SAN DIEGO -- Riverwalk Golf Club provides golfers with a green oasis in the heart of San Diego. Its 27 holes -- the Friars, Presidio and Mission nines -- sprawl out across a serene setting that belies the busy world outside the fence.
Riverwalk is the third reincarnation of golf along the San Diego River. The old Mission Valley C.C. hosted an early edition of the Farmers Insurance Open called the San Diego Open Invitational from 1957-61, twice crowning Arnold Palmer as champion. Mission Valley was renamed the Stardust Country Club in the 1960s, while continuing to host several more professional invitationals won by legends such as Gary Player (1963) and Billy Casper (1966). The construction of the San Diego Trolley in the 1990s forced a complete redesign, and Riverwalk was born.
The Presidio loop features a pair of watery par 3s (no. 2 and no. 8) and a couple of stout par 4s (no. 7 and no. 9) along the river.
The Mission nine might be the most fun with five holes affected by water, including three short par 4s. The 293-yard second hole is drivable for long hitters. The 304-yard third hole plays over a pond with a waterfall feature. Water guarding the green makes the 542-yard ninth hole a true three-shot par 5.
Riverwalk's location has helped make the course a popular place to practice and learn the game. There are multiple instructional programs and classes available at the Performance Center and Learning Center located at opposite ends of the driving range.
Riverwalk has also tapped (pun intended) into San Diego's popular craft beer scene. The bar inside the clubhouse regularly rotates the flavors and breweries it uses. Golfers can purchase large growlers that keep four beers cold throughout the round. Riverwalk even held its first nine-hole craft beer scramble in March 2015. Thirsty for good golf and beer? Riverwalk has both.