When describing his approach to designing a golf course, renowned course architect Donald Ross said "a golf course should be subtly deceptive, rather than unduly penalizing," a philosophy he put to work in 1908, when he crafted the 18-hole course at The Highlands Golf Club. Measuring 6,519 yards from the tips, the course offers a fair test for golfers across the handicap spectrum while still supplying enough challenges to attract legendary golfers such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Ben Hogan, who played the course when it was a fixture on the Senior PGA Tour. Strategically placed bunkers and fairway-hugging tree lines that cast shadows resembling golfers' fears loom throughout the course, but its most memorable challenge awaits at the 14th hole—a long par 5 that doglegs left and ends with a forced carry over a pond and onto the green.
Course at a Glance:
In 1929, the Wilson family sculpted nine golf holes into their fruit and dairy farm, weaving well-manicured holes among the orchards and appropriating an old farmhouse to serve as the first clubhouse. Today, after several clubhouse iterations, the family still owns the course, having overseen an expansion to two full 18-hole courses during its storied history. Water is featured prominently on both layouts and a diverse gathering of trees line the fairways, from low apple trees that bloom radiant white flowers in the springtime to towering pines vying for inclusion in Wilson family holiday photos.
Course at a Glance:
The Acorn Grille at Thousand Oaks Golf Club melds a variety of upscale dishes with wines and attentive service. The chefs and staff train their eyes on the details, whether manicuring platings or refining in-house recipes. Seafood options such as perch and scallops swim alongside aioli and pilaf, and pastas dress up veggies and proteins with bowties or tortellini pocket squares. Tender grilled or slow-cooked cuts of meat, including beef tenderloin and prime rib, incorporate robust ingredients including smoked gouda, garlic, and chipotle. The dining room sports high-gloss wooden tables, while the outdoor patio overlooks rolling acres of green hills, 100-year-old oak trees, and herds of golf balls that roam the 425-acre golf course.