Americans are attracted to water. It’s one of the reasons both coasts are so populated and why many residences and vacation homes are by rivers, lakes or an ocean.

Developers and golf course architects obviously know this, which explains why some of the most enchanting layouts in the country have the Pacific Ocean in view. From mild to wild, the ocean’s waves along the California coast can be both hypnotizing and exhilarating, not to mention a great excuse for distraction if your score isn’t as low as expected.

So grab your clubs, cap and sunscreen and take a trip as we gaze at just a few of the ocean-kissed options that bring a new meaning to the phrase surf and turf.

Photo credit: Courtesy Sandpiper

Sandpiper Golf Club

Location: Santa Barbara.

Year Opened: 1972.

Course designer: William F. Bell.

Par/Yardage: Par 72, 7,068 yards.

Notable: Measuring over 7,000 yards, with a championship rating of 74.5, Sandpiper has challenged the abilities of PGA and LPGA tour players alike, playing host to several professional tournaments, including The PGA Tour Tournament Players Series, The LPGA Tour Santa Barbara Women’s Open and the final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School.

Quotable: “Sandpiper Golf Club is an inspiring combination of challenge and beauty as championship golf brings you to the edge of the Pacific Ocean. With breathtaking ocean and mountain views from every hole, Sandpiper is truly a memorable experience.” – D.J. Limardi, PGA General Manager

Photo Courtesy Trump National

Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles

Location: Rancho Palos Verdes.

Year opened: Originally opened in 1999 as Ocean Trails Golf Club; reopened in 2006 as Trump National.

Course designer: Pete Dye and Donald Trump.

Par/Yardage: Par 71, 7,242 yards.

Notable: Trump National is documented as the most expensive golf course ever built, having had roughly $250 million spent on its completion to date.

Quotable: “What makes Trump National the most spectacular golf course in America is our 100 percent panoramic ocean views from every hole on the golf course. The ocean views paired with our fabulous course conditions and challenging layout truly separates our facility from all other ocean courses in world.” – Joe Lewis, head golf professional

Photo courtesy Blake Marvin

Half Moon Bay Golf Links

Location: Half Moon Bay.

Year opened: Old Course: 1973; Ocean Course: 1997.

Course designer: Old Course: Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane; Ocean Course: Arthur Hills.

Par/Yardage: Old Course: Par 72, 7,003 yards; Ocean Course: Par 72, 6,649 yards.

Notable: The17th hole is one of the most spectacular in the country and especially daring because it forces golfers to flirt with disaster on the cliffs that line the west perimeter.

Quotable: “What separates Half Moon Bay Golf Links is that we are a true links course in that we have an outward nine and an inward nine that play firm and fast – the way links golf was intended to be played.” – Bill Troyanoski, General Manager

Photo courtesy Torrey Pines Golf Shop

Torrey Pines Golf Course

Location: La Jolla.

Year opened: 1957.

Course designer: William F. Bell; South Course redesigned by Rees Jones in 2001.

Par/Yardage: South Course: Par 72, 7,628 yards; North Course: Par 72, 7,061 yards.

Notable: Torrey Pines hosted one of the most memorable U.S. Opens in history in 2008 when a hobbling Tiger Woods held off the field in regulation and Rocco Mediate in a Monday playoff.

Quotable: “When our patrons walk the fairways of Torrey Pines and approach the tee box at No. 3 South or No. 6 North and view for the first time the cliffs and shoreline on a summer sunset, they feel that moment. It’s hard to explain but the problems of life are immediately suspended.” – Lew Milburn, golf course manager

Photo courtesy Pelican Hill

Pelican Hill Golf Club

Location: Newport Coast.

Year opened: South Course: 1991; North Course: 1993.

Course designer: Tom Fazio.

Par/Yardage: South Course: Par 70, 6,580 yards; North Course: Par 71, 6,945 yards.

Notable: Fazio, designer of both courses at Pelican Hill, has more courses ranked in the top 100 than any other architect.

Quotable: “Panoramic ocean views guide many of the Ocean North Course’s tee and approach shots. The Ocean South Course is a flow of contrasts from brush gardens framed by sage and eucalyptus trees to greens bordered by deep chasms. Several holes permit 270-degree views of the Pacific.” – Steve Friedlander, vice president of golf at Pelican Hill

© Joann Dost; Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Pebble Beach Resorts®, and their respective underlying distinctive images are trademarks, service marks and trade dress of Pebble Beach Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Location: Pebble Beach.

Year opened: 1919.

Course designer: Jack Neville and Douglas Grant.

Par/Yardage: Par 72, 6,828 yards.

Notable: The course that has hosted U.S. Opens is considered one of the best in the world. Pebble Beach has attracted a long list of prestigious guests, including Salvador Dali, Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, Sir Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby.

Quotable: “If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. I’ve loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s possibly the best in the world.” – Jack Nicklaus, 18-time major champion

Pacific Grove Golf Links

Location: Pacific Grove.

Year Opened: 1932.

Course Designer: Front nine: H. Chandler Egan; back nine: Jack Nevill.

Par/Yardage: Par 70, 5,727 yards.

Notable: Every hole of the back nine provides beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean as well as Point Pinos Lighthouse.

Quotable: “I believe what sets us apart is location and value. Playing our links-style back nine on the Monterey Peninsula for less than $50 is a nice draw.” – Joe Riekena, head PGA golf professional

Photo courtesy Bodega Harbour

The New Links at Bodega Harbour

Location: Bodega Bay

Year Opened: 1978

Course Designer:  Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Par/Yardage: Par 70, 6,290 yards

Notable: Nearly 100 bunkers were reconstructed and all 18 greens were resurfaced with bentgrass as part of a renovation project that started in 2007.

Quotable: “Although The Links at Bodega Harbour can be a challenging round, each shot you take changes your view of the ocean. If your game fails you, simply look up and enjoy the view.” – Amanda Vineyard, Director of Sales and Marketing


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