Sculpted into the coastal foothills of San Diego County, Lake San Marcos Country Club’s North Course spans 6,426 yards of lush fairways and well-manicured greens. Throughout the course, mature trees await wayward orbs on the edges of fairways, and serpentine bodies of water crisscross fairways, punishing duffers for errant shots. Before taking to the links, golfers can prepare with a stint at the club’s full-length driving range, where all-grass hitting stations emulate on-course conditions as well as an opportunity to seek vengeance on Mother Earth for a lifetime of traumatizing grass stains. Casual eats at Gordon’s on the Green help restore energy after rounds that include the treacherous trek up the 12th hole—a 606-yard par 5 that runs almost entirely uphill. Those looking for a quick golf experience akin to reading the abridged version of Jack Nicklaus’s cookbook can take to the South Course, a par 58 executive layout.
The 18-hole Reidy Creek Golf Course covers 2,582 yards in the rugged hills of Escondido, supplying guests with a scenic backdrop for club-based revelry. The rolling terrain of the par 54 course—intertwined with manmade obstacles such as sculpted bunkers, sinuous lakes, and wind—challenges golfers as they attempt holes-in-one. The distinctive course, designed by the notable engineers at Cal Olson Golf Architecture not to contain any two identical holes, contains a golf shop, café, and golf clinics taught by PGA professionals.
Situated along the meandering Moosa Creek, the fairways of Castle Creek Country Club sweep gracefully through the foothills of Temecula Wine Country and located near three major casinos. The 1948 Jack Daray blueprint escorts players through a 6,688-yard labyrinth, hemmed in by oak-forest barriers and mottled with bunkers of white sand. After completing a testy front nine that includes the 624-yard par 5 sixth hole, players embark on the most difficult stretch of the course in holes 10, 11, and 12. These holes—a 450-yard par 4 followed by back-to-back par 5s—demand that players demonstrate an ability to hit the ball far, leaving many contestants exhausted, bleary-eyed, and swinging at golf balls that don’t exist.
Course at a Glance:
Escondido Country Club's 6,140-yard championship golf course rests in the rolling landscape of the long coastal mountain valley. Players can warm up swinging arms with range balls before heading out to the first tee. Designed by Harry and David Rainville, the rolling course has challenged generations of golfers since opening in 1963. After butting heads with sand traps and zooming a cart around the path, divot-diggers garbed in appropriate attire can imbibe frothy sips of draft beer or fizzy soda in the clubhouse. Golfers can complete their recharge by knocking back Angus beef burgers and telling longwinded tales of the hole-in-one that got away.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
True to its name, Pitbull Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is known for breeding physical toughness into its fighters through hard work, training, and rigorous conditioning. Helmed by seasoned Brazilian fighter Johann Carvalho, the gym’s staff imparts the secrets of jujitsu chokeholds, muay thai knee strikes, and mixed martial arts cuddling. Instructors teach children’s classes that build self-confidence and discipline, and prepare advanced older students for upcoming local competitions.