Tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Golf Club's verdant fairways flow between canyon walls and cascade over dramatic elevation drops that give way to rugged vistas. Before teeing off, golfers can warm up by chipping complimentary practice balls onto a practice green or firing off full-swing shots into a netted backdrop. From the first tee, golfers trace shots over a narrow uphill fairway wrapped by pines and palm trees before settling into the challenging championship course. Bending drives around arching doglegs and weaving approach shots between green-hugging bunkers, golfers must remain focused amid the mesmerizing views of brown rolling hillsides dabbed with green brush, vibrant flowers, and nomad ball washers. Before turning toward the back nine, players are tested by a par 4 ninth hole, which demands an accurate tee shot to set up an approach across a water hazard bordered by thick rough that's home to the ghosts of many wayward shots and one bocce ball.
On a scenic, Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course, 18 PGA TOUR elites will don their finest polos and drive, putter, and electric slide their way to the $5 million purse at the end of the rainbow. The Sherwood Country Club course incorporates a delicate blend of valleys, peaks, waterfalls, and fire pits to challenge a field that includes Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, and Martin Kaymer. Check the schedule to plan your viewing blitzkrieg.
Whether navigating Pebble Beach’s oceanside links or exploring the birthplace of golf at St. Andrews in Scotland, golfers know that a little rain can turn a trip of a lifetime into a water-logged disappointment. Players Club Golf removes sogginess from the equation; the center’s three full-screen golf simulators unlock instant access to more than 60 global courses without the hassles of commuting, fickle weather, and long round times. The facility smoothes the oft-difficult road toward better scores with practice configurations that allow players to immediately see a wealth of shot parameters on each swing, including launch angle, ball speed, and carry. The virtual driving range facilitates improvement through repetition and target practice, which also helps when trying to ring the doorbell of a neighbor across the street without getting off the couch.
When improvement reaches a plateau, players can enlist the expert instruction of teaching professional Brent Mann. Members also enjoy access to a facility gym stocked with $40,000 worth of equipment. Here, golfers improve their endurance on elliptical machines and strengthen postround handshake grips on a full complement of weight machines.
GolfTEC's thirteen locations in the Los Angeles area, all staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of golfing robotics. Motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s certified teaching professionals point out your flaws, strengths, and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval when you’ve executed a perfect stroke or cracked an especially witty golfing joke.
Nestled amid avocado and citrus groves that line the rolling fields of Ventura County, Sterling Hills Golf Club's 18-hole course pairs scenic terrain with an inventive design from Robert Muir Graves and Damian Pascuzzo. The 6,813-yard gem plays to a par 71 from the tips and features a multitude of green-side and fairway bunkers, including particularly well fortified putting surfaces on holes 5, 7, and 18, and six water hazards that threaten balls throughout the round. Before taking to the course, golfers can warm up at a driving range or by bench-pressing their golf bag at the practice green.
Course at a Glance: