California’s Hottest Courses and How To Look Cool Playing A Round
California is home to some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world. Home to hallowed circuits like Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines, the Golden State has hosted 12 U.S. Opens and four PGA Championships, including Tiger Woods’s breathtaking U.S. Open victory in 2008. Following an even tournament, Woods and Rocco Mediate dueled even again in the 18-hole playoff round, forcing a sudden death round won by Woods. It was a fitting victory for Tiger, who happens to hail from California himself, as does Phil Mickelson, who’s won the Pebble Beach Pro Am Tournament three different times.
No one plays it cool better than a California golfer, and it’s easy to see why. Pebble Beach, Riviera, Torrey Pines, and the Olympic Club are just some of the historic courses that grace the landscape of the state. These courses have hosted major PGA events since the 1940s, but they aren’t the only golf paradises in the Golden State. In fact, you don’t need to be playing at a pro level to look trendy on these courses. Here’s a look at Bird Golf Academy’s coolest California golf schools.
San Diego is home to some of the best beaches in the United States, along with exciting nightlife options like the House of Blues and Pacific Beach Shore Club. It’s also home to the magnificent Rams Hill Country Club, where Bird Golf students level up their game in style. San Diego has one of the most enjoyable climates in the country, with an average low of 49 degrees in December and an average high of 77 degrees in August. February is the wettest month with an average of five rainy days per 28.
Rams Hill Country Club was designed by Tom Fazio, who holds more Golf Digest Top 100 ranked courses than any other designer. San Diego golf outings usually occur under the bright sun, so light colors are an appropriate style choice. Short length should be cut just above the knee, no lower. And remember, no one wants to see your socks, keep them ankle length near the shoe line.
When visiting the Bird Golf Academy school in Palm Springs, you’ll be hitting the links with the breathtaking San Jacinto mountains as a backdrop. The Classic Club was designed by Arnold Palmer (of course) and hosted the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic for three consecutive years. The course is a desert style classic with 30 acres of water features. You’ll be challenged both on the course and in the wardrobe department as Tuscan Village motif keeps your more exotic shirts in the drawer.
Khakis are the classic choice for Classic Club golf rounds. One of the most versatile garments in the sport, khakis are perfect for almost any outing. Find a pair where the leg gently rests on the top of your shoes when your standing up straight. Palm Springs has far more diverse weather than San Diego with summer highs in the hundreds and winter lows in the forties. This is a course where the coolest thing might be your beverage on a summer day.
Speaking of beverages, the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is the heart of wine country, so rounds are ended with fine spirits instead of beers. The course used to be an old cattle ranch, but has since been transformed into a spectacular resort that has hosted the likes of Clark Gable and Doris Day. During the day, golfers work on their game on one of two beautiful courses and then retire to the ranch resort with a number of amenities.
Santa Barbara wine country has grown to rival that of nearby Napa Valley, so take your time and sample some of the world’s best wines. You’ll find the Alisal Ranch has an old-time feel – there are no phones or TVs, only classic Western charm. The dress code for these courses isn’t as strict as some other California spots. A polo shirt with khaki shorts just above the knee is all you need to look like you belong on this course. Oh, and the bottle of wine in your cart.
Of course, Napa is still the wine capital of the world and home to the fine Hiddenbrooke golf club, designed by the sport’s most famous beverage connoisseur, Arnold Palmer. The course was awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars by Golf Digest, making it the third best ranked golf course in California besides Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. You’ll have an exceptional view of the mountains while golfing at Hiddenbrooke, but be cautious of the sudden elevation changes.
While Santa Barbara is gaining ground, Napa is still tops in the wine department. You’ll sample some of the world’s finest while taking in the beautiful sights of the valley. With over 400 different wineries populating the countryside, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste. And there’s no excuse to being seen without a glass in your hand.
Yes, this course is in Arizona, but it’s only an hour flight from San Diego and you’ll get to enjoy some fantastic sights that you can’t see in the Golden State. Plus, Wild Horse Pass is a special place to play golf. At the Whirlwind Golf Club, you’ll work with instructors on 36 holes of spectacular scenery designed by master architect Gary Panks. This is desert golf at it’s finest and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to hit all three courses. Student stay at the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass, home to Kai, the only Arizona restaurant to receive a five star award from Forbes Travel Guide. Four other restaurants call the hotel home, as well as the renowned Aji Spa and Salon. Eat, relax, and enjoy one of America’s finest resorts.
When in Arizona, there’s a few things you absolutely need to see – first being the Grand Canyon. A number of different companies offer day tours with tickets usually costing around $180. Then there’s red rock country out in Sedona with its unique desert landscapes and wildlife. Arizona also hosts Cactus League spring training games for Major League baseball teams, so during March trips you might get to golf and watch your favorite team. So bring some ball caps and sunscreen and check out the Copper State too.