The Torrey Pines Golf Experience
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Three of my golf buddies and me started a tradition of an annual golf trip centered around a unique and special experience. Our first trip several years ago was to play Pebble Beach. Along the way we played Pasatiempo and Spyglass Golf Links. We planned a trip to play Torrey Pines in April of 2020, but COVID happened along the way.
In 2023 we decided it was time to rebook. Being versed in the best way to plan a buddy golf trip, we knew just what to do. Job one was to nail down tee times for Torrey South and North courses, and then we would plan the rest of the trip around those. Torrey is a public course and to secure tee times you go on the city’s website. I logged on at the earliest possible opportunity and found there were no tee-times available. (I learned later you could actually log on at 5pm the day before). If you search for Torrey Pines on the Internet you will find several websites like TorreyPines.com – this is not Torrey Pines proper, it is a booking agency. It’s confusing.
Here are the main options to secure a tee-time at Torrey Pines:
- The city website: https://www.sandiego.gov/torrey-pines
- Use this if you are fast on your feet and just want a tee-time.
- The golf course website: http://www.torreypinesgolfcourse.com/
- Same thing, except I was told by the pro-shop to use the city site?
- Booking agency: https://www.torreypines.com/
- These folks provide really good service and know all the tricks. You will likely trade convenience for some additional cost going this way.
- The Lodge: https://www.lodgetorreypines.com/
- The perfect set up for a stay-and-play if you have deep pockets.
- Hilton Torrey Pines: https://www.hilton.com/
- A more reasonably priced stay-and-play package right next door.
We ended up booking a one night at the Hilton which allowed a Torrey tee time on arrival day and a tee-time on departure day. This was our best option to get the tee times we wanted. At the same time we arranged for an upscale four bedroom AirBnB in nearby La Jolla for our four night stay. Never used the hotel room, ha!
Two courses we chose to round out our trip:
|We played the municipal
Coronado Golf Course on our first day, and
Aviara Golf Club for our last day.
Both enjoyable experiences.
THE SIDE GAME
We played the same game each day. Sixes with team bonus points for Birdies, Closest to the Pin, and Murphy’s. And we added a pot for a daily individual low net. Sixes is a rotating best net partner game that is perfect for a trip like this, and it’s easy to keep track.
ABOUT TORREY PINES
Playing golf at Torrey Pines is an experience that any avid golfer should have on their bucket list. Torrey Pines is a public golf course located in La Jolla, California, just a few miles north of San Diego. The course has two 18-hole championship courses, the North and South courses, both of which offer stunning ocean views and challenging holes.
The South course is the more famous of the two and has hosted multiple PGA Tour events, including the U.S. Open in 2008. This course is known for its challenging layout, with narrow fairways and strategically placed bunkers and being the longest course in the PGA. The greens are fast and undulating, making putting a true test of skill. The course also features several memorable holes, including the par-4 4th hole, which requires a long, accurate tee shot over a canyon, and the par-3 15th hole, which offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Not surprisingly, there was a fair amount of wind which added to the challenge.
The North course is slightly shorter than the South course but still provides a challenging round of golf. The fairways are wider and more forgiving, but the greens are still fast and require precision putting. The course offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and canyons, with several holes featuring elevated tee boxes and panoramic vistas.
Both courses are maintained to the highest standards and offer a top-notch golf experience. The facilities include a well-stocked pro shop, driving range, and practice greens. We were surprised though, that the practice green did not have any holes or surface flags. The starter said they hear that a lot. There is a great café in the lodge right across from the pro-shop. Beverage carts were well stocked and frequently available.
Overall, playing golf at Torrey Pines is a memorable experience that any golfer will treasure. The combination of stunning views, challenging holes, and top-notch facilities make it one of the best public golf courses in the world.
There is no end to restaurant choices in and around San Diego, but you have to reserve early. We planned some great dinner experiences to complement the trip. None finer than Eddie Vs in La Jolla.
Hank ordered us a shellfish appetizer tower that was amazing. The whole dinner was fabulous and enjoyed while overlooking the Cove at sunset. Cocktails on the deck above made for a perfect finish to a perfect trip with good friends.