Though it's surrounded by the rolling hills of Riverside County?and even has "hills" in the name?the course at Seven Hills Golf Club is a relatively flat affair that's welcoming to golfers of every stripe. The lack of steep inclines and writhing snake pits makes the links easy to walk, and the wide, welcoming fairways mean most players hopefully won't have to stray too far from the short stuff. After dispatching with every tree-shrouded shot and confidently navigating the small greens, players can continue to work on their cuts on the grass driving range, chipping green, and practice bunker, or head into the Cafe on the Greens for a post-round bite.
Framed by views of the San Jacinto Mountain Range, the Country Club at Soboba Springs has stumped some of the world's best golfers. Not long ago, it was home to the PGA Tour's Soboba Classic. Today, sporting a newly renovated, 32,000-square-foot clubhouse, the course leads visitors along a sculpted layout that barrels through a forest of cottonwood and palm trees. Water comes into play on 11 of 18 holes, and 78 bunkers filled with white sand lie in wait to snatch up errant shots or slow down golf carts that get off their leashes. Players should watch out for the 15th and 16th holes, especially, which are surrounded by water and used to give professionals fits as part of an especially challenging back nine.
Course at a Glance * Designer: Desmond Muirhead 1966; Redesigned by Cary Bickler 2005 * Lauded by Press Enterprise: Best round of golf 2014 * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total of 7,101 yards from the back tees * Three tees per hole * Course rating of 73.3 from the tips * Course slope of 131 from the tips
Designed by renowned course architect David Rainville—whose resumé includes famed courses such as Indian Wells Country Club—the 18-hole California Oaks course stretches across 5,218 yards of bucolic Southern California topography. Towering trees, intervening ponds, and immense bunkers conspire to kidnap wayward balls throughout the course, and the club's immaculate fairways provide a hospitable landing zone for pinpointed drives and golf-obsessed extraterrestrials. A stream flows alongside every hole, adding a sense of continuity to rounds as golfers contend with each on-course challenge. After 18-hole expeditions, players can replenish at Oaks Bar & Grill, which, like the course itself, affords customers splendid views of the Temecula Valley, the San Jacinto mountain range, and the cloud-like spirits of drowned golf balls trying to contact 9-irons from the beyond.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-70 course (par 68 from the ladies' tees) * Designed by David Rainville * Length of 5,218 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 66.1 from the farthest tees * Slope of 122 from the farthest tees * Three tee options
Surrounded by the peaks of the Ortega Mountains, the towering trees of Cleveland National Forest, and the waters of Lake Elsinore, The Links at Summerly Golf Club couldn't seem farther from the flat, wind-swept coast of Scotland. But that didn't stop course architect Cal Olson from molding an 18-hole layout in the image of Scottish links golf. To that end, he made the most of the area's natural mounding, shaped three miles of burns into the clay, and filled the course with devious bunkers shaped like kidneys or just ovals with poor posture. Adding to the difficulty, the 7,012-yard layout incorporates a host of water hazards, leaving players a thin margin for error on many holes.
A venue for first-rate course play, The Links at Summerly also serves as a venue for practice and improvement with lessons helmed by PGA Class A professional Scott Marson. Lessons can incorporate video swing analysis and guided on-course play to drive home new concepts and strategies.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,012 yards from the tips * Course rating of 74.1 from the tips * Slope rating of 142 from the tips * Three tee options
At both of Cimarron Golf Resort's John Fought?designed courses, one massive, unblinking spectator watches on: the San Jacinto Mountain Range. Its massive rockfaces jut above the fairways and greens, adding visual drama to every westward drive and putt. Nodding to those rocky outcrops with its name, the championship-length Boulder course challenges golfers with 6,782 open yards, including a formidable 569-yard, par-five 18th hole. At the Boulder's sibling course, the Pebble, 17 par-threes tempt players with 17 chances for a hole-in-one. Before any round, a driving range with five target greens hosts swing rehearsals, on-site golf lessons, and clinics that help golfers hit farther and yell "Fore!" louder.
Boulder Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,782 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 71.6 from the back tees * Slope rating of 122 from the back tees * Four tee options * Scorecard
Pebble Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 55 course * Length of 2,020 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 54.6 from the back tees * Three tee options
The snow-capped peaks of the San Jacinto Mountains peer over the treeline, creating a scenic backdrop to Cathedral Canyon Golf Club’s 18-hole course. Designed by prolific California course architect David Rainville—in consultation with Hall of Famer Billy Casper—the course winds across more than 6,500 yards dotted with ponds that reflect the distant mountains and the fearful grimaces of birds as they evade speeding tee shots. To prepare their swings for their next round, golfers can warm up at the club’s driving range or schedule a lesson with PGA Class A instructor Steve Creps.
Course at a Glance: