Seven things to know about golf in San Diego

By Travel ArticlesNovember 27, 2012, 5:00 am

SAN DIEGO -- America's Finest City. It's a title that leaves little to the imagination when it comes to describing San Diego. And with an ideal climate fit for the most discerning traveler and ocean-drowned sunsets that rival any in California, the area is, well, just about perfect.

It's not just the scenery that makes this southern California coastal locale an iconic one, though.

The food, the people and the diversity of landscape across not just the region, but its golf courses, keep visitors coming back and the locals staying put.

In a nutshell, it's good to be a golfer in San Diego, and there are (at least) seven reasons why San Diego continues to attract golfers from near and far.

Walk in the footsteps of golf's legends

The San Diego area is no stranger to hosting some of the sport's most notable golf events -- for more than three decades, at that -- on courses that are much loved by locals and visitors alike. As such, players of all skill levels can literally walk the same paths as the professionals they channel during a round.

Relive the 2008 U.S. Open -- or any one of the Farmers Insurance Open tournaments -- with a round at Torrey Pines South, cruising down the 18th hole en route to victory like Tiger Woods.

Or, over at the legendary La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, channel the LPGA's Kia Classic and putt for dough like 2012 winner Yani Tseng, or one of the many PGA Tour World Golf Championship Accenture Match Play events that took place there. La Costa has hosted legendary Hollywood golf-aholics like Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope, as well. To tee off on the same playing ground that they did is almost -- almost -- as good as being in their famous foursomes.

Play golf in San Diego year-round

'Wintertime, what's that?' 'Not in season? Not familiar.' Pick a day to play and don't count on your round getting cancelled due to weather. While the rest of the country is suffering through the cold, those in San Diego are teeing it up in shorts. Likewise, heat waves across the nation are no match for San Diego, which sports coastal temperatures in the 70s and ocean breezes that refresh and rejuvenate.

Diverse landscapes for diverse tastes

In a matter of 30 minutes, golfers in San Diego can go from sweeping ocean views to rocky mountain panoramas. A coastal round at longtime local favorite municipal Coronado Golf Course -- or newer muni The Crossings at Carlsbad -- can be followed shortly after by teeing it up in avocado-growing country at courses like Woods Valley Golf Club in Valley Center.

Welcome to the golf mecca

Ever wondered where your favorite golf gear was born? San Diego -- North County in particular -- is the base station to dozens of golf equipment, apparel and accessories companies that are trusted by the world's best golf athletes. TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Cobra, Callaway and Titleist are just a few that call Carlsbad and neighboring cities home.

Off-course activities in San Diego

Equally, if not more so, than its golf, San Diego is known for its breweries, restaurants and activities for days.

Grab a Stone Pale Ale in the rock garden at renowned Stone Brewery in Escondido, before heading out to a San Diego Padres or Chargers game.

Peruse the quaint shops and eateries on Prospect Street in La Jolla, and after a quick surf or paddleboard on the Pacific's calm waters, settle in with a sunset beach bonfire and s'mores at Carlsbad's Ponto Beach or Ocean Beach further south. It's a truly Californian way to cap off a day.

Stay and play -- many different ways

Whether you want to be treated like royalty or left to your own devices, San Diego is home to many golf resorts that will have golfers wanting to extend their stay.

A suite at the incredibly opulent The Grand Del Mar -- complete with gold-accent wallpaper and a dining experience at Addison that rivals any five-star wine restaurant -- also provides access to the only Tom Fazio layout in San Diego. Pala Mesa Resort, on the other hand, features championship golf with cozy rooms tucked in the hills of east-county Fallbrook. Many other properties including Rancho Bernardo Inn, Pauma Valley Country Club, La Costa Resort & Spa, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort and The Lodge at Torrey Pines attract new visitors and staycationers throughout the year.

Golf and gamble in San Diego

Golf and gambling go hand in hand whether betting on holes at the course or cards at the table. Lucky for the gaming golf aficionados, San Diego offers several of California's most beloved casinos for before or after the round. Viejas, Sycuan, Valley View, Harrah's Rincon, Barona, Pala, and nearby Pechanga are just some of the destinations to which golfers flock for spectacular dining, concerts and entertainment, and -- of course -- to test lady luck.

Sycuan Resort, located in El Cajon, features 54 holes of golf across its Willow Glen, Oak Glen and Pine Glen Courses -- two 18-hole courses and a third par-3 design.

Barona Creek Golf Club in Lakeside, a Todd Eckenrode layout via Gary Roger Baird Design, was named one of the top casino courses in the country by Golf Digest.

Pechanga, which has the largest casino floor in the western United States, is home to The Journey, one of the newest golf offerings in San Diego featuring more than 7,200 yards by architect Arthur Hill.

All of the above offer championship golf, the comforts of the course and a little slice of Vegas.

TOUR Championship Final Round Becomes Most-Watched FedExCup Playoffs Telecast Ever and Most-Watched PGA TOUR Telecast of 2018

By Golf Channel Public RelationsSeptember 25, 2018, 6:48 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., (Sept. 25, 2018) – NBC Sports Group’s final round coverage of the TOUR Championship on Sunday (3:00-6:19 p.m. ET) garnered a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 7.8 million average viewers, as Tiger Woods claimed his 80th career victory, and his first in five years. The telecast’s TAD was up 212% vs. 2017 (2.5m). Television viewership posted 7.18 million average viewers, up 192% YOY (2.46m) and a 4.45 U.S. household rating, up 178% vs. 2017 (1.60). It also becomes the most-watched telecast in the history of the FedExCup Playoffs (2007-2018) and the most-watched PGA TOUR telecast in 2018 (excludes majors).

Coverage peaked from 5:45-6 p.m. ET with 10.84 million average viewers as Woods finished his TOUR Championship-winning round and Justin Rose sealed his season-long victory as the FedExCup champion. The peak viewership number trails only the Masters (16.84m) and PGA Championship (12.39m) in 2018. The extended coverage window (1:30-6:19 p.m. ET) drew 5.89 million average viewers and a 3.69 U.S. household rating to become the most-watched and highest-rated TOUR Championship telecast on record (1991-2018).

Sunday’s final round saw 18.4 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports Digital platforms (+561% year-over-year), and becomes NBC Sports’ most-streamed Sunday round (excluding majors) on record (2013-’18).

Sunday’s lead-in coverage on Golf Channel (11:54 a.m.-1:25 p.m. ET) also garnered a Total Audience Delivery of 829K average viewers and posted a .56 U.S. household rating, becoming the most-watched and highest rated lead-in telecast of the TOUR Championship ever (2007-2018). Golf Channel was the No. 2 Sports Network during this window and No. 7 out of all Nielsen-rated cable networks during that span.

 This week, NBC Sports Group will offer weeklong coverage of the biennial Ryder Cup from Le Golf National outside of Paris. Live From the Ryder Cup continues all week on Golf Channel, surrounding nearly 30 hours of NBC Sports’ Emmy-nominated live event coverage, spanning from Friday morning’s opening tee shot just after 2 a.m. ET through the clinching point on Sunday. The United States will look to retain the Ryder Cup after defeating Europe in 2016 (17-11), and aim to win for the first time on European soil in 25 years, since 1993.


-NBC Sports Group-

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Tiger Woods names his Mount Rushmore of golf

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 25, 2018, 6:29 pm
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Mickelson savoring his (likely) last road game

By Rex HoggardSeptember 25, 2018, 3:49 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Phil Mickelson lingered behind as his foursome made its way to the ninth tee during Tuesday’s practice round.

He needed the extra practice, no doubt. He’s one of just six players on the U.S. Ryder Cup team with even a modicum of knowledge about Le Golf National, but the likely reason for Lefty’s leisurely tempo was more personal.

The 2019 Ryder Cup will likely be Mickelson’s last road game as a player.

He’ll be 52 when the U.S. team pegs it up at the 2022 matches in Rome. Although there’s been players who have participated in the biennial event into their golden years – most notably Raymond Floyd who was 51 when he played the ’93 matches – given Mickelson’s play in recent years and the influx of younger players the odds are against him.

“I am aware this is most likely the last one on European soil and my last opportunity to be part of a team that would be victorious here, and that would mean a lot to me personally,” Mickelson said on Tuesday.

It’s understandable that Mickelson would want to linger a little longer in the spotlight of golf’s most intense event.

For the first time in his Ryder Cup career Mickelson needed to be a captain's pick, and he didn’t exactly roar into Paris, finishing 30th out of 30 players at last week’s Tour Championship. He’s also four months removed from his last top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.

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Although he’s reluctant to admit it for Mickelson Le Golf National looks every bit a swansong for the most accomplished U.S. Ryder Cup player of his generation.

In 11 starts at the Ryder Cup, Mickelson has a 26-16-13 record. Perhaps more telling is his 7-3-1 mark since 2012 and he holds the U.S. record for most matches played (45) and is third on the all-time list for most points won (21.5), just two shy of the record held by Billy Casper.

Mickelson’s record will always be defined by what he’s done at the Masters and not done at the U.S. Open, but his status as an anchor for two generations of American teams may never be matched.

For this U.S. team - which is trying to win a road Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993 - Lefty is wearing many hats.

“You know Phil and you know he's always trying to find a way to poke fun, trying to mess with someone,” Furyk said. “He's telling a story. Sometimes you're not sure if they are true or not. Sometimes there's little bits of pieces in each of those, but he provides some humor, provides some levity.”

But there is another side to Mickelson’s appeal in the team room. Although he’s never held the title of vice captain he’s served as a de facto member of the management for some time.

“At the right times, he understands when a team needs a kick in the butt or they need an arm around their shoulder, and he's been good in that atmosphere,” Furyk said. “He's a good speaker and good motivator, and he's been able to take some young players under his wing at times and really get a lot out of them from a partner standpoint.”

In recent years Mickelson has become something of a mentor for young players, first at the ’08 matches with Anthony Kim and again in ’12 with Keegan Bradley.

His role as a team leader in the twilight of his career can’t be overstated and will undoubtedly continue this week if Tuesday’s practice groupings are any indication, with Lefty playing with rookie Bryson DeChambeau.

As DeChambeau was finishing his press conference on Tuesday he was asked about the dynamic in the U.S. team room.

“We're going to try and do our absolute best to get the cup back,” he said.

“Keep the cup,” Lefty shouted from the back of the room, noting that the U.S. won the last Ryder Cup.

It was so Mickelson not to miss a teaching moment or a chance to send a subtle jab delivered with a wry smile.

Mickelson will also be remembered for his role in what has turned out to be an American Ryder Cup resurgence.

“Unfortunately, we have strayed from a winning formula in 2008 for the last three Ryder Cups, and we need to consider maybe getting back to that formula that helped us play our best,” Mickelson said in the Scottish gloom at the ’14 matches. “Nobody here was in any decision.”

If Mickelson doesn’t step to the microphone in ’14 at Gleneagles in the wake of another U.S. loss and, honestly, break some china there probably wouldn’t have been a task force. Davis Love III likely wouldn’t have gotten a second turn as captain in ’16 and the U.S. is probably still mired in a victory drought.

Lefty’s Ryder Cup career is far from over. The early line is that he’ll take his turn as captain in 2024 at Bethpage Black – the People’s Champion riding in to become the People’s Captain.

Before he moves on to a new role, however, he’ll savor this week and an opportunity to win his first road game. If he wants to hang back and relish the moment so be it.

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DeChambeau gets foursomes, fourball mixed up

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 3:31 pm

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Bryson DeChambeau is an accomplished player when it comes to match play, having captured the U.S. Amateur and starred on a Walker Cup team. But don’t ask him to explain the semantic difference between the formats in play at this week’s Ryder Cup.

DeChambeau became crossed up Tuesday at Le Golf National when he was asked about the intricacies of foursomes play – better known to many Americans as alternate shot.

“Fourball, foursomes, I always get those mixed up,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just easier for me to say alternate shot.”

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Thankfully for DeChambeau, he still has some time to make a distinction between the two before the matches begin in earnest. And when they do, it’ll be fourballs for the morning sessions both Friday and Saturday, with foursomes in the afternoon – a change from the 2016 matches when DeChambeau was on the grounds at Hazeltine as a spectator.

While the foursomes format brings with it added pressure in an already tense environment, one of the biggest concerns is how well players can adjust to using the ball of their partner on a given hole. DeChambeau is known to leave nothing to chance in his preparation, and he’s already circled that particular factor as he gets set to make his Ryder Cup debut.

“It’s key because we want to be comfortable. Each player needs to be comfortable with the ball that they are playing,” DeChambeau said. “So for compatibility reasons, it’s one of the most important things out there in regards to alternate shot. It is the most important.”