Orange County, once the staple of orange groves and farmlands, has since developed into an urban area that includes not only beautiful parks, but premier golf courses that were designed by such golf greats as Payne Stewart, Tom Fazio and Robert Trent Jones. The county’s best courses top the rest with their challenging outlays, beautiful vistas, locations, services and amenities. In short, if you want to rock it on the greens, these are the places to do it in Orange County.
Coyote Hills Golf Course
1440 E. Bastanchury Rd.
Fullerton, CA 92835
Hours: daily – 6 a.m. to twilight
Price: $100 per day Mon to Thurs/$110 Fri/$125 Sat, Sun and holidays/25 percent members discount/driving range $6 for 60 balls to $100 for 1,300 balls
This 18 hole par 70 course was crafted by famed golfer Payne Stewart in the beautiful foothills of Orange County, with running streams, waterfalls and stunning views. It is perfect for golfers of every age and level of experience. Each cart is equipped with a global positioning system that helps with navigating the 250-acre, scenic course. Coyote Hills Golf Club is open to the public but also offers memberships, with a 25 percent discount off of the regular rates. The huge clubhouse offers meal service as well as special events during the year.
Black Gold Golf Club
1 Black Gold Dr.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Hours: daily – 6:30 a.m. to guests’ discretion
Price: $87 non residents with advance registration Mon to Thurs/$99 Fri/$115 Sat, Sun and holidays/$67 residents Mon to Thurs477 Fri/$87 Sat, Sun and holidays
This par-72 course, designed by Arthur Hills, is located at the foot of Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Yorba Linda, and is by far one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in Orange County. The Black Golf Golf Club is best known for its signature 18th hole, which features a waterfall near the greens. Together with its other attractive features — elevation, rolling hills and the L.A. skyline, Newport Beach and Catalina Island views — it knocks it out of the park all around as one of the top golf courses in the O.C. It has been given 4.5 stars by Golf Digest and was voted one of the top 50 golf courses in southern California by Southland Golf Magazine. In addition to hosting golf tournaments, it is available for weddings and other events.
Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club
26772 Avery Pkwy.
Mission Viejo, CA
Hours: daily – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: $72 nonmembers Mon to Thurs/$87 Fri/$101 Sat, Sun and holidays/$59 members Mon to Thurs/$70 Fri/$89 Sat, Sun and holidays
Arroyo Trabuco Creek Golf Club has been open to the public for only six years, and lays claim to an uber-challenging par-three course with dog legs known for challenging any golfer’s strategies. One of its best features, besides the breathtaking elevation, is that there are no homes on the property as it was not built as a part of a housing development like many area courses. One of its popular promotions is fast-track Thursday, rewarding golfers for playing the first six holes in 90 minutes or less. Trabuco Creek plays as a lateral hazard on seven holes, and because of the natural setting, the final two holes are built around an old mining lake that was reshaped during construction.
Pelican Hill Golf Club
22651 Pelican Hill Rd.
Newport Coast, CA
Hours: daily – 7 a.m to 7 p.m.
Rates: $280 guests per day/$245 resort guests per day/$325 group/$20 non-playing rider/$150 twilight guest fee
Located in beautiful Newport Beach, California, Pelican Hills was rated the No. 1 course in the world by Conde Nast Traveler in 2012. Designed by Tom Fazio it is actually two golf courses: Pelican Hill Ocean North at par 71 and Pelican Hill Ocean South at par 70. Together they cover about 400 acres with incredible ocean views from almost every hole on the fairways. One of the special services for golfers are forecaddies, a service offered at only the finest country clubs and resorts, enabling golfers to enjoy the best round of golf possible. Golfers here also enjoy custom golf carts with canopies, contoured stitched seats, complimentary valet parking and complimentary use of the practice facilities, which are conveniently located outside of the clubhouse, with Nike Platinum bottled water, golf balls, towels and tees. At its ultra-luxurious clubhouse, guests may enjoy delicious meals in the Pelican Grill and on the al fresco terrace, which offers beautiful panoramas of the fairways and Pacific Ocean.
Tijeras Creek Golf Club
29082 Tijeras Creek
Rancho Santa Marguerita, CA. 92688
Rates: $60 members per day Mon to Thurs/$70 Fri/$80 Sat, Sun and holidays/$95 nonmembers Mon to Fri/$120 Sat, Sun and holidays
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 10 a.m. to dusk; Fri to Sun and holidays – 7 a.m. to dusk
Tijeras Creek Golf Club’s distinctive layout in comprised of two nine-hole courses. The front nine includes water features at four of its nine holes, while the back nine includes sycamores, oaks, native chaparral and slight elevations, and both have homes along their layout. The course was recently renovated, under the supervision of Dick Bailey, with many of the bunkers re-sculpted and filled with white California sand. The course is designed to accommodate every level of play, making it an ideal choice for a variety of corporate, charity and college tournaments as well as individual groups that organize their own. The Golf club’s T.J’s Cantina features a grill menu in a casual setting both indoors and on its patio.
Mona Graham is a freelance writer, who has been writing for Examiner.com since 2011 as an Anaheim city guide and Santa Ana New Zealand Travel. Mona has lived in Orange County since 1958 and knows all the different cities and towns that make up the area. Her hobbies are travelling, writing and photography. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.