Torrey Pines News

San Diego’s Best Golf Courses

As proud natives of San Diego, we’ll admit our bias upfront: we believe San Diego is the most livable city in the country, if not the world. Our famously fantastic weather does come at a price, but it’s worth it.

Why Golfing in San Diego is the Best

Beyond our craft beers and fish tacos, one of the best things about San Diego is our golf courses. It’s surprising San Diego isn’t more frequently highlighted as a golf destination, especially compared to places like Scottsdale, Arizona, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where the extreme weather makes them unplayable for parts of the year. Here in San Diego, you can golf about 350 days a year, often in shorts and short sleeves.

San Diego is famous for Torrey Pines’ South and North courses, which have hosted two U.S. Opens and the PGA Tour since 1969. The South course, ranked No. 35 on Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, is a must-play. The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, with its recent renovation by Gil Hanse, is also a standout, now hosting the NCAA Division I Golf Championships.

But there’s so much more, including the beautiful Coronado Golf Course. Located across a bridge from downtown, this course offers spectacular views of the skyline, San Diego Bay, Hotel Del Coronado, and a yacht club. The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is another local favorite, frequented by pros like Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele.

A great perk: all of these courses are within 30-40 minutes of the San Diego airport. Nowhere else in North America offers such diverse golfing landscapes in such close proximity.

A quick note on Torrey Pines: it’s tough to get a tee time without an advance reservation, so plan ahead. The South course is challenging and lives up to its championship reputation. If you prefer a more enjoyable round with equally stunning scenery, the North course is the way to go. Tom Weiskopf’s redesign makes it more playable and fun, with incredible views and reasonable prices.

Here are our top picks for the best courses in San Diego:

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines South Course
Torrey Pines Golf Course: South
Location: La Jolla, CA
Highlights: Perched on coastal bluffs with breathtaking Pacific views. Rees Jones’ remodel in the early 2000s made it a U.S. Open-worthy course. The par-3 third and par-4 14th bring coastal canyons into play. Hosted the 2021 U.S. Open, won by Jon Rahm.

Torrey Pines North Course
Torrey Pines Golf Course: North
Location: La Jolla, CA
Highlights: Redesigned by Tom Weiskopf in 2018, the North course is more golfer-friendly. With fewer bunkers and larger greens, it offers a variety of green configurations and contours. The par-4 16th along the cliffs provides stunning ocean views.

Other Top San Diego Courses

Coronado Golf Course
Coronado Golf Course
Location: Coronado, CA
Highlights: One of the best municipal courses in the country, with reasonable fees and spectacular views of downtown San Diego and Hotel Del Coronado. Straightforward layout with top-notch conditioning.

Aviara Golf Club
Aviara Golf Club
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Highlights: The only Arnold Palmer design in the area, part of an upscale Hyatt resort. The course winds through rolling hills and is landscaped with native wildflowers, making it one of San Diego’s most beautiful courses.

Encinitas Ranch Golf Course
Encinitas Ranch
Location: Encinitas, CA
Highlights: Designed for playability, Encinitas Ranch features raised fairway bunkers, wide fairways, scenic views, and well-maintained greens. While the hilly terrain favors carts, walkers will find the challenge rewarding.

Steele Canyon Golf Club
Steele Canyon Golf Club
Location: Jamul, CA
Highlights: Steele Canyon, designed by Gary Player, features three distinct nine-hole courses: Canyon, Ranch, and Vineyard. Each offers unique challenges, from dramatic elevation changes on the Canyon Course to scenic vineyards on the Vineyard Course, making it ideal for all golfers.

Private Clubs

Grand Golf Club
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Location: San Diego, CA
Highlights: The Grand Golf Club is a favored haunt of pros like Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele, because it boasts tight fairways and challenging, undulating greens. Designed by Tom Fazio and set in Del Mar’s rolling hills, this course offers a premier golfing experience in San Diego.

Omni La Costa Golf Course
OMNI La Costa Resort & Spa: North and South Courses
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Highlights: Hosted 37 PGA Tour events. Recently transformed with a multimillion-dollar renovation, La Costa’s Champions North Course is the host the 2024 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. Renowned architect Gil Hanse led the redesign, integrating the natural landscape to enhance the course’s strategic layout. The upgraded course promises a premier golfing experience, with meticulously maintained greens and challenging bunkers.

For an unforgettable golfing experience, San Diego has it all.

Want to Book a Tee Time?

Planning a trip and want help booking tee times at some of these challenging and beautiful golf courses? Request a tee time or give us a call today!


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