Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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California's 10 Best Hidden Gem Golf Courses Under the radar landscapes are magnificent places to swing away BY ROBERT KAUFMAN Viewing a satellite image of California north to south will reveal a right-to-left dogleg fairway bordered on the west side by a 1,264-mile water hazard and a 400- mile stretch of High Sierra mountains on the east. Covering the entire golden terrain between these borders is enough yardage of golf holes to stretch from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. With Mother Nature's help planting landscapes of mountains, valleys, forests, coastline and desert, it's no surprise the Golden State is considered one of the most attractive destinations in the world. When it comes to teeing up the little white ball, these geographical wonders have produced backdrops for an incredibly diverse collec- tion of golf courses to suit every golfer's taste and budget. While there are myriad coveted bucket- list venues such as Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course on the Mon- terey Peninsula, Torrey Pines Golf Course on the Pacific coastal bluffs in San Diego or PGA West in the Palm Springs desert, there is a staggering list of distinct golf courses open year-round that fly under the golfer's radar but are as golden as the nuggets dis- covered during the Gold Rush! There are far too many golf courses to highlight—currently, more than 600 are public accessible—but here are some standouts that will help unlock a golf expe- rience of a lifetime. Northwood Golf Course Renowned golf course architect Alister MacKenzie (Cypress Point, Augusta NORTHWOOD GOLF COURSE Northwood Golf Course, above, uniquely runs entirely through a redwood forest. Other excellent places to play in Northern California include Half Moon Bay Golf Links, San Francisco's Harding Park and Presidio, San Ramon's Bridges, Napa Valley's Silverado and Sonoma's Sea Ranch. And we can't forget, of course, top tier courses such as Pebble Beach, Spyglass, Pasatiempo and Bayonet. ROBERT KAUFMAN 50 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A CA.GOLF

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