Orange County is ranked as one of the world’s 50 Greatest Golf Destinations by Golf Digest. So if you prefer to hit the green instead of head to the beach, we totally get it! Here are some of our favorite golf courses, all within a 30 minute drive from the Newport Beach peninsula.
A Stunning, Oceanfront Course
On the outskirts of Newport Beach, right off of PCH, is Pelican Hill, a premier resort/restaurant/spa destination. Guests come from all over to enjoy impeccable service and sweeping views of the ocean. At this complex is not one, but two golf courses designed by Tom Fazio. They each twist and wind their way along the coastal cliffs, for incredible vistas at every turn. A round of golf will run you $350-$450, but you can be sure that it will be a round to remember.
An Affordable, No Frills Golf Course
Located just a hop and skip from the Newport Peninsula, the Newport Beach Golf Course is an 18 hole executive course perfect for quick rounds of golf. Mats are used on both the driving range and the course, and both are open until 9pm. 18 holes will cost you $26-$29, while the range is $6-$14. We love coming here for casual play with groups of people, or when we don’t have all day to dedicate to the game.
The Best Bang for Your Buck Golf Course
Voted the #1 best golf course in Orange County by the OC Register, Mile Square Golf Course offers quality greens for a reasonable price. It’s just a 20 minute drive from the peninsula, making it accessible and convenient when on vacation in Newport. Although located in the middle of urban sprawl, the course is designed in such a way as to give you a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is a great one to try.
The After Hours Golf Course
The David L. Baker Golf Course is located right next to Mile Square Golf Course, so is another accessible course from the peninsula. The difference is that this course is open until 10pm, making it our go-to course when we want to hit the green after a day of work. The range uses bright yellow balls, making it easier to track them in the dark. The course’s extra short holes give it the feel of an executive course. While it’s easy to play through the course quickly, if you go during the weekends, prepare to wait at every hole. This course can get crowded!
A Pretty, but Challenging Course
Strawberry Farms Golf Club is a gem of a course, tucked back in the hills of Irvine/Tustin and just a 20 minute drive from Newport Beach. Due to its popularity, it can be tricky to book a tee time here, but if you can bag one, we say go for it! The back 9 features skinny fairways and a few water features, so be prepared to lose a ball or two. They have helpful staff and an active beverage cart, which add to the overall experience. For a great Orange County course, this is the one to visit.
The “Public Play, with a Private Feel” Course
The Tustin Ranch Golf Club is a beautiful, palm tree-lined course designed by Ted Robinson, and just 25 minutes inland of the peninsula. While on the pricier side ($110ish), you get the service and ambiance of a private course. All of their carts come with built-in coolers with pre-packed ice as well as GPS screens to conveniently keep you abreast of the holes to come. We recommend this course for the more serious golfer, as social stragglers are not well received by the course Marshall.
Newport Beach is the land of luxury and recreation, making it the perfect destination for a golf trip! Whether you’re looking for a luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime experience or a relaxed and casual round, there’s sure to be a nearby course that fits your aesthetic and price point.