Top 15 California destinations
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Sandpiper Golf Club, Santa Barbara County( Aidan Bradley )
No golf course in America can rival the history and nirvana of the Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Monterey Peninsula, but many golfers can't afford the $495 greens fee. This is where Sandpiper Golf Club comes in. This par-72 seaside course, which charges less than a third of what Pebble Beach does, is flanked by mountains and rife with views of the Pacific. On several holes, retrieving wayward shots might require a snorkel and fins. But Sandpiper is no mere show pony. Beneath its beauty lies a challenging 7,000-yard tract that has played host to PGA and LPGA events. The high rollers may lean toward a post-round snifter of brandy at the Pebble Beach Lodge. But after playing Sandpiper, a visitor may find that a glass of Pinot and a good night's sleep at the Days Inn Buellton, with its landmark windmill, might just hit the spot.
Info: Sandpiper Golf Club, 7925 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93117; (805) 968-1541, Greens fee: $139 weekdays, $159 weekends and holidays (cart not included.)