The details on how any amateur can play the famous Torrey Pines South golf course

Torrey Pines South

The 36 holes at Torrey Pines represent the finest municipal courses on the West Coast of the United States.

Torrey Pines’ South Course has twice hosted epic US Opens this century, with the San Diego layout the canvas for a Tiger Woods masterpiece in 2008 and Jon Rahm’s charge in 2021.

The South Course underwent extensive renovations from 2018-19 that were completed in early 2020.

Getting a tee time at the most sought-after municipal courses is usually a little more difficult than making a reservation over the phone or online.

Torrey Pines South sees more than 60,000 rounds played on it annually and players may need to temper their expectations of conditioning to be content with a round at the Farmer’s Insurance Open venue.

The staff at Torrey Pines are friendly and accommodating according to most reviewers.

Tee times may be reserved up to 90 days in advance, and if you want to play on the weekend, we recommend contacting as far ahead as possible. Expect no dynamic pricing or last-minute offers like most other San Diego courses. Non-residents can now book tee dates online from 4-90 days in advance. You may also call (877) 581-7171, although staff are only on hand from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.

San Diego has a webpage with more booking and policy information. Another thing you can do is reserve a stay-and-play package with the Hilton Torrey Pines or the Lodge at Torrey Pines, two partner resorts.

While the Lodge, located directly next to the practice green, is the favourite among golf groups, course officials note that the Hilton, a beautiful hotel in its own right overlooking the South Course, doesn’t always utilise its assigned rounds, so check in with them and you could secure a prime slot in a slice of fortune.

Finally, some walk-up tee times (in the first 30-60 minutes) are reserved each morning on a first-come, first-served basis.

Consider scheduling your Torrey Pines tee times during the week and reserving the resorts for the weekend if you’re organising a long weekend golf getaway to San Diego. There will be reduced green fees and an easier time getting out.

The South Course has a variety of hazards and challenges, including tight fairways, a large number of bunkers, thick rough, and smaller greens, making it the more challenging of the two at Torrey Pines.

The South course was designed by William Bell, Sr. in 1957. In 2001 and again in 2019, it was renovated and redesigned by Rees Jones. With the most recent renovations, Torrey Pines South plays longer and more difficult, with the teeing areas extending the length of the course up to 7,800 yards.

Although the first hole is a simple layout, it’s still a challenging route to the stunning Ocean holes. Hole number three is undoubtedly the most beautiful hole on the site. The par three green that is placed out on a cliff makes for a most intimidating approach. The next hole plays along the rocks, and golfers’ intrusive thoughts will be of Poseidon calling your Pro V1 to a watery grave. After retracing your steps inland, the sixth hole presents a challenging par 5 that runs beside a sharp ravine.

The turn isn’t immediately adjacent to the clubhouse, but there is a snack store nearby if you need something to eat before the back 9 push. Holes 12-14 are a fantastic sequence of holes that carry you back out towards the ocean with beautiful views. A long par 3′, a long par 4, and a short par 5 round up a fantastic trio.

The 18th is challenging albeit plain end to a long round at Torrey Pines South.