Destination: California

Narrowing down your golf vacation destination to California hardly narrows it down at all. You can find just about every type of golf destination here, from the coastal golf of Monterey Peninsula to desert golf in Palm Springs and everywhere in between.

California is loaded with natural beauty and diversity. Yosemite National Park is in the northern half of the state, so is the wine-making regions of Sonoma and Napa Valley, plus exciting, diverse cities such as San Francisco.

For golfers, California starts with the Monterey Peninsula, one of the world's most coveted destinations. The collection of courses in this prestigious zip code along 17-mile drive, most of which are of the spectacular variety, include Pebble Beach Golf Links, which dates back to 1919. The resort also hosts Spyglass Hill and the Links at Spanish Bay, two coastal standouts in their own right, while those with connections can score a round at Cypress Point, the most coveted course in America not named Augusta National.

Around San Diego and Los Angeles, SoCal is also full of golf of its own, thanks to its temperate yearly climate in many areas. San Diego is a favorite golf destination thanks to U.S. Open host and municipal course Torrey Pines South, plus Tom Fazio's spectacular Pelican Hill overlooking the coast. Closer to Los Angeles, Trump National headlines the daily-fee play, while scores of exclusive private clubs are playgrounds for Hollywood execs.

About a two hour's drive west of Los Angeles over the San Jacinto Mountains, The Coachella Valley is one of the world's most concentrated pockets of golf. Made popular by Bob Hope and the "Rat Pack," it's become a top retirement spot in the south or for those after a quick getaway from the bustle of SoCal. There are about 125 golf courses along the succession of communities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage.

The desert can heat up to 110-degree-plus heat in the summer, which is where NoCal comes in. To the north, the High Sierras deliver such locales as Lake Tahoe, a four-season playground and home to a scenic gem, Edgewood Tahoe on the shores of the lake. Nearby Truckee is a golf hotbed of its own with a laid back vibe, home to such standouts as Old Greenwood, Timilick and Coyote Moon.

Back out to the coast, San Francisco and the Bay area boasts year long temperate golfing weather, including recently revamped municipal course Harding Park, the 2009 Presidents Cup host, in the shadows of ultra-private U.S. Open host Olympic Club just around the corner.

California golfers are spoiled, because no matter what time of year, there is a pocket of California is in its prime golf season.

See also

San Diego harbor

Destination: San Diego

With arguably the best climate in the world, California's second largest city, San Diego, has 70 miles of beaches, a world famous zoo, Sea World and lots of great golf courses. Temperatures generally top out in the 70s with low humidity year-round, so San Diego is ripe for any type of outdoor activity - especially golf!
... full article »

Pebble Beach

Destination: Monterey

Rich in history and overloaded with scenery, California's Monterey Peninsula is one of the most magical places on earth for golfers and non-golfers alike. From the stunning cliffs of Pebble Beach to the quaint coffee shops of Carmel-by-the-Sea to the seaside lodging on Cannery Row, the Monterey Peninsula offers one of the most unique destinations in the world.
... full article »

Harding Park #18

Destination: San Francisco

San Francisco is among America's most diverse and exciting cities to explore, especially when you factor in so many world class restaurants from practically any culture imaginable. A golf trip to the bay will certainly keep you entertained off the course.
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