Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort
About Alisal Guest Ranch and ResortGet a taste of an Old West dude ranch with the comforts of a golf resort at the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort. This 10,000-acre ranch is tucked into the Santa Ynez Valley 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara. It is home to 50 miles of riding trails, a 100-acre spring-fed lake, two courses, tennis courts, pool, spa and fine dining. Just minutes away are more than 75 vineyards/wineries and the Danish village of Solvang.
Golf courses at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort
Images from Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort
Picturesque but Odd
There’s no denying that The River Course has an unmistakable beauty to it. There is a lovely parkland feel to many of the holes. But there are some very peculiar quirks about the design. You absolutely must play the course with a laser rangefinder and/or some sort of GPS device. There were absolutely no yardage markers on the course other than the tee boxes. No 150 marker or sprinklers—nothing. The tee markers look very similar—perhaps because of sun bleaching. They all have have a white square on them with the course logo. At multiple times in a two-day tournament, someone in our foursome nearly hit from the wrong tee box. Silliness—as it would be so easy to just paint all the markers. Bunkers didn’t seem to have very much or any sand in them—more like a fine powdery dirt. The greens were less than their best. They looked to be recovering from aeration. All of us struggled to read them with any consistency as we found them to be a bit hairy/shaggy. In my opinion, they should have a more detailed course map on the scorecard. Routing of holes seemed very strange. Several times you will play a hole and then trek quite a distance backwards to the next tee box. Things like this make one scratch one’s head and wonder what the architect was thinking. Oftentimes green side bunkers aren’t actually greenside. They may have several yards of apron between the bunker and green. Again we ask why? The small driving range looks to be an after thought. It runs parallel but in the opposite direction to the 18th hole—a rather bland par 4. No hitting off the grass on the range at the time of year we played. The mats were nice to hit off, however. The fellow at the snack bar at the turn was an absolute gem. Lovely sense of humor. In the end, there are some interesting holes. One sees the great potential this course has if someone were willing to invest in the course and give it a bit of an update/make over.
One of the best courses in the area
The course is well maintained . The greens run trueand are consistent from hole to hole.
More than meets the Eye...
In the interest of full disclosure I live in Solvang. So, easy to get to is big... Wrapped in the Santa Ynez Mtns. one only needs to look up to see the beauty. While most CA courses are probably in good shaped after the rains... it particularly helped the River Course. The front is not too exciting, several of the holes parallel each other so if it had been busy (it wasn't) it's easy to see other groups hitting into your fairway. If you hit a decent drive at around 220ish many of the fairways are bunkered left and right, so you just can't swing away, unless of course you don't mind coming in from the opposite fairway... the greens are a combo grass(?), sort of like a few days growth on your face, even after they're cut so while looking straight forward they can trip you up. The green traps are not difficult to get out of, holding the green 'stubble' is another story. As you work your way around the heart of wine country it's hard not to smile... especially if you got a good deal. The pro shop staff is quite friendly the bar & restaurant good. Worth the money... Enjoy!
Best course in Santa Barbra county
My opinion best course in Santa Barbara county
The fairways, greens and the staff are very top notch.
Very good overall
Good staff, good layout, conveniently located in Solvang. Fair course conditions, parts of rough very penal. Course conditions have declined a little over the years, but seems normal industry-wide.
Regular rates seem high for this course. Used Hot Deal and rewards, so it was great this time. I'd come back for sure using Golf Now.
I could play here every day.
First time playing this course. The course was forgiving but also challenging. It's condition was great, I don't know if it is always this way or because of the nice amount of rain we have had recently.
The entire facility was very nice. The pro shop employee's were friendly and helpful.
With all the recent rain, the course is in beautiful shape. Forward tees do not offer much advantage. At 5700+ yards, it is a tough go for the ladies.
Nice fairways and greens- slow pace of play- no post round drink.
There was no monitoring of pace of play- Starter put a walking 3some out ahead of our riding twosome delaying our tee time by 25 minutes and leading to a 5 hour round. Clubhouse and bar was closed when we finished well before dark.
The River Course at Alisal was a pleasant surprise. I played the tips which enhances the feel and sights from the elevated tee boxes. The course was in tremendous shape from the recent rains this winter which was sorely needed. Fairways were plush and the greens were quick and true. We had a hot deal greens fee so expect to pay about 75% more. Overall a good golf outing!
Good Course for the casual player or beginner
I played this course for the first time with my son who is a beginner. So it was perfect for us. We were never held up and were "pushed" on only a couple of holes. So the pace of play was great. The course condition was very good with some of the best condition greens I have played in a while. The staff was very friendly and welcoming. At $37.49 per player with all fees it was a good value. The course layout is simple with most of the holes being straight with hardly any elevation change. It does have some narrow ravines to drive over depending what tees you play. Most holes are tree lined but sparse enough that you can always advance the ball. Every hole had sand traps and bunkers that are fairly placed. Many of the holes had some kind of water hazard but again fairly placed meaning that if you hit into them you hit a bad shot. The greens are big and with little undulation. The greens were in great condition. Where this facility fell was on amenities! They had no beverage cart running, the snack shack was closed and the grill was closed when we finished.[5:00pm] Overall I would say this course is designed for the beginner to casual player. It is still interesting enough for the low handicapper.
My husband and I were able to play the course by ourselves in 3 1/2 hours starting at 1pm. The fairways and greens were in great shape, and the scenery is beautiful. The driving range mats needed updating. They were old and awkward to hit from. Other than that we really enjoyed our round and look forward to returning.
This golf course is very well maintained especially with all of the lack of water in the central coast. Course is fairly easy because of the parallel fairways, but still has several challenging holes due to the amount of trees and other various hazards. I would recommend this course.
Beautiful yet challenging
Played during the week so not many people on course. No staff on hand to help with clubs. Loved the golf.
Good value and decent golf course
Fun golf corse with interesting holes. Greens were in excellent condition and the fairways were in good condition. In the rough there were several areas that we're bare so mud puddles had formed. The cart paths were unpaved in several areas. We played during the week and the course was almost empty so pace of play was great. The downside was no beverage cart that day. We look forward to playing here again next year.
The course was in great shape, and the pace of play is second to none. Routinely finish rounds here under 3 hours whether its a twosome or 4.