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Signature par-3 3rd hole at Torrey Pines South
Signature par-3 3rd hole at Torrey Pines South

Torrey Pines’ South Course holds a special place in the lore of American Golf.

The oceanside municipal links is the annual host to both the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA Tour as well as the Junior World Golf Championships. But it is probably best known as a regular host to the United States Open. In fact, the last time we saw Tiger bring home a major was his historic performance at Torrey Pines in the 2008 Open (on a broken leg) in a playoff against Rocco Mediate.

Perched upon the cliffs overlooking the Pacific just north of San Diego in La Jolla, Torrey Pines is a public golf facility with two courses run by the City of San Diego. The more well known championship South Course, as well as the North currently being re-built with major renovations in anticipation of Torrey once again hosting the Open in 2021.

So, it is one of the very few on the U.S. Open rota you can actually play.

There are a variety of ways to get on Torrey Pines, residents and non-residents can book online or take advantage of it’s walk-up waiting list where the first half hour of tee times daily are reserved for walk-ups. Overnight line-ups for walk up times can be legendary.

On a recent trip to California I was fortunate enough to secure a time and reveled in the opportunity to see Torrey Pines up close. Length, penal rough and very tricky greens were certainly the order of the day.

From my visit, here is a closer look at Torrey Pines South Course:

Welcome to Torrey Pines

Welcome to Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines South opening hole, dogleg right 1st hole

Torrey Pines South opening hole, dogleg right 1st hole

Towards the ocean the beautiful downhill 3rd hole at Torrey Pines South

Towards the ocean the beautiful downhill 3rd hole at Torrey Pines South with gliders swirling above. Hallowed golf ground to be sure.

Signature par-3 3rd hole at Torrey Pines South

Signature par-3 3rd hole at Torrey Pines South

Torrey Pines South 4th hole

Spectacular par-4 4th hole is the only hole at Torrey Pines that runs along the ocean in its entirety. Cliffs to the left, bunkers right off the tee, uphill and into the wind this one tough hole.

5th hole Torrey Pines South

Running parallel to the 4th, the 5th hole is one up from the ocean. A straight away par-4 with bunkers protecting both sides of the fairway.

Toughest handicap hole on the course, dogleg right par-4 7th

Toughest handicap hole on the course, dogleg right par-4 7th around the corner to a tough sloped green. Great hole.

Uphill par-3 8th hole

Uphill par-3 8th hole

Long par-4 12th hole at Torrey Pines South

Long par-4 12th hole at Torrey Pines South works back towards the ocean. Enjoy watching the gliders from the Torrey Gliderport while you try and make a difficult par.

Par-5 13th hole at Torrey Pines South

You’ll remember this hole from TV, the incredible downhill par-5 13th. Big hitters can let it fly here, but heavy bunkering catches errant tee shots right. Tiger and Phil can hit the green in 2, but most golfers need to concern themselves with a deep swale that bottoms out 120 yards from the green. Heavy bunkering short right and left, as well as off the back protect the green perched up on the hill.

From behind the green at 13th hole Torrey Pines South

A look back from behind the green at 13th hole Torrey Pines South

Standing on the 14th tee you can see the iconic 3rd green across the chasm

Standing on the 14th tee you can see the iconic 3rd green across the chasm

Off the tee on the difficult par-4 14th

Off the tee on the difficult par-4 14th

14th hole at Torrey Pines South

Bunkers protect the 14th fairway and sets up an approach to a green perched above the canyon. Wonderful hole.

Championship South course at Torrey Pines Golf Club

Championship layout at Torrey Pines Golf Club South Course

Torrey Pines South 2001 renovation by the 'Open Doctor' Rees Jones helped solidify it as an iconic US Open venue

Torrey Pines South 2001 renovation by the ‘Open Doctor’ Rees Jones helped solidify it as an iconic US Open venue

Welcome to Torrey Pines

Welcome to Torrey Pines

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Jeff Lancaster

Jeff Lancaster is the Publisher of CanadianGolfer.com.

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