Want to play the best golf courses on Highway 1? You’ll find several in Nipomo. Imagine acres upon acres of fairways, manicured greens, ocean views, and a glass of local wine or beer at the end of the course. This sums up the remarkable golf experience available at Blacklake Golf Course, Monarch Dunes Golf Course, and several other nearby properties. Each boasts a top-flight pedigree, showcasing designers like Ted Robinson and instructors like Billy Gibbs, Colby Hartje and Rory Doll Golf Academy. You’ll find a range of conditions, from beginner-friendly 9-hole courses to challenging full courses; some even have ocean views. And don’t forget the importance of a good meal before or after a round. Nipomo’s golf courses offer plenty of flavor for your game, including breakfast, lunch, and happy hour. Whether you seek lessons from a pro, a putting green, driving range, or just a quiet day on the links, Nipomo has many options to suit your swing.
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Nipomo Golf Courses
Blacklake Golf Course
A favorite among local and visiting golfers alike, Blacklake is a championship golf course known for its laid-back vibe and three distinct courses. Designed by Ted Robinson Sr and opened in 1966, these are all 9-hole courses that can be played individually or combined for 18 or 27 holes. Each of these includes a good mix of par-3, -4 and -5 holes. These courses are meticulously maintained, with sparkling lakes, scenic coastal hills and live oaks. Try one, two or all three courses for a day on the links that’s perfectly tailored to your ability and experience. Be sure to observe the dress code: collared shirts are required; tank tops are prohibited. To get the best bang for your buck, check the discounted deals at GolfNow, a popular way to walk onto the course at the last minute for a low price.
This picturesque course is a par 36, for a total of 3,125 yards. It features gentle variations in terrain with plenty of long views of the fairway from elevated tee boxes above. Cool coastal breezes keep the air refreshing in the unspoiled natural beauty of this nine-hole course.
The Oaks Course is the shortest of the three, at par 35 and 2,900 yards. This nine-hole course winds along the natural path of a coastal oak tree forest. More intimate and sheltered, The Oaks offers something like a “target” golf exercise, challenging to even the most seasoned of veteran golfers.
At par 36 and 3,276 yards, the Lakes Course is the longest of the three at Blacklake. The perfect course for a beginner or “rusty” golfer, it features many wide, forgiving fairways. But don’t be fooled: the opening hole is a par-3, offering a challenge for any golfer on the course.
Driving Range & Putting/Chipping Greens
The driving range at Blacklake Golf Course spans 275 yards with more than 30 teeing areas in both real grass and artificial turf. Open from dawn until dusk, the driving range is also complemented by three putting, chipping and pitching greens for public use.
Instruction and Clinics
Blacklake Golf Course offers private lessons with PGA instructors Billy Gibbs and Colby Hartje. Gibbs is a well-known figure in the golf community and has co-hosted Golf Talk Radio on the ESPN network and others for 20 years. He is most passionate about youth golf and has been recognized as one of eight First Tee Master Coaches in the nation. Hartje has been a PGA member since 2008 and has decades of teaching experience with all ages. He designs customized plans for every student based on their abilities and goals. Both pros offer individual instruction as well as well as group clinics and youth lessons.
Blacklake Bar & Grill
Satisfy the appetite you worked up on the course with any of Blacklake’s dining options. The full breakfast menu and grab-and-go options include breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, assorted baked goods, coffee and snacks. Stay for lunch on the patio and watch golfers on The Lakes Course on the 9th green. Try the hearty Asian Chicken Salad or Blacklake flatbread topped with tri-tip. Pair your lunch or happy hour snacks with a glass of local beer, wine, or a cocktail from the full-service bar.
Monarch Dunes Golf Course
Located on the Nipomo Mesa, Monarch Dunes is an award-winning golf resort with courses designed by Damiam Pascuzzo and Steve Pate. The property features views of windswept dunes, eucalyptus trees, coastal vistas and amber-colored hillsides. Reminiscent of a Scottish links-style course, Monarch Dunes is a must-play for those seeking a challenging yet friendly golf adventure. Journey through the coastal highlands of our stretch of Highway 1, and discover evolving conditions and natural beauty. All of it will inspire an unforgettable golf experience, time and again.
The Old Course
This par-71, 18-hole championship course opened for public play in 2006, introducing links-style golf to California’s Central Coast. Architect Damian Pascuzzo and PGA Professional Steve Pate designed the course to take advantage of views of majestic dunes, coastline and golden hillsides. As such, The Old Course has won multiple awards, including those from GOLF Magazine, Golf Inc. Magazine, Fairways + Greens Magazine, and Golf Digest.
The Challenge Course
The Challenge Course opened in 2008 but has recently been redesigned to simplify the game of golf for newcomers. Folks — including families with kids — can show up without gear and be outfitted with all the necessary clubs, tees, and balls. At 1,750 yards, this par 3 course comprises 8,000 acres, with greens that are all maintained at the same height. The Challenge Course was also designed by Pascuzzo and Pate, with 12 holes that vary from 20 to 205 yards in length. The Challenge comprises 5,000 square feet of tee space, with four tee markers to choose from at each tee. Golfers can use a putter in any sandtrap on the course, too. Bring the gang out to experience the fun of this course, which takes just an hour and a half to complete.
The Monarch Dunes’ spacious driving range is open every day (closed Monday evening and Tuesday mornings for maintenance).
The Rory Doll Golf Academy operates out of the Monarch Dunes Golf Resort and serves both adult and junior players. In 2014, Doll earned Mid-American Player of the Year and set seven school records at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He has also qualified for two U.S. Opens and has earned a professional win as well as several top-10s. At Monarch Dunes, Doll and his team specialize in assessing players’ game and creating customized plans for individual and group instruction.
This high quality bistro offers a relaxing place to fuel up or wind down after your last round. A full-service restaurant and bar, the Butterfly Grille features the fresh flavors of the Central Coast. The outdoor patio provides sweeping views of the resort, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Other Golf Courses Nearby
Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande
This Peter Jacobsen Signature Course is as challenging as it is beautiful. The Jacobsen Hardy Design Team utilized the natural surrounding of the area to make this San Luis Obispo County golf course truly unique. Mature cypress trees, lush green fairways and cool coastal breezes make Cypress Ridge a favorite among locals and visiting golfers alike.
Avila Beach Golf Resort
Tucked back in the hills between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach, this resort includes a par-71, 6,500-yard championship course. Surrounded by oak-lined valleys and spanning a tidal estuary, the Avila Beach Golf Resort course is as challenging as it is scenic.
Other Courses of Highway 1
Several other worthwhile golf courses lie up and down the SLO CAL section of Highway 1. Each offers excellent conditions and architecture, as well as amenities like dining, instruction and driving ranges. Many also offer ocean views! Be sure to look into Golf Courses of Highway 1 for more information.