Golf at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

It doesn’t get much better than Santa Barbara, where the land meets the sea in dramatic fashion. A Mediterranean climate, Spanish colonial architecture and a setting reminiscent of the south of France all contribute to the area’s European feel. Here there is a range of golf vacation options and we can handcraft memorable epicurean experiences thanks to our network of wine insiders, chefs, master sommeliers and local artisan food makers.

On the outskirts of Santa Barbara, tee it up at Sandpiper, the 1972 William F. Bell design laid out along the Pacific Coast. This track measures 7,068 from the back tees, and is reminiscent of scenic golf found in Bermuda. Try to keep the northwest breeze from blowing your ball 30 yards left of the green on the brutal, 224-yard par-three eleventh.

In nearby Lompoc, we highly recommend La Purisima, a CORK & TEE Hidden Gem and pure golf venue that Golf Digest recently named one of the 50 toughest in the U.S. The course meanders over moderate elevation changes and occasionally ducks into scrub forest. While we have played more difficult courses, this is still an enjoyable challenge.

La Purisima lies in the heart of the high profile Santa Rita Hills appellation, the heart of Pinot country. You also will be encouraged to fill your glass with Chardonnay or Syrah from the adjacent Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys. To the north, Edna Valley and Paso Robles are sure to interest oenophiles. We are impressed by the Rhone and Zin product coming out of Paso, but other varietals also thrive due in part to the largest daily temperature variation in the state.

For golf in Paso, Hunter Ranch offers another challenge that will satisfy the purist. You will find a very well groomed course that will test you as it winds through the hills of eastern Paso.

Trust our first-hand knowledge of area accommodations. Stay in Santa Barbara or, as we prefer, choose from resort vacation properties that exude old California elegance, or get away from it all at a secluded boutique cottage property in the glorious Montecito foothills. In Paso, why not wake up in a vineyard?

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for Independent Travel:

California's Central Coast

From Santa Barbara to Monterey

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