Barona Creek Golf Club
18 holes with Tina Mickelson
Photo by Stewart G. Abramson
1000 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside
Ranges from 7,092 to 5,296
Range from $80 to $160
Pete Shaw’s football career ran from 1977 to 1984, and because there wasn’t a lot of time for golf, he could only squeeze in a few rounds per year. All that changed when he retired. Now, more often than not, you will find him on a golf course. His favorite San Diego course? Barona Creek Golf Club, which is where he made his first (and only, to date) ace. But that’s not what keeps him coming back.
There is such a free feeling as you stand on the tee box and look out at the sprawling valley of velvet green grass surrounded by natural vegetation. At the highest point of the golf course, you can see just about every hole.
The stillness in the air is broken only by the gurgling creek meandering through the property. There is just something about running water on a golf course that makes it extra special. The sand in the bunkers is some of the softest and most consistent in San Diego.
This is a golf course that fits every skill level. If you hit it well, you feel like you should enter the next long drive contest. But don’t let the open appearance fool you. There is definitely a price to pay if you hit a poor shot. The golf course is fair while it tests your game, which is why it has served as host for a number of championship events including Nationwide Tour events, mini-tour events for the LPGA, and numerous college golf tourneys.
Golf Digest rates it right up there with Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. Barona Creek is a 30-minute drive from downtown—and one of San Diego’s best-kept secrets.