Orange County Golf Courses — 5 Must-Visit Links

Golf lovers vote Orange County golf courses some of the best in Southern California. Golfers enjoy the sunshine and ideal Orange County weather all year and appreciate the variety of terrains, including ocean views and serene rolling hills. There are greens for every skill level and budget. From luxury country clubs to open public courses, check out our five favorite links.


#1 Monarch Beach Golf Links

Let’s start with our number one choice—Monarch Beach Golf Links. It’s one of the few oceanfront public golf courses in Southern California with a view of the Pacific from several holes. If you’re visiting and looking for a luxury experience, this is the place to golf—especially if you’re staying at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Hills less than a mile away.


A few of the reasons this course is so popular is the layout is fantastic and very walkable. The greens are always in top shape, with fairways looking like a vacuumed carpet. This fun yet challenging 18-hole course is our number one choice for Orange County golf courses. Whether you live in nearby Irvine or are just visiting, treat yourself to this luxury experience.


#2 Pelican Hill Golf Club

Now let's look at Pelican Hill Golf Club, our second pick for Orange County country clubs offering world-class golf and luxury resort experiences. This beautiful design is the work of legendary golf course architect Tom Fazio and offers two 18-hole courses. The setting is breathtaking with its panoramic ocean views, gorgeous sunsets, dramatic cliffs, and open canyons. Although it's a bit of a drive from LA, it's worth it.


Although this is a public club, there are several choices when it comes to memberships. Enrollment ranges from $750 to just under $30,000, which is considered the going rate for joining Orange County golf courses. Even though this is an elite world-class club, they welcome golfers of all skill levels from beginners to bogey and scratch golfers.  Be sure to take advantage of the world-class golf academy with a team of professional PGA teachers to learn the game or perfect your swing.


#3 Ben Brown’s Golf Course at the Ranch at Laguna Beach

Discover this hidden gem 9-hole course located in Laguna Beach. It’s tucked away in a canyon and back from the hustle and bustle of the beach itself and the Pacific Coast Highway. As an executive course, it only has nine holes, but that's perfect for a quick game, especially after work. Following an affordable round of golf, take advantage of the cold and refreshing craft beer and live music. Ben Brown's is a favorite oasis for golfing in Orange County. 


The course is always in pristine condition and very walkable. Don't be surprised if you see deer on the green since there are woods throughout the course. Compared to 18-hole courses and elite clubs, you'll meet golfers who are more relaxed and laid back. The serene vibe might be from all of that clean ocean air. Ben Brown's is our top choice for 9-hole Orange County golf courses.


#4 Tijeras Creek Golf Club

Golfing in Orange County is never more enjoyable or affordable than at Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita. Compared to the higher-priced private Orange County country club this affordable course is open to the public, and both locals and vacationers can escape the busy city and unwind in the incredible scenery and relaxed atmosphere. The design of the 9-hole course is specifically for all skill levels offering breathtaking terrain, dramatic elevation changes, and beautiful water features. For variety, there's a front nine and back nine, each with fun and unique challenges.


After a relaxing round of golf, make sure you check out TJ's Cantina. The staff and management make this a welcoming place, always providing something to do, including Monday Night Football, delicious Taco Tuesday, and an affordable Sunday Brunch. With beautiful Orange County weather, you can golf almost any time of the day. And you can be sure there's always something fun to do at Tijeras Creek Golf Club.


#5 Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club

The Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club is open to the public and offers daily fee access to one of the most beautiful, well-kept, and affordable 18-hole Orange County golf courses. Set in the foothills of Mission Viejo, this park-like setting covers 240-acres. This is a fun and walkable course, and it's suitable for all skill levels with many challenging holes.


Keep in mind Orange County weather can be windy in the afternoon, making the final nine holes more difficult and challenging. So, if you're a beginner, plan to play in the morning. Also, unlike other golf courses, there's no turn around at the 9th hole, so you'll be playing a whole round of 18. Once you get to the 19th hole, take a break for a drink and bite to eat. Compared to other Orange County country clubs, this golf course is amazingly affordable, plus they offer a great family membership, which saves you even more. O’Neill’s Bar and Grill is a popular spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a place to watch sports.


Whether you’re visiting beautiful Southern California for vacation or planning to move here, we hope you’ve enjoyed this information about the top Orange County golf courses. If you’d like to live in this beautiful area, stop by and see Pulte’s new homes in Orange County.



Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans

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Published 11.27.19

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