4600 Highway 154
Santa Barbara, California 93105
Marcos Golf Course is considered by many to be the premier
golf experience in Southern California. Set in the mountains
12 miles outside of downtown Santa Barbara, Rancho San Marcos
spectacularly captures the natural beauty and distinctiveness
of its surroundings.
Built on the
site of the historic Rancho San Marcos, circa 1804, this
Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed gem gracefully saddles the
natural topography meandering amidst a plethora of ancient
oaks, and preserved traces of 19th century adobe structures
and the rugged San Marcos Stagecoach trail. From the course,
to the food, to the country club service you are sure to
remember your visit to Rancho San Marcos Golf Course.
All fees above include cart fee.
Resident: Mon-Thu and Sun
after 11am. Must have valid Drivers License
April through October after 2:00pm. November through March
Tee Times may be
reserved 7 days in advance
8 to 60 days in advance are available with a $10 per player
non-refundable reservation fee. All reservations will need to
be secured with an authorized credit card. Cancellations will
be taken up to 48 hours in advance of the tee time.
Dress Code: Soft Spikes Required.
Men: Collared Shirt with sleeves. Shorts,
mid thigh in length. No Denim.
Ladies: Collared shirt with or without
sleeves as long as shoulder is covered.
Shirts without collar must have sleeves. Shorts and skirts mid
thigh in length. No Denim
Policies subject to change without notice.)
Rancho San Marcos
provides the following services to insure a professionally
||Tournaments and Group Events
run, well-organizaed event with an emphasis on cusomer service.
- Driving Range use
prior to play
- Customized cart tags
with corporate logo by request
- Rancho SanMarcos logo
tees, ball marks, divot repair tools, personalized bag
tag and Custom Scorecards
- Professional Scoring
- Custom Rules Sheets
for special formats
- Outside Service bag
handling and club cleaning
- Staged golf carts for
easy loading and dispersing
proximitymarkers for closest to pin and long drive
- Registration Table
- Tee Sign Distribution
- Beverage Cart Service
(additional fees may apply)
- Rental Clubs ($50 per
- Custom Outing Packages
- Custom sponsor hole
- PGA Golf Instruction/
- Endless Catering
- Golf Bag
||The History of Rancho San Marcos
Rancho San Marcos was
established by the Santa Barbara Mission as an outpost. Named
for Fray Marcos Amestoy of the Santa Barbara Mission, the
compound included an asistencia comprising a chapel and living
quarters, a granary, wine cellar, and dwellings for the
Chumash Indians. In addition there was a wine press, pottery
kiln, threshing corral, and livestock pens.
Presided over by one or two padres, the Chumash raised grain,
tended the vineyards, and the herds of sheep, cattle, and
horses. Products for the trade to Spain included hides and
tallow, and the mission padres taught the Chumash European
methods of agriculture and animal husbandry. The land was
rugged, undeveloped and wild. Grizzly and brown bears,
mountain lions, and bobcats devastated livestock and
threatened the rancheros.
In 1822 Mexico declared its independence from Spain and began
to secularize the missions and sell off their lands. The flag
changed from Spain to Mexico and when Pio Pico became Governor
of California in 1846 he actively sold off Land Grants to
finance the Mexican-American War of 1846. Accordingly, on June
8, 1846, Rancho San Marcos, comprising 35,573 acres, was sold
to Nicholas and Richard Den for $750 in gold. The original
boundaries were described by a diseno survey made by two
The Den brothers emigrated from Ireland to Santa Barbara in
the 1830’s. Nicholas Den owned the Rancho Dos Pueblos on the
coast as well, and Richard was a doctor who practiced in Los
Angeles. The Den brothers maintained the vineyard and 300 head
of cattle, which were included in the purchase. Considerable
work was done to clear and cultivate the land, and in
particular to “exterminate the bears and other wild beasts”.
Over time the brothers fought over the property, and Richard
sued Nicholas for ownership. The courts dismissed the action.
Nicholas Den died in 1862, and Richard lost most of his cattle
in the drought years from 1862-1864. Rancho improvements fell
into disrepair and the land passed out of the Den family.
William Pierce, owner of the adjoining Tequepis Ranch, bought
San Marcos in 1868 from the Den brother’s heirs and
consolidated the ranches into a single cattle operation. The
early ranch buildings were established in the area of the golf
course now used for maintenance. Pierce later sold San Marcos
to F.W. Mathiessen.
During this era a stagecoach route from Santa Ynez to Santa
Barbara was established through the Rancho San Marcos lands.
Built by Chinese workmen in 1868 and funded as a toll road by
Santa Barbara businessmen, the “Santa Ynez Turnpike Road” was
in operation from 1869 to 1901. The inland route was 25 miles
shorter than the coastal route for daily passengers and mail.
The stagecoaches, operated by the Flint & Bixby Company of Los
Angeles, required six-horse teams to make the journey over the
steep pass. The road became a major link in the route
connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles.
In 1938 Dwight Murphy, a noted breeder of Palomino horses,
acquired 7,000 acres of Rancho San Marcos from F.W. Mathiessen,
whose family owned the Big Ben Clock Company. Murphy’s
golden-colored horses with white manes and tails were shown in
the Rose Bowl Parades in Pasadena, and Fiesta Parades in Santa
Barbara. Palominos from Rancho San Marcos were ridden by early
television actors, among them, Leo Carrillo. The stable stalls
still display the names of some of Mr. Murphy’s prize horses.
Murphy also bred registered Hereford cattle and through his
breeding program he introduced new high quality bloodlines to
Santa Barbara County’s existing commercial herds. The Rancho
San Marcos dairy barn was designed with exhibition stalls and
an observation room where guests could view the cattle and
In 1938 when Dwight Murphy bought the Rancho San Marcos
property he acquired the legal title to the name Rancho San
Marcos. In 1948 he sold the majority of his ranch lands to
Lewis Welch, but retained approximately 700 acres, which is
the last piece of property to, in turn retain the name of the
original 1846 Mexican land grant.
In 1955 Dwight Murphy retired from his breeding program and
sold Rancho San Marcos to Robert S. Odell, whose Allied
Properties company owned the Santa Barbara Biltmore and the
Clift Hotel in San Francisco. The Odell family bred and grazed
cattle, and farmed alfalfa, barley and oat hay on the ranch
for over 40 years, until the Rancho San Marcos Golf Course was
Archeological evidence discovered at Rancho San Marcos
indicates that Prehistoric hunters and gathers occupied this
region for more then 9,000 years. The Chumash Indians spoke
with awe and reverence of their ancestors whom they called
“The Ancient Ones”. One of North America’s most complex
hunting and gathering societies, the Chumash Indians had a
polytheistic religion with a complex mythology, an extensive
trade network with a sophisticated currency of shell bead
money, and an elite hierarchy of chiefs (wots) and religious
leaders (‘antap). In 1542, when the Spanish explorer Juan
Rodriquez Cabrillo and his men anchored off the shores of
Santa Barbara, they met and were greeted by the Chumash.
Descendants of this ancient tribe continue to live throughout
Santa Barbara County and were active participants in Rancho
San Marcos archaeological investigations.
Chumash rock art, known worldwide for its sophistication,
vivid colors, and highly imaginative animal and human figures,
is attributed to the ceremonial activities of
shamans-healer-priests believed to derive supernatural powers
from guardian spirits such as the swordfish and grizzly bear.
Rock art sites in Santa Barbara County provide important
evidence of traditional Chumash ceremonial activities and