The stately grounds at River Ridge Golf Club are split between two distinct 18-hole courses: The Vineyard Course and The Victoria Lakes Course. Though there is a diverse arrangement of hole layouts littered throughout these sibling courses, a few design features are constants. Well-kept fairways and smooth greens of poa annua grass are always underfoot, one of the 14 water hazards is never far, and a light breeze constantly blows over the club from the Pacific, located just a few miles away.
In fact, the ocean is visible from a handful of high elevation points on the Vineyard Course. Holes three through six are "on top of the world" because they showcase panoramic ocean views and are at the highest elevation in Oxnard. Golfers also encounter water in closer proximity, as five lakes span the back nine on the Vineyard course, including the signature island green on the par-3 18th hole that usually plays into the wind or the occasional golf-ball hail storm. True to its name, the Victoria Lakes course harbors eight acres of water, as well as a stretch of difficult layouts on hole 12, 13, and 14.
In addition to adhering to golf's storied traditions, River Ridge also embraces new developments in the world of sport. Take footgolf, for instance. Started in the Netherlands in 2009, the hybrid sport combines soccer's precision kicks with golf's scoring system and challenging courses. River Ridge embraced the sport early, opening the first footgolf course in California alongside its traditional courses. In addition to attracting curious athletes, the course also earned the attention of the sport's governing body; River Ridge is an official partner of the American FootGolf League, and will host one of the league's inaugural pro-am tournaments in September 2014.
Vineyard Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,761 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72 from the back tees * Course slope of 121 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * View the scorecards
Victoria Lakes Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 7,170 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 74.6 from the back tees * Course slope of 136 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
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: * 18-hole, par 72 course designed by Ted Robinson * Total length of 6,921 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.3 from the back tees * Course slope of 134 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
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: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,813 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.9 from the tips * Slope rating of 133 from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard
Twin Lakes Golf Course is much more than the sum of its parts. With a 9-hole, par 28 executive golf course and practice facilities that include a driving range, 8,500-square-foot putting green, and chipping area, it gives players countless ways to better their game. Visiting players can hone short, half-swing approaches and full, walloping drives on holes ranging from as close as 70 yards to as far as 360, much as they would on a full-length course. The driving range also expedites the learning curve with full-flight Pinnacle range balls primed and ready to be pummeled from real grass or synthetic tees. In the short-game area, Titleist Pro V1 golf balls simplify the act of chipping onto the green or into target nets, even as players line up shots from nearby bunkers, slopes, and grasses akin to the rough and fairway. And when players are left with nothing else to do but admire themselves in the reflection of the nearest water hazard, Twin Lakes’ resident instructors—Don Parsons, Buff Platt, and PGA head professional Jim Ley—are there to take the reins and help clients shave off a few more strokes.
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: * Nine-hole, par 30 course * Total length of 1,574 yards from the back tees * Scorecard
18-Hole Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 54 course * Total length of 2,212 yards from the back tees * Scorecard
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.