Review for Pauma Valley

Reviewer Score:


Pauma Valley is a very nice straight forward golf course. The Robert Trent Jones layout opened in 1960 and has well stood the test of time. I first played Pauma Valley in a US Open Sectional Qualifier in the early 1980's. I remember Corey Pavin still an amateur blowing away the field.

These days I try to play Pauma Valley on a regular basis and have gotten to know some of the courses finer points. I play the course at just under 7,000 yards and hit driver on all of the par 4's and 5's. These holes require an almost perfect balance between fades, draws, and hard hit straight drives. Approach shots to the greens are much the same, fade one draw the next.

Like so many courses built in the 50's, 60's Pauma Valley is good hole after good hole with none proving to be overly great. That said, the course does offer some fine golf shots. The drive on hole 8 is one of the most demanding on the course. A middle iron to the green on ten is the closest thing to a blind shot Pauma Valley has to offer. The second shot on 14 and the tee shot on the par 3 16th are both long irons, fades or draws are required depending on hole placement.

I have never liked the par 5 17th hole. In my opinion Robert Trent Jones didn't get the risk reward value right. Too often the hole is nothing more than driver, mid-iron, short iron.

Pauma Valley is a pleasant walk. The setting is pretty and the homes that border the course seldom intrude. The view from the 18th tee is worth moments look. The background is a nice par 4, the club house, and rolling hills in the distance. A nice ending to a nice golf course.

Ron Stelten

Date: January 16, 2020

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