The Crossings at Carlsbad generated a buzz even before it opened four years ago and continues to be one of the more unique golf experiences in San Diego County.
The Crossings is among just a handful of local coastal courses and boasts views of the Pacific Ocean from several vantage points. In fact, at certain times of the year golfers can get a glimpse of the ocean to the west and snow-capped mountains to the east.
Lakes, waterfalls, rolling hills and natural habitat are some of the appealing features on the front nine. Golfers are greeted by a breathtaking view as they make the turn, gazing down into a valley that encompasses virtually the entire back nine. The habitat was preserved in its pristine state, the natural lands all but undisturbed.
The Crossings is just west of the McCllelan-Palomar Airport and located near the headquarters of some of the biggest manufacturers in golf, like Callaway and TaylorMade.
Anticipation for the course’s opening grew in the nearly two decades it took for the municipal track to be built. Concerns for the environment were responsible for the delay and necessitated the course be rerouted nearly a dozen times before it was approved. The five bridges - or crossings - over wetlands and/or other environmental areas were the inspiration for the name.
The par-72 course stretches 6,467 yards from the back tees, although there are five sets of tees boxes to accommodate golfers of all skill levels.
“I’m happy with the outcome considering the issues we dealt with,” course designer Greg Nash told the San Diego Union-Tribune shortly before the course opened in August of 2007. “I think it’s going to be a fun place to play and has a lot to offer.”
Golf Magazine agreed, listing The Crossings among its “Top 10 New Courses You Can Play” in 2007.
The course’s signature hole is the 556-yard, par-5 seventh. Golfers hit from an extended tee positioned on a rock wall ledge. Reaching in regulation is a risky proposition with the green guarded to the right by a lake, which is fed by an impressive, cascading waterfall. Work remains to be done even after reaching the vast, multi-tiered green, which invites three-putts.
There is a flow to the front nine that suggests it was not impacted by environmental concerns as much as the back nine, which required plenty of creativity on the part of Nash.
The premium is on accuracy after you make the turn. That’s because of the narrow fairway at the par-4 10th hole; bunkers to the right and habitat to the left on the par-4 13th; and wetlands running through the middle of the par-5 15th. The round concludes with a little bit of everything thrown at the golfer on the 381-yard, par-4 18th hole. There’s a lake to the left and brush to the right off the tee box. A eucalyptus grove and bunkers protect the left-side approach and there’s little margin for error if a shot goes wide right. Even the green presents challenges, with few flat spots and seemingly no easy putts.
Afterwards, one of the nicest clubhouses in the county awaits to enjoy lunch or dinner and recount the experience.