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4.9
6 Reviews (6)
5 Stars
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4
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Conditions
4.9
Value
3.8
Layout
5.0
Friendliness
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
4.9
96.7%
Recommend this course
5 out of 6 reviews
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Recommend this course
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About

Holes 18
Type Private
Par 72
Length 7138 yards
Slope 141
Rating 74.4

Designed by Tom Fazio and opened 2000, this exclusive private golf club was built on the Santa Lucia Preserve, formerly known as Rancho San Carlos. Located on the southern ridge of Carmel Valley, the course reflects the contours of the natural terrain that surrounds it. The Santa Lucia Mountains, mature oaks, grassy meadows and flowing streams are the attributes that make the course look like it's been there far longer than it has. In typical Fazio fashion, expect to find plenty of strategically place deep bunkers, fast greens and challenging approach shots. The club is limited to 300 members, and guests must be accompanied by a member to play the golf course.

Course Details

Year Built 2000
Fairways Santa Ana Hybrid Bermudagrass
Greens A-4 Bent Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Tom Fazio (2000) Mike Poellot (2000) Sandy Tatum (2000) Kevin Norby (2016) Beau Welling (2000) Dennis Wise (2000)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes
Dress code Proper golf attire required.

Food & Beverage

Bar, Grill

Available Facilities

Clubhouse, Locker Rooms

Reviews

4.9
6 Reviews (6)
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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Fazio at his Best

Fortunate to have a chance to play this private club in the Carmel hills. A Fazio gem, the Preserve Golf Club is effortlessly tucked into the terrain. In flawless condition (they only get about 11,000 rounds per year), the greens were rolling at about a 13 on the stimp. Just pure golf, off the tee the holes are presented fairly straightforwardly, however it’s the green complexes that require some local course knowledge to know where to play to. Left myself above the pin on a couple greens and found myself putting a few right off the front. This course absolutely deserves its top-100 ranking annually by Golf Digest.

Conditions Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Walked

Special and rare

My Son and I have played almost all the best courses from San Francisco to Carmel. When you take many factors into account, we feel the Preserve is the best course out there. It's the course we would choose if we could play only one course for the rest of our lives. Are there more beautiful courses? Yes. Are there more challenging courses? Yes. Are there more exclusive courses? Yes. Are there courses with better weather? Maybe no. More friendly staff? No. But, taken together, the Preserve is top 2% on all of these metrics in one location. It's special, it's rare. It's an amazing place to play.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Wonderful Golf Experience

My wife and I played as guests of a Preserve member. I asked our caddy to drive the cart for my wife while I walked. The course was in good condition although dry due to the drought. Very fair from tee to fairway but the greens are lightening fast and challenging. The clubhouse is small but very nice and practice facility is wonderful and quiet - great place to work on your game. The overall Preserve Club is nothing short of world class.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 373
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Out of this world

This ultra private club isn't easy to get to. If you take the non-resident way up, it's a windy, narrow road up the mountains to an inconspicuous gate, which reveals an understated clubhouse for such a grand golf course. From the very first hole, you know what you're in for, with elevated tees and views as far as the eye can see. As a walking course, it's a fair workout, having to climb down and up to greens, but very enjoyable. From the rearward tees, the carries can be pretty intimidating, especially the 18th. Wildlife variety is also a common site at the true refuge away from it all.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 20
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
4.0
First Time Playing

The Preserve

Vastly overrated and is not a top 100 golf course in America. Set amongst beautiful mountains with great vistas the course itself is relatively forgettable. Relatively non-descript holes make the Preserve nice, but not great. I was waiting for the spectacular moment of the course and it never came. A serene setting gives the Preserve the air of exclusivity, perhaps making it too empty. I saw only one other group the entire day. Elaborate clubhouse and nice bar and grill room, but 30 minutes from any civilization. Really tough to compare the Preserve to the iconic clubs in the area, playing inland golf on the Monterey Peninsula doesn't seem right. If given the opportunity, sleep in, get brunch and go for a walk on the beach in Carmel instead.

Conditions Good
Value Fair
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
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Commented on 09/29/2019

I couldn't disagree with this post any more. If you like beautiful settings and flawless grass on the fairways and greens, this is your kind of place. It's a beautiful serene setting and it's very unique, set into the mountains of Santa Lucia Highlands. We saw quail, bobcat, deer and turkey. It was just awesome! It's certainly not a coastal course, but it's special in it's own right.

Played On
Reviews 20
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Beautiful clubhouse and a neat course

This course was fun to play and the views were really nice as well. The journey to get there is another story but it made for an adventure, that's for sure.
The preserve had a ton of cool wildlife and the course was nice as well. There are a lot of elevation changes and the caddy was very helpful for our group. The greens are very large so accuracy is very helpful here.
The clubhouse is one of a kind.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
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