These two gorgeous municipal 18-hole championship courses are on the coast between La Jolla and Del Mar, only 20 minutes from downtown San Diego. Home of the Buick Invitational Tournament, and the setting for the 2008 U.S. Open, Torrey Pines is second only to Pebble Beach as California's top golf destination. Situated on a bluff overlooking the ocean, the north course has the postcard-perfect signature hole (no. 6), but the south course is more challenging, has more sea-facing play, and benefits from a $3.5-million overhaul in 2002. In summer, course conditions can be less than ideal due to the sheer number of people lined up to play, and "tee scalpers" aren't uncommon. Tee times are taken up to 90 days in advance by automated telephone system ($39 booking fee). Golf professionals are available for lessons (which assure you a spot on the course), and the pro shop rents clubs. Greens fees on the south course are $160 weekdays, $200 weekends; the north course is $90 weekdays and $113 weekends. Cart rentals are $40, and twilight and senior rates are available. Tip: First-come, first-served tee times are available from sunup to 7:30am. Single golfers also stand a good chance of getting on the course if they just turn up and get on the waiting list for a threesome.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Very Highly Recommended 2010