It’s no surprise the PGA TOUR and LPGA TOUR have annual tournament stops in San Diego. With deep-sea harbors, whale watching, sandy beaches, wine tasting, and a variety of fun-filled attractions, this region represents quintessential California. Above all, the year-round temperate climate secures San Diego County as a bucket-list golf destination. From the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the inland wine country, golfers will look forward to getting their daily dose of greens.
Feature Photo: OMNI La Costa Resort
Aviara Golf Club
Located in Carlsbad, the “Golf Manufacturing Capital of the World” with headquarters for such companies as Titleist, Callaway, and TaylorMade, Aviara GC is the only Arnold Palmer-designed course in the San Diego region. The coastal 7,007-yard layout adjoins the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa and overlooks the Batiquitos Lagoon nature preserve where it is sculpted around rolling hillsides blanketed with native wildflowers. Since 2013, the course has played host to the LPGA Kia Classic.
Barona Creek Golf Club
The mildly rolling meadow terrain with a spattering of California oaks makes for an outstanding links-style experience at Barona Creek GC which played host to the PGA Nationwide (now Korn Ferry) Tour’s Tour Championship in 2008, and was selected by Golfweek as the No. 5 “Best Courses You Can Play in California.” The 7,092-yard course, located outside the Barona Resort & Casino, highlights 100 bunkers, strategically-placed natural obstacles, and relatively large greens designed to appease golfers of every skill level.
The Grand Golf Club
This Tom Fazio-designed 7,160-yard masterpiece adjacent the Fairmont Grand Del Mar winds through 380 lush acres of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon. Cascading water features, expansive lush fairways, diverse bunkering, and dramatic elevations overlooking scenic valleys enhance the optimum playing conditions. With a 50,000-square-foot clubhouse overlooking the 18th green and seven acres of practice area, this property is one of San Diego’s premier golf destinations.
Journey at Pechanga
The pairing of nearly 50 wineries populating the rolling hills of Temecula and 18 holes at Journey at Pechanga reinforces Pechanga Resort & Casino as the perfect getaway. Built on ancestral land of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, the demanding 7,200-yard layout takes golfers on a scenic ride that will test their A game, especially at the sky-high 6th tee demanding an accurate tee shot to a twisting fairway 185 feet below. A sweet finish awaits at the 62,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Maderas Golf Club
Tucked into the rolling hills just minutes north of downtown San Diego, former PGA Tour player Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves designed a spectacular 18-hole challenge that was recognized by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” 2013-2016. With sweeping elevation changes, the 7,167-layout creatively interlaces three lakes, five waterfalls, rock outcroppings, forest and wildflowers blanketing the course, all contributing to a unique combination of golf course strategy.
OMNI La Costa Resort
With two championship courses, Legends and Champions, La Costa boasts a long history of hosting professional golf, including the Tournament of Champions (1969-1998) and the World Match Play Championship (1999-2006). Both have since been renovated (2011-2013) by architects Steve Pate and Daman Pascuzzo to improve drainage. The Champions Course is links style with generous landing areas and subtle elevation changes while The Legends plays as a more traditional parkland course with gentle doglegs. omnihotels.com/hotels/san-diego-la-costa/golf
Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Club
As the only course in San Diego to have hosted both PGA TOUR and LPGA events, the Rancho Bernardo Inn GC is sought out by golfers in search of a memorable and enjoyable round with the gracious, genuine service offered by the renowned resort. With well-groomed fairways and greens and rows of old-growth trees, the 6,587-yard William Francis Bell design (1962) is based next to the Rancho Bernardo Inn Resort.
Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan
Whether a seasoned player or a first-timer to Singing Hills Resort, located in the serene Dehesa Valley 20 minutes east of San Diego International Airport, 54 holes designed by Ted Robinson are guaranteed to contribute unforgettable experiences among mature, landscaped surroundings. The Sweetwater River runs through both the 6,651-yard Willow Glen, with narrow fairways and strategically-placed bunkers, and the 6,594-yard Oak Glen features tight fairways and tricky rolling greens. Pine Glen is a fun and challenging par 3 course.
Temecula Creek Golf Club
In the heart of Southern California wine country, Temecula Creek Golf Club is a recipient of a Four-Star rating from Golf Digest’s “Places to Play.” Three distinct courses (27 holes) meander through a natural setting surrounded by trees and rolling terrain. The Creek, an open layout with friendly fairways provides the best birdie opportunities. The tree-lined fairways on the Oaks offer a more traditional playing experience and the Stone House course is demanding of precise tee shots and distance control.
Torrey Pines Golf Course
Edging the Pacific Ocean 15 miles north of San Diego, this cliffhanger venue offers two public accessible 18-hole golf courses (North & South) which host the annual PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open and has been the site (South Course) for two U.S. Open Championships (2008 and 2021). The South, designed by William Bell, underwent major renovations by Rees Jones in 2001, and lengthening it to 7,700 yards. In 2016, the North received a redesign from former PGA TOUR player, Tom Weiskopf.