From La Jolla to Carlsbad, discover 10 top-notch San Diego golf courses (stunning scenery abounds) to up your game on the greens.
By Sarah Daoust, adapted from WHERE San Diego magazine.
1. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Amid 400 acres in the coastal foothills of Carlsbad, La Costa features two 18-hole courses (including the recently redone championship North Course), a driving range, equipment rental and Southern California’s only TOUR Golf Academy. The last four holes of the South Course are known as “the longest mile in golf.” 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad, 800.854.5000. omnihotels.com
2. Torrey Pines Golf Course
Home of the PGA’s esteemed annual tournament Farmers Insurance Open—which takes place in late January every year—Torrey Pines is one of the best-known properties in the U.S. Its two public courses have stunning ocean views from the bluffs above the Pacific, wide fairways and sloping greens. 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, 858.581.7171. torreypinesgolfcourse.com
3. Maderas Golf Club
This Johnny Miller- and Robert Muir Graves–designed course, named by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses,” is set in secluded canyons and ravines 20 minutes northeast of downtown—complemented by creeks, lakes, waterfalls and native wildflowers. This 18-hole course plays to 7,115 yards from the back tees—and with five sets of tees, golfers of all skill levels can enjoy. The renowned maintenance practices of Troon Golf assure championship conditions every single day. 17750 Old Coach Road, Poway, 858.451.8100. maderasgolf.com
4. Park Hyatt Aviara
The only Arnold Palmer signature golf course in San Diego, Aviara winds through rolling valleys with ocean views. Named by Golf Digest, Golf and Condé Nast Traveler magazines as one of the best in existence, the resort also welcomes non-guests to play. 7447 Batiquitos Drive, Carlsbad, 760.603.6900. aviara.park.hyatt.com
5. Barona Creek Golf Club
This par-72 course, spanning 7,088 yards and created by Gary Roger Baird Design, includes 100-plus bunkers and a series of lakes and ponds. It was also the host site for the 2007 Nationwide Tour Championships. Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, 1932 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, 619.387.7018. barona.com
6. Rancho Bernardo Inn
This 18-hole championship course features two natural lakes, a driving range with grass or mat tees and a championship yardage of 6,631. The resort has hosted PGA and LPGA events, and offers instruction and clinics by PGA pros. 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, Rancho Bernardo, 866.901.5547. ranchobernardoinn.com
7. Coronado Municipal Golf Course
You may have difficulty keeping your eye on the ball at this 18-hole championship course. From the back nine, the views of the Coronado Bridge and the San Diego skyline across the bay can be beautifully distracting. 2000 Visalia Row, Coronado, 619.435.3121. golfcoronado.com
8. The Grand Golf Club
Arguably the most scenically breathtaking course in the country, this exclusive golf course at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar—one of the top luxury resorts in the world—is a true treat to play. Open to resort guests, members and the property’s villa owners, its immaculate, Tom Fazio-designed fairways, rolling greens and dramatic elevations bordering Los Peñasquitos Canyon make for an unforgettable round. 5200 Grand Del Mar Court, Del Mar, 858.314.1930. fairmont.com
9. Sycuan Golf Resort
Set amid rugged mountains and natural rock outcroppings, Sycuan Resort is a 25-minute drive east from downtown San Diego. There are two, 18-hole championship courses and an 18-hole executive course spread over some 425 acres. Also onsite is a golf school designed exclusively for women of all ages and skill levels, taught by LPGA professionals. 3007 Dehesa Road, El Cajon, 800.457.5568. sycuanresort.com
10. Salt Creek Golf Club
Carved through the foothills of Mount Miguel, this 280-acre layout is a links design by John Cook. It features three lakes, 78 bunkers and plenty of lush wetlands. The scenic course is surrounded by a wildlife refuge—not housing developments. Five sets of tees suit all levels, measuring 6,889 yards from the back tees and 5,505 from the forward tees. 525 Hunte Parkway, Chula Vista, 619.656.2373. saltcreekgc.com
Park Hyatt Aviara photo by Brian Oar, courtesy of Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club. Maderas Golf Club photos by Aidan Bradley.