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Best Golf Courses in California

Pebble Beach

Looking to play the best golf courses in California? picks out the top courses to play in California.

Some of the most famous golf courses that the USA has to offer are located in California. If you are looking to take a vacation to this west coast state, there are plenty of options for the golf fan.

Developers have often taken advantage of the scenic coast and it is no surprise that the PGA Tour, has plenty of stops in this area.

Here’s our take on the top five best golf courses in California or get the lowdown on the full list of golf courses in California.

1. Pebble Beach Golf Club

Pebble Beach

Making Pebble Beach the top pick for the state of California is a cinch. In fact, this is a golf course that is famous the world over.

The course was actually designed by two amateurs, Jack Neville and Douglas Grant. Since 1919, the iconic 18-hole course has been located near Stillwater Cove and Carmel Bay.

With improvements over the decades, it has stayed atop the lists of golf courses fans from across the world want to play.

In recent years, it hosted the 2019 US Open won by Gary Woodland and it will host the 2023 US Women’s Open in upcoming years.

This course truly is the pre-eminent golf course in the state of California and, with a setting that can’t be beaten, it promises to remain that way for years to come.

That certainly doesn’t mean that tee times are budget-friendly but golfers that visit this course will remember it for life.

2. Cypress Point Club

Cypress Point

Just down the highway from Pebble Beach is the 18-hole Cypress Point Club, a club that opened in August of 1928.

Perhaps overshadowed just a little by Pebble Beach in terms of fame, Cypress Point could be called a California-coastal secret.

Designed by Alister MacKenzie and Robert Hunter, Cypress Point Club is located on some of the most scenic and impressive coastal terrains in the area. The trio of the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes is held as among the best holes in the world.

This clifftop course, which was ranked No. 2 in Golf Magazine’s 2011 list worldwide, does not score high for accessibility as a private club. But the experience will be a memory to cherish for all that experience it.

3. Riviera Country Club


The Riviera Country Club is located in the Pacific Palisades in the United States, in the general area of Santa Monica and Malibu.

This club was established in 1926 and since that time it has served as the host to some of the greatest golfers that the world has seen.

The 1948 US Open, the 1983 and 1995 USPGA Championships, the 1998 US Senior Open, and the 2017 US Amateur were all played at the Riviera Country Club.

In modern times, the venue has been the home of The Genesis Invitational and The Tennis Classic.

Furthermore, this course will certainly take on some world fame in the years ahead as the medallists for golf will be settled at this venue for the 2028 Olympic Games, games that were awarded to Los Angeles.

4. Torrey Pines Golf Course

Torrey Pines

William P. Bell, a legend in the field of golf, designed the legendary Torrey Pines golf course. When the work he started was completed by his son, William F. Bell, one of California’s best golf courses was born.

Opening back in 1957, Torrey Pines is situated oceanside to the north of San Diego.

The course offers two 18-hole challenges, known as the North and South courses. PGA pros head to this course annually for the Farmers Insurance Open.

The fairways are tight, the rough is thick, and bunkers sit patiently awaiting their opportunities to punish the errant stroke. With significant length, this is a course that will test all skill levels.

5. The Olympic Club

The Olympic Club

The Olympic Club is off of Skyline Boulevard near the picturesque city of San Francisco. When it comes to amazing viewpoints and the sport of golf, the club has some of the most impressive in the San Francisco area.

The Olympic Club boasts three golf courses known as the Lake Course, the Ocean Course, and the Cliffs Course for a total of 45 holes. That’s enough to keep a dedicated golfer busy all weekend, including long weekends.

The Lake Course has hosted a handful of US Opens and, although still in the distant future, it is scheduled to host the Ryder Cup in 2032.

With more than 40,000 trees and a setting that’s Pacific Rim, expect some fresh air and viewpoints when you visit this San Francisco attraction.