Pacific Coast Highway Travel lists some of the best golf courses in Santa Barbara, if you plan to stop off in Santa Barbara and play on these scenic courses.
Golf is popular in Santa Barbara. The city and surrounding hills offer a range of courses and clubs that cater to both locals and visitors.
Additionally, the comfortable year-round weather in Santa Barbara makes it an ideal location for golfing activities. It has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate and was in fact ranked number 1 for weather in the United States in 2018. There’s hardly any rain over the summer and an average of nine hours of sunshine per day over the year. Ideal golfing weather!
Sandpiper Golf Club
7925 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93117
The Sandpiper Golf Club is a challenging 18-hole course located along the coast, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Amazingly this used to be an oil refinery after crude oil was discovered in 1927. It was so significant that the Japanese navy sent a submarine to shell it in 1942, but production ceased and it was developed as the Sandpiper Golf Club in 1972.
Sandpiper Golf Club is located a 15-minute drive along Highway 101 west of downtown Santa Barbara. It’s perfect for beginners and experienced golfers alike and has been rated among the best 100 public courses in the USA. There are mountain and sea views from every hole of this 7,000-yard course.
Glen Annie Golf Club
405 Glen Annie Rd, Goleta, CA 93117
The Glen Annie Golf Club is a beautiful course surrounded by the Santa Ynez Mountains, and with ocean views. It offers a challenging layout with well-manicured greens and is in Goleta, a 15-minute drive west of Santa Barbara along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Santa Barbara Golf Club
3500 McCaw Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
The Santa Barbara Golf Club is a historic course located in the heart of Santa Barbara, offering a challenging yet playable layout for all skill levels. It’s just a few minutes’ drive from downtown and is open to the public every day of the year. It’s an 18-hole par-70 course with impressive views of the Santa Ynez foothills and the Pacific Ocean. The course measures 6,022 yards from the back tees.
Rancho San Marcos Golf Course
4600 Highway 154, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
The Rancho San Marcos Golf Course is a scenic course located in the Santa Ynez Valley, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The course opened in 1998 but the history of the Rancho goes back about 9,000 years. It was originally the home of the Chumash people, and the Rancho itself was built by the Santa Barbara Mission. It’s a 25-minute drive north-west of downtown Santa Barbara.
La Cumbre Country Club
4015 Via Laguna, Santa Barbara, CA 93110
La Cumbre Country Club is a private 18-hole course located in the foothills of Santa Barbara, offering a challenging layout with spectacular views, yet it’s only a 10-minute drive from downtown, west on Highway 101. It dates from 1909 but in 1916 moved across the street and became La Cumbre Golf and Country Club.
920 Summit Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
The Montecito Club is a private course nestled in the hills of Montecito, offering a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels. This Jack Nicklaus Signature Course is less than a 10-minute drive east of downtown along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Valley Club of Montecito
1901 E Valley Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
The Valley Club of Montecito is a private course that was founded in 1929 and is located in the hills of Montecito, offering a challenging layout with breathtaking views. It’s a 15-minute drive east from downtown
Birnam Wood Golf Club
2031 Packing House Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
‘The best short course I ever built,’ said Robert Trent Jones Snr of Birnam Wood. Birnam Wood Golf Club is a private course located in the foothills of Montecito, with a challenging yet fun layout for golfers of all levels. It’s a 10-minute drive east from downtown Santa Barbara and as you can tell from the name, it’s in very wooded terrain.
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