La Jolla, California
Thanks to Bethpage Black and Harding Park, municipal courses are back in vogue as venues for big-time tournaments.
The granddaddies of the genre remain the North and South courses at Torrey Pines near San Diego. Rees Jones toughened the South four years ago in anticipation of the 2008 U.S. Open, adding 28 bunkers and more than 500 yards, and turning a good test into a 7,607-yard monster.
The North is a more manageable 6,874 yards from the tips. Both tracks are used in the 2006 Buick Invitational (Jan. 23-29), though the South pulls solo duty for the weekend.
Most tee times are made by calling 619-570-1234 up to seven days in advance, starting at 7 p.m. PST.
Other options include staying at either The Lodge at Torrey Pines or the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, both of which offer packages with tee times.
Greens fees on the South course are $115-$135. The North will cost you $75-$85. 800-985-4653, torreypinesgolfcourse.com.
If you plan to tackle one of the toughest tracks on the PGA Tour, there’s no better base camp than The Lodge at Torrey Pines, a 175-room boutique hotel alongside the 18th fairway of the celebrated course.
The Lodge is just 20 minutes from downtown San Diego. Weekend packages that include two rounds at Torrey Pines and two nights accommodation start at $569 per night. Call 800-656-0087 or visit lodgetorreypines.com.lodgetorreypines.com.