San Diego, California is home of the world famous Torrey Pines Golf Course. If you are from one of the northern states in the U.S.A. or from the foothills of Alberta, Canada where the land can be buffeted by forty-miles per hour blizzard or a 40-miles per hour warm, Chinook winds, you will think you landed in heaven if you visit the San Diego area of California. It’s the ideal location for a dream golf vacation at one of the world’s most scenic and challenging golf courses.
To the west, there is the warm, blue Pacific Ocean where the migrating gray whales spout their arrival as they wend their way up towards Alaska. To the east, you can drive for miles without running out of land, which is not the case if you travel in Hawaii. In Hawaii, of course, you can tour most of the islands in half a day. Of course, this has its own charm, but this is another great story.
If travelling by car, one would take Highway 5 and drive to just north of the city of San Diego and the city of La Jolla and exit west on Genesee Avenue. Then take the Torrey Pines North road to the golf course.
The Torrey Pines Golf Course: Scenic And Challenging
The Torrey Pines Golf Course is one of the premier municipal (i.e. public) golf courses in the United States. Except for the month of January when the course is being prepared for the annual PGA (Professional Golfers Association) golf tournament, the course is open to the public. This year, 2011, the tournament is sponsored by Farmers Insurance Company and boasts all the big names of the North American PGA tour. Booking tee-times is a bit of a challenge as the residents of San Diego get first crack at it during the first seven days. The rest of the public must make a reservation after eight days up to eighty/ninety days to get an advance tee time.
Surrounded by the locally unique Torrey pines, there are two golf courses; the North Course and the South Course. The TorreyPines South Course is a bit tougher but the North has its own charm. Both courses will provide you with a challenging 18 holes. Running along the cliff, one can watch the whales and dolphins cavorting in the Pacific Ocean, or the hang gliders drifting along on the breeze. On a warm summer day, of course, one can catch the sun worshippers lolling around on the sandy beach.
Golf, of course, is the primary purpose of the visit. There was a time when the public was able to go to the clubhouse at six in the morning, line up to book your time, and then had enough time to have a leisurely breakfast at the nearby café. Then you would saunter back after about two hours and tee it up on the first hole. The course green fees in those days were $14.95 per round. Now the cost is around $160.00, including the advance booking fees. Currently, if you had an advance booking, you may want to warm up at the huge practice facility. There are numerous tee boxes, several sand traps and several putting greens to hone your game before your tee time. Practice balls are available at the golf shop kiosk. The Torrey Pines Golf Course is also home to an excellent golf school where you can tune up your game whether your a tourist or a San Diego resident.
The Lodge At Torrey Pines Is A World Class Golf Resort
Running adjacent to the 18th fairway is The Lodge at Torrey Pines which is a rare AAA 5 diamond rated golf resort. The Torrey Pines Lodge houses 170 guest rooms, 8 luxurious suites and over 13,000 square feet of banquet space and conference rooms. The Torrey Pines Spa features signature spa treatments themed around the natural coastal beauty of the surrounding landscape. Although we didn’t spend a lot of time lounging at the spa, they do have a great menu of restorative treatments that can provide you with quality relaxation and rejuvenation after your round of golf.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines also houses a world class restaurant that will cater to your every possible need to satisfy your hard-earned appetite. And the spacious banquet rooms at The Lodge host numerous conventions and even special events such as weddings.
Golf at Torrey Pines is a memorable experience as you try to visualize the sand shot that John Daley made on the eighteenth hole to win that championship. Or the putt that Tiger Woods made, also on the eighteen hole, to tie Rocco Mediate for the tournament; and then go on to win the playoff round for the US Open on his gimpy knee. There are parts of the golf course that is quite hilly, but by and large, the course is relatively flat. It will feel like you are on top of the world and looking all around to see the ocean down below or the majestic Torrey pines surrounding the golf courses.
The Torrey Pines Golf Course should be on almost every avid golfer’s destination. We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent there and would not hesitate to pay a return visit some day.
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