TALEGA GOLF CLUB (949-369-6226)
Orange County/Los Angeles, California golf course review
Talega Golf Club in San Clemente is a gorgeous Fred Couples/Curley Schmidt championship design that has been recognized as the "best daily fee course" in Orange County by readers and industry experts of Orange County Golf, LA golf and San Diego Golf Magazines. Rated 4 stars by Golf Digest Places to Play, Talega is situated just 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the hills of San Clemente.
The course is built along the hillsides with fairways running along a rolling terrain framed by natural canyons, rugged marshes and lush natural vegetation. White marble sand bunkers (78 of them) and beautiful water hazards (5 holes have water in play) add to the aesthetic beauty of this stunning layout. Great service and fine amenities help this property to retain its lofty ranking and reputation as one of the region's top golf experiences.
The 13,500 square foot Colonial clubhouse features a well stocked pro shop plus the Heritage Grille and lounge, with indoor and outdoor special event space that can accommodate both small and large groups for outings, banquets, weddings and parties. Practice facilities consist of a double-ended driving range with sand bunkers and target greens, plus a large green complex for putting and chipping. A variety of instructional programs, as well as club fitting are available.
There are 4 sets of tee boxes that play to distances and slopes measuring 6951 yards/137 slope, 6583 yards/130 slope, 6187 yards/124 slope and 5245 yards with a slope of 121 from the forward tees. To the Green GPS on all carts provides accurate yardages from tee to green, and color coded flags indicate the day's front, middle or back hole locations. Sprinkler heads are also measured to the center of the green.
Many of the undulating fairways are tree lined, but there are generally ample landing zones off the tee. Greenside golfers will encounter medium size, sloping putting surfaces often protecting by mounding and bunkers. The sand traps are intricately designed and some are quite sprawling, making it seem as though there are many more than the actual number.
The back side is quite a bit more difficult than the initial nine holes, as forced carries (especially from the two back tees) over ravines and natural areas occur frequently. Two of the more impressive holes are the par three 7th, which features a carry over a pond to a rock walled green complex, and the par four 18th, which ends with a tough approach to a beautiful green that is also protected by a water hazard framed by a rock retaining wall.
Elevation changes, challenging bunkering and outstanding mountain vistas make this one of the most desirable golf courses we encountered during our Southern California review itinerary. For more info, visit our page for the course, with direct link to their website by clicking here.