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San Diego serves up sensational senior-friendly courses

By S. Adam Cardais,
Reidy Creek Golf Course in Escondido
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Designer Cal Olson aimed to make every hole memorable at the par-3 Reidy Creek Golf Course in Escondido. (Courtesy Reidy Creek)

Names like Torrey Pines and La Costa can strike fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned golfers. Indeed, the San Diego area is home to some of California's most challenging courses.

But good play doesn't have to mean long play, and that's good news for be seniors, for whom course length is a major consideration. Many top local courses are more than manageable from the forward and middle tees, and San Diego also has some great par-3 options.

Here are some great senior-friendly tracks in the area.

Barona Creek Golf Club: Located 30 miles outside of San Diego, Barona Creek measures 6,321 yards from the silver tees and 5,813 from the teals. Scenery abounds here, with oak trees peppered throughout the course and a stream playing through. And while bunkers surround many of the greens, the wide, spacious fairways will give you a bit of breathing room.

The Grand Golf Club: Formerly known as The Meadows Del Mar, this course is a little over 5,800 yards from the white tees. Designed by Tom Fazio, it is arguably one of the most beautifully maintained courses in the area.

"The few holes you see while driving up to the clubhouse literally give you goose bumps," Ben Malone wrote in this GolfCalifornia.com review. "Perfectly manicured fairways give way to plush greens that have more undulations than the Pacific Ocean."

The club is also known for top-notch service.

Four Seasons Aviara Golf Club: Designed by Arnold Palmer, this course is 5,007 yards from the forward tees. Walking Aviara is like taking a stroll through a garden: Palmer filled the course with a variety of flowers, shrubs and brush to compensate for the lack of natural scenery at the site in Carlsbad.

But don't let the flora fool you: Aviara is no pushover.

"There are enough enormous bunkers, lightning fast greens, uphill and downhill shots to test your golf mettle," wrote Art Strickland in this review. "Palmer is not famous for doing especially tough courses, but there are enough places to get in trouble at Aviara that you may wish you had time to stop and smell the flowers."

Reidy Creek Golf Course: This 2,621-yard track is considered one of the best par-3 courses in California. There are three sets of tees, and many who play here are pursuing that elusive ace (there were six holes-in-one in Reidy Creek's first 10 days of operation). Good luck acing the Peninsula, with its green is nearly enclosed by water hazards.

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