Imagine the warm sun on your face, a gentle breeze carrying the scent of freshly cut grass, and a stunning landscape spread out in front of you. No, this isn't a daydream - it's a round of golf in San Diego!
Whether you're a local looking to join a golf club, or a visitor aiming to experience some of San Diego's premier golfing landscapes, we've got you covered. Venture into the heart of the city's finest fairways, where tradition, beauty, and the quintessential Southern Californian charm collide in stunning fashion. From the historic splendor of Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club to the modernity of The Farms, each club offers a unique blend of challenge and reward. Seek out the breathtaking views at La Jolla Country Club, or immerse yourself in the elegant world of The Bridges. There's a course for every golfer's desire in San Diego - all that's left is for you to tee off. Dive into our in-depth exploration of the top ten private golf clubs in San Diego and find your perfect golfing experience.
Step into golfing history at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, designed by legendary architect Max Behr in the late 1920s. This tree-lined, par-72 classic is as challenging as it is beautiful. With its walkability, equestrian communion, verdant fairways, majestic trees, and elegant clubhouse, it’s no wonder why it's ranked number one.
Why Join: After the recent renovations, this has quietly become the best golf course in San Diego.
The Catch: You must own property within the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant to be able to join RSF GC.
02 - The Farms: Where Modernity Meets the Fairways
Located along the Southern border of Rancho Santa Fe. The original 1984 course was influenced by Pete Dye and several others. Revamped in 2000 by John Fought and Tom Lehman, it combines traditional golfing with a modern touch, making for a thrilling and diverse golfing experience that’s truly unique.
Why Join: It’s all about golf! This is considered by most to be the most challenging players course.
The Catch: It’s all about golf;). This club lacks amenities and is not as family friendly. One option would be to simultaneously join the neighboring Rancho Valencia for pool and spa amenities.
La Jolla Country Club is where sea views meet manicured greens. The club was founded in 1901 and originally designed by William Watson and William Bell. The course offers stunning Pacific panoramas and an array of strategic holes that will challenge even the most seasoned golfers.
Why Join: The views are incredible and it’s a fantastic links style course.
The Catch: There is a lengthy waiting list for membership and you have to be ok with traffic going in and out of La Jolla. This club is ideal for La Jolla residents.
04 - The Bridges: An Ode to Golfing Elegance
Feel like golfing royalty at The Bridges. This Robert Trent Jones Jr. masterpiece is a true testament to golfing elegance. The course's elevations, bridges, and water features offer a challenging and visually stunning experience that's not to be missed.
Why Join: This is a high-end club with exceptional service. With tee boxes in the midst of vineyards, you can’t help feeling like you are golfing in Tuscany.
The Catch: The name says it all…Yes, there are bridges throughout the course and canyons to hit over. This is not a walkable course - golf carts are a must.
05 - Del Mar Country Club: Where Sophistication Takes Center Stage
Experience a slice of golfing sophistication at Del Mar Country Club. Set amidst rolling hills and tree lined fairways, this is a delightful blend of natural beauty, strategic play, and elegant design that offers a challenge and a treat for the senses.
Why Join: The club has nice amenities, it is close to the coast and you don’t need a tee time.
The Catch: The knock on the club is three-fold, lacking consistency for managing membership, guest fees are currently $175 per round and it’s a fairly narrow golf course.
06 - Santa Luz: Where Golf Meets the California Dream
Santa Luz is a celebration of Southern California's unique landscape. Crafted by the hands of golf architect, Rees Jones, the course is a dream for golfers who appreciate a mix of natural beauty, challenging play, and top-notch facilities.
Why Join: Fun playable golf course. Excellent amenities for families.
The Catch: It is not a walkable course - golf carts are needed.
07 - Grande Del Mar: A Grand Golfing Experience
A round at the Tom Fazio-designed Grande Del Mar is nothing short of grand. With its dramatic elevations, diverse terrain, and superb amenities, it offers golfers a truly luxurious golfing experience.
Why Join: Fantastic location. Enjoyable course and the partnership with the Fairmont helps insure the clubs success and upkeep.
The Catch: It is not a walkable course - golf carts are needed. Tee times get shared with guests at the Fairmont. The course is considered narrow by some.
Take on the dynamic landscape of The Crosby Golf Club. Designed by Brian Curley and Fred Couples, this course offers an exciting blend of modern features and classic golfing principles that ensure an exciting round from start to finish.
Why Join: Fun playable golf course. Tennis Courts, Pool, Gym. Great for families.
The Catch: It is not a walkable course - golf carts are needed. It’s a bit far from the coast.
At Fairbanks Ranch Golf Club, a charming course designed by the renowned Ted Robinson, you'll encounter an enchanting blend of water features, varied terrain, and meticulously maintained greens that promise both a challenge and a charm.
Why Join: 27 holes. Membership and dues are less expensive than others. Excellent amenities for families - Child Care services are included.
The Catch: It can get very busy. The course does not drain well in the winter months, so the maintenance can often leave a bit to be desired.
No this is not a private course, but Torrey Pines Golf Club is a true gem in the San Diego golf scene. This public facility is steeped in PGA history and majestically perched on the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Home to two world-renowned courses, the North and South, designed by William F. Bell and later redesigned by Rees Jones, it's the site of the unforgettable 2008 and 2021 U.S. Open. Every January, it also hosts the Farmers Insurance Open, attracting golf enthusiasts from around the world.
The South Course is renowned for its punishing length and stunning coastal views, while the North Course offers a slightly shorter, but equally challenging and scenic round. Each hole is a test of skill, each view a photographer’s dream.
Why Join: Yes this is open to the Public. If you have residency in the city of San Diego, you can get a “resident card”, become a local member and make this your own club. The resident card allows you to book tee times in advanced and you’ll pay a fraction of the cost. Locals can play a US Open Course for $60-$100.
The Catch: The driving range and practice facilities aren’t the best. If you don’t pay the $30 pre-booking fee and book more than 7 days in advanced, tee times are challenging to come by. Afternoon rounds can be very slow - especially when the rough is grown out.
Coronado - fun course along the waterfront.
Aviara - Solid course in Carlsbad
Barona - Usually ranked high in San Diego Golf Course Rankings
Encinitas Ranch - Easy Ranch is a low stress round of golf in a great location
Goat Hill - Blast the music, wear jeans, bring your dog - anything goes here. It’s a blast.
Lomas Santa Fe Executive Course - excellent option for a 2 hour round of cheap golf. Perfect for kids and beginners.