The links at Sea Ranch may not be what most people expect when they hear links golf. It’s Scottish-style more than it is links-style, with many trees in play, but the coastal wind does heavily influence on the golf. The sinuous bunkering is a very iconic feature of the course, featuring deep, heathery rough in the center of these thin, circular bunkers.
Many of the holes ask players to take non-standard tee shots, often playing longer to the green than from the tee box (notably the ninth hole). The Sea Ranch architectural style is implemented at the clubhouse, which is build into the landscape of the tenth tee.
One notable difference between the front and back nines (built 20 years apart) are the green complexes. The front nine greens are generally tame in their shaping, whereas on the back, players face tiered, sloping greens with complex landing zones.
The Sea Ranch Golf Course was built in two phases. The first nine holes were designed n the Scottish “links” style - often featured in the British Open - which fully exploits the windy, sandy, relatively treeless seaside enviornment, with it’s stunning viewsheds, natural waterways and rolling landforms. The second nine holes were more conventionally designed. The course is privately owned.
Golf Course Architect, Robert Muir Graves;
First Phase 1974; Second Phase 1995
Via history marker on site.
Designed by Robert Muir Graves and completed in 1974, the first nine holes at The Sea Ranch Golf Links jumped onto the list of exciting and scenic golf destinations. In 1995 this “Gem of the Seaside” links was completed at 6649 yards, par 72, when Graves’ second nine was opened. The course’s blend of undulating seaside landscape with Scottish links-style architecture was a first on the West Coast. The Sea Ranch Golf Links remains one of the most challenging golf experiences in California and unique on the North Coast.
With well maintained greens and several different tee boxes per hole, The Sea Ranch Golf Links can be as challenging or as docile as you prefer to make it. Two short game areas, which include a practice putting green and a pitching/bunker green, as well as a full grass driving range, allow for complete warm up before your round or the ability to work on your game when needed. Golf carts, a well appointed golf shop and a snack bar round out The Sea Ranch Golf Links experience.
The Links experience at The Sea Ranch blends with the overall master plan in its high aspirations to sit “lightly on the land” and respect the natural terrain, weather, wind, and our natural limited resources. The difference between a links golf course and a regular course is that the golfer is forced to work with the natural elements of the course. The links course is not manufactured and maintains the original lay of the land. This emulates how it was in the earliest days of the game. We value our sustainability, not over grooming the wilder landscape of the Sonoma Coast and our strict use of watering on the course. All of this creates a challenging game in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Via Sea Ranch GL.