Sure, if you are in Monterey California you'll want to golf at Pebble Beach. But Pebble is a $1000 prospect. Yes a round there is "only" $500 or so, but to even get a tee time you must stay on property, which will cost another $500.
Down the Carmel Valley Road a few minutes from Pebble is a very fun, and considerably less expensive course called Carmel Valley Ranch. CVR is a very entertaining track with a great variance in challenges and scenery.
Carmel Valley Ranch is just a few minutes from the beach and the great town of Monterey, California. But it is far enough away from the traffic and crowds of Monterey to feel secluded, private and quiet. The course is set on a mountain side with spectacular views. Nearby one can find numerous wineries, bed and breakfasts and even high end resort/spa facilities.
Carmel Valley Ranch was designed by one of modern golf's most famous architects, Pete Dye. Pete Dye is famous for many courses, including the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course. Sawgrass is the home of the PGA Tour and The Players Championship. Other Dye courses include Crooked Stick (site of John Daly's PGA Championship win in 1991), PGA West, Kiawah Island Ocean Course and Harbour Town (site of last week's PGA tournament, the Heritage).
CVR's terrain varies from a flat parkland set of holes near the clubhouse, to holes which ascend and descend a steep mountainside. Most holes are lined by mature trees and nice, natural mounding.
Many holes at CVR feature massive elevation changes. The hole below is a prime example. The ball seems to be in the air for a couple of hours before it hits the fairway. It is challenging and fun to pick the proper clubs for both the downhill and uphill shots.
The course has recently been restored to the original par 70 (35 front, 35 back) layout by Pete Dye. The length from the longest tees is 6,234 yards with a rating of 70.5 and slope of 132.
Along with the golf course are many other terrific amenities at the Ranch. Before or after golf one can practice on the driving range, putt on the practice green, play tennis, enjoy a spa treatment, work out, enjoy fine dining or relax in one of the many suites.
Carmel Valley Ranch
One Old Ranch Rd
Carmel, CA 93923-8551