Golf can be a bonding experience with friends or a make-or-break business meeting that masquerades as a leisure sport. Make the most of your time with friends and colleagues by knocking their argyle socks off with effortless dominance on the green. Today's Groupon to Carlsbad Golf Center gets you a one-hour private golf lesson with your choice of Carlsbad's experienced PGA and LPGA instructors (a $75–$125 value, depending on participating instructor), plus a large bucket of balls with which to practice during and after your lesson (a $10 value). Because the object of golf is to hole the ball in the fewest number of strokes, a better game will help you conserve energy for other activities such as off-track betting or braising Cornish hen.
Two large lakes glisten in the sunlight as they cast reflections of the towering trees. At Emerald Isle Golf's 18-hole executive course, the lakes form a nucleus that is surrounded by 16 par 3s and two par 4s. Players must blast soaring shots over the lakes on four separate occasions, unless they’re able to retrieve golf balls with golf-bag scuba tanks and 9-iron snorkels. Prior to a round, golfers can get a feel for putting speed on the practice green and warm up at the full-grass practice range.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 56 course
Total length of 2,452 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 72 from the back tees
Course slope of 113 from the back tees
Three sets of tees per hole
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.
Notched into a riparian zone draped over North County’s coastal hills, Arrowood Golf Course’s 18 holes usher golfers over 6,721 yards of pristine turf marked by frequent swings in elevation. As the cool ocean breeze billows over the course, bringing with it the cries of oysters whose pearls were mistaken for tiny golf balls, players wrangle with the wide open, Ted Robinson-designed layout. Their travails will lead them past a healthy assortment of hazards including wastelands, fairway bunkers, and water hazards. Each of these converge on the player’s path on the 16th hole, where tee shots threaded through the gauntlet of fairway bunkers leave their owners with dramatic approaches into a green surrounded almost entirely by water.
Arrowood golf instructor Eric Ewing and his staff use the course’s practice range as a laboratory for game improvement. Instruction adheres to a seven-part curriculum aimed at shaving strokes, ranging from physical skills such as putting and the full swing to the strategic mindset of course management.
Course at a Glance:
Perched atop of scenic Goat Hill, City Center challenges seasoned and novice swingers cross its 4,797 yards elevation-changing fairways and lush greens. Designed by Ludwig Keehn, the par 66 course remains one of San Diego's oldest courses, as demonstrated by the glaring bald spot on its fifth green. Also dubbed "The Goat" by local club canoodlers, City Center's diverse terrain and epic mood swings ensure diverse amusements and shot selections. Par 3 and 4 holes wind through snaky hills of verdant foliage, along with a signature par 5 15th hole that boggles even the most technically skilled golfers. While the course contains no water hazards, its one-mile proximity to the Pacific coast keeps winds constantly shifting, demanding greater hole-to-hole strategy and argyle-knickers outfit selection. Click here to view available tee times.
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 6,638-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: