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4.3
119 Reviews (119)
5 Stars
29
4 Stars
46
3 Stars
16
2 Stars
10
1 Stars
18
Conditions
4.0
Value
3.9
Layout
4.5
Friendliness
4.8
Pace
4.3
Amenities
3.8
96.1%
Recommend this course
83 out of 119 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.9
7 Reviews (7)
5 Stars
6
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.3
Layout
4.9
Pace
4.9
Amenities
4.3
StaffFriendliness
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
7 out of 7 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.9
7 Reviews (7)
5 Stars
6
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.3
Layout
4.9
Pace
4.9
Amenities
4.3
StaffFriendliness
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
7 out of 7 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public
Par 71
Length 6939 yards
Slope 137
Rating 73.9
Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Black 71 6939 yards 73.9 137
White 71 6278 yards 70.8 131
Red (W) 71 5386 yards 71.3 129
Scorecard for Rancho San Marcos
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Black M: 73.9/137 635 202 379 421 202 629 179 434 420 3501 491 447 528 139 175 443 223 450 542 3438 6939
White M: 70.8/131 560 172 314 379 166 585 165 388 387 3116 473 422 503 118 157 390 199 382 518 3162 6278
Green M: 71.3/129 W: 71.1/122 481 113 255 299 164 514 144 368 328 2666 394 309 460 118 149 353 145 360 432 2720 5386
Handicap 11 15 3 7 13 1 17 5 9 4 6 10 18 16 2 14 12 8
Par 5 3 4 4 3 5 3 4 4 35 5 4 5 3 3 4 3 4 5 36 71

Course Details

Year Built 1998
Golf Season Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes
Dress code Proper golf attire required.

Reviews

4.3
119 Reviews (119)

What Golfers Are Saying

Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 9
Undulating Greens 9
Water Hazards 8
This course/club is great for:
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 10
Locals 9
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 11

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

This course was great. Fairways and greens were perfect yet challenging. Everything you want in a golf course with amazing views. In my opinion, the best golf course in the Santa Barbara area.. pace of play and staff were awesome as well.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Perfect course conditions. Greens were amazing. Views were incredible. Great staff and pace of play. 10/10

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Rancho San Marcos

This course was awesome. The fairways and greens were perfect, and the greens were very undulating and creative. The back nine had incredible views and amazing holes. Not to mention the friendly staff and great pace of play

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Excellent staff

My favorite golf course in this area & very friendly staff.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Hot weather
Used cart

Great course

The Course was in very good shape. Amazing wildlife viewing! Pace of play was great.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Disappointed in the conditions but love the course

The course had been through some tough times in the last few years with the drought and then flooding. They closed her down for almost 2 months to give her some time to heal and repair flood damages. So we were hoping for great conditions as a result of no play, perfect spring weather and a very wet winter, but the greens were far from good. In fact, I'd call them poor. Maybe the greenskeepers are not well versed in their care or maybe they just don't care enough or maybe its something else, but it was a little bit of a let down when the local muni and pitch-n-putts have much better conditions. The rest of the course was in good shape and very green except the bunkers - which were neither groomed for nor full. I have to say that for an owner like Ty Warner, who does nothing second class, this course a pock on his otherwise perfect portfolio. Other than the greens and bunkers, the course is still one of the most peaceful and beautiful in So Cal. We love it and play it often, but feel that it just doesn’t get the care it deserves. Still go play it, but temper your expectations a little. Just don’t expect top conditions and you’ll have a wonderful time.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Golf Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Fun in the canyon

I'll forever be an advocate for non-traditional routings with more par 3s or par 5s and fewer long and painful par 4s, the bane of hackers and the cause of slow play. Rancho San Marcos delivers the fun big-time with six par 3s and five par 5s.
I'm also a big proponent of 'tee it forward', so those reviewers complaining about wanting a longer set of tees than the whites (6,278 yards) need to get a grip on reality. Unless you're a five handicap or lower, you shouldn't be playing tees any longer than that anyway.
The front nine wanders along the flat lands of the Santa Ynez River Valley before the back nine climbs into the surrounding hills for more scenic and interesting holes. With no civilization in sight, it's a rare treat for such a round in solitude.
I played with two locals who thought the greens were slower than normal, but they putted just fine in my book. The fairways were brown, firm and fast, typical of inland courses recovering from the heat of the summer. Only one fairway (the first) was noticeably bare.
A frost delay tested the patience of the staff, but they handled the stress of a few disgruntled golfers admirably. All in all, a really cool place.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Great staff, solid track, so-so conditions

Played this course last Saturday as part of an Underpar voucher purchase. The course is out in the middle of nowhere, which I actually like. There is not a house on the course, or even in sight. Nature is all around you (lots of wild turkeys, geese and buzzards). The clubhouse is simple and basic. What you need, but not somewhere you really want to hang out after a round. The staff was great. Started with setting the tee time over the phone. I initially scheduled a tee time, which I later cancelled due to an injury and the staff was extremely helpful in getting me re-scheduled. They were also super friendly and helpful when I arrived. The range is a range, nothing special, but meets the need. The course track is interesting, fun and challenging. The condition of the tee boxes and fairways is not great. Lots of bare areas and brown areas due to years of drought. Also heard they recently were near a big fire that knocked out their electrical which shut down their irrigation/sprinkler systems. The greens were in good condition and definitely the best part of the course. That being said, the rest of the course wasn't so bad, that it was a turn off. In fact I played 27 holes and would go back and play again if the situation was right. All in all, it was a good day on a solid, challenging course that has suffered the fury of Mother Nature.

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 1 Contributor
California Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Rancho San Marcos

Played the Whites (6278/70.8/131) with Pat, Mike & Mark in breezy, mid 70's and sunny weather conditions. The POP was around 4 1/2 hours.

As was noted by a previous reviewer, this course sorely needs a tee alternative between the Whites (6278) and the Blacks (6939). The par 4's in particular are beasts from the Blacks and fairly tame from the Whites. 2-3 club average difference on the par 3's between the two tee boxes. Black par 5's almost 50 yards on average longer than the Whites. The Whites were definitely the more manageable of the two tee boxes for me.

The tees had good coverage, some were even lush. However, way too many tees here are unlevel for me to consider them good overall.

The fairways were generally good to play from. Mostly lush with patches of hardpan in every fairway right beside the lush areas.

The rough was also decent but more hit & miss than the fairways. You need to at least find the primary rough, because the native rough is lost ball central.

The sand traps are abundant on this layout. They had decent sand but the depths were inconsistent.

The greens had an abundance of pitch and ball marks. However, once you repaired the ones in your line, they putted well, medium fast & very firm. They were really challenging to chip on because of their firmness. You needed to be able to spin the ball to chip effectively on these greens.

The customer service was excellent in the pro shop and with the cart attendant out front. No drink cart or Marshall, but there were plenty of water stations on the course. I really liked the layout, ZERO houses nearby, just surrounded by mountains and open space. Well worth the drive. Recommended if you get a deal.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 1 Contributor
California Advisor
Previously Played
Windy weather
Used cart

Rancho San Marcos

Played the Whites (6278/70.8/131) with Pat, Mike & Mark in breezy, mid 70's and sunny weather conditions. The POP was around 4 1/2 hours. As was noted by a previous reviewer, this course sorely needs a tee alternative between the Whites (6278) and the Blacks (6939). The par 4's in particular are beasts from the Blacks and fairly tame from the Whites. 2-3 club average difference on the par 3's between the two tee boxes. Black par 5's almost 50 yards on average longer than the Whites. The Whites were definitely the more manageable of the two tee boxes for me. The tees had good coverage, some were even lush. However, way too many tees here are unlevel for me to consider them good overall. The fairways were generally good to play from. Mostly lush with patches of hardpan in every fairway right beside the lush areas. The rough was also decent but more hit & miss than the fairways. You need to at least find the primary rough, because the native rough is lost ball central. The sand traps are abundant on this layout. They had decent sand but the depths were inconsistent. The greens had an abundance of pitch and ball marks. However, once you repaired the ones in your line, they putted well, medium fast & very firm. They were really challenging to chip on because of their firmness. You needed to be able to spin the ball to chip effectively on these greens. The customer service was excellent in the pro shop and with the cart attendant out front. No drink cart or Marshall, but there were plenty of water stations on the course. I really liked the layout, ZERO houses nearby, just surrounded by mountains and open space. Well worth the drive. Recommended if you get a deal.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 500 Contributor
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Enjoyed the Course

Played here on a weekday at about noon. It was warm and breezy....not many folks on the course. We flew through our round as a twosome - less than three hours. Greens were in excellent condition. Tees and fairways are still suffering from the effects of the drought. Lots of bare spots and iffy lies....even in the middle of the fairway. Having said that, we really enjoyed the layout. It was challenging, but not penal. Beautiful views. Prices reasonable. Staff friendly and helpful. Definitely rcommend.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played

It's back

Course has been dead/dormant for years because of the drought. Thanks to the early rains this year they've been able to overseed and water tees and fairways. The greens are always some of the best in the county. It's a fun layout with some wonky holes but otherwise a good test of golf and a surprisingly easy walk. Go check it!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Drought!

Unfortunately the California drought has taken a toll to this course. The fairways were for the most part dead and the greens were like concrete. I realize the course has to make money, but it was not worth $85!

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

j.Waters

Course still in good shape but will brown out soon.

Keep the ball in the fairway as the tall brown grass hides the buzz-tail snakes.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Great course but no marshal = slow pace

90% great golf experience other than a 5 group of lady walkers destroying pace/rhythm of play. Why was this allowed and if not, why no marshaling? Course was not too busy, otherwise I would understand slow play.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Very cool scenery

Course has a cool layout. Greens are quick. Also a lot of blind shots

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

You are going to love this course!

If you are in town you must go play this course. Beauty and wildlife abound as you are surrounded by national forest land. The course is a great track, plenty challenging for the advanced player. The greens are always in great shape and fast. The southern California drought has taken its toll on the fairways so call ahead to ask about condition. It the fairway grass is dead then you might want to pass it up. I've played it several times without green fairway grass and it's still lots of fun, especially the drives that roll out over 300 yards. That's how much I love this course. Pray for rain in So Cal!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

One of the best golf experiences around

We're in a severe drought and RSM gets hit the hardest as they pull their water from wells which are pretty much dry.... So until the rains return the course is at the mercy of the weather. They do keep the greens in perfect condition though and with little play, you probably wont find better greens anywhere.

Upside: Its gorgeous. One of the prettiest courses in the state. There are NO HOUSES. Just views for miles and miles and lots of oak trees and wildlife.

The layout is pretty good except for the finish. There are three par 3's in three holes here for some unknown or stupid reason. Back to back ones and then another one just a hole later - what the heck were they thinking on that? There is plenty of room but for some reason they made it a par 71 with 3 par 3's in 3 holes...

Play it if you can but if you're playing past now (may) you will have brown fairways until the rains return. The good side is that its like your own private course, the bad side is you're going to have hard pan lies.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Top 1 Contributor
California Advisor
Previously Played
Good weather

Rancho San Marcos

Played the blacks (6939/73.9/137) with RGM2525 in beautiful, breezy, mid 70's conditions. POP was excellent, slightly under 4 hours.

Normally, I do not care for par 71 courses. This Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed layout is really unique in many ways. Five par 5's, six par 3's and only seven par 4's. There are three par 3's in a four hole stretch on the back. Any of the above I would normally view as a negative, but it flows and works well here. There were a couple of holes I thought were tricked up or mediocre, but this course overall is nice hole after nice hole from a design standpoint.

The greens were definitely the best part of the course, very firm and medium fast. They putted well but were challenging to chip on in the wind unless you could put some spin on the ball because of their firmness.

The condition of the rest of the course does not match the layout & greens however.

The fairways were thin, much of the coverage was more weeds than turf. I had many tight lies, which was fine for full iron shots, much less desirable for the many 50-100 yard wedge shots that I had today.

The rough was mostly weeds. Primary cut around the fairways was hit & miss, could range from hardpan to not too penal to having to step on your ball to find it within a few feet. Miss the primary cut and it's likely lost ballville, they do not maintain the native rough here.

The large beautiful traps looked much better than they played. Most had a decent amount of sand, but the outer edges were crusty. Only the inner parts of the traps had been maintained recently.

The tees were about as long as the maintained rough, some kind of rye or poa annua mixture. They were unlevel, had pot holes and were generally poor.

I personally though RSM from the blacks was more difficult than La Purisima from the blues, Ron disagrees. I loved the layout and can see why this was a $$$ course back when they actually had good grass on the fairways and tees. Challenging diverse, fun layout with plenty of elevation changes complete with great mountain and wildlife views. Windy, not overly crowded kinda out in the middle of nowhere 20 miles east of Santa Barbara, but well worth the drive.

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
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