It's not Tulsa! U.S. Open at Torrey Pines shows why San Diego's such a great summer golf escape
It’s one of those days at Torrey Pines that reminds everyone why San Diego is such a great summer golf getaway. Sixty six degrees and sunny with just enough ocean breeze to eliminate any chance of sweat. Having come in from the East Coast, which was locked in a stifling near historic heat wave, and knowing I’ll be heading back to Arizona soon where locals remind visitors “It’s a dry heat” when it hits 120 degrees and it feels like you’ve walked right into an oven, it’s nice to be reminded of the West Coast spots where summer truly is paradise.
This is the kind of day that makes you want to play golf rather than watch it - especially with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson largely staying away from all but the range on the final practice day and going into seclusion before their big prized-fight-hyped-like pairing tomorrow morning.
I’d actually rather play Pelican Hill up the coast in Newport Beach than Torrey Pines South, though, and I believe most regular golfers would also enjoy either of Tom Fazio’s revamped Pelican courses more than the vaunted Open Torrey Pines South.
Both Torrey and Pelican are up on cliffs over the water rather than snuggled up close to the surf like the unforgettable Cabo del Sol Ocean Course for example. But as much press as Torrey gets, the views are now arguably better at Pelican and the courses are in better shape - even when Torrey Pines South is in U.S. Open shape.
Torrey Pines superintendent chief Mark Woodward and his staff of other all-star supers have done a great job in making Torrey look probably better than it’s looked in the last 20 years. But it still doesn’t have the super plush look and feel of Pelican Hill. Nor anything close to the obsessive customer service.
Sure, it costs $235 to play Pelican (with no twilight in the OC), but Torrey Pines South is no cheap play for visitors either ($145 for non San Diego residents).
Of course, it’s easy to have fun debating things like this when you’re not baking in a place like Tulsa.
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