Bayonet (1954) and Blackhorse (1964) in Seaside sit on the hills above the Monterey coastline and boast of some of the best winter drainage in the region. Both courses were renovated in 2007. $155 on weekends.
Poppy Hills (1986) in the Pebble Beach forest underwent a complete redesign in 2013 by RTJ II and reopened in 2014 with a much more player-friendly feel. There is rumored to be a USGA championship in its future. $210, as low as $70 for NCGA members.
Pasatiempo (1929) was restored to Alister MacKenzie’s original vision during a 10-year restoration by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina that returned trees and bunkers to their original locations. Perched above Santa Cruz, it is consistently rated among the top courses in the U.S. $260, $32 cart.
Carmel is surprisingly posh for a village where buildings bear no address numbers. It is full of bed-and-breakfasts and small hotels, all ranging widely in price and condition. For tourism resources, visit CarmelCalifornia.com.
We loved our stay at the Briarwood Inn, where a wonderful room with hot tub and fireplace can be had for $155, including breakfast for two and a civilized port/sherry hour.
Of course golfers who want to play famed Pebble Beach should stay at the Lodge there or at the Inn at Spanish Bay for guaranteed tee-times.