Half Moon Bay Ocean Golf Course Review
Half Moon Bay, CA
72.9 rating; 131 slope
Review by GolfTop18
Rating: 4 out of 5
Year Last Reviewed: 2012
More Info on Rating Criteria
Half Moon Bay Ocean Golf Course Overview: The better of the two golf courses at Half Moon Bay does a good job of replicating the links golf feel on a golf course that really is not truly a links course. Also, although the golf course has a lot of back and forth holes in it's design and is fairly wide open, clever use of shared fairway bunkers and heather-strewn mounds makes the golfer feel like each golf hole is unique, even if visually, one can see other golfers everywhere. The ocean views are outstanding and the variety of golf holes is great, culminating in a tough finishing stretch along the cliffs. The most memorable golf holes are reviewed below:
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 2: This outstanding downhill, par four features a tight drive and is one of the better short par fours around. The tee shot must clear the hazard, but the widest part of the fairway is just over the hazard, encouraging a long iron or fairway wood off the tee, with a mishit short being punished. The more aggressive play can leave a wedge but only if it avoids the heavy mounds and rough on either side of the fairway.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 5: The first long par four of the day features shared bunkers with the fourth hole, which should be avoided, and can be cleared only with a mammoth drive. Going left will flirt with the mounds and presents a more difficult angle to the green.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 7: The only pond on the golf course is prominently displayed on this par three as any shot short or left will find it. Precision is required to also avoid the hillside and bunker to the right.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 12: The twelfth is a good example of what makes the Ocean course fun for the average golfer. First, it offers great views of the ocean and surrounding course. Second, it requires a good shot to hit the green. Third, there is essentially one area to avoid (the bunker) but the rest of the hole is fairly forgiving and will give the player who can chip or putt a decent shot at par.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 13: Similar to the 5th hole, but more dramatic due to the elevation and views, this long par four shares bunkers to the right of the fairway with the 6th hole. The approach to the green, however, is very difficult as there are two deep bunkers to the left and one to the right. Then a tier in the green makes putting a challenge.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 14: On a course with five relatively simple par 5s, this one provides the best scoring opportunity and is also quite unique for the course, It is a sweeping, uphill dogleg in the middle of the preperty and feels like it was seemlessly built into the natural landscape. The best drive will hug the fairway bunkers and then the approach must only avoid the deep fronting bunker on the left half of the green.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 15: One of two holes that hug the perimeter fence on the south side of the property, this drive is relatively tight for the ocean course. Anything left is obviously dead, but going right on either shot on this par four into the wind will likely leave a side hill lie out of heavy heather. The green is angled and has a steep hill to its right that will make and up and down par attempt very difficult.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 16: This outstanding downhill par four is close to the cliffs of the ocean but is deceivingly wide and only the worst shot would fine trouble left. The bunkers and heather to the right present a more real group of hazards. However, the focus is on the approach that must clear the fronting creek / hazard, which is the only one on the course. The green is also wide, but shallow, making distance control key. The views of the surrounding Half Moon Bay area are fantastic.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 17: The final par three of the day is short and the green is of ample size, but that won't stop the golfer from thinking out loud about the ocean cliffs just feet from the left side of the green. There are also cliffs and heavy grasses short and an unforgiving bunker to the right on this pretty hole.
Half Moon Bay Ocean Course Hole 18: Once the golfer crests the hill after the drive, the remainder of the golf hole is fairly flat and the green is large, but well guarded, on this medium length par five. The real key is to master the fear on the drive with cliffs and junk to the left and, even worse, a generally large group of walkers who are in danger if the shot is pulled. There is plenty of room right, however, for a bailout.