Golf Course Overview: San Diego

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – If you’ve traveled a lot, you’ve probably experienced this:

You are in an unfamiliar city, trying to get on the highway outside the city. When you suddenly make a random turn and a ramp appears, your GPS seems to be taking you directly to the neighborhood.

Golf has been that way for decades. Everyone knows the game exists, but even for beginners, streaming has been deceptively difficult. In many places, without a detailed set of instructions or an experienced guide, you can get lost and frustrated as you watch drivers whiz by over the hills.

Luckily for golfers in sunny San Diego, there are golfing ramps at all levels of importance and value, from luxury enclaves for visitors like you to cheap and fun short courses.

The luxury of golf in San Diego

A Mediterranean clubhouse, waterfalls and large bunkers add a sense of luxury to the Grand Golf Club near San Diego.

Let’s start with the highest paid lines. I recently visited the area for the first time and stayed for a few days Fairmont Grand Del Mar, one of the most exciting addresses in the area for those with golf clubs. The resort, which opened in 2007 at the height of its pre-recession fortunes, is reminiscent of a town of old Italian villas nestled at the quiet bottom of a canyon, with its Addison Mizner-inspired Mediterranean-American architecture—not to mention its three Michelin stars. – star restaurant, Addison – gives a sense of grandeur. From the buildings to the courteous service, if you stay here, you will feel that it will make you feel better. someone.

Maybe someone who likes golf. Or until you leave. Unlike many pros who try to avoid beginner instruction, Sean Cox, director of golf courses, A large golf club, relies on it. With a comfortable yet complete practice and training facility, he and his staff teach hundreds of lessons each year to novice and casual players.

The resort itself goes up, down and around the resort area. Originally conceived as a semi-private course, Tom Fazio built it ten years before the resort opened, turning it into a private club that opened its tee times to overnight guests.

Fazio has done a great job at The Grand to get 18 fun, playable holes in challenging terrain. Periodic switchbacks and significant elevation changes between many holes make it unhikeable for most, but the holes themselves are attractive and scenic. With so many putting surfaces on amphitheater-style complexes, it’s sometimes more playable than canyon scrub off a wild fairway. Most of the greens have slopes that can direct the ball into wide holes, although the long-par-3/long-par-4 finish is so tough that if you can par both holes, your forehand (required for resort players) is allowed. To present you with a special edition club logo cap to commemorate your achievement. Unlike many private/resort courses where guests feel like second-class citizens, the Grand Membership is friendly and happy to mingle with visitors whose green fees ($300) help cover their fees. There’s even a casual nine-hole game on Monday afternoons that guests in the know can join.

The 15th is a long, dramatic downhill par 3 at Maderas Golf Club.

Maderas Golf Club About 25 minutes northeast of the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, it’s a reliable companion for visiting golfers. The 2000 Robert Muir Graves/Johnny Miller designed premier golf course is surrounded by canyons below the town of Poway. Perfectly conditioned, with impressive elevation changes and a fun array of greens with plenty of pick-up opportunities, the course takes and gives in equal measure, as long as you don’t overcommit yourself to tee box selection. Troon-run Maderas is known for its friendly staff, whose efforts go to great lengths to make it a popular gaming destination. It has been honored three times by GolfPass as one of “America’s Friendliest Golf Courses.” annual Golfers’ Choice ranking.

This facility is top notch!! I drove here from AZ to play this course. The hospitality I received from the porters, pro shop, starters and restaurant servers was incredible. For starters, I would like to know the gentleman’s name, but WOW! He was a complete professional.

GolfPass Review – November 2022

Coming soon: Gil Hans’ overhaul of the Champions Course at La Costa

Architects Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and their team of Cavemen golf course designers and builders recently broke ground on Dick Wilson’s comprehensive renovation. Course of Champions according to Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, just north of San Diego in Carlsbad. With the resort slated to host multiple NCAA championships beginning in May 2024, the directive was to honor the course’s medieval roots and modernize it for the power and precision of the era’s best golfers. Maximizing risk-reward opportunities is at the heart of a renovation that should bring the Champions Course back into the limelight of SoCal golf.

Although I have time to stop for a few minutes and take in the breathtaking scenery, nothing is said about San Diego golf. Torrey Pines, one of America’s super-munis. Two US Opens and dozens of PGA Tour events have earned it bucket list status for all golfers who enjoy visiting where the pros shop. Read more about it here.

Great value at San Diego’s hidden golf gems and short courses

San Vicente’s winter color palette reflects the direction of playing hard and fast.

San Diego is home to one of the most valuable golf courses I have ever played. Nestled in the canyons and hills about 40 miles northeast of the city is the community of Ramona. San Vicente Golf Resort. Built in 1971, the course celebrated its first half century by bringing in architect Andy Staples to build on Ted Robinson’s original design.

Staples has completely reimagined the bunkering and green complexes of the semi-private course using a solid, driveable route as a foundation. The result is as much fun and green as a golfer can have for less than $70, and a testament to how well an imaginative set of strategic bunkering can complement an existing course with good bones.

Each green has a unique set of twists and turns, but the par-3 8 stands out as the perfect example of Staples’ craftsmanship. A long par 3 that plays slightly uphill to a generous saddle-shaped putting surface. But on closer inspection, it’s split down the middle by a ridge that separates the upper right half from the lower left. Being in the wrong section can result in a shot that at first seems impossible to approach until the golfer realizes that Staples has created green edges that help guide the ball into the cup. Successfully completing one of these challenging tasks will stick in the golfer’s memory and inspire a love unmatched by pedestrian design. And it proves once again that great architecture is no better than ordinary architecture, and in fact can often be cheaper.

I was first in San Vicente before dawn and had the pleasure of joining a local named Joe during the archetypal golfing pandemic. Despite taking up the game in his mid-40s, he played the sport and talked about his early exploits with the kind of enthusiasm you usually hear from kids playing golf. As the round progressed and my appreciation of the course grew, I couldn’t help but note a few overt and subtle features of the course that impressed me. The crash course reached the par-4 16thth, when we both marveled at how Staples and his team sculpted the mounds behind the green to mimic the mountain backdrop. Witnessing, however small, Joe’s awakening to the joys of a fun golf game was one of the highlights of my year on the course.

By referencing the distant mountains behind the mound behind San Vicente’s 16th green, architect Andy Staples connects two distant elements of the landscape. This is an example of the art of golf course design.

Popular locals and seasoned visitors praise San Diego for its wide selection of affordable, casual golf. It’s the king of humble, quirky outposts Goat Hill Park, located in the surf village of Oceanside, about 30 minutes north of the city. The goat’s close neighbor is less well known, Emerald Isle Golf Course. It didn’t hit my radar until I flew to San Diego, where he put me next to music producer, guitarist for the emo band The Used, and fellow golfer Joey Bradford.

From local and regional gigs in Southern California to Australia, Bradford and his bandmates play golf every chance they get on the road. When I met him, he was coming back from a concert in Miami. We spent half the flight comparing notes on golf, and as part of our San Diego golf trip, Bradford singled out the Emerald Isle as one of the places that embodies the SoCal spirit of the game.

In eight years, owners Holly and John Kennedy have completely turned the fortunes of the Emerald Isle Golf Course in Oceanside, California.

So I caught a loop around the Emerald Isle later in the evening and immediately understood what he meant. Emerald Isle is using every square inch of its L-shaped footprint to entertain visitors, from its skate shop pro-shop vibe to its upcoming winter festival in the course parking lot this weekend. Just as John Ashworth overhauled Cote Hill Park, owner Holly Kennedy and her husband, John, have spent the past eight years transforming the Emerald Isle from an old joke into a gem for local golfers like Joey Bradford and scoring even more.

I would have been content to chase the sunset at Emerald Isle, my last golf experience in San Diego, and go home, but I met up with my friend Neil for a quick but enlightening loop at another great short course in the same area: The Loma Club.

A nine-hole par-3 course from the airport, Loma Club is hard to beat for a 60-minute golf experience. Neal and I were the first to go out at dawn. The course won’t win awards for architecture or maintenance, but it’s one of the most scenic single holes I’ve ever seen. We have reached the gear of the 5th shootingth in a perfect moment, the yellow morning sun lit up the entire San Diego skyline. The course and its serviced bar, mini-golf and outdoor games area are busy well into the evening, but it’s the mornings that make Club Loma great.

It’s an amazing golf experience that makes San Diego one of the best cities to bring your clubs to.

San Diego is ranked #11 on GolfPass Top 100 Golf Courses in the World.