FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

San Diego, Calif., The Grand Del Mar, The Grand Golf Club

Apr 1, 2010
2010 / April 2010

The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, voted by Global Traveler readers as the Best Hotel in the United States, may have won due to The Grand Golf Club, which adds a great deal to the property. The Tom Fazio-designed course originally opened in 1999 as part of the Meadows Del Mar, a private residential community. In 2003, the course was purchased as part of The Gra

nd Del Mar Resort.

The course lies in Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve and boasts varying degrees of elevation, various types of bunkering and detailed maintenance, likening it to a private golf course. It is, in fact, private — open only to members and hotel guests.

A true sense of the private club feel comes through the forecaddy program. Each foursome has an experienced forecaddy to guide and offer advice — and in our case, laugh at our jokes! Wes, our forecaddy, aimed to please by eyeing putts, offering advice and raking bunkers. He added a great deal to our enjoyment of the course.

The hotel is magnificent and the restaurant, Addison, offers a great night out. Chef Bill Bradley was featured in the “Bon Vivant” article of the November 2007 issue of Global Traveler.

Not a penny was spared during the construction of The Grand Del Mar. It was money well spent, and the property is definitely worth a visit. You can relax by the pool or hop a shuttle to the beach. The ornate on-site chapel is a unique, must-see venue.


Hole 1 (383 yards, par 4)

Our caddy, Wes, gave us the lay of the land and explained the intricacies of the course. Just near the tee box is a statue of golf legend Bobby Jones, the only golfer to win the true golf “Grand Slam.” In 1930, Jones won the British Amateur, the British Open, the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur.

From the tee box, you are taken by the downhill fairway and the narrowness of the course. Left center of the fairway is the key placement for your drive, but mine careened right and seemed to be lost in the sloping hills. When we came near the green, we saw my drive had returned to play, rolling down the cart path under a tree that guards the right of the green. A botched chip past the flag and a putt that just missed the pin carded me a bogey.


Hole 3 (565 yards, par 5)

This 565-yard par 5 lies at the base of rolling hills and offers a narrow fairway. From the tee box, keep your shot away from three fairway bunkers, two left and one right, which lie just before the dogleg turns left and where the hole starts a gradual uphill to the green — one of the longest on the course. Make sure you are aware of the false fronts and a large hump running through the middle of the green.


Hole 4 (480 yards, par 4)

Lots of trouble on this No. 1-ranked handicapped hole. From the tee box you can clearly see the design of the dogleg left and the bunkers strategically placed on the right and left of the fairway. Straying beyond these two points means trouble with rough and ravines. What is not clear from the tee box is the fairway’s dramatic slope down to the green at about 100 yards out. You can bump and run onto the green, as there are no obstacles but a trap on the left side.


Hole 5 (378 yards, par 4)

This very narrow hole is a little intimidating from the tee. The fairway slopes significantly from right to left. The fear is that your ball will land left but then bounce out and into the dense brush and trees.

Vlad’s worst fears became a reality as he drove the ball along the left side, and rather than inching further right and back into play, the ball continued on course and even gave up some trajectory to the left, landing and staying in San Diego forever. I had a decent drive and a better approach, saving par. Others on the team favored the right side, and they were not to be seen again until the next hole!


Hole 11 (212 yards, par 3)

This is not a particularly special or beautiful hole, but it was so much fun, I have to include it. I teed off and landed squarely on the backside of the green. Steve pushed his shot to the right bunker, Bill came up short and Vlad overshot the green into the trees and bank below. It was the recovery shots that were so enjoyable: Steve shot out of the trap, landing next to the pin for a gimmie 3; Bill chipped on the green for a long-putt par; I putted for a par; and Vlad . . . well, we won’t discuss his score — it was a little higher!


Hole 12 (600 yards, par 5)

This is a killer hole, the longest on the course. The club pro reminded us that it requires every inch from every shot you play. From the tee box you drive over a small pond to a landing area where accuracy is key. The second fairway wood shot requires all you can muster to lay up for your approach while avoiding moguls, traps and a fairway that slopes left to right.


Hole 16 (515 yards, par 5)

This hole was drastically changed, from a par 4 to a par 5, adding 115 yards and making it significantly more difficult. It is also the shortest par 5 on the course, so you have a chance at a birdie. The fairway runs downhill as a slight dogleg right and demands absolute accuracy. My teammates had difficulty keeping their balls in play; we learned that tee and fairway shots favoring the left side tend to roll back toward the center of the fairway. For big hitters trying to make the green in two, there is a natural growth area on the left side, and water can also take some shots that are too long.


Hole 17 (242 yards, par 3)

This 242-yard par 3 will be unreachable in regulation for most golfers; many approach it as a par 4. The large water hazard, which runs in front of the green and most of the bail-out area, took most of our drives. Best play for those not confident to reach the green is the right side, but you might find your ball rolls into the trap greenside. Back tee placement can be particularly challenging, as the green is tiered.


The Grand Golf Club
The Grand Del Mar
5200 Grand Del Mar Way
San Diego, CA 92130
tel 858 314 1930

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 30, 2022

London’s Historic Wiltons Celebrates 280th Birthday with Exclusive Dining Experience

First opened in 1742 by George William Wilton, a seller of oysters, shrimp and cockles near Haymarket in London, Wiltons continued drawing diners with its delicious food for more than two centuries. This summer, Wiltons celebrates its 280th birthday and its place as one of London’s most beloved fine-dining establishments with a unique dining experience.

Celebrity Cruises’ Spring Sale

There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*

Daily
Jun 30, 2022

New EDITION Reykjavik Offers City’s First Luxury Lodging

Resting on the edge of Reykjavik’s Old Harbour next to the soaring, sparkling glass edifice of Harpa concert hall and conference center, the brand-new Reykjavik EDITION brings a new level of swish lodging to Iceland’s capital city. Steps from Laugavegur — the city’s main shopping street — and an easy walk to a wide selection of museums, restaurants and cafés, the newly opened hotel delivers high on luxury and service in a location ideal for becoming fully engaged in the energy of this spirited capital city.

Daily
Jun 30, 2022

OMNIYAT, Dorchester Collection Break Ground on AVA at Palm Jumeirah

Recently, more than 345 million people globally watched OMNIYAT light up the sky for the launch of AVA at Palm Jumeirah, Dorchester Collection, Dubai thanks to more than 500 drones. Now, OMNIYAT will once again illuminate the sky with one light to signify the groundbreaking of AVA at Palm Jumeirah Dorchester Collection, Dubai.

TAP Air Portugal: 77 Years Young

TAP Air Portugal, or rather Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, was founded 77 years ago, March 14, 1945, and flew its first commercial flight September 19, 1946, inaugurating service from Lisbon to Madrid, Spain, aboard a Douglas DC-3.

Daily
Jun 29, 2022

Luxurious Getaway at Ocean Casino Resort

Enjoy a relaxing getaway at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. Whether your visit is for business or leisure, the resort offers a variety of amenities and programming.

eFlyer Deals
Jun 29, 2022

Sip & Savory Offer at Palacio Provincial in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

In time for summer, the recently opened Palacio Provincial hotel in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, launched a new exploration-driven offer. The Sip & Savory Summer offer includes a mixology tour for two adults, a sweet or savory welcome amenity and a hotel-branded gift.

Los Cabos Sets Your Vacation Apart
from the Rest

Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.

Daily
Jun 29, 2022

Monticello NY Opens Art Space Center in Former 1940s Buick Showroom

Monticello, New York, population 6,400, is an old Catskill town in Sullivan County that thrived from the 1950s–70s, with hundreds of country resorts. Although the town lies just a two-hour drive from Manhattan's cultural attractions, Monticello always seemed light years away in terms of cultural ambiance.