Golfing in Northern California: The Seven Best Courses

July 5, 2011   Filed under Travel

Northern California houses some of the best golf courses in the world. This is more the case than anything in the Monterey Peninsula, which happens to boast four of the top seven golf courses in the upper part of the state. While some of the courses might be pretty pricey, like Pebble Beach and Spyglass, others are very reasonably priced for the average golfer. All-in-all, the courses placed in the next few paragraphs are places that you need to get out to at some stage in your life.

While making this decision isn’t guaranteed and can vary based upon personal preference, I believe the selection below encompass what every golfer deems “the perfect course.” So, without further ado, here’s my selection of the best golf courses in northern California:

1. Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach, CA

The iconic Pebble Beach isn’t just thought to be among the best places to golf in all of California, but also as among the best courses to play in the world. In fact, it was the initial public course picked as the #1 course in the world by Golf Digest. The majestic course is situated right on the coastline and offers beautiful views of Carmel Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Developed in 1919 by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, Pebble Beach has hosted the U.S. Open 5 separate occasions in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000 and 2010.

2. Spyglass Hill Golf Course – Pebble Beach, CA

Spyglass, nicknamed “the Glass,” was designed by the widely known Robert Trent Jones, Sr. in 1966 and has stunning views of the Pacific Ocean on its first five holes. This is the 2nd of 4 courses on this list situated on the Moneterey Peninsual.

The course is so widely recognized for its amazing design and style and beauty, that Golf Digest ranked it Fifth on “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.” Spyglass is also among the courses in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am rotation.

3. Poppy Hills – Pebble Beach, CA

This tree-lined golf course is the third course listed in my choice of the seven best golf courses in northern California found in the Pebble Beach region. Although it doesn’t have the ocean views of some of it’s Monterey Peninsual cousins, it’s tree-lined fairways set the scene for this remarkably constructed course.

With it’s many dog-leg fairways, Poppy Hills was graded among the best courses in northern California and in the top 20 courses in all of California.

4. Coyote Creek Golf Club – San Jose, CA

The Coyote Creek Golf Club is the only Jack Nicklaus signature golf course within the bay area and is the most well-liked place to play for all of the regional sports celebrities from teams like the 49′ers and Giants. Its flawless style and excellent layout was acknowledged in Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play” and was presented a rating of 4.5 stars.

5. TPC Harding – San Francisco, CA

After a extensive stint of not being a major course plus some essential restoration, TPC Harding is once more a PGA Tour Tournament Players Club course. Harding Park is the top golfing location inside the San Francisco city limits and is very reasonable to San Francisco and Bay Area citizens.

The course was opened up in 1925 and was home to the 2009 Presidential Cup and also the 2010/2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

6. Winchester Country Club – Meadow Vista, CA

Hidden in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s in Meadow Vista, this exlcusive Championship northern California golf course was the very last course made by the prominent father-son duo of Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Jr. The course was considered to be The Best Residential Golf Course in America by Golf Weekly.

7. Monterey Pines Golf Course – Monterey, CA

The last choice in my list of the 7 best golf courses in northern California is also the fourth course found in the Monterey area. Monterey Pines was originally developed as a 9-hole course by Robert Muir Graves in 1963. The back 9 was added in 1972 and the course was redesigned during 2009 by Marc Messier.

Nicknamed the “Navy Course,” Monterey Pines is taken care of and managed by the Navy Golf Program. This course is the best golfing destination for beginning golfers and serious golfers alike. It is challenging enough to work on your game and satisfying enough to enjoy an entire round of Eighteen.

There are plenty of outstanding golfing opportunities in northern California, and the abovementioned are some of the finest. Whether you’re a keen golfer, or somebody that just enjoys getting out there and hitting the links, these courses offer a very good experience.

For further information on golf in Northern California, follow the link to read on.


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