Course Review: San Diego Country Club in San Diego, Calif.
It was just another day in San Diego. A warm, dry breeze had moved across the desert and spiked the early January temperature to a cozy 78 degrees. The place was San Diego Country Club, the un-assuming gem of San Diego golf that has been home to legends Mickey Wright and Billy Casper and is now regaining popularity with new members such as PGA Tour veteran Chris Riley, PGA Tour rookie J.J. Kileeen and Nationwide journeyman Brian Smock.
Course Layout & Design
The 1920 William P. Bell design is a classic pre-earth mover layout that follows the natural terrain and features gentle slopes, generous landing areas and really big greens. Most of the fairways are lined with large eucalyptus trees and small pines that are seemingly placed to perfection to coddle any wayward drives.
The bermuda grass fairways and rough are not overseeded and cut tight, making those short pitches around the greens a challenge. But it is on the green that the real challenge begins at SDCC.
The putting surfaces at SDCC are large, undulating and diabolically quick. There are some holes like No. 17 and No. 18 where being above the hole usually results in a three-putt. The breaks are true and they are firm and healthy all year round.
It is hard to pick a signature hole at this club because they are all so good in their unique way. The 18th hole comes to mind, though, because it epitomizes all that is SDCC.
The 18th is a tough par-4 with large eucalyptus trees lining the right side and the fairway has several mounds as it angles downward to an uphill approach to the green. The green is large and pitched from back to front, making any short pin location very difficult.
Diving Range & Practice Area
The practice facilities are top notch with an ample range and a good short-game area with bunkers that match those on the course. The centerpiece is, as it should be at SDCC, the huge practice green that scares the daylights out of any guest.
Clubhouse, Food & 19th Hole
When the round is over, head to the Billy Casper grill where Francisco, who has been there for decades, might mix you one of his famous Cadillac Margaritas --- or two. It is all part of the experience at this great club. It is not uncommon that you could run into to Billy himself in the grand clubhouse. Much of his Master’s memorabilia is on display in the trophy case along with many other interesting items. If the invitation to play comes your way don’t pass it up. If you live in San Diego then now is the time to join. You can just pay monthly dues while you evaluate the membership and pay the initiation fee at the end of the year