10 Stunning Southern California Golf Courses

By Ryan Watson

Southern California has been a destination for travelers all over the world ever since the glitz and glamour of Hollywood brought this sunny paradise into movie theaters worldwide. But outside of the world of celebrities, numerous beautiful golf courses have made the region one of America's premier golfing destinations. While home to many exclusive private clubs, the following list compiles 10 of the best courses in Southern California that any golfer can play.

Torrey Pines Golf Course

11480 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037-1045
(858) 452-3226

Long considered one of the greatest municipal courses in America, Torrey Pines is easily the most prominent Southern California golf course available to the public. Featuring two different courses, Torrey Pines is home to an annual PGA Tour event and was also the site of the famous 2008 U.S. Open sudden-death victory of Tiger Woods over Rocco Mediate. Due to its popularity, reservations should be made as far as possible in advance.

Maderas Golf Club

17750 Old Coach Rd
Poway, CA 92064-6621
(858) 451-8100

The top-rated course in San Diego County, Maderas Golf Club features a course designed by Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves. It features forests, creeks, waterfalls and rocky outcroppings and uses the natural geography to craft a challenging and breathtaking course.

PGA West Resort

56150 PGA Blvd
La Quinta, CA 92253-4600
(760) 564-7170

Located in the greater Palm Springs area, PGA West is a golf club founded in 1985 that allows access to non-members through its luxury resort. Offering one course open to resort guests, the Stadium Course is consistently ranked as one of America's most challenging courses. Designed by Pete Dye, the Stadium Course is also the home of an annual PGA Tour event and the infamous island green on hole 17, better known as "Alcatraz."

Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club

7447 Batiquitos Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92011-4732
(760) 603-6800

Featuring San Diego's only course designed by Arnold Palmer, Aviara Golf Club is a resort that takes in golfers with its breathtaking beauty. Landscaped with native wildflowers, this course is sometimes described as a botanical garden with a golf course. The par-72 course sprawls over 7,007 yards and features a plethora of bunkers and hazards to keep the course interesting.

Rustic Canyon Golf Club

15100 Happy Camp Rd
Moorpark, CA 93021-1348
(805) 530-0221

Not only is Rustic Canyon Golf Course a great course, it purposefully keeps prices low to remain affordable which easily sets it apart from other Southern California courses. Built by Hanse Golf Design, Rustic Canyon was formed from the natural landscape of the area. This canyon course feels like a true Southwest course with sagebrush and cactus dotting the course.

Industry Hills Golf Club

1 Industry Hills Pkwy
City of Industry CA 91744-5160
(626) 810-4653

A semi-private club located at the Pacific Palms Resort, Industry Hills boasts two championship quality courses. The Eisenhower Course is home to LPGA tour events. Named after the former president and lifetime golfer, the "Ike" features slope ratings between 130-145, assuring a challenging day on the greens. The Zaharias Course, named after "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias the great multisport athlete and Olympic gold medalist, covers an expansive 650 acres of beautiful scenery.

Pelican Hill Golf Club

credit: Pelican Hill Golf Club

22800 Pelican Hill Rd S
Newport Coast, CA 92657-2007
(949) 467-6800

Pelican Hill Golf Club features two splendid ocean side courses offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Covering over 400 acres and designed by noted course architect Tom Fazio, the courses use the natural landscape to include both the rocky shoreline and the canyons, and also features a unique dual green on the 13th hole of the South course.

El Dorado Park Golf Course

2400 N Studebaker Rd
Long Beach, CA 90815-2428
(562) 430-5411

This Long Beach public course was built in 1962 and features a course designed by Ted Robinson, Sr. known for its sprawled layout featuring many water hazards and natural hazards. Measuring in at 6,921 yards, El Dorado Park is a bit of a hidden gem amongst the better known courses of Southern California. It is also the site of the Long Beach Open.

Barona Creek Golf Club

1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd
Lakeside, CA 92040-1553
(619) 443-3130

Located at the Barona Resort & Casino, Barona Creek Golf Club was designed by Gary Roger Baird Design International. It features over 100 bunkers on the 7,092 yards course and uses a natural landscape full of California oak groves to provide a challenge to golfers. This 18 hole course is perfect for those looking for a weekend getaway in Southern California.

Shady Canyon Golf Club

100 Shady Canyon Drive
Irvine, California 92603
(949) 856-7000

Another Southern California course designed by the legendary Tom Fazio, Shady Canyon is located on the border of a nature preserve and uses the varied terrain to construct a vibrant course. Like all Fazio courses, Shady Canyon provides both a great challenge while providing beautiful views.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.