TORREY PINES Municipal Golf Course (858-452-3226) SOUTH
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. US Sports Camps, with PGA quality instruction, presents the 2007 Nike Golf Schools on property 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 South Course at Torrey Pines, which features rolling, tree-lined fairways and some beautiful oceanside holes. Five sets of tees play to distances and slopes measuring 7628 yards/143 slope, 7051 yards/139 slope, 6628 yards/136 slope,,6153 yards/133 slope for men and 139 for women, and 5467 yards with a slope of 129 for ladies hitting from the forward sets. Color coded flags indicate the pin placements on these small to medium sized, sloping putting surfaces which often have tiers or ridges. Land above the hole and three putts will be common here. In total there are 74 sand bunkers situated greenside or near the landings zones on the fairways, and water comes into play on two holes.
On course sprinkler heads are measured to the center of the green on the rolling fairways, and 100, 150 plus 200 yard posts are situated near the cart paths. There are some especially scenic and memorable holes including some with spectacular ocean backdrops and a couple with carries over deep ravines. The "new" set up with added length, kikuyu rough and relocated bunkers adds teeth to an already daunting challenge. For info on how to obtain a tee time, visit our page for the course, with direct link to their website by clicking here.