Best Public Golf Courses in San Diego

We probably get asked once a day what the best public courses are in San Diego.  So here they are!  We are only recommending courses we have actually played and believe it or not, there are courses in San Diego we haven't yet covered.  I'm also including links to our videos of the course if we've filmed it.

1.  Torrey Pines - South Course

This is a predictable choice but it honestly is the BEST public golf course in San Diego in our opinion.  It's right on the pacific ocean and around 10-11am the fog will burn off and reveal one of the most beautiful sights you'll see.  But don't be fooled, this course is tough.  From the back tees it plays to 7,707 yards!  We don't even bother playing it from the back tees, the taupe tees are a mere 7,051 yards so still plenty hard enough.  If you play the course after the Farmers Insurance Open at the end of January you'll be treated to tournament conditions, and rough that is so thick that you'll lose at least a few balls just by missing the fairway.  Fun!  One tip, everything breaks towards the ocean so even when you don't see any break on those putts just trust me, it's moving towards the ocean.  Booking a tee time at Torrey is a pain but here's the link.

Cost:  $252 (non-resident), $78 (resident) 
Slop/Rating:  78.2/144
 Watch us tackle the first 6 holes from Torrey Pines South course below.


2.  Maderas Golf Club

Maderas is a great and challenging course in Poway, CA.  It's about a 25 minute drive from downtown San Diego and rests in a sleepy community with massive homes.  Maderas measures at 7,167 yards from the tips so it's no slouch.  It's nestled between a couple mountains so you get some wild elevation drops which are always fun.  This course also has a LOT of hazards and out of bounds so be ready to lose some balls.  Book a tee time on their website here.

Cost:  $134 (same price for everyone)
Slop/Rating:  75.2/142
 Watch us tackle the first 6 holes at Maderas below.


3.  Aviara Golf Club

You've likely heard of Aviara before as it's the home of the LPGA Kia Classic every year.  It's located in Carlsbad, CA which is a 30 minute drive from downtown San Diego.  This course is always in great condition and well maintained.  One nice thing you'll be treated to is a cold ice town and chocolate chip cookie when you finish your round.  Nice touch!  The course is a fairly typical resort style course just more challenging.  It plays to 7,007 yards from the back tees.  The course winds between the resort and next to the ocean although you don't really have ocean views.  Book a tee time at Aviara here.

Cost:  $240 (same price for everyone)
Slop/Rating:  75/144
 Watch us play the first 6 holes at Aviara below.


4.  Torrey Pines North Course

The North course use to be the "easy" side at Torrey but since the redesign a few years ago it's become much tougher.  The North course has a few holes on the Pacific Ocean which will blow you away, but most of the course is a little inland.  The North course is usually easier to get on but it'll still cost you the same rate.  The North course plays to 7,258 yards from the tips.  Booking a tee time at Torrey is a pain but here's the link.

Cost:  $138 (non-resident), $52 (resident) 
Slop/Rating:  75.8/134
 Watch us play the first 6 holes at Torrey North.


  • John Maino

    Do you guys have a few recommendations for course to play in San Diego that would cost $100 or less for a non – resident?

  • Alan Lin

    Truly blessed to be a San Diego resident, not only do I get to play Torrey for residents’ rate, I also get to go to GH Tourney every year!

  • Phil Whittingham

    Love your videos, guys. I live in UK so haven’t played loads of courses in San Diego. I have played Torrey and agree it is spectacular and worth the green fee. Your videos make me want to come back to play the rest. If you ever come to London let your UK fans know and we can get you out to play.

  • Sean Sullivan

    Great list. I just played Torrey Pines South in July and it was an amazing course. I will certainly make the trip up there again soon. Keep up the great videos guys!!!

  • Chip Leatherbury

    That is my top 4 as well. Have you guys ever played Balboa? I’m thinking of playing it if you are interested.

  • Chip Leatherbury

    Perfect ranking of the San Diego courses. I’m lucky enough to have Torrey as my home course and love playing the South at twilight hours. Love the channel and lefites rule!!

  • Simon

    If you ever make it up to Washington State, specifically the eastern side I would recommend Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla and then Suncadia in Cle Elum (it’s more central Washington). Also Home Course in Dupont (western Washington about an 1 hour and 15 minutes from Seattle)

  • Charles mallory

    Courses look incredible on video I can’t imagine them in person! I need to play Torrey next time I am out in July!

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