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18 Holes With Tina Mickelson: Vista Valley Country Club

A new-and-improved course and clubhouse caters to both beginner and advanced golfers


Vista Valley Country Club
29354 Vista Valley Drive, Vista

Vista Valley Country Club is a cozy, tree-lined golf course community in Vista. This Ted Robinson–designed golf course is different because it was built first and home sites came second, meaning Robinson didn’t have to compromise his creativity to accommodate home lots. The result is a golfer’s dream, which also happens to include a seamless and beautiful community.

The current owners, John and Terri Havens, purchased the property in 2007 and didn’t waste time improving both the golf course and clubhouse. Five new tee boxes were added throughout the course, and hole 14 became an optional par 3/4, resulting in enough variety to cater to both beginner and advanced golfers.

This 18-hole championship golf course is renowned for its undulating fairways, impeccable (and fast) greens, numerous elevation changes, and serenity. The front nine features tight fairways that are lined by mature foliage, majestic trees, and meandering streams. The back nine is longer in yardage yet more open, with a number of elevated tee boxes. Many of the greens are protected by lakes or streams, providing both challenge and beauty.

Also added was an $8-million Mission Revival–style clubhouse renovation. Keeping things as “green” as possible, they used repurposed materials whenever possible. The Havens handpicked antiques from France that can be found throughout the clubhouse, which is now triple its original size at 39,000 square feet.

The extra space allows for a full spa, indoor basketball court, upscale fitness center, locker rooms with saunas and spas, a virtual golf room, and indoor and outdoor dining spaces. The expanded kitchen allows chef Melissa Gerlach more opportunities, which includes supporting local farms and vendors with a farm-to-table approach that results in seasonal menus and a way to get your greens—in more ways than one.

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