Here’s how to book a couples’ golf weekend in Newport Beach for $3K

August 8, 2019
Newport Beach aerial

As a California native, Newport Beach in Southern California’s Orange County has always been one of my favorite vacation destinations. The beaches are pristine and beautiful, miles of oceanfront boardwalk offer a perfect opportunity for morning and evening walking or biking, and of course, there’s great golf in abundance.

If you’re looking to take a romantic golf getaway with your significant other this fall, I can’t think of a better destination than sunny Newport Beach, where temperatures can stay in the 70s and 80s all the way through October. Check out this budget breakdown for a dreamy three-night stay for two in mid-to-late September for around $3K.


You have a couple of options when it comes to airfare. The closest airport to Newport beach is Santa Ana (SNA), which is about 20 minutes away, barring traffic. From Chicago and the east coast, you can save as much as $150 per ticket by flying into LAX instead, which is just over 40 miles north of Newport, but traffic can be a bear, depending on your arrival and departure time, so book accordingly! Also, flying into SNA generally requires a connection. So it just comes down to what’s more important to you.

From Chicago, nonstop flights range from $185 (LAX) to $237 (SNA) while JFK flights will set you back $237 (nonstop to LAX) or $388 (SNA, with a stop). All prices via Kayak.

Total average airfare spend: $261.75 per person, for a total spend of $523.50


A rental car is an economical choice for this trip, with similar prices on cars from both LAX and SNA. Expedia offers a midsize sedan for only $114, which seems like a steal. With only two people traveling, you don’t need anything much bigger to travel in comfort.

Total spend: $523.50 + $114 = $637.50

A view of the beautiful Balboa Bay Resort.
A view of the beautiful Balboa Bay Resort.

HOTEL: ~$1,260

The bulk of your budget will be spent on the hotel — and hey, this is supposed to be a romantic golf getaway, right? You don’t want to scrimp on your digs for the weekend.

The Balboa Bay Resort is a great choice, with beautiful views of Newport Harbor. It’s not cheap at $335/night, plus a $40 resort fee each day (quoted price via Expedia), but you won’t be disappointed by the fantastic ambiance.

Total spend: $637.50 + $1,260 = $1,897.50

<p/>Pelican Hill is a treat, no matter which course you play.

Pelican Hill is a treat, no matter which course you play.


The crown jewel of public golf in Newport is stunning Pelican Hill, currently ranked on GOLF’s most recent Top 100 Courses You Can Play. There are two gorgeous courses to choose from, the North and South, but green fees aren’t cheap: $295/player. This is special though, right? So you gotta do it!

Since this is a weekend getaway with your significant other, you’ll want to fill your time with some sightseeing and other activities in addition to golf (a Duffy boat ride around the bay, bike rentals for rides on the boardwalk, paddleboarding, sunbathing, etc.). So my second-round recommendation is a gem I discovered only a few years ago: Ben Brown’s 9-hole golf course, which is a part of the Ranch at Laguna Beach, a super-quaint resort located in the canyon right across the street from Laguna Beach, a short drive from Newport.

The atmosphere at Ben Brown’s is relaxed, beachy and charming. If you play in the evening, live music will often greet you as you stroll up to the final green. The best part? A nine-hole round is quick, and only costs $48 per player, so you can do whatever you want with the rest of your time.

Total spend: $1,897.50 + $686 = $2,583.50

DINING: $575

The bulk of your dining dollars will likely be spent on three nice dinners, one golf course lunch at Pelican, and another casual lunch before or after your round at Ben Brown’s. Here are some restaurant recommendations and a spend breakdown for two:

Arrival dinner at Balboa Bay Resort’s A&0 Kitchen and Bar: $150
Lunch at Pelican Hill’s Pelican Grill: $75
Dinner at Newport Landing: $125
Lunch at Bear Flag Fish Co.: $50
Dinner at the Cannery: $175

Total dining spend: $575

Total weekend getaway spend: $2,583.50 + $575 = $3,158.50

And there you have it! Ready to book? Happy travels!

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