Best Golf Course – Orange County Record

1. San Juan Hills Golf Club

32120 San Juan Creek Rd, San Juan Capistrano; 949-493-1167;

Affordable green fees, combined with some of the best greens in Orange County, have helped this San Juan Hills golf course reach the top of the conversation about the best golf options in a challenging and always competitive field.

“We have a great place between cutting edge and smaller courses,” said General Manager Ryan Brown, who took over the course in 2019.

At 6,317 yards and 71 blue tees with plenty of elevation changes, the trail is tough enough for the serious player, but forgiving enough for the less experienced.

“We’re on a windy hills track with a lot of sun elements,” Brown said.

In the past four years, the course has been able to make consistent improvements and stay active. Some of the changes include redesigned tee boxes in the 1st and 18th slots as well as a reconfiguration that can allow the 17th slot to be played as either a 3 or 4.

The 14th hole is a fun and sassy Par-3 with three ride heights.

San Juan Hills also pumps up off-track activities with a driving range open until 10 p.m. with music. The San Juan Hills Sports Bar and Grill is inviting, whether you’re watching live sports on over 25 flat screens, or just relaxing and enjoying the stellar views from the veranda.

– Greg Millen

2. Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club

26722 Avery Parkway, Mission Viejo; 949-305-5100;

Set on 240 acres amidst the reserve in Rancho Mission Viejo, the Arroyo Trabuco gives the impression that it has been removed from all of it.

Designed by Casey O’Callaghan and PGA Tour Pro Tom Lehman, the course, which opened in 2004, is scalable for all levels of golfers and can be played from anywhere from about 5,000 to a course equal to 72, 7,000 yards, depending on the tee boxes used.

At shorter distances, new golfers can play without intimidation, but the course can be challenging and has hosted big events, such as the Southern California Golf Association playoffs.

The namesake Trabuco Creek often plays as a seven-hole hazard and the lakes share three more holes.

Facilities include a large ballroom for weddings and banquets. O’Neill’s Bar & Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a champagne brunch every Sunday.

3. Black Gold Golf Club

one black gold engine, Yorba Linda; 714-961-0060;

This is not your average moni. The Black and Gold Golf Club at Yorba Linda is a course that transcends its weight against the big hitters of the tough and upscale golf scene in Orange County.

In addition to being among the best values ​​in Orange County, Black Gold plays every inch of its 6,756 yards of black tees. Renowned local architect Arthur Hills created a demanding course with changes in elevation and water features, including the stadium’s signature waterfall from the 18th hole.

As one online reviewer on GolfPass wrote, “I had to play it again because I got kicked last time. Just as fun and challenging. I’ll bring them next time.”

Vaulted ceilings and large wall-to-wall windows make the 20,000-square-foot club a popular wedding venue.

Derrick’s Grill serves breakfast, appetizers, and lunch, along with banquet service for up to 250 guests.

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