TORREY PINES Municipal Golf Course (858-452-3226) NORTH
San Diego Golf Course Review
Torrey Pines in La Jolla - perhaps the most famous municipal golf facility in the United States, features two 18-hole championship courses that annually play host to San Diego's professional tour event (initially the Andy Williams San Diego Open in 1968 - now the Buick Invitational). This event takes place each January, with PGA Tour pros alternating between the North and South Courses on Thursday and Friday, while those making the 36-hole cut finish up on the South Course over the weekend. The list of former champions includes Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
The South Course plays host to the 2008 US OPEN. There are some very specific changes taking place throughout the year to facilitate US Open specifications, including the lengthening of various holes, addition of strategic bunkering, movement of trees and narrowing of landing zones. The course will play to over 7600 yards with PoaAnna greens and 100% Kikuyu grass on the fairways and rough. Non-residents and visitors may find it easier to book a round at Torrey Pines (including the premier South Course) than they have in the past, as a new policy has opened up more tee times to the general public.
Bounded by mountains to the north and the beautiful Pacific Ocean to the west, the seaside courses often swept by fog, rain and chilling winds, providing challenges that make for one of the most thrilling final day finishes on Tour. The Century Club - an organization of civic and business leaders, annually donates time and resources that help to ensure the success of the PGA Tour Event, and also aid in charitable causes such as youth oriented programs (along with Buick).
On property is a full service practice facility that includes a driving range, short game area with sand bunker plus two large putting greens. U S Sports Camps, with PGA quality instruction, presents the Nike Golf Schools at Torrey Pines through 2007. The clubhouse features a humongous pro shop - stocked with equipment, accessories and especially with US Open logo attire. There is an adjacent restaurant/lounge with spacious outdoor patio, and the Lodge at Torrey Pines features upscale accommodations and amenities - click here to visit the website for the Lodge.
The photos in this review are of the North Course, which features 4 sets of tee boxes playing to distances and slopes measuring 6915 yards/130 slope, 6601 yards/128 slope, 6326 yards/125 slope for men and 136 for women, and 6122 yards with a slope of 123 for men and 133 for ladies hitting from the forward tees. On course yardage markers are posted at 100, 150 and 200 yards and some sprinkler heads are measured to the center of the green. Color coded flags indicate the front, middle or back hole locations.
The putting surfaces on the North Course are small and often slope from back to front, with little undulation. As is true with its sister course, it is recommended to stay below the flag on approaches. Holes 5, 6 and 7 are quite spectacular, as they play alongside or face the ocean. The 6th is perhaps the most memorable - a par three from an elevated tee with the blue waters of the pacific highlighting the background. On the back side the terrain is quite level with the exception of the final two holes. This is a beautiful course, and a nice compliment to the tougher South Course. For more info, visit our page for Torrey Pines North, with direct link tot heir website by clicking here.