Driving and Driving: Plan a Golf Road Trip

California offers dozens of beautiful courses up and down the state
By CYNTHIA YANG, Weekendr Staff Writer
Published on Apr 9, 2021

So the theme this spring is that the world is slowly returning to almost normal. Well, maybe not all over the world, but in California, restrictions are loosening and while we wear masks, we dine indoors, and we can have a beer indoors or out.

Travel might be problematic, but the road trip is still a safe bet for family travel. And there are as many reasons for a road trip as there are roads.

A golf road trip, for example?

Did you know that of the over 100 editions of the major men’s US golf tournaments, only 11 have been held out west? But the 2021 U.S. Open will be held in La Jolla in June. And you’re starting to think about spring and summer family road trip plans, so this might get you on the green.

Visit one of these golf resorts, or visit them all. It will be memorable either way.

You can begin in San Diego County, and its notorious Torrey Pines Golf Course. On cliffs towering above the Pacific Ocean,  it will be the host of the 2021 U.S. Open in June. It will be only the second time Torrey Pines’ South Course will host the national championship.

After your day on the links, you can explore the nearby Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve for captivating trails overlooking the water or perhaps enjoy an overnight stay at the luxury Lodge Torrey Pines.

You can continue on to Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, set amid 200 acres of rolling valleys overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon nature preserve. Designed by Arnold Palmer, it’s also home of the annual LPGA Kia Classic professional golf tournament.

It’s also part of the luxury Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, which reopened in late 2020. Guests can enjoy the Topgolf Swing Suite, a new addition to the resort’s lobby, offering food, beverages and music to create a unique element of playful competition. Off the course, guests can revel in revamped rooms, new restaurant and bar concepts and seven unique new pool experiences.

Heading north on the 5 will take you to  Orange County The Ranch at Laguna Beach, the posh beach town’s only golf course.

 Ben Brown’s at The Ranch is on one of the most sustainable courses in California and is perfect for those of all levels, offering barefoot tournaments for novices. Greens are watered using reclaimed water, saving 20 million gallons of water annually,  and the course’s bunkers are filled with fine silica-style sand created from recycled glass bottles. This historic 9-hole Geo-Certified course is carved into the walls of Aliso and Wood Canyons, creating a playing experience with stunning views and elevation changes on every fairway.

Closer to home, and surrounded by the Angeles National Forest, is Sand Canyon Country Club, a 27-hole public course spanning 400 acres. The golf course recently announced plans to develop a five-star family-oriented destination resort on site, Sand Canyon Resort, by 2023. The new resort will provide families with access to the course, as well as an on-site spa and restaurants for an all-encompassing secluded getaway.

Head out of the city again, head for the beach and take the drive up the iconic stretch of Highway 1 to Pebble Beach, taking in the California coastline and making stops at some of the quaint beach towns along the Central Coast.

As you probably know, a large opened up on Highway at Big Sur back in January. According to a recent Caltrans announcement, The last of the debris flow material has been removed from the canyon. An estimated 70,000 cubic yards of trees, rocks, and sediment have been taken off site. It is expected that 25,000 cubic yards of fill will be needed to be brought in to build up the support for the new roadway.

Crews continue to work 7 days per week during daylight hours, said Caltrans.

For traffic updates on other state highways in Monterey County, travelers may contact Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit the District 5 website here.

Whenever  you can safely get there, a round at the legendary Pebble Beach Resorts is beckoning.

With several nationally recognized courses, including Pebble Beach Golf Links – the No.1 public golf course in the country – and a new, Tiger Woods-designed short course opening in April, Pebble Beach is a must-stop for all golf lovers, or those who just love a beautiful view.

Pebble Beach Resorts has designed a new short course, The Hay, comprised of nine par-3 holes, a 20,000-square-foot putting course and a food and beverage venue featuring the resort’s largest outdoor patio positioned for expansive views.

Just off the main roads, Furnace Creek Golf Course in Death Valley, (the world’s lowest golf course, at 214 feet below sea level).

Wine lovers can swing and swig at The Course at Wente Vineyards in the San Francisco Bay Area, which weaves through the vineyards, or the Sonoma Golf Club, set on 177 acres with sweeping vistas of neighboring vineyards. In Tuolumne County, the Pine Mountain Lake Golf Course is a challenging 18-hole golf course that takes golfers  through breathtaking views of the majestic mountain peaks of Yosemite.

Golf and driving. Kinda the same thing, wouldn’t you say? Fore!

One Comment to: Driving and Driving: Plan a Golf Road Trip

  1. Jud San

    April 10th, 2021

    Wondering if you played Sand Canyon Golf Course before you included them. I asked for a refund the moment I finished the first hole. True the national forest in the distance is breathtaking, but the fairway was like playing on concrete and the greens had weeds. Waste of a trip from South Pas. You did mention it was public, so there you go.


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