Public and Private Golf Courses in California: A Complete Directory

California has one of the largest and most diverse offerings of golf courses in the United States. Almost every community in California has at least one golf course, but the largest communities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco have many golf clubs where you can enjoy a great golf game in the company of your friends. Among these numerous golf courses, there are public and private clubs.

Differences between public and private golf courses

Learning Golf

Learning Golf

Both public and private golf courses have advantages and disadvantages. The main difference between public and private golf courses is the money that you should spend. If you choose to play golf at one private golf club, then you should spend a lot of money by paying the monthly membership fees. On the other hand, if you choose a public golf club, the expenses with your hobby will be lower.


Another aspect is regarding access to public and private golf clubs. Very often public golf courses are overcrowded and you may have to wait to enjoy a golf game with your friends. Attending public golf courses imply also meeting a lot of new people with whom you may not want to socialize.

On the other hand, if you choose to play golf by attending a private golf club, you will have many advantages, such as many social activities, access only for members, high quality services and golf courses without crowds. Another aspect is that if you attend a private golf club, you will meet only people who have the same interests as you. The familiar atmosphere is another plus for private clubs. But the price that you have to pay for a private golf club is naturally much higher than the fees for a public golf course.

The best public golf courses in California

According to, the 10 best public golf courses include Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Pasatiempo Golf Club, Torry Pines (South) Golf Course, Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, The Links at Spanish Bay, Rosewood CordeValle, PGA West (TPC Stadium), Pelican Hill Golf Club (Ocean South) and La Quinta Resort (Mountain) Course.

If we choose another source to rank public golf courses in California, namely Golf Digest, we may find a top ranking that is a little bit different:

1. Pebble Beach Golf Links
2. Pacific Dunes
3. The Ocean Course Golf Course
4. Whistling Straits Golf Course
5. Pinehurst Resort
6. Shadow Creek Las Vegas
7. Bandon Dunes
8. Erin Hills Golf Course
9. Bethpage State Park (Black)
10. TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)

Whistling Straits Golf Course

Whistling Straits Golf Course

Private golf courses in California

Bear Creek Golf Club

Bear Creek Golf Club

Aside from the above mentioned public golf courses, in California you will find also a wide range of private golf courses. Here we mention some of these private golf clubs that you may enjoy if you choose to enjoy this sport in California, such as Bear Creek Golf Club, Brentwood Country Club, California Country Club, Golf Club at Quail Lodge, LA Quinta Country Club and Monterey Country Club. The best golf course in the world, Cypress Point Club is a private golf course that is based in California.

Depending on your budget and time spent playing golf, you should decide which type of golf course suits you better private or public.

Diablo Country Club
If you are another golf lover, it doesn’t matter if you are living in California, in other parts of the United States or in other parts of the world. Our website is created for passionate golf players, and also for those people that are thinking about beginning to enjoy this great sport.