Half Moon Bay Golf Links is home to two outstanding 18 hole courses - the Arnold Palmer designed Old Course and the Ocean Course laid out by architect Arthur Hills. Each of the courses is unique and different from the other and each 18 has it's own personality and characteristics, for example:
Common to both courses is a fantastic clubhouse and grill, excellent service, very good conditions, and the spectacular "Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay" overlooking the clear blue Pacific Ocean. All of which are some of the reasons that Half Moon Golf Links was named by Business Week as "One of the 18 great Country Clubs for a day" and one of the "Best 10 New Upscale Golf Clubs" by Golf Digest.
The Old Course plays through a very well done housing community with a variety of interesting and different very beautiful homes which can come into play if you really spray the ball. Like a lot of Arnold Palmer designs the Old Course is fairly straight forward and traditional and most cases you can see the pin and what you're up against - no trick, gimmicks, or hidden gotchas. But at 7001 yards from the tips and a slope ranging from 75.2 to 70.1 and rating of 135 to 126, the Old Course is no walk in the park and can test your game. You'll encounter lots of out of bounds if you spray the ball, trees, plenty of bunkering, blind shots, risk reward opportunities, sharp dog legs, water hazards, contoured fairways, and challenging green complexes.
Some examples of the above include:
And then you'll come to the beautiful 17th where the hole emerges from the tree and house lined fairways to a wide open par 3 with the "Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay" and tennis courts off to the left and the Pacific straight in front of you. Awe inspiring until you get on the tee box of one of the most scenic holes in the United States. The mouth dropping dramatic 18th is a cliff-hanging 412 yard downhill par 4 that from tee to green run along side a towering sea cliff dropping off to a sandy beach with foamy white surf crashing on the sand and rocky outcroppings in the Pacific Ocean. You'll be tempted to sit here and enjoy the view and the crashing of the waves against the beach and rocks! You'll most likely want to head into the "Ritz`Carlton, Half Moon Bay's" Conservatory for a drink and to continue to soak in the awesome view and heckle some of the golfers as they approach the 18th green.
When we played in early March the fairways and rough were in very good condition. All of the fairways are rolling and contoured with some mounding. The tree lined fairways are ample and forgiving and the rough is playable - miss them both and you're in the back yard of homes that are well over $1 million!
The greens are average size (some are huge) with gentle slope and some undulation. When we played they were a little slow and bumpy thanks to a recent rain and lots of moisture. They ran true, were easy to read, and held the ball well. Putting was not an issue.
The bunker range in size and all were in perfect condition with soft fluffy sand. Most have a reasonable lip but watch out for the some that are steep and deep.
Bottom line - the Old Course is fair and forgiving and won't beat you up - this is an 18 where you relax and enjoy the scenery and you're fellow golfers and possibly turn in a very good score. And treat yourself and stay at the fantastic and very upscale "Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Resort and then play both courses.
Rates: $95.00 to $205.00
The service and amenities at Half Moon Bay Golf Links are first class all the way from the bag boys to the cart ladies. The pro shop is well stocked, the restaurant and bar are excellent, and the practice facilities are very good.
Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating
The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this: links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses!
All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course. In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40. We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.