Originally sculpted into the California countryside in 1928, Lemoore Golf Course’s 18-hole, par 72 course stretches across 6,591 yards of lush greenery and challenging hazards. A moderately difficult layout when played from the back tees, the course features four tee options to cater to both bona fide aces and disoriented golfers who can’t differentiate between a three-wood and a hardened mannequin leg. The golf complex also fosters sound swing mechanics with an on-site driving range and practice green. Clubbers can take refuge from the sun-soaked fairways or undead divot tools at the course’s cozy bar and grill, or peruse a stock of the latest golf gear and equipment at the pro shop.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by international golf architect Robert Dean Putman, the challenging 18-hole course spans more than160 acres. During the game (up to a $20 value per person), golfers refusing to hitchhike can navigate the terrain in one of Valley Rose's quality golf carts (up to a $10 value), finely tuned for scaling hills, making sharp turns, and morphing into a time traveling robot should the need arise. After conquering the course's lush landscape and tricky topography, golfers are encouraged to visit Valley Rose's Pro Shop to compare their scores with other recent players, or wind down in their clubhouse which features a restaurant, meeting rooms, and banquet facilities.
Amid views of coastal dunes, the Morro Bay Estuary, and Morro Rock, golfers drive, pitch, and putt their way through the nine-hole executive course at Sea Pines Golf Resort. As native wildlife such as waterfowl dwell among the fairways, guests tee off for the afternoon or warm up on the driving range, two putting greens, or dedicated chipping area. Those who prefer to ride a well-trained horse rather than break a bucking golf cart can board their own equine friend at Sea Pines' stables and roam the 8,000-acre Montaña de Oro State Park. In addition, Sea Pines Golf Resort offers overnight stays for humans at The Lodge, whose spacious rooms overlook Morro Bay and the golf course's manicured landscape.
At Blacklake Golf Resort, players can choose any combination of challenges from three distinct nine-hole courses, each representing a unique feature of playing golf within the varied landscape of the Central Coast. Sea breezes drift up from the valley to the Canyons course's elevated tee boxes. The Oaks course ventures away from the clubhouse to wind through a forest of towering oak trees, its undulating grass and smooth walkways shaded by the abundant branches of those mighty oaks. To begin the Lakes course, a short, 143-yard hole heralds the inviting nature of the compact layout and wide fairways, all before a monstrous 573-yard par 5 finishes the round.
Open from dawn to dusk, Blacklake Golf Resort also features practice facilities, including a 275-yard driving range and two putting, chipping, and pitching greens on which to improve your techniques. During lessons, the staff (http://blacklake.com/staff/) of PGA professionals works to improve players' fundamentals without sacrificing the fun, relaxing nature of the sport.
Course at a Glance:
Three nine-hole courses (par 36, 36, and 35)
Total yardages from the back tees: 3,276, 3,125, and 2,909
Three sets of tees per hole
At Monarch Dunes Golf Club, the links-style golf of coastal Britannia stretches out in the hills of California wine country. Amid windswept dunes and eucalyptus trees sweep coastal views speckled with amber hillsides and big blue skies. And this is just how architects Damian Pascuzzo and PGA Tour Pro Steve Pate wanted it. But they also wanted something beyond beautiful vistas. They wanted a unique 30-hole arena that tested the mettle of golfers.
On the 6,810-yard, par-71 Old Course, players unleash the full potential of their swings on the open expanses of the longer front nine before dialing back for close control on the back nine—a shorter tract made formidable by water hazards on all but two holes. Though the two halves have their own distinct flavors, both begin with mid-length par-4s. These are the course's two most difficult holes, so savvy golfers should spend extra time before the round and at the turn to give their driver an encouraging massage.
While the Old Course is a grassy homage to golf's most sacred traditions, Monarch Dunes' Challenge Course charts a much more unorthodox path—and not just in its unconventional 12-hole layout. While some par-3 courses are known as "pitch-and-putts" for their short holes, The Challenge—named among the Top 10 Par-3 Courses by Golf.com—will have some reaching for a driver or three-wood on holes 5 and 12, which measure 242 and 202 yards respectively. Golfers can expect to finish the round in two hours or less, freeing up plenty of time to relax at the Butterfly Grille or shop for flame decals to glue onto their golf bag.
Course at a Glance: The Old Course
Course at a Glance: The Challenge
In the light of day, players take in rays as they send drives soaring over the emerald expanse of Phoenix Sunrise Golf Course's 18-hole layout. That all changes when the sun goes down. As darkness descends over the course, players swap their standard golf balls for glow-in-the-dark orbs that are easier to see, filling the night sky with neon streaks towards greens and past genuflecting squirrels atoning for stolen acorns. Throughout the day, players can replenish lost energy with a beer, sports drink, or snack from the course's concession stand.
The championship course at Avila Beach Golf Resort hugs a tidal estuary that empties into the scenic San Luis Harbor, offering players dramatic views of the Pacific as they work their way through 18 holes. Designers Olin Dutra and Desmond Muirhead keep players on their toes with two distinct nine-hole sides, with the front nine draping over hilly terrain and the back nine traversing the coast and all of its singing fish. Throughout rounds, players corral their golf balls over kikuyu-grass fairways in pursuit of bentgrass greens, each mown short to produce quick-moving putts.
Course at a Glance: