Awards, History & Reviews

“Beautiful and challenging … Super conditions … A total hidden gem … Spectacular vistas … Good enough for Q School”
– Player Comments, Golf Digest Best Places to Play

Golf World Magazine 2008 Reader’s Choice National Awards, link opens in a new tab – #40 Public Golf Course & #10 for Speed of Play.

Golf Digest “America’s 50 Toughest Golf Courses” – La Purisima has been named to Golf Digest’s toughest golf courses in America list, ranked 33rd. Golf Digest referred to us as The Bethpage Black of the West Coast. Locally, it’s known as “La Piranha.” But honestly, we think if you play from the tees best suited for your game, anyone and everyone will enjoy playing here. And if you do have a bad day, you can soothe the pain at one of the terrific Santa Ynez Valley wineries nearby.

LA Times … Ten Courses You Must Play – The Los Angeles Times gave La Purisima the distinction of being named to its 2007 list of golf courses that any golfer should have on their “have played” list. The LA Times had this to say: “La Purisima is a classic, demanding, scenic course that is a regular stop for all levels of tournament play… plus it’s in wine country.”

Golf Digest 4 1/2 Stars – Most recently, the readers of Golf Digest awarded La Purisima Golf Course one of its highest ratings of 4 1/2 stars (out of five) in the latest Golf Digest “Places to Play” edition. La Purisima joins a select group of only 30 golf clubs in California to receive a 4 1/2 star rating and it marks the second consecutive edition in which La Purisima has received this prestigious designation in recognition for the quality of the overall golf experience.

Top 100 in America! – La Purisima Golf Course was selected to Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 You Can Play” for 2004-2005 (Golf Magazine, September issue 2004). Joining other notable courses such as Pebble Beach, Spyglass and Torrey Pines, La Purisima was one of only 12 California golf courses to make Golf Magazine’s list of the finest public-access courses in America.

PGA Tour School – La Purisima has challenged some of the nation’s premier golfers, having hosted both the PGA TOUR and USGA for 7 years. In fact, the Final Stage of PGA TOUR School was held at La Purisima in 1996. Even par qualified for the TOUR. Moreover, in 16 qualifiers held at La Purisima even par has been good enough to advance. La Purisima, one pursuit and passion … golf, pure golf!

Honors & Awards

  • Named 33rd Toughest Golf Course in America and 3rd Toughest in California by Golf Digest
  • Top 5 Golf Course in California & Top 50 in America, Zagat Survey 2005
  • 4 1/2 Star Rating, Golf Digest, Best Places to Play 2004
  • Top 100 Public Courses in America, Golf Magazine 1996 – 2004
  • To Ten “Must Play Courses” by the LA Times – 2007
  • Ranked #1 Best Conditioned Course and #4 Best Value in Southern California, GreensKeeper.org
  • “Best Playing Conditions” Award, Greenskeeper.org 2006 & 2007
  • Golf Value “Worth the Green Fee” Award, Greenskeeper.org 2006, 2007 & 2008
  • Santa Barbara’s Best Conditioned & Best Value Course, Greenskeeper.org 2004
  • Zagat Survey America’s Best Courses 2003 – 2005
  • US Open Qualifying site 1996-2000-2003
  • PGA Tour Qualifiers 1995,1996, 1998-2003
  • The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) 2000-2001
  • California State Junior Amateur Championship 1993
  • LPGA Santa Barbara Open 1987-1988
  • PGA Senior Tour Qualifiers 1985, 2001-2002


“If you want to understand and appreciate the work of the late Robert Muir Graves, I recommend you play La Purisima. Then see if you can design a better course on that land.”
—Ron Whitten of Golf Digest

Developed in 1986 by Kenneth Hume Hunter, Jr., La Purisima is considered by many as, hole for hole, one of the finest tests of golf in the country. With the invaluable help of golf course architect Robert Muir Graves, Mr. Hunter set out to develop the finest, purist test of golf he could imagine. It started with the land-309 acres of gently rolling, oak studded, ancient sand hills situated 30 miles north of Santa Barbara on Highway 246. Mr. Hunter developed it much like his other nationally acclaimed course, Hunter Ranch in Paso Robles, with no commercial development or housing on the golf course land. His courses were built as stand-alone golf facilities … “pure golf.”


Getting Sideways at La Purisima!

“I have played a lot of golf in California, from Tijuana Country Club (featuring nine holes designed by Alister MacKenzie) to the Links at Bodega Harbour north of San Francisco, and I truly believe, if you factor in greens fees, course design, degree of difficulty, natural beauty, overall course conditions, lack of crowds and speed of play, that La Purisima is the finest golf course open to the public in the entire state.”
—Rex Pickett, Author of Sideways

Course Critic
La Purisima Golf Course (A tribute to Robert Muir Graves)

Recent player reviews from Greenskeeper.org, link opens in a new tab.

GolfReview.com | This is one of the best in California…, link opens in a new tab.