Golf in Laguna Beach


I’m heading to Dana Point for a vacation during the first week in April. Any ideas of some golf courses I should check out? Wife is getting one rounds as a birthday gift, but don’t see the need to drop $300 for a round. Looking for a good round and then possibly a fun cheap public course for 9.


For your “good” round, Oak Creek in Irvine is a good course and expensive but not out of control, I think around $130 for a weekday, more on the weekends. Irvine Company owns it so it’s well kept. Great practice facility too.

I like Pelican Hill for a special occasion round but that’s $300 a person. It’s usually in immaculate condition and if you play the north course you see the ocean from pretty much every hole and the south course has a few direct oceanfront holes.

You’re closest to Monarch Beach but I would not recommend it, I haven’t been there in a few years, to me its not at all worth what they charge. You basically pay top dollar for one hole right on the ocean and the rest of the holes are completely forgettable.

Maybe try Shorecliffs in San Clemente for your other round. In the immediate area where you’re staying I don’t think you’ll find any better value than that. I can’t comment on what shape it’s since I haven’t been there recently but it’s incredibly reasonably priced.


I played monarch beach 15 years ago and found the course in great shape. Two holes on the ocean. Pretty easy and the staff very nice — it is next to or affiliated with St Regis hotel purhaps?


It is affiliated with the St. Regis (or what used to be the St. Regis, I think they rebranded). I’m sure guests get a discounted rate, probably $10-20 off.

I have nothing against how the course is conditioned, it’s just a forgettable golf course. You could put the 16 holes that aren’t on the ocean anywhere in the country, nothing distinctive about them. At $220 a round I want more for my money. Not having a range for that price also rankles me. Just personal preference. Hope the OP has a great trip.


Thanks for this. I was eyeing Monarch Beach, per the hotel’s recommendation, but hearing from you i’ll rethink. If you think Pelican Hill is worth it, I’m going to take a hard look. I appreciate your response.


For a special round, I think Pelican Hill is worth it. I always enjoy playing there, plus you have 2 courses to choose from.

With you being on vacation, I lean towards recommending the south course since it does have 3 direct oceanfront holes. Most of the other holes have ocean views also, there are some pretty big canyon’s to carry on your drives (#18 has a canyon carry on the drive and the second shot). It’s a golf course that makes you think and can be tricky but is still enjoyable to play.

You have the option of taking a caddie too for an added cost, sometimes you get lucky and someone else in the foursome takes one, and he’ll still give you reads on the greens.

Another thing to think about is playing in the afternoon there – the twilight rate starts at 1:00 now, maybe 2:00 in April when you’ll be there and its $150 cheaper than playing in the morning. If you go off pretty close to the time when it switches over to twilight you’ll definitely finish your round and might get a great sunset too!


It’s a slight drive (about 40 minutes), but Goat Hill Park in Oceanside is so much fun. Short course, but challenging and in decent shape. Barely over $30 to play 18


Played Coto de Caza just last year. Was a great course. They have 36. Played the North. Amazing shape with challenging holes and layout. Great clubhouse for after round drinks/lunch.