If you think golf courses are just different combinations of grass and sand, you haven’t experienced golf in Santa Barbara. Yes, you’ll find lush fairways and smooth, fast greens. But you’ll also find two courses, just a short drive from one another, in one of the best vacation spots around. Simply put, there’s no other golf destination like it.
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Glen Annie Golf Club
From downtown Santa Barbara, it’s only a 15-minute drive north on US-101 to get to Glen Annie Golf Club. The front nine plays around lakes and waterfall features; the mountain-front holes offer ocean and Channel Island views. This course is more forgiving than Rancho San Marcos and is always in great shape. Bonus: There’s a great craft beer selection on the beverage cart. After your round, enjoy drinks on the patio at the Frog Bar & Grill.
The six can’t-miss holes at Glen Annie Golf Club?
No. 1, Par 4 – Uphill, known as the toughest starting hole in the county
No. 3, Par 4 – Elevated tee, scenic lake in front of green
No. 7, Par 5 – Set up and approach shots offer great risk-reward
No. 11, Par 3 – Ocean views from one of the highest elevations on the course
No. 12, Par 4 – A big drive from this elevated tee may find the green
No. 16, Par 4 – Great views of lakes and Santa Barbara in the distance
Sandpiper golf Club
Just a few paces away, the ocean becomes a major player at Sandpiper Golf Club, which Golf Digest recently named to its list of the Top 100 Public Golf Courses. On a seaside bluff, this 7,000-yard, links-style course boasts ocean and mountain views from every hole— you’re closer to the ocean here than you are on any hole at Pebble Beach.
The six can’t-miss holes at Sandpiper Golf Club?
No. 6, Par 3 – Runs parallel to the Pacific, with views of the coast and Channel Islands
No. 10, Par 4 – Slight dog-leg left makes for a difficult tee shot
No. 11, Par 3 – This tee shot, toward the ocean, is one of the best in California
No. 12, Par 4 – Uphill dog-leg right plays 347 yards from the championship tee, located off the beach
No. 13, Par 5 – Tee box sits 200 feet above the beach
No. 18, Par 3 – A tough finishing hole over the water
The best part? These three courses are just minutes from downtown Santa Barbara. In between rounds, sip Pinot on the Urban Wine Trail and enjoy local cuisine at Opal Restaurant & Bar. Stroll Stearns Wharf to see whales and seals in the Harbor. Browse the shops on State Street, then catch a show at the Granada Theatre. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is how long to stay.