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Take a Swing at The Best Golf Courses in Southern California

Take a Swing at The Best Golf Courses in Southern California

By California.com
October 21, 2020

As California mitigates health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, some travel restrictions may remain in certain communities. Call the local and regional tourism offices to learn more about the restrictions in your intended destination. Thank you for reading, and stay safe.

Southern California has always been a top vacation destination. With its lush landscapes, breathtaking oceanside views, and perfect weather year-round, what’s not to like about SoCal?

When visiting the region, a common question arises: to tee or not to tee? Since this part of the state is home to some of the best golf courses in the country, the answer is a no brainer. Whether you’re an amateur or an experienced golfer, spend your day on the green and follow in the footsteps of the pros. 

The Southern California Golf Courses to Play Next

The best golf courses in Southern California combine the sport with spectacular sceneries to enhance your experience. Many cities are famed for their luxurious golf courses, including Palm Springs, Ojai, and Long Beach—the list goes on. Perfect for hosting desert weddings, playing a game or two, or driving around in a golf cart, the top golf courses in Southern California make it impossible not to have fun. Check out our favorite golf courses in Southern California where you can admire the beau-tee of the greenery.  

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The best golf courses in Los Angeles

Spend your sunny SoCal weekend at Brookside Golf Club, a top golf course in the region. Photo Courtesy of Brookside Golf Club.

1. Brookside Golf Club

Location: 1133 Rosemont Avenue, Pasadena

Brookside Golf Club is located in the shadows of the San Gabriel Mountains, adjacent to Pasadena's famous Rose Bowl stadium. Designed by world-renowned golf-course architect William P. Bell, the 36-hole complex is one of the oldest in Los Angeles County and is un-fore-gettable in every way.

As one of the best golf courses in Southern California, Brookside Golf Club has all the amenities you need for a transcendental golfing experience. The impressive golf club features two 18-hole tracks: the C.W. Koiner Course, a par 72 measuring 7,104 yards, and the E.O. Nay Course, a par 70 measuring 6,025 yards.

Ideal for hosting all types of special events, Brookside also manages flawlessly executed golf tournaments accompanied by attentive service and superb on-site catering. 

2. Chester Washington Golf Course

Location: 1818 Charlie Sifford Drive, Los Angeles

Embark on an exciting golfing adventure at Chester Washington Golf Course. Offering players of all ages and skill levels a stimulating challenge, this 6,300-yard golf course boasts a par 70 layout with rolling, tree-lined fairways and a beautiful driving range. The mastermind behind the design of this impressive SoCal golf course is Billy Bell. With brand-new cart paths, two practice greens, and a chipping green, Chester Washington's 18-hole course ensures all visitors have a tee-riffic time.

Tee off at the beautiful La Mirada Golf Course, which was designed by renowned architect William Bell. Photo courtesy of La Mirada Golf Course.

3. La Mirada Golf Course

Location: 15501 East Alicante Road, La Mirada

Another Bell-designed golfing destination is one of the best public golf courses in Los Angeles: La Mirada Golf Course. Measuring 6,083 yards, this course has been named “Los Angeles County Course of the Year” on six different occasions. The 18-hole, par-70 course offers rolling layouts with multiple blind target shots into well-bunkered greens. The practice facility has two putting greens, a chipping green, and a two-tiered driving range with 50 stations available, including 13 natural grass hitting areas.

Hosting three different clubs—the Ladies’ Club, Men’s Club, and the Senior Men’s Club—La Mirada allows guests of all skill levels to mingle with other passionate golf players and make new connections. 

The top golf courses in Orange County

Head to Oso Creek Golf Course for one of the best golf experiences and excellent views. Photo Courtesy of Oso Creek Golf Course.

4. Oso Creek Golf Course

Location: 27601 Casta Del Sol, Mission Viejo

If you like big putts and you cannot lie, Oso Creek Golf Course is where you have to be—it is one of Orange County’s best-kept secrets. Nestled below Lake Mission Viejo, the 3,760-yard course was designed by Ted Robinson in 1970.

The SoCal golf course features holes that range from 122 to 235 yards for the par three, to a maximum of 317 yards for the par four. There are also underground springs and mountain runoff that feeds two streams, making for scenic surroundings. The well-maintained golf course provides excellent service; the courteous and friendly staff is always ready to go the extra mile to make your outing the best par-tee possible. 

5. El Dorado Park Golf Course

Location: 2400 North Studebaker Road, Long Beach

Long Beach’s top golf course is none other than El Dorado Park Golf Course. Offering extensive practice facilities, numerous water hazards, and an expansive layout, the excellent par-72, 18-hole course was also designed by Robinson. The 6,921-yard expanse is famed for its 1,500 trees, which were planted in the early 70s.

As one of the best golf courses in Southern California, it annually hosts the Long Beach Open—one of the most-respected, non-PGA Tour–affiliated professional mini-tour events in the country. El Dorado Park Golf Course also accommodates special events throughout the year; par-tee-ing has never been better.

Cal Olson and Payne Stewart designed this challenging yet breathtaking golf course in the O.C. Photo courtesy of Coyote Hills Golf Course.

6. Coyote Hills Golf Course

Location: 1440 East Bastanchury Road, Fullerton

Featuring five distinct tees and 18 holes, Coyote Hills Golf Course is a par-70 championship golf course that measures 6,610 yards. This top golf course in Southern California was designed by Cal Olson and PGA Tour legend Payne Stewart.

With a set of unique holes found amongst canyons and hills—not to mention panoramic views of Los Angeles and Orange County—the landscape results in a series of memorable snapshots. A challenging test for players of different skill levels, both the elevation and the greens are tricky and demanding, which makes the game even more exciting and enjoyable. 

7. Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center

Location: 23308 Cherry Avenue, Lake Forest

Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center is a 9-hole par-29 course designed by Michael Orren. Featuring several sand bunkers, two on-course lakes, and a beautiful driving range, the course is a true haven for golf enthusiasts. Located among orange groves, west of Saddleback Mountain, the charming course offers a fun and entertaining setting for players of different levels; it provides the ideal introduction to the game for amateurs and golfers who are interested in perfecting their skills. The helpful and friendly staff make your experience here even more special. 

The Top Golf Courses in Coachella Valley

Golf in style at this stunning club tucked away in the Santa Rosa Mountains. Photo courtesy of La Quinta Resort and Club.

8. La Quinta Resort and Club

Location: 50200 Avenida Vista Bonita, La Quinta

Ball out and make your way to the luxurious La Quinta Resort and Club for the ultimate golfing getaway. The course is nestled at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains; the stunning scenery may distract you from the difficult course featuring pot bunkers, rock formations, elevations of tee boxes, and well-bunkered greens.

La Quinta Golf Resort offers five different courses. Standouts include the 18-hole, par-72 Mountain Course—which measures 6,666 yards and was designed by famed architect Pete Dye—and the Stadium Course, which ranks among the best golf courses worldwide. This par-72 course is the ultimate challenge for those wanting to golf on par with the legends. After a day spent golfing, head to the resort's spa to unwind or pick up a pair of tennis balls for a match with your S.O.

The iconic Palm Springs boasts one of the most elegant and luxurious golf clubs in the state. Photo courtesy of Escena Golf Club.

9. Escena Golf Club

Location: 1100 Clubhouse View Drive, Palm Springs

When you're spending a weekend in Palm Springs and craving a round of golf, make your way to the elegant Escena Golf Club. The towering San Jacinto Mountains and blue desert skies provide an unparalleled backdrop to your swingin' session. (But be warned: This experience may just make you want to pack your suitcase and move to this desert community.)

Ranked as the sixth-best 18-hole public course in California by PGATOUR.com, the Escena Golf Club boasts strategically placed bunkers, generous driving corridors, and water hazards—all thanks to the Nicklaus Design company, which was founded by professional golfer Jack Nicklaus. The undulating greens of the back tees stretch to nearly 7,200 yards. When you're ready to take a break, indulge in a lovely meal at the Escena Lounge and Grill. 

The best places to golf in San Diego

Eagle Crest's staggering views and tranquil setting make for a perfect golf experience. Photo courtesy of Eagle Crest Golf Club.

10. Eagle Crest Golf Club

Location: 2492 Old Ranch Road, Escondido

Offering spectacular views of San Diego County’s finest features, Eagle Crest Golf Club is one of the best places to golf in Southern California. The San Diego gem has been providing championship-quality golf for locals and visitors alike since its opening in 1992. With top-notch customer service, first-class courses, and high-quality amenities, Eagle Crest Golf Club is the region’s premier golfing destination.

The club offers facilities for players of different skill levels and incorporates wildflowers, waterfalls, and several lakes to create an incredible golf venue. Entertaining and captivating, this par-72 course’s striking design allows visitors to experience the majesty of nature while golfing in all its splendor and glory.

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