10 Most Beautiful Golf Courses in California: Where Scenic Greens Meet Exceptional Play

Most Beautiful Golf Courses in California
Photo by Diana Edwards on Unsplash.com

California is a true haven for golf enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Known for its natural beauty and diverse topography, The Golden State is home to some of the most impeccable golf courses in the world. From rugged coastlines to lush valleys, California’s golf courses are a fusion of sporting prowess and awe-inspiring scenery. In the past, we covered our top favorite and most beautiful golf courses in America. This time, we focus on the Golden State.

If you love playing golf, check out these 10 most beautiful golf courses that encapsulate the essence of California. Lace up your golf shoes and get ready to explore these mesmerizing landscapes. 

1. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach Golf Links is a testament to golf’s rich history and the captivating beauty of the Monterey Peninsula. This course has etched its name in the history of golf, hosting prestigious tournaments and inviting golfing legends to test their skills.  It has witnessed some of the most iconic moments in golfing history, from U.S. Opens to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. 

The 7th hole, often considered one of the most well-known in the world, is a sight to behold. Perched atop a cliff, it requires not only a precise shot but nerves of steel as well. The sound of crashing waves and the sight of the rugged landscape creates an exhilarating yet humbling experience.

Pebble Beach Golf Links is a timeless course that will challenge even the most experienced golfers while providing a dramatic and unique backdrop.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:


2. Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach

Poppy Hills Golf Course is another jewel within the Poppy Hills family, and definitely one of the most beautiful golf courses in California. This stunning course underwent a renovation to promote sustainability and playability.  Enjoy an immersive golf experience surrounded by towering Monterey pines and a symphony of bird songs.

The 13th hole, “Shoreline,” is something you don’t want to miss in your journey to Poppy Hills. This course will challenge your skills with a green nestled between bunkers and the forest. 

Players must have the right flex to do well on challenging holes like this. However, understanding the flex is a bit complicated for newly practicing golfers. In such case, if you are still learning, you can check this content on Regular Flex vs. Senior Flex Shaft to better understand the ideal approach for difficult courses like this one. 

Watch this video to get a glimpse:


3. Torrey Pines Golf Course, La Jolla

Torrey Pines Golf Course is a sanctuary where golf and nature blend seamlessly. The fairways create both a challenge and a stunning backdrop. 

Try the South Course, known for its gripping views of the rugged cliffs and the Pacific horizon. While walking along the fairways, you’ll get glimpses of endless turquoise waters and hang gliders riding the coastal winds.

The 13th tee will have you marveling at the breathtaking ocean views and dramatic cliff line. The rare Torrey pines add a touch of uniqueness to the exquisite landscape.

Torrey Pines Golf Course is a stunning option for those who enjoy breathtaking views along the Californian coastline.

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4. Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Pebble Beach

Spyglass Hill Golf Course is a sanctuary that transports golfers into a world of tranquility and natural beauty surrounded by majestic Monterey pines. You will probably find it on any list of the most beautiful golf courses in California. The scent of pine needles and the occasional glimpse of the ocean on the horizon create an otherworldly golfing experience.

The layout of Spyglass Hill poses a challenge by varying elevations, requiring you to think strategically. The 8th hole, “Billy Bones,” perfectly reflects the course’s essence through a symphony of natural beauty and strategic challenges that offer a peaceful and exhilarating adventure. 

Overall, Spyglass Hill is a symphony of natural beauty and strategic challenges that offer a peaceful yet exhilarating adventure.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:


5. The Links at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach

The Links at Spanish Bay is a transcontinental journey that transports you from California to the rugged shores of Scotland. Drawing inspiration from the natural dunes and hardened terrain, the designers have successfully created an authentic experience. Enjoy the sounds of the bagpipes surrounding you as you ride your golf cart along the coastal landscape at sunset. 

Nothing stands out quite like the 5th hole, with a green nestled between dunes and the Pacific Ocean. The addition of the unpredictable coastal winds makes every round a unique challenge. 

With each hole presenting a new experience, playing at The Links at Spanish Bay feels like a golfing journey across the Atlantic. 

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6. Pasatiempo Golf Club, Santa Cruz

Pasatiempo Golf Club is a hidden treasure designed by Alister MacKenzie, the genius behind Augusta National Golf Club. This course carries the legacy of its creator, showcasing his signature bunkering style and strategic layout. While roaming through the lush fairways and immaculate greens, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of golfing history. 

The 16th hole is known as the Cape and represents MacKenzie’s masterpiece. With a tee shot over a canyon and a green nestled against a hillside, it requires precision and strategy. The course’s rolling fairways, challenging doglegs, and dramatic elevation changes make you feel like you’re on a great adventure. 

Pasatiempo isn’t just a golf course; it’s a living piece of golf history, where each shot is a tribute to the sport’s evolution.

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7. Pelican Hill Golf Club, Newport Beach

Pelican Hill Golf Club epitomizes luxury and elegance, offering golfers an opulent experience to match its gorgeous surroundings. The Ocean North and Ocean South courses have breathtaking fairways that merge seamlessly with the shoreline.

The 3rd hole on the Ocean North course is a sight to behold. From the elevated tee, the vast expanse of the ocean unfolds before you, creating a sense of grandeur and anticipation. The course’s flawless fairways and 3G Pitch Resurfacing contrast the wild beauty of the Ocean, creating a complex and captivating backdrop. 

Whether you’re a professional golfer or seeking a lavish escape, Pelican Hill Golf Club provides an unforgettable experience.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:


8. Rustic Canyon Golf Course, Moorpark

Rustic Canyon Golf Course is a departure from the traditional manicured look of many golf courses and embraces a more rugged and natural aesthetic. Designed by David McLay Kidd, this course allows the landscape to dictate the game.

The 10th hole, “Don’t Ask,” embodies Rustic Canyon’s spirit, creating something you don’t want to miss. The wide fairway encourages you to take bold shots while the green perches atop a hill, giving you a panoramic view of the surrounding hills. The native vegetation and canyon hills create an authentic and untamed experience for seasoned golfers.

Embrace the authentic landscape at Rustic Canyon Golf Course and enjoy an unforgettable golf experience where each hole offers a creative new challenge.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:


9. Silverado Resort, Napa

The North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa marries two of California’s finest offerings – golf and wine country. This course winds through the heart of Napa Valley, offering stunning golf vistas and breathtaking views of vineyards and rolling hills. 

Enjoy the unique aspects of the 3rd hole. Flanked by rows of grapevines, the fairways create a picturesque setting that encapsulates the beauty of Napa. 

As you navigate this course, you can enjoy the views of the course’s well-kept greens and nearby wineries, creating a memorable experience. 

Watch this video to get a glimpse:


10. Monarch Beach Golf Links, Dana Point

Monarch Beach Golf Links is a testament to coastal beauty and the captivating allure of the ocean. This course winds along the shores of Dana Point and offers golfers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the dramatic bluffs.

The 16th hole, known as the Shipwreck, captures the beauty of Monarch Beach. As you practice your swing, you’ll be captivated by the picturesque backdrop of the Ocean. The sound of crashing waves and the salty breeze adds a serene feeling. 

Monarch Beach is a golfing paradise where each shot celebrates the surrounding beauty. The dynamic layout of this course, combined with the sweeping views of the Pacific, will leave you in awe.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:



California’s diverse topography provides the canvas for some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. In addition to a challenge, this list of the most beautiful golf courses in California also offer a breathtaking experience that highlights the natural beauty of the Golden State. Whether you’re a dedicated golfer or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of these courses, you’ll want to visit them on your next holiday.