Golf in Monterey

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The Monterey Peninsula produces first-rate golf courses the same way New York City breeds artists and musicians, and Rancho Canada Golf Club is no exception. The club is a 36-hole showcase of rolling fairways and greens intersected by the murmuring ripples of the Carmel River. The waterway's origin is obvious as the course unfolds: the entire complex nestles under the green peaks of the Saint Lucia Mountain in the distance.

The longer of the two layouts, the West Course skips over the Carmel River three times, shifting between broad fairways and narrow ones lined with cottonwoods, sycamores, and drivers that were planted in the ground in hope that they would blossom there. The East Course comes into contact with the river on five occasions, and culminates with a finishing hole replete with scenic views of the mountain range. A natural-grass driving range and greens for putting and chipping faciliate pre- or post-round practice. Players can also demo the latest clubs or groom their game in private lessons or group golf clinics.

East Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,125 yards from the tips * Course rating of 69.5 from the tips * Slope rating of 122 from the tips * Three tee options

West Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,357 yards from the tips * Course rating of 70.6 from the tips * Slope rating of 124 from the tips * Three tee options

4860 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel,
CA
US

Laguna Seca Golf Ranch requires action from every club in your bag. The course was designed in 1970 by famed architects Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Robert Trent Jones Jr., and it bears the markings of their creativity. Though the father-son duo didn't emblazon the family crest onto every fairway, they did outfit the championship gauntlet with elevated tees, several water hazards, and a bevy of bunkers to defend every hole. At hole 15, for instance, water swallows solid drives, and at hole 17, five bunkers can prove catastrophic for scores. But golfers don't have to face these challenges unprepared: Laguna Seca also boasts a 13-acre natural-grass practice facility, complete with putting and chipping greens. The ranch also offers visitors a stocked golf shop, dining, and full bar service.

Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 71 course * Course rating of 70.6 * Course slope of 132 * Total of 6,174 yard from the back tees * Five tees per hole * Click here to view the scorecard

10520 York Rd.
Monterey,
CA
US

On the gorgeous greens of Pasadera Country Club, associate head golf pro Webster Peterson has improved the game of a wide range of players, including 3-year-olds, 80-year-olds, and rookies who've turned pro and swung their way onto television. His thorough teaching technique begins with stroke development and tactical strategy, ensuring that players have the fundamentals down pat before they start serving and slamming. Lessons are for all ages and skill levels, and students don't have to be members of the Pasadera club to learn under Webster's racket.

100 Pasadera Dr
Monterey,
CA
US

Cleaved through the tall pines of the Del Monte Forest, Poppy Hills Golf Course's 18-hole layout blankets the scenic terrain of the Monterey Peninsula with a 6,857 trail of meticulously manicured fairways and greens. Designed by renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones II, Poppy Hills has hosted many high-profile golf events, including co-hosting the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am from 1991 to 2009, a 19-year span during which Bill Murray never left.

Named one of California's Top 10 Courses You Can Play, Poppy Hills gives casual golfers a chance to test their mettle on a world-class course—the 426-yard fifth hole was rated the most difficult par four in PGA Tour play in 2006—with four tee options that make it surmountable for golfers of all stripes. Though its known for its woodland scenery and large, undulating greens, the par 72 course also features water hazards that come into play on two holes, gobbling up golf balls and serving as a convenient vacation spot for fish trying to spend a weekend away from the Pacific.

Course at a Glance:

  • 18-hole, par 72 course designed by Robert Trent Jones II

  • Length of 6,857 yards from the farthest tees

  • Course rating of 74.3 from the farthest tees

  • Slope rating of 144 from the farthest tees

  • Four tee options

  • Scorecard

3200 Lopez Rd
Pebble Beach,
CA
US