8301 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, California 93117, US
(805) 968-0100
Location Map

About Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

The Ritz-Carlton, Santa Barbara is sandwiched between the golden beaches of the Pacific and surrounding Santa Ynez Mountains. The 358-room resort takes inspiration from the Mediterranean. Its collection of amenities include a 42,000-square-foot spa, three saltwater infinity pools, six restaurants and two beaches. It is adjacent to the Sandpiper Golf Club, which has been dubbed "The Poor Man's Pebble Beach" for its more affordable green fees and oceanfront scenery.

Facts

Price Range$$$$
Property Class★★★★★
Acres78
Year Opened2000
Number of Units300-500

Amenities

RestaurantsCasual, Fine
Room TypesRoom, Suite
TennisYes
Fitness CenterYes
Practice FacilityYes
Beach AccessYes
Banquet SpaceYes
SpaYes

Services

Kids ProgramYes
Room ServiceYes
ConciergeYes

Rules

Is the resort pet friendly?Yes
Is resort stay required for a tee time?No

Golf courses at Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Reviews

3.3
70 Reviews (70)
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Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 812
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 1 Contributor
California Advisor
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

Sandpiper

Played the Golds (72.8/131/6646) with Robert in breezy, sunny conditions in the 80's. POP was great, we rarely waited and played a 3 1/2 hour round.

I am impressed more with the layout on each visit. The course had many holes with at least partial ocean views. Holes 6,10,11,13 & 14 in particular either play right along side or right into the ocean. On a bright, cloudless day, the backdrop is about as good as it gets. Very fun layout.

The tees were decent, I had no issues finding level lies with adequate coverage. Several could use more divot repair.

The Bermuda fairways were good overall, mostly lush with a few thin areas.

The rough was usually penal even if not overly tall. Missing the fairway by a foot was the difference in using enough club to try and reach the green or being restricted to a short iron and advancing the ball maybe 100 yards out of thick Bermuda that the ball usually sat down in. Get off the beaten path and it was more a combination of hardpan, thin or native weeds with occasional high patches that were lost ball deep.

I was in multiple traps and found them to be challenging to play out of because the sand was so thick. Well maintained.

The greens were recently punched with small tines but were still relatively smooth, firm and quick. I find the greens here to be deceptively difficult. I never did get the speed down. There is alot of slope on these greens, and downhill putts just creep, and creep and creep, until pretty soon the putt you thought you had lagged up by the hole is 6' to 10' past. I suspect that being near the ocean (less landmarks to compare with) creates the optical illusion of making you think the slopes are gentler than they actually are?

I like the course layout and the ocean breeze always makes club selection a challenge. It's more the location you are paying for, because while everything has been above average on every visit, it has not been excellent. The customer service was excellent from the cart gal to the attendant who cleaned and took care of your clubs after the round. Enjoyed the experience, it's a treat to play here. Recommended as a great change of pace if you are willing to pay the high fees the courses location dictates.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 13
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
2.0
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Walked

If it was anywhere else

If it was anywhere else, It'd be a 2.5 star course. The conditions are no where near the price. Fairways are spotty, muddy and inconsistent. The rough is a mix of nothing, dirt and various grasses. The greens, while fast are spotted Poa and Bent and who knows what else - making the direction of your ball purely at the whim of the golf gods or the maintenance crew.

It is truly sad to see such a gem fall into such shape. Seems our of character to Ty Warner to have such a poorly run course in such a beautiful and unique location. If you can play for <$60 do it, otherwise lower your expectations and enjoy the views. Regardless of your golf game, the views are gorgeous.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Friendliness Fair
Pace Fair
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 812
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Top 1 Contributor
California Advisor
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

Sandpiper

Played with Stickboy, DKnight & Kviser in the GK Plays in hot, breezy conditions. We let a 3some play through during a 5 hour Sunday afternoon round. Played the Golds with Stickboy (72.8/131/6646) and witnessed Vince put on a clinic on how golf should be played (hit the fairway, hit the green, make almost all reasonably makeable putts, then repeat the process hole after hole) as part of an enjoyable 18 with this group.

The course had more holes with at least partial ocean views that I remembered. Holes 6,10,11, 13 & 14 in particular either play right along side or right into the ocean. On a bright, cloudless day, the backdrop is about as good as it gets. I like the course layout and the ocean breeze always makes club selection a challenge.

The tees were decent, I had no issues finding level lies with adequate coverage. Several needed some divot repair.

The fairways were good overall, but many had fairly significant patches of thin or hardpan areas. More than I would expect for a high end course.

The rough was often penal, thick kikuyu even if not overly tall. Get off the beaten path and it was more a combination of hardpan, thin or native weeds with occasional high patches that were lost ball deep.

I was in 2 traps and found them to be very good with moist, thick brown sand.

The practice green was very quick. The greens on the course were not quite as quick. I never did get the speed down. I had the same thought as I did from when I played here the 1st time 5-6 years ago... downhill putts seem quicker than you would expect while uphill putts were slower than you would expect. I suspect that being near the ocean (less landmarks to compare with) creates the optical illusion of making you think the slopes are gentler than they actually are? You better be careful with ANY downhill putts, they will creep, and creep and keep creeping down the hill. Our group had several seemingly excellent lags near the hole that ended up being 6' to 10' putts coming back.

If this course were 5 miles inland, it would be a $30 to $50 course based on the conditions. However, being located on prime property makes it one of the more expensive public rounds of golf in So Cal. If the conditions are pristine, maybe it's worth it. However, even getting a "deal" here is marginally worth the $$$ in my mind when the greens are average and the fairways below average.

I was more impressed with the layout than on my prior visit. The customer service was excellent from the very present cart gal to the attendant who cleaned and took care of your clubs after the round. Enjoyed the experience, but at these prices, I would rarely play here.

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Definitely bring your out-of-town friends here

This course was definitely worthwhile. It was the first time I had played it and the back 9 did not disappoint. Front 9 was fine but rather ordinary in comparison with back 9. Greens were nice and overall the course is in fine shape.

The best time to play this course is when you have family or friends that come from out of state. The views are fantastic on the back 9. The price is rather steep but it is one of only a few seaside courses in California so it was expected. Twilight rate was $100 and I finished in 3.5 hours. Nice!

Conditions Good
Value Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 21
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Nice Ocean Views

This is a very nice ocean side course in Santa Barbara. If you play after 12:00 noon, the overcast weather burns off and the blue ocean makes you smile. The conditions of the course are green and irrigated despite the drought. I would love to play here every week, if I could.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 13
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Previously Played
Good weather
Walked

Needs improvement to be worthy of its past and its place

Been playing Sandpiper for many years and have mixed feelings about this course. It’s in a great location and has a few incredible holes which are worthy of its accolades but the rest of the course is rather mediocre. The fact is that conditions are never up to the standards of a great daily fee and are actually closer to that of a muni. Not sure if the current management is just not interested in bettering the course but it sure seems to be doing its best to run this dog into the ground.

There have been many changes made in the last 5 years but none of them have had any positive impact on the course. In fact the course was in pretty awesome shape and conditions but has dramatically slipped in the last 5 or so years. Whether it’s the practice facilities which keep getting smaller and smaller and less fun, or the cutting down of trees and shrubs which used to offer both a scenic boost and a playability test, or the introduction of badly positioned tee boxes, or the removal of bunkers and the tall grasses that used to line them, it seems that they're either not interested in improving what could be a truly spectacular course. Its rather sad since this layout has the potential to be one of the very best courses in So Cal as they’ll never be another coastal course built in this state. Many of us locals feel that with the right attention and the right team, Sandpiper could shine but in its current form it’s a very overrated and hugely overpriced course that is more like a muni except with all the stuffiness and arrogance you typically find at a private club.

It would be great if they did some actual improvements to the course as it’s still a hodgepodge of various turf and very mixed conditions. I guess the upside is that due to its price and conditions it’s never very crowded and so you can easily get on any weekend and play a pretty decent pace.

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Previously Played
Used cart

Meh

The first time I played Sandpiper I was blown away by the views, location and sea air. I have now played it half a dozen times and I've come to feel that the course itself is very ordinary and the conditions are only fair, and poor in some areas

The few scenic holes along the coast, especially the first few holes on the back, make this course worth the steep green fee if you are visiting the area but if I were a local it wouldn't be my first choice

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Bucket List Course!

Let me start by saying that I play bogey golf on most courses. For me, this track proved to be slightly more difficult than your average home-course. It was probably the extremely fast greens that made the round a little more difficult than usual. Sandpiper will punish you for setting yourself up with downhill putts. Stay below the pin and putt uphill! Otherwise, take your time and simply enjoy the incredible ocean/beach backdrop that starts with a slight two hole tease on the front nine and then really begins to treat you once your make the turn for the back nine. Bring a camera, soak it in. Sandpiper is certainly one that's worth ponying up for at least once!

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played

Great Views - Pace of Play Issues

I've played here many times. If you've never played it, you should. The views are fantastic and some of the holes are extremely well designed. The only problem with it is pace of play. It is "hit or miss" whether you get experienced players in front of you or once a year golfers staying at the high end resort next door. And THAT wouldn't be a problem if they had marshalls. THey don't. You will almost never see one and if you complain about a group holding up 3 other groups #with 4 holes open in front of them# the staff is STILL reluctant to do anything. I've seen this multiple times so it's an unfortunate pattern. GREAT FOOD and views at the restaurant.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Worth the time to play...

Fair..Fun to play..Walkable, bring a camera for #10-14..Great views. Sometimes called "A poor man's Pebble Beach..You'll use all your clubs..

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 8
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Challenging course, great greens.

Very fun and challenging course. Tough, but honest greens. Awesome views from some holes. Very friendly staff.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

A beautiful oceanside course

This is an unforgettably scenic course. The front nine are quite traditional holes; back nine somewhat more challenging, starting with two greens close to the surf and especially difficult when it's windy. A very enjoyable experience in almost any conditions.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

great course!

This was my first time playing at sandpiper. My experience was excellent. The staff is friendly and
helpful and the course was great. The front 9 is pretty wide-open and the back 9 has great views.
I would recommend this course to anyone! If you are southern california resident, you save $60 dollars on green fees if you book thru golf now.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 8
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Sandpiper

My wife and I had a great time! The staff were extremely friendly and accomodating!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 41
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 1000 Contributor
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Pebble Beach South

A great course with several holes right on the ocean cliffs that rival the views and challenge of Pebble Beach, but for 1/4 the price. A definite must play in the Santa Barbara area.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

The Pipe! Great Course!

Played the Pipe at 6:50am for $79 through golf now. Played as a single and they threw in the cart. Played 18 holes in 2 1/2 hours.

Played from the tips. It's a great course from any tee, and a great challenge from the Championship tees. Played this course growing up and it was great to get back out there and see it still looks great 20 years later.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Spectacular Views

Booking through Golfnow.com, I was the first tee time of the day. Santa Barbara was drenched with rain the weekend before, therefore the Greenskeeper determined that play should be cartpath only and no warmup on the range (really????). I understand cartpath only, but no warmup? I usually walk courses, and was expecting to use a course owned pull cart/ricshaw. Sandpiper doesnt offer either (really???) This offer did include a power cart which was OK. The course is walkable but there is a severe elevation dropoff to 11 green and 12 tee. You must play Sandpiper once to enjoy the views. Very difficult to compare to Bandon Dunes even though some holes are set up very similar..

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap Don't know
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once every three months
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Poor weather
Used cart

Hard to get around

I played there long ago, so this was like the first time getting around. For several holes we had real difficulty finding the next tee. The signage frankly is not very good. We found that a real drawback especially yesterday with heavy fog that never burned off. Surely this can be remedied.
Staff and food great.

Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Walked

Great views - well worth it

Given the recent drought, the course was in very good condition. One of the best coastal courses we have played with some fantastic views and some beautifully designed holes. Greens were great but keep ball below the hole. Enough room to to go for it with your driver.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 17
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Poor Man's Pebble Beach

As always Sandpiper gives you all you can handle. Great ocean holes, fast greens, good conditions. The course I always play when in area. Worth the drive from LA anytime!!!!!

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
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