Course in Focus: Torrey Pines
If you ask a golfer which courses in the United States are household names, Torrey Pines will make the list every time. Opening in 1957, Torrey Pines was an immediate favorite among golfers both locally and worldwide. Nestled in the cliffs of La Jolla in San Diego, California and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Torrey Pines is one of most picturesque courses in the world.
Fun facts about Torrey Pines Golf Course:
It was originally an Army base used during the Second World War. Before it was a world class golf facility, the land that would become Torrey Pines Golf Course was known as Camp Callan, a military training camp focused on anti-aircraft artillery replenishment. The base was operational from 1941-1945.
It then became a race track. After Camp Callan closed, the buildings were removed, but the streets still remained... and were soon repurposed to build a grand prix racecourse, hosting races that included some of the biggest names in driving. No trace of the track remains today, but its said that the start-finish line was located somewhere in the vicinity of the eighth green of the South course. In 1955, it was decided that the track would be converted into a golf course, and the final race was held in January 1956.
The course is named after…wait for it….the Torrey Pine. Technically known as the Pinus torreyana, the Torrey Pine is an endangered pine species found only in the golf complex, the Torrey Pines State Reserve next door, and on Santa Rosa Island near Santa Barbara, CA. It's illegal to cut one of these rare trees down, so while hundreds of other trees have been removed over time to open up vistas and improve turf conditions, any Torrey Pines that have needed to be moved have been carefully relocated, and all have survived.
The course has hosted the US Open twice, and hosts the Farmers Insurance Open annually. Torrey Pines hosted the US Open in 2008 and again in 2021. It's also home to the annual Farmers Insurance Open, which has gone by several other names over time based on sponsorship, but was originally known as the San Diego Open. This tournament was first held at Torrey Pines in 1968, and has been played there every year since.
The difference between the highest and lowest points on the course is a little over 111 feet. And every inch of elevation on the real course has been reproduced in Ultimate Golf, so you can have the full experience at your (literal) fingertips!
Torrey Pines Golf Course is owned and operated by the City Of San Diego, which means ANYBODY can book a tee-time and take on the challenge!
And while anyone can play the course if they're in the area, not everyone can make their way out to San Diego... which isn't a problem any longer, as you can now play the course any time you'd like in Ultimate Golf! Torrey Pines will test all aspects of your UG game—precision drives, long distance chipping, and some of the most challenging par 3s we've got. Be prepared to use a wide variety of clubs as you go after that low score!