Updated: May 21, 2015
Torrey PinesThe Torrey Pine is a type of tree that grows only on one island off the coast of southern California and in the Torrey Pines State Reserve just north of San Diego and La Jolla - it is the rarest pine species in the US. Abutting the reserve is the legendary Torrey Pines Golf Course and Resort, which is owned by the city of San Diego. There are two golf courses here (home of the US Open for 2008), the North Course and the South Course, as well as the majestic Lodge at Torrey Pines. If you are planning a trip to the San Diego area and you are a golf fan, we suggest you find the time to stop in and play a round (we like the North Course better). This guide will provide information on getting tee times for Torrey Pines, as well as lodging information for the Torrey Pines Lodge and Hilton Torrey Pines.
Torrey Pines Golf CourseSet high on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, the Torrey Pines Golf Courses bring to mind other great coastal golf settings, like Pebble Beach and Bandon Dunes farther north. If you are staying at the Lodge at Torrey Pines, you can get guaranteed tee times. They offer room/golf packages like $549 for ones nights lodging and one round of golf (weekday, $569 per night on weekends, 2 day minimum stay). This is probably the best and easiest way to get a tee time. The process for getting a tee time otherwise is complicated. They have a nightly lottery for tee times 7 days in advance. For non-residents, you pay in advance when you put your name in (charged to your credit card) - your money is refunded if you don't get a tee time. There are some companies that will help you with the lottery process - like TorreyPines.com (800-867-7397) or TorreyPinesGC.com. You can also call San Diego Golf Reservations at 866-271-1167. You can call the golf pro shop at Torrey Pines at (858) 452-3226. They have a beautiful clubhouse there right next to the pool area, designed in the same style as the main lodge, complete with restaurant and bar for before or after golf fare and libation. The North Course is the less difficult course, and it costs about $50 less than the South Course. Both are championship 18 hole courses with spectacular views along the Pacific Ocean. What are the greens fees at Torrey Pines? On weekdays, non-residents pay $125 for the North Course and $175 for the South Course. On weekends (Fri-Sun), the rates are $145 and $208. You can check out some terrific maps and pictures of each hole at Torrey Pines at TorreyPinesGolfCourse.com - check out this sample of the 18th hole.
Torrey Pines Lodging - TP Lodge and HiltonTorrey Pines is only minutes away from La Jolla, and is neighbored to the east and south by portions of the UC San Diego campus. There are plenty of places to stay between San Diego and Torrey Pines, but there are just 2 lodging choices that are right on the property. The first is the famed Lodge at Torrey Pines (LodgeTorreyPines.com), the only AAA 5 Diamond property in San Diego. (You can download a PDF map of Torrey Pines here) This is a luxury hotel with generously sized rooms and dark woodsy decor. Rooms range in size from 500 - 1500 sf. Since the golf course itself abuts the ocean cliffs, the Lodge is set back even further, so do not expect ocean-front lodging here. The Signature Rooms surround a central courtyard with lovely landscaping. Each room has a balcony that looks over the garden area, but there are no golf course or ocean views here. The Palisades Rooms are in the same wing as the Signature Rooms, but they are on the side that looks out over the golf course and towards the ocean, so the views are better here. The rooms with real style though are the Blacker/Gamble Suites and the Robinson/Thorsen Signature Rooms, with huge decks and outdoor covered areas for relaxing, opening directly onto the golf course outside your windows. The normal rooms run about $350-$450 in the off season and $500-$700 per night during the busier times of year. For prices and availability on the more expensive suites, you can call the Lodge direct at 800-656-0087. You can book regular rooms on their website and check availability.
The other choice is the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines (10950 North Torrey Pines Road, 858-558-1500). Their property looks out over the 18th hole of the South Course at Torrey Pines. They have several wings that stretch out towards the ocean with beautiful cascading terraces and patios to celebrate the California sunshine. It gets a 4 Diamond rating from AAA, just behind the Lodge's 5 Diamond rating. Rooms are a little cheaper here, running about $200-$350. You can book rooms at Expedia.com or Hilton.com.