Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 3
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 3
The third green at Monarch Beach Golf Links overlooks the crashing surf. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links
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Monarch Beach Golf Links
Monarch Beach Golf Links roams through a beautiful setting near the ocean. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 2
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 2
The second hole at Monarch Beach Golf Links doglegs hard left to an elevated green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 5
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 5
The slopes of the par-3 fifth hole at Monarch Beach Golf Links slant left to right toward the water. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links - 4th
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - 4th
When the pin is cut back left on the par-3 fourth hole at Monarch Beach Golf Links, golfers have little chance of hitting that section of the green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 6
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 6
Monarch Beach Golf Links' 400-yard sixth hole is a straight-forward par 4. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 9
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 9
Water gobbles up everything short of the par-5 ninth green at Monarch Beach Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 12
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 12
The par-5 12th hole at Monarch Beach Golf Links boomerangs left to keep first-time players guessing. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 15
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 15
Water nearly surrounds the par-3 15th hole at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point, California. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 17
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - hole 17
The 17th hole is the easiest of the five par 3s at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point, California. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Monarch Beach Golf Links - 18th hole
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Monarch Beach Golf Links - 18th hole
The finishing hole at Monarch Beach Golf Links can cause a splash-down for golfers who miss right of the green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
11 Images

Visit the Pacific Ocean at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point, California

DANA POINT, Calif. -- Monarch Beach Golf Links delivers a taste of the good life golfers expect from Orange County.

Robert Trent Jones Jr. built a unique routing of three par 5s and five par 3s that's playable for everybody. The course -- which hosted the 2001 Hyundai Team Matches featuring pros from the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours -- is entirely open to the public, not just for pampered resort guests of the nearby St. Regis Monarch Beach and Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

From the 6,645-yard tips, the par 70 has more teeth when the breeze picks up in the afternoon. From the 6,052-yard gold tees, Monarch Beach can be tamed by anybody who plays smart. Deep bunkers with sharp edges sweep in circular motions like waves, guarding fairway doglegs and elevated greens. Ponds and hazards pinch eight holes, ready to pounce. The third hole swerves left through a maze of seven bunkers, finishing at a wild green overlooking the crashing surf. Welcome to the "OC," baby.

The day isn't complete without savoring the food, drinks and the blue ocean view at Club 19 restaurant in the clubhouse. A new chef has refreshed the menu with fantastic healthy choices that taste great.

Five-star reviews of the Monarch Beach Golf Links experience outnumber four stars on Golf Advisor. User u000001322387 wrote of his 'perfect day': "Monarch Beach Golf Links is a very beautiful and challenging course. My wife and I were greeted by a very friendly staff on arrival and throughout the day. The course is well maintained and has very beautiful views of the ocean on holes #3 and #4. After our round, we had lunch on the terrace that over looked the course and view of the ocean. The food and view was fantastic. This was well worth our drive.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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Visit the Pacific Ocean at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point, California