Torrey Pines (South) - California - USA

Torrey Pines,
11480 North Torrey Pines Road,
La Jolla,
California (CA) 92037,

  • +1 800 985 4653

  • Jon Maddern

  • William F. Bell, Rees Jones

  • Joe DeBock

Torrey Pines is situated on cliff tops some 20 minutes to the north of San Diego and is one of the best municipal golf facilities in the USA. The name Torrey Pines is derived from the trees on the two courses, which are the rarest pines trees in the country and can only be found at a few locations – Santa Rosa Island off the coast of Santa Barbara and here in San Diego at the course and within the State Reserve.

There are two courses at Torrey Pines, which are owned and maintained by the City of San Diego, and they are both used to host the Farmers Insurance Open (originally the San Diego Open) each year at the start of the Tour season. The North and South courses are used for the first two rounds before play reverts to the South course for the final two rounds over the weekend.

It is said when comparing both courses that the South course is longer and more difficult whilst the North is more scenic though both are pretty tight with penal rough – they are also said to contain elements of Pebble Beach which is praise indeed!

With mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Torrey Pines was created on the site of a former military training centre. It was designed by William F. Bell and completed in 1957. The course was renovated by local hero Billy Casper and his design partner David Rainville in the late 1970s. Rees Jones then completely rejuvenated the South course in 2001 at a cost of $3.5 million, moving four greens, almost doubling the number of bunkers and adding ten new tees, taking the championship yardage to a staggering 7,607 yards.

Panoramic views from the course are thrown in for free when you pay a very modest green fee but beware of the elements – it is not always sunny in California and adverse weather conditions in the shape of fog, wind and rain can sometimes spoil your round.

It is widely known that Tiger Woods won four consecutive Buick titles between 2005 and 2008 and that Phil Mickelson lifted the trophy three times (1993, 2000 and 2001). Less well known is that, Ernie Els and Nick Price have also won here before turning professional at the Junior World Championship which is held every July.

The Torrey Pines South course is held in such esteem that the U.S. Open was staged here in 2008, only the second municipal course ever to hold the event. Tiger Woods won the event, claiming his 14th major title, after defeating fellow American Rocco Mediate at the first sudden-death hole of a thrilling U.S. Open play-off. The championship will also be remembered for his battle through the pain barrier… this was Tiger’s first tournament since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee two months earlier. Tiger claims his 14th Major

Both Torrey Pines courses are available for public play although getting tee times can be a problem. Most tee times are only available via a telephone tee time lottery which takes place every day at 7.00 p.m. for tee times 7 days ahead. In theory, all phones in the world have an equal chance of a “lucky ring" and a confirmed tee time in this unique Torrey Pines lottery.

The U.S. Open returns to a renovated Torrey Pines in 2021. In 2019, fairways and bunkers were shifted on holes #4, #9, #10, #12 and #17 and all bunkers refurbished.

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Reviews for Torrey Pines (South)

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Description: Torrey Pines is situated on cliff tops some 20 minutes to the north of San Diego and is one of the best municipal golf facilities in the USA. Rating: 6.7 out of 10 Reviews: 21
The South course is appreciably better than its sister course the North and the whole Torrey experience for a muni is actually really good. It’s a fair course that’s not tricked up in any way and it punishes you hard for mistakes and sometimes even for a decent strike. I’ve played here a handful of times and the condition is mixed and they’ll certainly have to improve things before they host the Open bandwagon. In my view it’s worth the money simply for the incredible views and the challenge. Perhaps it’s the best muni in the world behind St Andrews Old and Bethpage Black.
October 30, 2006
8 / 10
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Stan Dodd
January 25, 2007
I respectfully disagree with the previous review. The South is boring slog only saved by the views. I have played the South many, many times. The "Reestoration" by the Open Dr. made it even longer and more boring and is unremarkable in the fact that he had a wonderful sight and made little or no use of the ravines. If you want to have fun play the North.
January 20, 2010
No way is the North better than the South... who wants to play the New course at St Andrews when you can play the Old?