Three distinct & unique courses appease golfers of every level
It’s not just an experience for the local crowd – a day of golf at one of the three courses offered by San Luis Obispo County Parks is also a popular outdoor activity for those visiting the Central Coast of California. With an abundant selection of outdoor activities offered year-round – ocean sports, hiking, biking, wine tasting and more – a day or two out on the golf course is the perfect addition to a week-long vacation or a weekend getaway.
Offering beautiful weather almost daily, it’s no wonder that golfing ranks high on the list of things to do in SLO County – and with three unique courses available, SLO County Parks offers something for every skill level, from the beginner to the most experienced golfer. Whether you decide to golf at one or all three of the 18-hole county golf courses – Morro Bay, Dairy Creek or Chalk Mountain – it’s no secret that these courses offer world-class experiences at surprisingly affordable prices.
“Those who enjoy our courses receive spectacular layouts and views, affordable prices, and a quality experience here along the Central Coast,” explains SLO County Parks Golf Superintendent Josh Heptig. “With our SLO County Park golf courses, we are able to offer three distinct experiences – and we offer superior customer service.”
Enjoy quality golf SLO style
As the golf superintendent, Heptig has spent the past six years developing the overall appeal of each individual course and enticing golfers to experience all that SLO County golf has to offer. Armed with a degree in golf course management from Kansas State University, he spent time honing his skills at courses throughout the Midwest before settling along the California Central Coast.
“I have always had a strong passion for the game of golf,” says Heptig, “and the courses that I now manage in SLO County – and the incredible staff that I work with – allow the opportunity to share that passion with golfers from our local area and those that make this a travel destination.”
Remember the show Cheers? Heptig says this is the type of atmosphere that golfers have become accustomed to when spending time on the local links – each golfer is greeted in a welcoming and inviting manner, whether it’s their first time on the course or if they are regulars.
“We offer a positive, quality, private club-type of atmosphere at each of our county courses,” says Heptig. “Our regulars have come to appreciate this day after day; our new golfers and first-time visitors are always pleasantly surprised to find that we go the extra mile to make every golf day a great experience.”
Morro Bay Golf Course
Offering the most amazing views available on the California Central Coast, Morro Bay Golf Course overlooks the entire Morro Bay Estuary, a wildlife sanctuary and recreational boat harbor area. The terrain is hilly and the putting is challenging. The 6,360-yard par 71 course offers a straightforward, traditional feel with sparse amounts of manmade trickery and hazards. Driving range, club rentals, lessons, pro shop, bar and grill, and professional staff – all this and more await golfers. As an Audubon International labeled Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, Morro Bay Golf Course offers delightful views of birds as well as seasonal Monarch butterflies that winter in the eucalyptus grove. “This unique course offers ocean view experiences from every hole – and it is an absolutely stunning course,” says Heptig.
Morro Bay Golf Course is located at 201 State Park Road in Morro Bay; call (805) 772-1923 for reservations, directions, and more information. Nestled within the Morro Bay State Park, overnight tent camping, RV facilities, a marina, restaurant and a natural history museum are all situated nearby. California Cuisine offered onsite daily at 19th Hole Bar & Grill.
Dairy Creek Golf Course
A links-like 6,548-yard course, Dairy Creek Golf Course is set among rolling pastures on scenic on El Chorro Regional Park land, just south of Morro Bay. Boasting incredible elevation changes and forced carries over water and rocky canyons, this target course offers golfers the ultimate test of endurance with bentgrass greens and sea breezes known to challenge nearly every stroke, A par 71 course that twice rises and falls 300 feet, Dairy Creek is defined by water hazards and bunkers – possibly just a few of the reasons it was awarded favored status (#5 out of 100) by Golf for Women Magazine’s Favorite Courses. “We have been awarded for our sustainability approach as well,” says Heptig. “Dairy Creek is the only zero waste golf course in the world and it is the most challenging overall out of all of our courses.”
Dairy Creek Golf Course is located off Highway 1 at the entrance to El Chorro Regional Park; call (805) 782-8060 for reservations, directions, and more information. Day use, overnight camping, and RV facilities are offered in the regional park. Food available onsite daily at Fairways Restaurant; ask about banquet facilities; tours of zero waste facility available upon request.
Chalk Mountain Golf Course
Located in the northern part of SLO County in the foothills of Atascadero, Chalk Mountain Golf Course is part of the Heilmann Regional Park complex. Offering traditional American golf at its finest, and is a long-time local favorite. The 6,299-yard par 72 Chalk Mountain course is situated among lush ancient oak groves and boasts a meandering creek, rolling hills, and undulating greens. This challenging championship course has beautifully maintained greens, a driving range, a practice putting green, and club rentals available. “Chalk Mountain is one of the oldest courses in the area and it offers the best risk reward around,” says Heptig.
Chalk Mountain Golf Course is located at 10000 El Bordo Road in Atascadero; call (805)466-8848 8060 for reservations, directions, and more information. The surrounding Heilmann Regional Park offers day use picnic facilities, tennis courts, horseshoes, volleyball, and disc golf. Food is available onsite daily at the Chalk Mountain Club House.
In addition to offering the finest golf accommodations and experiences available in SLO County, all of the county golf courses use reclaimed water and place high importance on being as sustainable as possible.
“We were recently awarded the Environmental Steward Award by the California Golf Course Association,” says Heptig.
Affordable golf & lessons
Searching for the best place to have a bit of golf instruction? Look no further than any of the SLO County Parks golf courses. All instructors are PGA or LPGA certified, offer lessons from juniors on up, and concentrate on individual skills and needs.
Whether golfing at Morro Bay, Dairy Creek or Chalk Mountain, there’s no doubt in Heptig’s mind that an day spent enjoying the beauty and surrounding views at any of these courses will be an experience one is not likely to forget.
“At all of our SLO County Park golf courses, we are confident that golfers will have great experiences, create new memories, and enjoy amazing weather. Each course is distinct and different, so we encourage everyone to try each course to experience all that SLO County golf has to offer. We hang our hats to welcome you while offering quality, high value and the lowest rates available,” adds Josh.
– Leslie Jones & Meagan Friberg