Torrey Pines South


2008 U.S. OpenIts U.S. Open week and the world of golf focuses on the famed Torrey Pines Golf Courses South Course in La Jolla, Calif., for the second major of the season. GCSAA certified golf course superintendent Mark Woodward wraps up a three-year stint as manager of golf operations for the city of San Diego by hosting the USGAs Open Championship and will then assume the duties as chief executive officer for GCSAA next month.
Torrey Pines is the first truly municipal golf course to host the U.S. Open. It also hosts the PGA Tour's Buick Invitational each February on both the North and South courses. Under Woodwards direction, Torrey Pines switched from bentgrass to Poa annua on the greens, Kikuyugrass fairways and a Kikuyugrass/ryegrass/Poa annua blend in the rough over the past three years. The par-5 sixth hole has been converted to a par-4 by the USGA, and the U.S. Open will play as a par 71 on the South Course. Some fairways have been modified, a graduated rough is in place and different teeing grounds will be used with the option of stretching the course to 7,643 yards.
Last year, Woodward had new cart paths installed on the South Course, restricted power golf cars to those paths only and moved the last tee time up to 1 p.m. each day to reduce traffic on the turf from the 64,000 rounds played annually. The fourth hole, which runs alongside the cliffs overlooking the Pacific, was moved closer to the cliffs to bring the challenging crosswinds off the ocean more into play and the torrey pine trees guarding the cliffs were transplanted to the other side of the fairway. Six of the tees were leveled and enlarged for the championship and the landing area on No. 18 was leveled as well. All the bunkers on the South Course were reshaped and restored, as 2,500 tons of sand has been added. Five new bunkers have been added in the last year and the 615-yard, par-5 No. 13 has a new championship tee that carries 250 yards over a canyon.

Primary GrassesHeight of Cut
TeesBermudagrass; Poa annua0.25'
GreensPoa annua0.10'
RoughPerennial ryegrass; Kikuyugrass; Poa annuaInt. - 1.5'; Primary 2.25': Secondary - 3.5-5'

Stimpmeter13 feet
Sand bunkers80
Water Hazards1

Related Links:
  • Virtual Tour - Torrey Pines
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
    Golf Course Superintendents Association of America