Torrey Pines Golf Course
(with city resident's card)
11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla
Reservations, (619) 570-1234
Pro shop, (858) 452-3226
Let's face it: golf is full of social climbers, 18 million ambitious folk who fork out $600 million every year to play on any one of this nation's 13,000 courses, because, well, it gets you in contact with the Ruling Classes. But what if you just want to whack a ball? Main problem is, green fees. Around San Diego County's 90 courses they average $50 and reach over $100. Which is why Torrey Pines is such a miracle. We're talking the Torrey Pines. The world-famous, two-course home of the Buick Invitational, an annual PGA event that attracts Tiger Woods and the tour's other top golfers. And it's a municipal -- public -- course! If you can show you're a bona fide San Diegan (that is, produce a license or a water bill showing your name) you can purchase a $12 resident's card and get locals' rates. You can play it for $24 during the week, $26 weekends (for nonresidents, it's $55 and $60). You can rent a bag of clubs for $35 (after 4:00 p.m., $20), and carts cost $30 ($17 after 4:00 p.m.). The problem, of course, is that everybody wants to play Torrey Pines, so get a reservation. If you're going alone, show up early, put your name down with the starter, and hope he'll threesome with a threesome that needs a fourth. Play four days in a row and try to beat Tiger's 274, right? Bonus: your resident's card will get you on at Balboa Park -- a nice course in its own right -- for $19 ($21 weekends); $10.50 after 2:35 p.m. or $6.50 for the nine-hole course.