Rated #1 Golf Course in the US by Golf Advisor
Rams Hill is a premiere course designed by the legendary golf course architect Tom Fazio. Rams Hill was also rated in 2017 by Golf Week as the third best resort course in California, after Pebble Beach and Spyglass.
Most Fazio courses are private, or operated by exclusive resorts and hotels with extremely high fees, but Rams Hill, formerly an exclusive private club, is now open to the public and can be played at reasonable rates.
With five sets of tees, the course plays to just over 7,200 yards, sports a 75.1 rating and 141 slope from the back tees. Something really unique for a desert course is the incredible height variations and views of the desert floor hundreds of feet below. And the quiet mountain vistas, streams, ponds, lakes and waterfalls make this an unforgettable golfing experience.
A very sincere thank you, Mr. Tom Fazio.
It’s a hard task indeed to choose a few highlights from this course as each hole is a viable candidate, but here we go….
The 5th hole is a challenging, par 3 of 206 yards from the black tees. It’s protected by a lake on the left and enhanced by a breathtaking, steep mountain backdrop that hovers over the green. The late afternoon shadows highlight the menacing mountain cliffs and make this one of the most beautiful holes on the course. Only the most courageous golfer will go for the left pin placement protected by deep bunkers that fall away to a tranquil, yet threatening lake.
The Par 3, 9th at 151 yards from the black tees is a welcome relief after the 498 yard, par 4, 8th hole that rightfully deserves its number one handicap. The 9th hole is one of the easiest, a classic, short, downhill par 3, but the green is extremely long and narrow with yawning bunkers. Again, the backdrop reveals the immense desert on the horizon, and spectacular mountain views. The wind can make your club selection extremely difficult, and if your shot is too long, or too short, you’ll be faced with an extremely long putt with perplexing breaks.
This beautiful 556 yard, par 5, 11th is a classic risk/reward hole with a dynamic desert view far below. Not the longest of par 5’s, it can be reached in 2 because it is downhill and sometimes down wind. The tee shot must be placed between the large fairway bunker on the right and the water feature that runs the entire left hand side and empties into a lake that protects the green. A well placed lay up still leaves a demanding pitch to a beautiful peninsula green.
A classic, short par 4, the 17th at 331 yards is for some drivable, although the multitude of bunkers make cautious players choose a more prudent path. As pictured on the Rams Hill scorecard, this gorgeous hole is bunkered on both sides, but does have a sizable fairway on the right for those wishing to play it safe. Like most of the holes, the view of the mountains behind the green makes the second shot special. This mountain backdrop is especially breathtaking in the late afternoon when the mountains crevices and cliffs are highlighted by the setting sun. The long, narrow, and undulating green puts a premium on putting.
The par 5, 18th hole, at 577 yards features a downhill tee shot to a wide fairway that slopes to a large lake on the right. The green is protected by bunkers and a waterfall that cascades into the lake. There’s a slightly uphill 3rd shot to a well designed par 5 green. This is a classic Fazio finishing hole on a breathtaking Fazio golf course. Its beauty is only exceeded by its tranquility and serenity. There is no whining highway noise or a cacophony of sirens, only silence, occasionally punctuated by a coyote’s howl, or a red tail hawk’s distinctive screech. This is not a contrived course. It is blessed with great terrain which enabled Fazio to create an unsurpassed masterpiece in the middle of the immense Anza Borrego State Park.
The 19th hole is the perfect place to reflect on an extraordinary day and enjoy the incredible views of 18th green, the waterfalls, and fabulous mountains vistas. As the day fades into night, you’ll see the stars like never before from your own outdoor, private dining area carved out of a hillside.
More Than a Great Golf Course
Leave the city and its worries in your rear view mirror as you drive through avocado, citrus and apple orchards to Rams Hill perched on a hillside surrounded by the immense Anza Borrego Desert. Hang by the pool, challenge the fabulous Tom Fazio golf course, or sit back and enjoy the sights and sound of the desert. Take in the mountain vistas, hike the Indian trails where you might spot a desert big horn sheep on a distant hillside, or do as little, or as much as you’d like. Endless beauty surrounds; how you soak it in is all up to you.
As you dine on the Rams Hill patios tucked into the rocky hillside, the raw landscape is alive with the sounds of a nearby waterfall, the croaking frogs, a screeching red tail hawk, and the howl of a distant coyote.
Time slows down as you admire the clouds casting their shadows on the distant dappled mountain. Before the sun sinks behind a distant mountain the shadows slowly work their way across the desert floor, creep up the craggy mountain slopes and melts into the dark. Dusk brings ever changing light: the transitions from steel gray to powder blues, rich purples and glowing reds. Then the night emerges with its incredible star studded skies and the moon changing from orange to milky white as it rises over the mountains.