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Whether in San Diego for work or play, there are plenty of options for a quickie golf fix

Katie DenboBy Katie Denbo,
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Coronado Golf Course
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Coronado Golf Course is set beneath the iconic Coronado Bridge. (Courtesy of Coronado G.C.)

A destination for business and pleasure travelers alike, San Diego is a mecca for the active outdoor aficionado who, especially, has golf on the mind.

No matter how you get here or the circumstances behind your stay, it seems that there's always a little time in San Diego County to squeeze in a quick nine holes or a full round to experience the diversity and variety of golf offered by the area.

Torrey Pines Golf Course

Of all of the San Diego courses that come to mind when traveling to the area, probably the most popular is Torrey Pines' South Golf Course.

Site of the 2008 U.S. Open and the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open, Torrey Pines' cliffside location affords panoramic ocean views beneath the area's famous hang gliders that launch from the gliderport off the back nine. The South's signature par-3 third hole showcases downtown San Diego's skyline, as, conveniently, Torrey Pines is centrally located between North County and the City of San Diego, making it accessible no matter where home base has been made.

Have a family in tow? Torrey Pines State Reserve is located just north of the golf course and is a popular spot for spending an afternoon on the beach. The reserve's many hiking trails -- one of which runs adjacent to the driving range -- offer a scenic way to pass the time while you're finishing that round.

The Crossings at Carlsbad

For those based in North County, the Crossings at Carlsbad is a favorite for kicking off or closing out the day with a round.

San Diego's newest addition to the golf family opened in 2007 by the City of Carlsbad, and its rolling terrain and elevation changes create two distinct and challenging front and back nines that play just as well as nine-hole courses as an 18-hole round.

Connected by five bridges ("crossings") in place to work with the course's environmental and topographic conditions, many holes at The Crossings boast ocean views thanks to its setting atop the city, and its Canyons Restaurant is as popular with non-golfers as those there to play thanks to its Bloody Mary bar and terraced seating that showcases San Diego's famous sunsets.

For visitors to make the most out of the area, The Crossings is not even five minutes away from Legoland, the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, and Carlsbad beaches and dining.

Coronado Golf Course

Set beneath the iconic Coronado Bridge, Coronado Golf Course has long been one of San Diego's favorite municipal layouts thanks, in part, to its setting amidst San Diego Bay.

Located only minutes from downtown San Diego, Coronado's golf layout combines flat terrain and tree-lined fairways to create a resort-like feel, complete with views of docked sailboats and the historic Hotel Del Coronado.

Barona Creek Golf Club

Barona Creek Golf Club is the centerpiece of Barona Resort & Casino in Lakeside, located in East County on the Barona Indian Reservation.

It's beautifully peaceful and quiet, while offering a nearly 7,100-yard test of golf that winds its way through the natural terrain. Architect Todd Eckenrode pulled in inspiration from Scotland to work with the natural terrain of the land.

More than 100 bunkers are strategically scattered throughout, and along with natural long grasses and the course's iconic old oak tree that splits the first fairway, it offers lots of unforced challenges.

Other San Diego stops

Sycuan Golf Resort in El Cajon is a classic 27-hole property, perfect for the golfer looking to catch a quick nine holes before or after a long day.

The Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad is a popular destination for family and corporate travelers, and after re-opening its Champions Course after an extensive renovation, unveils its Legends Course renewal in late 2013.

Reidy Creek Golf Course in Escondido is a great executive course option that cuts out the par 4s and par 5s and leaves 18 tricky par-3 holes for a quick and satisfying round.

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Barona Creek Golf ClubCrossings at Carlsbad
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Katie Denbo is the past editor and publisher of FORE Magazine, a regional golf publication based in southern California. A blogger and golf photographer by hobby, she is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the California Golf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and has written about and traveled to golf resorts and properties all over the western United States and Canada. Visit Katieshack, Katie's golf blog, at katieshack.com, and follow her on Twitter at @kdenbo.

 
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