Few par 3 golf courses boast an 18-hole layout. Even fewer can claim landscape features that include two ponds, a scenic waterfall, and rows of palm trees. Golfers encounter all of the above at Colina Park Golf Course, where 18 holes ranging from 67 to 125 yards require players to demonstrate short-game skills. Colina Park also encompasses a practice facility with a 3,000-square-foot practice putting green and a chipping and bunker area. After a long day of studying the course’s contoured greens, clubbers can head to the full-service pro shop and upgrade their golf gear, grab food and drinks in the clubhouse, or attempt to stealthily immortalize their scorecard on the wall. In addition to the on-course fun, Colina Park Golf Course also houses Pro Kids Golf Academy, which uses the game of golf to foster character development, life skills, and educational opportunities for underserved youth.
Originally built in the 1920s by A.G. Spalding of Spalding Sports and having hosted professional golfers such as Phil Mickleson, Sam Snead, and Craig Stadler, Sail Ho Golf Club’s charming and historic 9-hole course endows orb-smackers with an expansive view of the San Diego skyline. Seasoned swingers and golf greenhorns alike can send their balls sailing across the 8th hole’s flourishing fairway, or practice ESP-communication with aberrant balls in flight to steer shots away from the 9th hole’s five sand bunkers. Players can sharpen shots even more with the expert instruction of golf lessons ($25 each, not included), taught by an on-staff PGA Professional. A bounty of breakfast items, burgers, and sandwiches await hole-in-one hunger pangs at the Sail Ho’s bar and grill, which also features an array of wine, beer, and specialty cocktails for post-round libations.
If a trip to the links is on your mind, this municipal course offers the perfect balance of quality and value to satisfy your golfing fix. San Diego residents receive sizeable discounts, but non-resident prices remain affordable for a relaxing day of soaking up the Southern California sunshine. Don’t have time for the full 18 holes? Check out the 9-hole executive course, which features a moderate difficulty to challenge your skills. For even more savings, the Junior Special allows golfers 17 and under to take advantage of 9-holes for just $6.00 on weekdays when accompanied by a paying adult. For a surprisingly well-kept municipal course, give this one a try.
Course designers Ted Robinson, Sr. and Jr. fashioned Riverwalk Golf Club's three nine-hole layouts with an eye on keeping the natural terrain completely intact. As such, golfers tee off amid mature oak, palm, and eucalyptus trees on a course shaped by four lakes, nearly 100 bunkers, and the natural contours of the San Diego River. Players can mix and match the nine-hole treks too, adding more variety to an outing than teeing off every other hole from the cart path.