Golf Destination: Monterey, California

by GO GlobeHopper

If you’re looking for a great place to play a few rounds, enjoy fine wine, and do some sightseeing, consider the golf destination of Monterey, California.

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 that 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 is 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.

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 the 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. Directly outside the Pebble Beach entrance is the small European-style town straight out of a storybook, 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.

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 in 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 that 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 the 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 beehives on the property which provide ingredients for both the spa treatments and restaurant for an authentic Monterey County experience.

The picture-perfect views, award-winning wine, delicious food, and unbeatable golf make Monterey County a coastal paradise for golf fans. 

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