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 send 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 and vibrantly colored flowers signed by a local artist. 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 populated by the skeletons of wayward balls and one desiccated bocce jack.
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.
Cradled amid the foothills of Canejo Mountain, Camarillo Spring Golf Course melds long par 3s and numerous water hazards to present an exacting test of golfers' accuracy. As the mountain peak looms above, players do their best to tune out the bewitching vista and launch balls along the nearly 7,000-yard layout before opponents' caddies can snatch them from the tee. Save for a few arid holes between holes 6 and 11, water hazards pepper the course, presenting no fewer than 12 opportunities to lose a ball to the depths.
Camarillo Springs Golf Course celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012, but the history of the land on which it sits stretches back much further. The 18 holes sprawl over a portion of the original 10,000-acre Camarillo Ranch—a Spanish land grant created in 1837.
Course at a Glance:
GolfTEC has thirteen convenient 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 PGA specialists 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.
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.
Most rounds of golf end when the sun goes down. But when the sun sets off the coast at Van Nuys Golf Course, lights illuminate the fairways for late-evening rounds. Whether catching a round after work or in the afternoon, golfers can take on one of two challenges: an 18-hole par-three course or a nine-hole executive course. Both courses present golfers with their own obstacles, including water hazards, sand traps, and bending fairways. Above the peaceful scene, soars a wide range of aircrafts—such as WWII Warbirds and F-16 Falcons—each landing at the nearby Van Nuys airport or dropping parachuting caddies onto the greens. Van Nuys accompanies its unique rounds with various amenities, too, including a practice range, PGA instructional staff, and newly remodeled pro shop stocked with gear.
Executive Course at a Glance:
18-Hole Course at a Glance:
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: