California has 840 miles of coastline and yet very few golf courses reside on that line. Those that do are often very expensive so if you want to marry the sea and golf, you have to pick your spots. Shorecliffs is a course that is NEAR the sea but close enough to give you those nice sea breezes at a very affordable price and I recently checked it out.
The above picture is a par 4 that plays 353 yards from the back tees. The play here isn't taking a driver with major danger in a streaming looming to the right and houses up on a cliff looming to the left. Instead, you should take your 3 wood and do a gentle fade into the fairway. That is basically Shorecliffs in a nutshell.
The course is short but has a lot of teeth due to the severe doglegs (many holes you can't see the green from the tee) and your driver is placed in your bag for a lot of the day. Still, there are places to bail out and it is not as tight as DeBell or other similarly constricted courses.
The course meanders its way on top of cliffs, down cliffs and through cliffs. Between the houses and the cliffs, there wasn't much land to place a course but the few spots of land they found, they wedged it in there and I was constantly marveling on where the course might go next.
The superstar hole is certainly a downhill par 4 at about 300 yards in length and while the smart play is to lay up with a 200 yard club, once you get on the tee box, you HAVE to go at it with driver.
Shorecliffs also shows its teeth around the greens by having greens that are elevated and have choke points so you better miss correctly or you are going to have insane chips over bunkers and in tall grass. Shorecliffs is also unusual as it seems to be smack dab in the middle of a drainage system so to access many parts of the course makes you drive through aqueducts to get to the next tee.
Shorecliffs isn't going to set your golf world on fire with its routing or conditioning but it is a fun course to play and my round on a Sunday morning only took four hours which can't be said for most courses. If I could make one suggestion to the course, don't overwater the fairways. Sure they might turn a bit browner but let the ball run a bit more if it catches some short grass.
For more information about Shorecliffs, check out the link: http://www.shorecliffsgolfclub.com/