Rancho San Marcos Golf Course, Santa Barbara, California, Usa





The third course I played with the italian Pro Fabio Forlano on our two-days California trip is located along scenic Highway 154, between Santa Barbara and Solvang and is a magnificent world class golf course designed by architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. (Monarch Beach Golf Links, Antognolla Golf Course) built on the site of the historic Rancho San Marcos (1804), an outpost of the Santa Barbara mission.

Settled on the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley, not far from Lake Cachuma, and surrounded by majestic Santa Ynez mountains, Rancho San Marcos Golf is an impressive golf course which opened on 1998.
And since its opening it received numerous awards. Among them GOLF Magazine—Top 10 Course You Can Play,  Golfweek—Top 20 Course You Can Play in California, USGA Golf Journal—Top 10 US Public Golf Course, Greenskeeper.org Best Playing Condition Santa Barbara County.

We reached RSM soon after our round at La Purisima
Before heading to the first tee we had a delicious BBQ burger at the ranch style rustic clubhouse.
Front nine were ok, a mix of nice holes, 3 par 3s, 2 extra long (635yds - 629 yds) par 5, 4 par 4s, a couple of lakes and some of the holes running along the Santa Ynez River.
But the real surprise came with back nine. After the par 5 10th the course starts to climb and the last eight holes are among the most spectacular I ever played.
A combination of elevation changes, terrific views, and challenging holes. 3 par 3s, 3 par 4s, 2 par 5s that must be played with no distraction. 
And the 542 yds Par 5 18th, an unforgettable awesome finishing hole, were the tee boxes are located almost 60 ft above the fairway and a water hazard runs on the left side of the fairway on the last 300 yds before reaching the multi-tiered green protected by four huge bunkers.

This course really exceeded my expectations.

And if you are planning to play RSM I suggest you to spend an extra-time on the putting green!! The day we played greens rolled to about a 13 on the stimpmeter.



The ranch style building clubhouse

Putting Green



No smoking everywhere on the course

#1 Hole 635 yds Par 5

#9 Hole 429 yds Par 4

#9 Hole 429 yds Par 4

#10 Hole 491 yds Par 5

#10 Hole 491 yds Par 5 (green)

#11 Hole 447 yds Par 4 (from the tees)

#11 Hole 447 yds Par 4 (green)

#12 Hole 528 yds Par 5 (from the tees)

#12 Hole 528 yds Par 5


#14 Hole 175 yds Par 3

Panoramic view of the Santa Ynez River from the 14th



#15 Hole 443 yds Par 4

#17 Hole 450 yds Par 4 (panoramic view)

#17 Hole 450 yds Par 4

#18 Hole 542 yds Par 5 (from the tees)

#18 Hole 542 yds Par 5 (green)



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