8301 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, California 93117, US
(805) 968-0100
Location Map

About Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

The Ritz-Carlton, Santa Barbara is sandwiched between the golden beaches of the Pacific and surrounding Santa Ynez Mountains. The 358-room resort takes inspiration from the Mediterranean. Its collection of amenities include a 42,000-square-foot spa, three saltwater infinity pools, six restaurants and two beaches. It is adjacent to the Sandpiper Golf Club, which has been dubbed "The Poor Man's Pebble Beach" for its more affordable green fees and oceanfront scenery.

Facts

Price Range$$$$
Property Class★★★★★
Acres78
Year Opened2000
Number of Units300-500

Amenities

RestaurantsCasual, Fine
Room TypesRoom, Suite
TennisYes
Fitness CenterYes
Practice FacilityYes
Beach AccessYes
Banquet SpaceYes
SpaYes

Services

Kids ProgramYes
Room ServiceYes
ConciergeYes

Rules

Is the resort pet friendly?Yes
Is resort stay required for a tee time?No

Golf courses at Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Reviews

3.7
70 Reviews (70)
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Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
1.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Should be called Sandpaper golf course instead

One of the locals we played with called it Sandpaper, because its in such a rough condition. I thought that was funny and correct. This course is in horrible shape. Terrible in places and one of the worst conditioned courses I’ve played in years.

On top of the bad conditions, the layout is dull. If it wasnt on the ocean it would be a $25 course. There are some good holes but most are boring and rather ugly. Bunkers are not maintained, fairways are full of dead grass, pits, holes, and all sorts of turf varieties. The greens were OK, but had a lot of ball marks. I dont think they actually maintain this course, It feels more like a muni.

Anyway, I think they need to fine anyone who calls this Pebble Beach South or the dumbest one, Poor man's Pebble... Not only is this course nothing like Pebble or any course up in Carmel, its in such terrible shape that its not even worth the discounted rate. If you can get it.

If you play here and are a real, active golfer, you will be disappointed. 5+hour rounds. No marshals, no driving range or putting green (according to management, its due to covid, but this is the only course I've played this year with these facilities closed while the course remains open.. go figure?

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Good
Pace Poor
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Mixed bag - epic views, course in bad shape

A nearly $200 round just needs more than this! The track is good, not great. The greens are in very good shape and roll true and fast. The views - especially on the back nine are world class! 11 is a special par 3. 12-14 are just spectacular along the coastline! But I still came away sorta disappointed. I mean the course must have been shut down for 2-3 months this year and its still this beat up? Take some of the green fees and hire a real grounds crew!!

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
4.0
Previously Played

Poor man’s Pebble Beach

Beautiful would describe this course. View’s of the Pacific Ocean on many holes. Very tough course, especially if you leave yourself a downhill putt. Anyone in the area need to make this a must.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Boys Weekend

Scored a UnderPar deal for (2) for $275, with a free replay and range balls. Carts had GPS and UBS chargers. Pace of play was good, considering the amount of people taking pictures and enjoying the amazing scenery.

Conditions: Greens were quick, rolling around 11 but rolled very nicely. Found the bunkers to be fairly inconstant with very light rough. Fairways and tee boxes were in pretty good shape. Made the drive up from San Diego and would certainly recommend this track!

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Nope!!! Disappointed

I have a friend who's a member at Birnham Wood, which is private, and HE RECOMMENDED this place.

Greens are in good shape - fairly fast/ firm, but fairways/ areas around grounds need work!!! As many workers as I saw during my round, it seems they are overwatering areas near the greens causing brown grass. Bunkers were ok, but inconsistent.

I paid $170 on a Thursday noon tee time - nope, way too overpriced with fair/ poor conditioon. Play elsewhere for now - if you're an out of towner.

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Used cart

Pay per view

Sandpiper is a beautiful course with ocean views on the back nine that are second to Pebble 'Beach. The overall condition of the course was surprisingly average as I expected much more for the price. My friend who lives out of the tri counties that receive a discount paid $200 for the round which I think is too high.

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 798
Handicap 5-9
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

Sandpiper

Rode the Golds (6646/72.6/130) with Gary, Ron and Mike in slightly over 4H mid day. Drizzling when we started, turned out to be a partly cloudy, breezy afternoon with temps in the 60's.

The tees were nice to play from. Mostly lush with excellent coverage.

The Bermuda fairways were lush bordering on excellent. Nice to play from.

The rough was very good but more hit and miss. Thicker closer to the fairways, with everything from hardpan to lush Bermuda all the way to thick Kikuyu the farther you got from the fairway.

The fairway bunkers were firm brown dirt and okay to play from. The green side bunkers were part thick, medium brown dirt (not sand) that was well maintained and generally good to play from.

The large greens were firm and putted medium fast. Alot of slope on these green complexes, not only back to front but also from side to side.

The customer service was excellent from everyone encountered. The Pro Shop/Starter, cart attendants and the ever present cart gal were all great. Good all grass driving range, nice restaurant on site. No GPS on the carts is the only real negative. Always enjoy this layout. Absolutely recommended.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Poor Man's Pebble Beach

Without a question one of the most scenic and beautiful courses you'll ever play! About 6 of the holes are situated high up on the bluffs along the Pacific coastline with striking views and mild coastal breezes. You'll love the challenging layout but careful, you might get distracted by the striking views!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 14
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart
Conditions Average
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 8
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Wonderful Experience

I played Sandpiper on a Monday morning and it was such an enjoyable round. The course was practically empty and the weather was gorgeous. The views from this course are unbelievable, photos don't do it justice. At some points it feels like you are hitting directly into the Pacific ocean. The clubhouse is non pretentious with everything you might need. There's a lovely patio to sit on after your round and enjoy a meal or beverage while looking out into the ocean. Friendly and accommodating staff!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
3.0
First Time Playing

Fun Track. Ocean Views. Still disappointed.

My first time out to Sandpiper. I’ve wanted to play this place for a while. There are a lot of positives. I had high expectations considering the greens fee, but ultimately left being happy I played, but skeptical that I would ever come back.

Positives:
-Great layout. Every hole is interesting and the routing up and down the hills is pretty thrilling. It reminds me of Ojai meets Torrey South.
-The staff was really friendly and accommodating. The facilities are nice.
-The range is all grass and you get balls with your round.
-The pace of play was good and they were keeping tabs on the timing.
-The greens were challenging.

Negatives:
-The course conditions are bad. It’s part drought and part bad agronomy. It’s not just that is hasn’t rained, there are a lot of areas that seem more like a potato field than a golf course. It was also muddy in a lot of places. There was a lot of over watered areas mixed in. Lots of mud and chunky spots.
-The greens fee is offensively overpriced. It’s $320 to play Trump National in PV. That’s really expensive, but the course is pristine. This place is in bad shape and getting $200. I can assure you it’s not going back into the course. I would rather play somewhere nice than go here just for ocean views.

Other:
-One review mentioned “blazing fast” greens. They are in decent shape, but we’re running at about an 8.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 512
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

A new favorite in SoCal

While there are things to gripe about at Sandpiper - a few pedestrian inland holes, a few poorly maintained fairways, an overall scruffy appearance - it still won me over. It's one of my new favorite courses in SoCal.
A few of the ocean holes are so thrilling - nos. 10-11-13 - that I can't wait to play them again.
I played as the second group off on a Sunday morning and by the fourth hole, I peeled back my sweatshirt and changed into shorts. We didn't encounter any breeze until late in the round. I'm glad I got out early because the wind makes scoring tougher as the day goes on.
I normally ignore the advice 'stay below the hole', but it's wise to follow at Sandpiper. A few downhill putts were wicked fast.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 7
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing

Ocean view golf

If you can't afford Pebble go play this course
Amazing ocean views
Course in great shape
Greens blazing at about12
A course you could play every day for the rest of your life

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 798
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

Sandpiper

Played the Golds (6646/72.6/130) with Pat, Mike & Mark in clear, sunny, breezy conditions. Around 80, almost perfect golf weather! SP is currently in excellent shape, and you would be hard pressed to get better So Cal coastal weather conditions than we experienced.

The tees were lush, only the par 3's needed divot repair.

The Bermuda fairways were very lush and excellent to play from.

The rough was thicker closer to the fairways. The farther you got from the fairway, the conditions were much more mixed. Above average overall.

The fairway bunkers were firm brown dirt and decent to play from. The green side bunkers were maintained with thick, medium brown dirt (hard to call it sand) that was generally good to play from.

The greens were firm and fast. They held well struck irons well but run out on chips and pitches needed to be taken into account.

The customer service was excellent from the Pro Shop/Starter, cart attendants and the ever present cart gal. Enjoy the beautiful, picturesque layout. Definitely recommended.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 47
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 500 Contributor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

Beautiful Scenery and Challenging Layout

Played at Sandpiper while in in the area on vacation, on the recommendation of a friend. I'm glad we did. The friend called it a 'poor man's Pebble' and he wasn't too far off (although I'm not sure that $105 for Twilight rate is 'poor'). This course is right on the ocean and 5 or 6 holes are, literally, right on the water. Even on a day with an intermittent marine layer and pretty good sea breeze, it was beautiful. Transplant the layout inland and it probably wouldn't be that remarkable....it would be a reasonable golf challenge, but nothing extraordinary. The forward tees are a pretty good challenge for the ladies (long). Tees, fairways, and greens were in great condition. Bunkers? Not so much. And be VERY careful with the wooden handled rakes....splinters. Two significant complaints: 1. Pace of play. We teed off at 2:40pm and it took more than 5 hours to finish the round. We waited on every shot. No course personnel on the course and they did nothing to move play along. 2. We paid $105 for the Twilight rate (it was $170 before 2). Yet that does not include range balls. That's an extra charge. I expect that at a muni where I'm not paying much to play. But at more than $100 per round - even for the twilight rate - I expect the basics, like range balls, to be included. We will likely return if in the area, but with a lowered set of expectations.

Conditions Good
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Fair
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
1.0
Previously Played

Overrated and overpriced

This course is nothing more than a decent muni. Barring 4-5 holes that are on the ocean the rest is very forgettable. Played today February 6th 2017. Was only guy on the course. The course is in poor shape tee boxes dug up and uneven, fairways are patchy and a lot of standing water( and moving water a mini river was running through one of the fairway) greens were ok but looked like they were working on a few of them. Obviously I know it's been the driest summer in a while and the wettest winter which will contribute to course conditions. So if the course isn't in top condition why are they still charging top dollar??? I dunno how they can justify charging $150 to play the course the shape it's in. Maybe it's because there isn't that many golf options in Santa Barbara so they can get away with it. Anyway not a very happy customer would not recommend.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played

Elite Property/Solid Layout

This is my home course. The course is always in very playable shape. Greens always run quick and pretty true. During certain times of the year the fairways can get spotty but the property is so good that it doesn't hurt the overall experience. This is as good a golf property as there is in California. The course has a few good holes but largely relies on the views and proximity to the ocean/beach to justify the pricetag. From the tips it's a proper challenge. Greens all slant back to front so it's important to stay below the hole. Course could definitely use a renovation but in the meantime it's by far the best public golf course in Santa Barbara.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 798
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 1 Contributor
California Advisor
Previously Played
Poor weather
Used cart

Sandpiper

Played the Golds (6646/72.6/130) in bright, sunny & breezy conditions in the 80's. Started @ 1:45 and easily got in 27 before dark as a single, rarely waiting on a fast 4some that was usually several holes ahead. POP was about 3.5 H per 18.

The tees were decent, good coverage with only the par 3's needing divot repair.

The Bermuda fairways were okay, mostly lush with a few thin areas.

The rough was hit and miss. Thicker closes to the fairways, but everything from hardpan to lush Bermuda all the way to thick kikuyu.

The fairways bunkers were firm brown dirt and okay to play from. The green side bunkers were part thick, medium brown dirt (not sand) that was raked, well maintained and generally good to play from. However other green side traps had thick, white beach sand that was very deep and thick, difficult to play from.

The greens were recently punched with small tines. They were fast, firm and fairly bumpy to putt on. Alot of slope on these green complexes, not only back to front but side to side.

The customer service was excellent from everyone encountered. The Pro shop/starter got me out 15 minutes early, and the cart gal was out making the rounds several times. Always enjoy the layout. Recommended if you can get a deal.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 798
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 1 Contributor
California Advisor
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

Sandpiper

Played the Golds (72.8/131/6646) in windy, sunny conditions in the 80's. POP was great, rarely waited and played in less than 3.5 hours.

This layout is fun and deceptively demanding. The greens are quick and have alot of slope, I 3 putt here more often than any course I can think of. Many holes with at least partial ocean views. Holes 6,10,11,12,13 & 14 in particular either play right along side or right into the ocean. On a cloudless day, the backdrop is about as good as it gets.

The tees were decent, mostly level with adequate coverage. Several could use more divot repair.

The Bermuda fairways were mostly lush with a few thin areas.

The rough was usually penal even if not overly tall. Get off the beaten path and it was the usual combination of hardpan, thin or native weeds with occasional high patches that were lost ball deep. However, barely missing the fairway meant that the ball usually sat down in thick Bermuda. Literally the difference in using enough club to try and reach the green or being restricted to a shorter iron and advancing the ball maybe 100 yards.

I found the traps to be both well maintained and challenging to play out of. The sand was thick and many of the lips near the greens large.

The greens were relatively smooth, firm and quick bordering on fast, especially downhill. I find the greens here to be deceptively difficult. I never seem to get the speed down on this course. There is alot of slope on these greens, and it's easy for downhill putts to leave 6' to 10' coming back. The greens are still a week away from being pristine again as they recently were punched with small tines about 2" apart and should be yellow on GK.

I like the course layout and the ocean breeze always makes club selection a challenge. It's more the location you are paying for, because while course conditions have been above average on every visit, it has not been excellent. Because of the wind and the greens, par's are hard to come by for me in bunches on this course. Before I know it, I have a string of bogeys going.

Enjoyed the experience, it's a treat to play here. The customer service was excellent everyone encountered. Recommended as a great change of pace if you are willing to pay the high per round fee the courses location dictates.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
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