SYCUAN RESORT Willow Glen Golf Course (888-548-8648)
San Diego Golf Course Review
Sycuan Golf Club is the centerpiece of the Sycuan Resort - located less than 1/2 hour from downtown San Diego. Sycuan Resort was recognized as the Best Golf Courses in San Diego by SignOnSanDiego.com readers, as well as the Top Courses by the San Diego Business Journal. The resort offers a variety of accommodations from single rooms to suites, with sparkling pools and whirlpools, a spa and fitness room with sauna, 11 lighted tennis courts, banquet and meeting facilities for events ranging for between 15 and 300 people, an outdoor reception area that can accommodate 500 guests, the Showcase Theatre entertainment complex, multiple dining options plus a 300,000 square foot Casino (located 3 miles away with free shuttle). The property is spread over 425 lush acres, with panoramic mountain vistas. For more info on the resort, visit our page for Sycuan in our San Diego Golf Resort section by clicking here or for a direct link to their website, click here.
The golf facilities include 54 holes - two 18-hole championship courses and an executive course. There is a grass/mat driving range, short game area with sand bunker, plus multiple practice greens. Instruction from LPGA and PGA certified professionals is available through the Sycuan Golf Academy. A variety of programs are offered, highlighted by The School of Golf Exclusively for Women - for women taught by women! With a variety of lessons available, The golf Academy is recognized nationally as a GO TO place - for both beginners and for avid golfers wishing to improve their skills! Visitors can plan stay and play instructional packages with golf, lessons, dining and accommodations all included. Click here to visit the section of the Sycuan website offering information on these programs.
A well stocked pro shop, and the Café and Grille and adjacent Echo's Lounge are situated next door - offering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus plus all the standard drinks and bar food. The pro shop/check in is conveniently located within a short walking distance from any of the rooms, and several natural grass practice greens are interspersed throughout the property. On course golfers will find that the Kirby marking system is in place, with yardages posted every 25 yards from 200-100 (250 on par fives). Pin placement sheets are provided, to indicate the day's hole locations.
Both courses are designed along mildly rolling topography, with spectacular mountain vistas. In fact, the valley is completely surrounded by hills and mountains, which provide a wind shield that helps create calm playing conditions. The Willow Glen layout presents more dramatic elevation changes and also has more fairways that are tightly tree-lined. In contrast the Oak Glen course is less hilly with generally more room for error off the tee.
Proper placement off the tee is paramount to scoring well on the Willow Glen course. Many fairways are flanked by pine, oaks and cottonwoods that shape the landing zones and define the doglegs. It is unlikely that one will be able to finish a round here without having to chip out from under or behind a tree. The initial few holes are somewhat flat, creating a great contrast for the par four 4th, which plays from an extremely elevated tee, to a complex green protected by a lake. Holes 11 through 15 on the back side present perhaps the most beautiful stretch on the course. Throughout golfers will encounter significant fairways and greenside mounding, and medium sized, sloping bent grass putting surfaces that were in wonderful shape on our February 2007 visit.
In total there are 45 sand bunkers situated greenside or along the landing zones, and water comes into play on 6 holes. Four sets of tee areas play to distances and slopes measuring 6667 yards/130 slope, 6605 yards/129 slope, 6207 yard/125 slope and 5585 yards with a slope of 127 for women hitting from the forward tees.
The Willow Glen course was our favorite at Sycuan - we highly recommend a round here. This is an interesting and challenging design, but playable enough for the average resort golfer. For more info, visit our page for the course by clicking here, or for a direct link to their website - click here.