Designed by Arnold Palmer, the 18-hole championship course was groomed to the height of perfection when we played. The only improvement I could suggest would be better-kept tee boxes; the grass seemed a little thin. The course is set in a natural canyon, so some of the layouts can be a challenge. Nearly the entire course is lined by high hills lush with brush or by a gorge. Either way, there’s no hope for stray balls.
The course overlooks the Batiquitos Lagoon, which feeds its many water hazards. Both Golf and Golf Digest have named Aviara one of the best golf resorts in the United States. Wildflowers were in full bloom when we played. The challenging layout winds through rolling valleys, offering views of the Pacific Ocean. Palmer took advantage of the natural landscape to create a course unique from other great California courses like Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach that highlight ocean vistas. Reportedly, designers took a full decade to work out a layout that would complement the natural topography and preserve the environmentally important wetlands.
The Palmer course is a 7,007-yard par 72 from the tips and has been open since 1991. Greens fees range from $175 to $195 for 18 holes. Twilight rates are offered.
Holes 1 and 2
The first two holes on the course are back-to-back par 4s offering golfers an introduction to Aviara. They’re not too difficult, but bunkers seem to be perfectly placed for landing. Of course, straying off line can be hazardous.
This par 3 over water will test your skill. Water on the right side of the green and two bunkers in the back catch long shots. It’s a make-or-break shot for the green.
A par 5, this hole is 543 yards from the “Palmer Tees” with waste bunkers running up the right side of the fairway to an elevated green. The entire hole is an uphill battle to the green and is said to bring many a golfer to his knees. The back of the green, framed by landscaping and wildflowers, is the reward for a hard-fought battle.
A 195-yard par 3 to an uphill green that requires a blind tee shot. The green is some 60 feet above the tee box.
At par 3, it’s not a spectacular challenge, but it is an enjoyable — and beautiful — hole. A waterfall runs along almost the entire right side of the hole beginning at the tee box and ending in a pond (of course) in front of the green. Flowers abound, disguising bunkers that make it essential your play is accurate.
Wildflowers blooming on both sides of the fairway make this par-3 hole a memorable experience. From the elevated tee, it’s 201 yards to the green with water in front.
At 443 yards, this par 4 was voted most difficult finishing hole in San Diego County by PGA professionals in 1991. You’ll face two bunkers and a lagoon to the left of the fairway and the green. A perfect tee shot by my partner still left a long shot to the green guarded by bunkers in the front right and rear and by the lagoon on the right.
Style and elegance permeate this Southern California golf resort.
Four Seasons’ first ocean-view golf and tennis resort in the mainland United States, Four Seasons Resort Aviara is set on 200 landscaped acres of rolling valleys overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon (www.batiquitosfoundation.org) wildlife preserve. Its name, Aviara, is a creative term coined by blending aviary, meaning home for birds, and terra, meaning earth, to reflect its unique position adjacent to the sanctuary that is home to more than 130 species of shorebirds, waterfowl and a variety of natural vegetation.
The resort features 329 guestrooms and suites distributed among a series of low-rise Spanish colonial-style buildings. Rooms open to either a private balcony or, in the case of first-floor rooms, a landscaped terrace. Standard amenities include multichannel televisions wired for Web-TV and Sony Playstation access, high-speed Internet data ports, two-line telephones with computer/fax connection capability, and marble baths with glass-enclosed showers and deep soaking tubs.
Four Seasons Resort Aviara
7100 Four Seasons Point, Carlsbad, CA 92009
tel 760 603 6800, fax 760 603 6801
Read This Next
2004 / April 2004Sep 1, 2010
FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
4 Spring Hotel Openings
With the start of spring, travelers have their choice of new design-centric boutique properties opening in the coming months. Check out these properties for travel inspiration.
Enter to Win $500 and Get Six Months’ Free Access to the New GT App
Now through May 8, sign up for a free six-month trial of the Global Traveler app and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card of your choice for Amazon, Apple or American Express.
eFlyer ReviewsMar 29, 2023
Elk Cove Inn & Spa Review
Mendocino County is a self-contained universe of effortless, California-centric joy enveloped within the Redwood Forest National and State Parks, the rocky Pacific Coast and several prime wine production areas like Anderson Valley. If Highway 1 and Route 128 are the ribbons holding this package together, Elk Cove Inn & Spa can be considered the bow. Mendocino Coast’s first vacation destination, established in 1968, is an ideal 16-room gateway to the destination.
YOTEL to Open YOTELPAD London Stratford in Late 2023
YOTEL recently announced plans to open YOTELPAD London Stratford at the end of this year, making it the seventh YOTEL property in the United Kingdom and third in London, joining YOTEL London City and YOTEL London Shoreditch. YOTEL currently features properties in the United States and United Kingdom, with hotels in Boston, New York, San Francisco and, more recently, Washington, D.C.
Share Your Travel Preferences with Global Traveler in a Short Survey & Win
Learning more about our readers’ travel habits and preferences ensures Global Traveler delivers the content you desire. As the travel industry has adapted and changed over the last few years, it’s more important than ever to connect. To best meet your short- and long-term travel content needs, please help us!
Puerto Rico’s Hotel El Convento Unveils Multimillion-Dollar Renovation
Hotel El Convento, one of Old San Juan’s most popular landmark hotels, recently completed a multimillion-dollar design and architectural renovation to its 81 rooms. The renovation blends Old World charm with Puerto Rico’s vibrant and modern energy.
Last-Minute Spring Deals from SIXT
Set Sail on a California River Cruise with American Cruise Lines
Love small-ship cruising and the California coast? You’re in luck: American Cruise Lines offers an eight-day San Francisco Bay excursion, taking in some of the best wine country in the United States. The itinerary for American Jazz — one of 10 new riverboats in American Cruise Lines fleet — includes ports in San Francisco, Stockton, Sacramento and Vallejo. Sailing time takes in San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay and the Napa and San Joaquin rivers. American Jazz reaches the California Coast following a repositioning journey from Mississippi, including a transit through the Panama Canal.
Europe is more fun with a Portugal Stopover.
DailyMar 28, 2023
Recaro Aircraft Seating CL670 Business-Class Seat Takes Off on Iberia
Recaro’s new CL6720 business-class seat with doors took off recently on Iberia’s Airbus A350 cabin, flying Madrid (MAD) to Buenos Aires (EZE), with a total of 31 of the seats in the aircraft’s business-class cabin. The premium-economy and economy cabins also feature Recaro seats.