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Torrey Pines Golf Course

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Torrey Pines South Course

A view of the 16th green on the South Course at Torrey Pines, sea and sky as the backdrop.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

What and Where:

Torrey Pines Golf Course is actually two golf courses, the North Course and the more-famous South Course. Torrey Pines sits on oceanside cliffs, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in La Jolla, Calif., north of San Diego. The courses are surrounded by state-protected areas, including the Torrey Pines State Reserve park and Torrey Pines State Beach.

Torrey Pines Golf Course is owned and operated by the City of San Diego as a municipal facility that is open to the public.

Address: 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California, 92037
Phone: (800) 985-4653
Web site

Torrey Pines - South Course Photos

When and Who:

The creation of the North and South courses at Torrey Pines Golf Course dates to the late 1950s, following a City of San Diego bond election in 1956 that authorized purchase of land for the courses.

William P. Bell had the original vision for the courses, and his designs were completed by his son, William F. Bell. Beginning in 1999, architect Rees Jones oversaw a renovation, starting with the South Course.

Yardages and Ratings:

  • Torrey Pines South Course: The par-72 South Course tips out at 7,607 yards with a course rating of 78.1 and slope rating of 143. Other tees play to 7,227, 6,885, 6,542 and 5,542 yards.
  • Torrey Pines North Course: The North Course at Torrey Pines is a par-72, playing 6,647 yards from the championship tees, with a course rating of 72.1 and slope rating of 129. Other tees play to yardages of 6,326 and 6,118.

Significant Tournaments Hosted:

Torrey Pines Golf Course has been the site of the PGA Tour's San Diego tournament, now called the Farmers Insurance Open, every year since 1968. Tournament rounds are split between the North and South courses, with the South course hosting the final round.

The tournament has changed names a few times over the years. From 1968 through 1988, entertainer Andy William's name appeared in the title. Williams' association with the tournament ended in 1989. Buick became the title sponsor in 1992, and became the Buick Invitational in 1996.

The 2008 U.S. Open was played at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

PGA Tour Course Records:

Farmers Insurance Open tournament records set at Torrey Pines Golf Course are:

  • South Course: 62, Tiger Woods, 1999
  • North Course: 61, Mark Brooks, 1990

Trivia:

  • Rees Jones - nicknamed the "Open Doctor" because he frequently works with the USGA in renovating courses slated to host U.S. Opens - led a renovation of the South Course that started in the late 1990s and was completed in 2001. Jones added significant length to the South Course, bumping its total yardage to more than 7,600.
  • The PGA Tour first visited Torrey Pines Golf Course in 1968. Tom Weiskopf was the first Tour winner at the site, winning the Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational.
  • Among PGA Tour players, Tiger Woods has the most wins at Torrey Pines with six (the PGA Tour event in 1999, 2003, 2005-07; and the U.S. Open in 2008).

About Torrey Pines Golf Course:

Torrey Pines Golf Course is a 36-hole municipal facility in Southern California, owned and operated by the city of San Diego but located in the suburb of La Jolla about 20 minutes north of Downtown San Diego.

The two courses at Torrey Pines are named the North Course and South Course. The North Course is the shorter of the two, and the South Course is the much more famous of the two - although both are used in the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open played annually at Torrey Pines.

However, it's the Torrey Pines South Course alone that hosted the 2008 U.S. Open.

Both courses are open to the public and built overlooking the Pacific Ocean on coastal bluffs; both courses offer ocean views, and deep canyons cut through both layouts in places.

Although the North Course at Torrey Pines is the shorter (by a lot), many golfers believe it offers a better variety of holes, requiring different strategies, and some call it the more scenic of the two courses.

The South Course's difficulty comes primarily from its length - it's a whopping 7,607 yards from the back tees (it actually plays slightly shorter for the Farmers Insurance Open due to the shortening of one hole to change it from a short par-5 to a long par-4).

Even from the "Senior Tees" - the forward men's tees and championship women's tees - the South Course plays to more than 6,500 yards, just a couple hundred yards shorter than the North Course's back tees.

However, the South Course is fairly straightforward; bunkers rarely pinch the landing areas, for example, and all but a couple of greens have open fronts.

Torrey Pines South Course photo gallery

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