Best Golf Courses in San Diego

Best Golf Courses in San Diego

Picture of Robert Kaufman

Robert Kaufman

Robert Kaufman is an internationally published golf & travel writer and award-winning photographer with an observant eye and insightful journalistic style that has guided him around the world, including all 50 states...and playing golf in 24 countries! During his entrepreneurial career, Robert founded Northern California’s first monthly golf publication and was instrumental in directing Visit California’s golf marketing initiative to raise global awareness for the state as a top-tier golf destination. His work can be viewed at Picture PARfect.

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
A scenic view of a golf course with a well-manicured green surrounded by lush trees and bushes. A small pond with rocks borders the green, reflecting the surroundings. In the background, rolling hills and a few scattered buildings are visible under a clear sky, making it one of the best golf courses Bay Area has to offer.
Photo: Courtesy of Aviara Golf Club

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.

A scenic view of one of the best golf courses in the Bay Area, featuring well-maintained green grass, situated in a valley surrounded by rugged, rocky mountains. Trees and shrubs are scattered around the course, and a white building is visible in the distance under a clear sky.
Photo: Courtesy of Barona Creek Golf Club

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) Tours 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.

A scenic golf course in San Diego with a sprawling green fairway, sand bunkers, and a pond. A large, elegant house with arched windows and a terracotta roof is visible in the background, surrounded by trees and landscaped greenery under a clear blue sky—perfect for golfing enthusiasts.
Photo: Robert Kaufman

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 Diegos premier golf destinations.

Aerial view of a large multi-story building complex surrounded by an expansive, lush green golf course. The landscape includes trees, sand traps, and well-manicured fairways where you can enjoy a day of golfing, all set against distant mountains and a clear, blue sky in the background.
Photo: Courtesy of Journey at Pechanga

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.

A well-maintained golf course with bright green fairways and sand bunkers sits nestled among rolling hills with scattered trees and houses. The picturesque backdrop includes lush vegetation and distant mountains under a clear blue sky, making it one of the best golfing experiences in San Diego.
Photo: Courtesy of Maderas Golf Club

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 Americas 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.

A picturesque golf course at sunrise, with lush green fairways perfect for golfing, a winding path, and a flagstick marking a hole. Trees and shrubs are scattered throughout the landscape, with mist hanging in the air and distant hills partly obscured by fog.
Photo:Courtesy of OMNI La Costa Resort

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.

A scenic view of one of the best golf courses in the Bay Area, featuring lush green fairways, a water hazard with a small waterfall, and surrounding tall trees. In the background, there's a clubhouse with outdoor seating. The sky is clear and blue. Perfect for a day of golfing or exploring things to do in San Diego.
Photo: Courtesy of Rancho Bernardo Inn

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.

A scenic view of a golf course at sunset. The sky is painted with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple. The green fairway and the surrounding trees are bathed in soft light. A small pond reflects the colors of the sky, making it one of the best golf courses Bay Area offers.
Photo: Courtesy of Singing Hills Golf 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.

A scenic view of a golf course featuring lush green grass, large trees providing shade, and a calm pond in the foreground. The sky is clear and blue, with distant hills visible in the background—truly one of the best golf courses Bay Area enthusiasts will appreciate.
Photo: Courtesy of Temecula Creek Golf Club

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.

A picturesque golfing course overlooking the ocean features a pristine green with sand bunkers on a cliffside. The lush green contrasts with the rugged terrain and the deep blue sea under a clear sky, making it one of the best golf courses in the Bay Area for things to do in San Diego.
Photo: Robert Kaufman

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 TOURs 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.

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