I was attending a conference in Santa Barbara, and decided to do a little digging into local courses, to see if I should bring my clubs. Found this wonderful little gem perched right on the ocean, and couldn’t pass it up. There’s something about water on a golf course (whether a river, Great Lake, or ocean) that makes it special.
I arrived at the course around 1 p.m. in the afternoon on a weekday, and ended playing my round as a single. Luckily, the group in front of me was 6-7 holes ahead, which left plenty of time to take pictures (yay for me!)
The course starts out simple enough, with the first hole right off the clubhouse. Then, you go back and forth a few times until you reach the 5th, which is an uphill par 5.
The best part of the hole is that the closer you get to the green, the more the ocean comes into view. I ended up on the right side, just short of the green. Here’s the view.
After holing my chip (yeah, right) I remember seeing a few kite-flyers just south of the golf course. I got to tell you; there’s nothing like being stuck on a plane for 4 hours, then within a couple hours, standing on a golf course overlooking the ocean. The difference is like night and day.
The 6th is a par three that runs parallel to the ocean, so lots of wind to deal with. My tee shot was close enough for a birdie try, my first legitimate shot of the day. Of course, I missed it, but still felt glad walking away with a par.
As I worked my way back towards the clubhouse, I couldn’t stop thinking of how great it was to be playing golf, even by myself. My round was actually average, or a little below average, but the sense of being on the course, and knowing that I’d already had a great time, and that I wasn’t even half-way done is truly a great feeling.
The tenth hole isn’t long (only 381 from the black), but the approach is directly into the wind. The shot is also great in that there’s a drop-off behind the green. I chickened out, and left it short, but was still rewarded with this view.
The 11th is a 224 yard par 3, but is so far downhill, the camera doesn’t do it justice. It’s a very interesting shot, because you need to adjust not only for the wind (which is right in your face), but the drop in elevation as well. In addition, the green is narrow and long, which makes it that much tougher.
The best part of the 11th is that once you’re on the green, you’re probably 20 steps from the ocean. You can see it, hear it, and smell it. I can even smell it now as I type this. What a place to be.
The 12th, 13th and 14th all border the ocean, so it’s all OB on the right. One of the best views on the course is from the 12th tee box, looking back towards the 11th green.
As you work your way through the rest of the holes (trying to make up a few shots you lost from the distraction of the wonderful views), you finally come up on the 18th. It’s a great finishing hole for two reasons. One, it’s a par 3, which is rare, and 2, it’s all carry over water, with the wind at your back. At least the green is large enough to land a ball and (hopefully) stick it.
As you can probably tell, I loved playing this course. I was lucky enough to have had perfect weather, and to have the time (as a single) to really enjoy the course and the views it had to offer. If given the chance, I’d gladly play here again.
If you play it (or have in the past), be sure to comment below on your thoughts of the course.
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