The La Costa Resort and Spa is another excellent destination for the golf enthusiast who is looking to spend some time in southern California. The resort is just a short drive north of the city of San Diego, past La Jolla, the home of the Torrey Pines Golf Course, and just east of the town of Carlsbad. From I-5 just south of Carlsbad, turn east on La Costa Avenue, north on El Camino Real (Hwy S11), turn right on Alga Road, second right onto Almaden Lane and then first right onto Greenview Drive, turn right to the resort.
The La Costa Resort and Spa is now a family oriented resort as the amenities include a tennis court, pools and water slides (ideal for children), a fitness center and of course, the Spa. The resort, built along a Spanish-Mission architecture, is perched atop the highest point of the surrounding lands, overlooking the two golf courses.
The two courses are designated as the north and south courses. We understand that, well after we were there, the courses underwent a one hundred and forty million dollar renovation in 2006. The renovations will include all aspects of the course, including fairways, greens, sand traps, irrigation and grasses. They likely found this necessary after losing the PGA tour, due primarily to the very wet, unplayable conditions that the tour endured in early spring.
The south course will have four of the holes renovated. This course plays to sixty-five hundred yards from the blue tee and just under sixty-two yards from the white tee that will suit most of the average golfer. Most of the renovations will have been done to the north course and will affect every hole on this course. Some of the renovations will include contouring of all fairways, replacement of all greens, renovation of all bunkers, new grasses on both the greens and fairways. The course plays to seventy-one hundred yards from the Gold tee (pros) and six thousand two hundred and seventy yards from the whites. This north course should be the more recognizable of the two for those who watched the first tournament of the year, the Tournament of Champions, on TV. The last four holes have been dubbed the longest mile on the tour during the tenure of this tournament. Along the seventeenth fairway, as you glance to the right, you will recognize the flowered sign that spells out “La Costa” on the bank of the island.
You will find the golfing extremely enjoyable as you have a choice of either renting an electric cart or hiring a caddy. We chose a caddy and surprisingly he hoisted both bags on his shoulders and walked along with us around the course. It was interesting to note, that within three or four holes, he was able to club us perfectly. He advised us what club to use and on the greens, point out the breaks or other idiosyncrasies of the greens. Just west of the eighteenth green, there is a large practice facility. My very first lesson from a pro happened here when I took a lesson from Tommy Jacobs who used to be on the PGA tour. The half-hour lesson in those days was only twenty dollars!
On non-golfing days, you can still have plenty of activities, especially if you are traveling with a family. The water slides are a must. There is tennis, video rooms and of course, dining facilities both indoors and outside. There is a breakfast buffet every morning to get you off on the right foot. Should you like a change of scenery from just dining here, there are restaurants and fast food places at nearby Carlsbad. You can also dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean while there. In addition, assuming you have a vehicle, you have a choice of visiting nearby Legoland, the San Diego Sea World or the Wild Animal Park, all within easy reach of the I-5 highway.
For a full golf immersion experience or a family oriented vacation covering sight seeing, swimming, water sliding and/or tennis, along with the golf, the La Costa Resort and Spa is a must destination during your trip through southern California.
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