Sandpiper Golf Club Review, Santa Barbara, California

Sandpiper Golf Club Review, Santa Barbara, California

Sandpiper Golf Club Review, Santa Barbara, California

by danperry on March 18, 2008

in Golf Course Reviews

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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.

Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara, California

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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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank from March 18, 2008 at 8:28 am

Hi Dan,
thanks a lot for this wonderful description and the spectacular photos, the course seems truly beautiful. Playing such a course, especially at the sea side, as a single helps a lot to step away from it all and get re-charged for the new tasks ahead.
Thanks again for this great find, Frank

jillian March 18, 2008 at 9:47 am

Shhhh! Don’t tell “too many” people about our little gem! :-) Glad you enjoyed your play.

golfboy March 18, 2008 at 11:06 am

the piper’s a beauty! I’ve played it so many times that I know it intimately, but like many of the great golf courses, I can remember an awful about the first round I played there! They’ve threatened to renovate several times recently, and i hope they never get around to it. nice weather is good there, but it’s kind of fun, in that perverted golferry way, when there’s a wind bowing the flagsticks almost to the gound. great photos, you definitely captured the feel. shoot me an email next time you’re around these parts, Dan, we must get together.


Steve November 29, 2008 at 12:13 am

Thank you for your narration and photos. We are going to Santa Barbara sunday to celebrate our birthdays and playing Sandpiper tues. Your comment are enlighting when going to play a new course. Monday is Rancho San Marcos.

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