Golfland debuted its first putt-putt green in 1953 and has since expanded to seven locations across California and Arizona. Each location features one to three 18-hole courses, replete with colorful castles, windmills, and fountains. After navigating the obstacle-filled fairways, guests can try their hands at an array of arcade games, whether felling foes in fighting games, stocking up on tickets to win prizes, or following the spellbinding plotline of a pinball game. At the San Jose location, visitors can cool off in the warmer months with a trip down parallel outdoor waterslides.
At Boomers! Livermore, thrill-seeking families and fun-enabling friends can attack any of five available attractions. Recreationists can wile away the hours at the helm of purring go-karts, scaled-down kiddie go-karts, and bumper boats or explore the vehicle-free joys housed inside the laser-tag arena, game room, and the game room's prize-redemption center. Unlimited-pass holders can also putt the golf course, which like all the best horses, marshmallows, and spy equipment, is miniature.
Setters' Ghost Golf Club charms iron wielders with an 18-hole semi-private course that unravels its emerald links across 6,350 yards of rolling farmlands. With four sets of tee decks, birdie hunters of all levels can comb the velvet fairways while breath-abating views of the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay distract them from wayward approach shots and singing telegram caddies. Camel-coloured bunkers and pockets of pasture grass dapple the fertile splendour and swallow dimpled pills yearning for a more victorious landing. Settlers' Ghost challenges scratch players with a sinuous orientation, and its bent grass tees and magnificent vistas beckon casual shooters.
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:
West Course at a Glance:
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
When you stay at Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, you'll be in the mountains and convenient to Chateau Julien. This 4-star resort is within the vicinity of Talbotts Vineyards and Joulian Vineyards. n Rooms
Make yourself at home in one of the 139 air-conditioned rooms featuring fireplaces and flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private patios. 42-inch high-definition televisions with cable programming provide entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Conveniences include laptop-compatible safes and desks, as well as direct-dial phones with voice mail. n Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. After practicing your swing on the golf course, you can dip into one of the 2 outdoor swimming pools or 2 spa tubs. Additional amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and supervised childcare/activities. n Dining
Grab a bite to eat at the resort's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Breakfast is available for a fee. n Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, business services, and audiovisual equipment. Event facilities at this resort consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Free parking is available onsite.