a mix of long and short holes, demanding both power and precision.
  • The greens are famously complex, offering a true test of a golfer’s short game.

Best For: Golf enthusiasts who appreciate a blend of history, architectural excellence, and challenging play. Pasatiempo is a must-play for those who enjoy classic golf course design.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Of The Top Golf Courses In Southern California?

The top golf courses in Southern California include Torrey Pines Golf Course, Aviara Golf Club, Pelican Hill Golf Club, Monarch Beach Golf Links, Riviera Country Club, Trump National Golf Club, Indian Wells Golf Resort, PGA West Stadium Course, and Desert Willow Golf Resort.

Which Course In La Jolla Is Considered One Of The Greatest Municipal Courses In America?

Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla is considered one of the greatest municipal courses in America and has hosted some memorable moments in recent golf history, including Tiger Woods’ win on a broken leg in the 2008 U.S. Open and Jon Rahm’s recent victory.

What Are Some Of The Notable Features Of The Indian Wells Golf Resort In Palm Springs?

The Indian Wells Golf Resort boasts two championship courses and stunning mountain views, making it a popular destination for golfers. The resort has also hosted numerous PGA Tour events and has been designed by top course architects such as Pete Dye and Greg Norman.

What Are Some Of The Top Courses In San Diego And Orange County?

San Diego offers some of the most picturesque golf courses in California, including Torrey Pines Golf Course and Aviara Golf Club. In Orange County, golfers can enjoy the Pelican Hill Golf Club and the Monarch Beach Golf Links, both of which offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

What Are Some Of The Top Public And Municipal Courses In Southern California?

In addition to the top-rated courses mentioned, Southern California also offers a diverse array of public and municipal courses for golfers of all levels to enjoy. Some notable options include the Maderas Golf Club, Marriott Shadow Ridge, and Spyglass Hill.

What Are Some Of The Prestigious Golf Tournaments Held In Southern California?

Southern California is home to numerous prestigious golf tournaments, such as the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational and the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration. These events attract top players from all over the world and showcase the very best of the region’s golf courses.

Exploring the Best Golf Courses in Southern California
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