Perfect weather, challenging course, and incredible settings make San Diego County a golfer’s dream destination. It’s not surprising that many of the world’s leading golf companies—Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway—have offices or headquarters here, primarily in the town of Carlsbad. In that coastal town, Aviara Golf Club, designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer to harmonize with the surrounding Batiquitos Lagoon, is a showcase for the region’s amazing golf options.
While you’ll find great golf throughout the county, two area courses took honors in Golf Digest’s most recent rankings of the greatest public courses in the U.S. In Poway, Maderas Golf Club, designed by Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves, wins praise for its long greens and a challenging landscape of rocky hills, arroyos, and chasms. On the bluffs overlooking the Pacific in La Jolla, the setting for municipal Torrey Pines Golf Course is described as “one of the prettiest golf course sites in America.”
The South Course at Torrey Pines hosted the 2008 U.S. Open, where Tiger Woods won in a playoff. And San Diego native Phil Mickelson has a long history at Torrey’s two courses: He first played Torrey Pines as a kid, won three PGA tournaments here (including his first), and worked on the renovation of the North Course.