A Robert Trent Jones Jnr design that first opened for play in 1999, the Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe golf course came to national prominence when “The Battle of the Bridges” skins game, starring Phil Mickelson (who’s a member here) and Tiger Woods, was televised across the country.
Situated half an hour’s drive north of San Diego in what’s known locally as North County, the course is routed across a tumbling landscape of canyons, gorges and gullies, where a fierce slope rating of 142 from the back tees tells its own tale of how challenging the terrain can be amongst the foothills.
Golfers looking to post a decent score had better make the most of any birdie opportunities that arise on the moderately rolling front nine – configured as three par threes, three par fours and three par fives – because the back nine is a far tougher proposition.
The 375-yard 10th begins the demanding inward half as it doglegs left with a long, intimidating forced carry across a deep ravine to a green guarded on either flank by several sand traps. It’s followed by the 172-yard par three 11th, which also plays across another canyon – and so it continues in a similar vein until the water and sand-protected home green is reached at the 18th.