- Address11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
Owned and operated by the City of San Diego, the 36-hole Torrey Pines golf complex lies atop the coastal cliffs at La Jolla, where it’s regarded as one of the best public golf facilities in the entire country. Laid out on the site of a former military training centre, the two 18-hole courses were designed by William F. Bell and they opened for play in 1957.
Although both layouts are used during the PGA Tour’s early season Farmers Insurance tournament, the South has the edge with regards to its championship pedigree, having hosted the 2008 US Open, and it will be used again for the same event in 2021. The North doesn’t get quite the same media attention, though many consider it to be not far off the equal of its sibling.
Rees Jones carried out a renovation of the South course early in the new millennium but a similar scheme for the North was cancelled. More than a decade later, the go ahead was given to carry out the work, with Phil Mickelson’s design firm heavily involved in formulating the remodelling plan. Unfortunately, under state law, his company couldn’t be hired for the job and the contract was awarded to Tom Weiskopf instead.
The project included reshaping bunkers, reducing their number by almost a third, slightly widening the fairways and increasing the average size of the new bent grass greens by around a third to 6,000 square feet. Weiskopf also removed around sixty trees (supposedly suffering from beetle infestation) which helped to improve the already impressive ocean views.
Of even greater significance, the architect reversed the nines, which makes sense because their location close to the coastline should ensure the reputed 80,000 golfers who play here every year leave the course with a smile on their face, having just played the par three 15th and uphill par four 16th (where the green has been lowered) along the edge of the cliffs.
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