Monterey County’s breathtaking scenery, internationally renowned resorts, award-winning wine and relaxing atmosphere make it an ideal getaway for visitors and a perfect destination for golf enthusiasts. With over 20 public and private courses in Monterey County, there is something for every golfer.
Of course, Pebble Beach’s world famous golf courses are on every serious golfer’s bucket list. For the seasoned golfer up for a challenge, Spyglass Hill is rated as one of the toughest courses in the world. Named the number one ranked public course in America by Golf Digest, Pebble Beach Golf Links gives golfers the opportunity to play in the footsteps of famous golf pros and celebrities whom have competed in the AT&T Pro-Am Golf Tournament held there. With gorgeous greens featuring ocean views and the serene Pebble Beach Spa not far away, any one of the five golf courses are a great opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable round before retiring for a relaxing massage. After a day on the green, the newly opened Stave Wine Cellar nearby at The Inn at Spanish Bay offers a luxurious and intimate wine tasting experience with a selection of over 200 wines by the bottle and nearly 30 by the glass selections. Another popular spot to grab a drink, and enjoy panoramic coastal views, is the patio at The Inn at Spanish Bay, where visitors can enjoy happy hour by outdoor fire pits while being serenaded by a bagpiper as the sun sets over the ocean.
Directly outside the Pebble Beach entrance is the small European-style town straight out of a story book, Carmel-by-the-Sea. Foodies and wine lovers will love Carmel-by-the-Sea where visitors can explore the quaint cottages, secret gardens, boutiques and art galleries while sampling from the wide variety of restaurants and tasting rooms. The Carmel Wine Walk Passport is a convenient and cost-effective option that includes tastings at any nine of the fourteen tasting room members. For a more relaxed experience, pick up small bites and a bottle of wine and walk down to the soft white sands of Carmel Beach to enjoy a breathtaking sunset.
Just on the other side of Pebble Beach are the communities of Pacific Grove and Monterey. The Pacific Grove Golf Links is a popular golf course offering stunning views overlooking Asilomar State Beach and the historic Point Pinos Lighthouse. This 18-hole course reflects the style of traditional Scottish links and includes a full-service golf shop and driving range on property. Following a round on the course, stop for small bites at locals’ favorite Jeninni Kitchen + Wine Bar in downtown Pacific Grove or perhaps a wine tasting flight overlooking the ocean at A Taste of Monterey, located just a stone’s throw away on historic Cannery Row.
Down the road from Monterey is the city of Seaside, a community that plays host to the Bayonet & Blackhorse golf courses. These courses were previously closed to the public and used exclusively by the military, but have recently opened to the public after undergoing extensive renovations, earning a spot on Golf Digest’s “Best New Courses” issue in 2009. The technically challenging par-72 course of Bayonet and the sweeping ocean views of Black Horse make both a popular and affordable option for golfers in Monterey County.
A short fifteen minutes from the rugged coastline are the sunny rolling hills of Carmel Valley wine country. Nestled at the foothills of the valley, the newly renovated Quail Lodge & Golf Club features a beautifully manicured 18-hole championship golf course and offers dining options, a pool and private locker rooms. Just five minutes down the road, golfers can unwind at The Refuge, a spa experience which offers a peaceful thermal cycle of hot and cold pools as well as a sauna, steam room and access to outdoor fire pits. Carmel Valley Ranch, a sprawling 500-acre property that was included in Travel and Leisure’s “Best US Golf Resorts,” is a popular destination for both visitors and locals alike. The golf course on property is the only Pete Dye design in Northern California and winds through lavender fields, ponds, and mature oak groves that make for a truly picturesque golf experience. Retire back to the resort and dine in the farm-to-table concept Valley Kitchen or unwind with a massage and soak in the infinity hot tub at Spa Aiyana. Carmel Valley Ranch boasts organic gardens, vineyards and bee hives on property which provide ingredients for both the spa treatments and restaurant for an authentic Monterey County experience.
Carmel Valley has much to offer aside from outstanding golf courses and a visit to the sunny vineyards and tasting rooms that play host to a variety of top tier wines is an absolute must. Forget about drawing straws for a designated driver and take advantage of the Grapevine Express, a local bus system that stops at key wine tasting areas. First stop is Folktale Winery, where you can enjoy wine tasting and beautifully arranged charcuterie plates on their outdoor terrace, play corn hole or giant Jenga on the front lawn, tour the vineyards on property and enjoy a wide variety of live entertainment, including the popular “Live in the Vines” concert series. Continue on to Carmel Valley Village, a quaint collection of tasting rooms, restaurants, galleries and boutiques all within short walking distance of one another. With over 20 local wineries to choose from, there is no shortage of varietals and vintages to enjoy.
The picture perfect views, award winning wine, delicious food and unbeatable golf makes Monterey County a coastal paradise for golf fans. Plan a trip to Monterey County and grab life by the moments in this one of a kind destination for an unforgettable golfing getaway.