San Diego's year-round, nearly perfect climate - sunny skies and average daily temperatures around 70 degrees - creates an idyllic golf destination every day of the year. Take advantage of this golf-friendly weather on more than 70 outstanding courses, located in every conceivable setting from the ocean to the mountains to the desert.
Many of San Diego's courses are designed by a "Who's Who" of golf course architects like Tom Fazio, Rees Jones and Ted Robinson. Many courses are recognized for their spectacular views, hidden surprises, play options, golf resorts, and more.
Below is a list of 7 not-to-miss golf courses in San Diego that should be on every duffer's play list.
Located along San Diego Bay, the setting of the Coronado Municipal Golf Course makes it unique, but the spectacular view that players get of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, a San Diego landmark, on holes 2 and 3 is something special. Being perfectly flat, the course is ideal to walk and take in the evolving scenery. As players progress through their game, they can catch great views of passing Navy ships, downtown San Diego's skyline and the famous Hotel del Coronado.
Best at Night
Mission Bay Golf Course is the county's night-lit public golf course. (Note: Night golfing is on indefinite hiatus at the course while the lighting system is upgraded.) Even without this special feature, the Ted Robinson-designed, 18-hole course is a great play for players of all skill levels. Located minutes from scenic Mission Bay, the city-owned course stretches nearly 3,000 yards and offers more length and challenges than many of the other par-3 courses in San Diego. This is the course where Tiger Woods won a Junior World title in the 1980s.
Located 25 minutes from downtown in Rancho San Diego and surrounded by canyons, Steele Canyon Golf Club is a hidden gem. The 27-hole championship course, designed by Gary Player, respects for the natural beauty of the terrain and has been celebrated as one of California's exciting courses. From the dramatic elevation changes of the Canyon nine to the subtle nuances of the Vineyard nine and the total seclusion of the Ranch nine, any combination will make for a wonderful day of golf. It is a recipient of Golf Digest's prestigious "4½ Star Award" and "Best Places to Play".
Best Bragging Rights
Designed by Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves, Maderas Golf Club offers a unique combination of golf course strategy and design mastery, while taking the concept of upscale golf in San Diego to exhilarating levels. Maderas is quietly tucked away amidst the gentle rolling hills of Poway, located 30 minutes from downtown. Set in scenic canyons and ravines, the challenging course features six tees, three lakes, five waterfalls, and more than 40 acres of native wildflowers.
Best Play Options
Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan boasts 54 holes spanning two championship courses and a par-3 track. The 54 holes of Ted Robinson-designed golf are located in the serene Dehesa Valley, 20 minutes east of downtown. Willow Glen is a par-72 course with demanding, narrow fairways and strategically placed bunkers. Oak Glen, another gorgeous par-72 course, boasts tight fairways, tricky rolling greens, and difficult hazards all set among mature, landscaped surroundings. Pine Glen is the 2,400-yard, par-3 course that challenges golfers with long and short tee shots, a refined short game, and superb course management to master the test of golf.
Best Resort Course
The Grand Golf Club, a par-71 course with more than 7,000 yards of greens playable from a variety of tee locations, winds among coastal hills, narrow valleys and gentle meadows in picturesque Del Mar. Nestled against the luxurious Fairmont Grand Del Mar resort, the Tom Fazio-designed course showcases his unique style of bunker use with many deceptive bunkers hiding in the rolling hills. Fazio's design is tailored to maximize the natural beauty of the setting, creating holes that are both challenging and enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels.
Best of the Best
Host of Farmers Insurance Open and the prestigious 2008 and 2021 U.S. Opens, Torrey Pines Golf Course is long recognized as one of the nation's foremost municipal golf facilities. Notable architect Rees Jones first brought his skill to Torrey Pines' legendary South Course in 2001 in preparation for the 2008 U.S. Open. A complete renovation was done at that time in which all greens, tees and fairway features were rebuilt, and many greens were relocated to the edge of the canyon, which is a prominent feature of the landscape. Golfers marvel at the views of the coastline atop cliffs towering above the Pacific Ocean north of La Jolla. After a challenging game, duffers can relax and recharge amid Craftsman-style elegance at The Grill at Torrey Pines, situated on the 18th hole.
Bonus - Best Local History
Mission Valley and Old Town
Called Navajo Canyon when local, golf legend Phil Mickelson began playing there more than 30 years ago, Mission Trails Golf Course is a 6,000-yard, par-71 course located in the San Carlos neighborhood. This is the course where the championship golfer played regularly during the ages 12 to 14 and began to come into his own as a golfer. The William Bell-designed course features a unique blend of scenery as it traverses a valley on the first nine holes and then wanders the shores of Lake Murray for a challenging second nine. It is an excellent course for all golfers.
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