Long ago, Scottish polo players longed for a game where they could explore scenic terrain, ride an obedient mechanical horse, and wear more courageously plaid knickers. Marvel in their subsequent invention with today's Groupon: for $58, you get 18 holes of golf for two on the north course plus cart rental and two buckets of range balls at Lake San Marcos Resort & Country Club (up to a $128 value). Golfers will need to book tee times at least five days in advance (normal rates are $59/person on weekends and $49/person on weekdays).
The Lake San Marcos Resort was selected to host the 2007 and 2008 NAIA Women's National Championships. The north course, established in 1963, combines elevated greens, a 40-acre man-made lake, and a 600-yard uphill par 5 to create an obstacle course of course obstacles that is both scenic and challenging. Thankfully, a preround bucket of balls at the driving range can help rusty linksmen and linkswomen prepare for the treacherous sand traps, cruel water hazards, fairway fairies, and green-dwelling goblins that lie ahead.
Lake San Marcos Country Club
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.
Lake San Marcos
1750 San Pablo Dr.
Lake San Marcos, California 92078