JUNE 30: Nate Lashley putts on the fourth green during the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Country Club on June 30, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Ben's Back Nine

San Diego Golf Course Rankings 11-15

Ben Higgins
July 04, 2019 - 6:00 am

July is a great month for golf in San Diego. While other places in the Southwest like Phoenix, Las Vegas, or La Quinta are getting too hot to spend 5 hours outside, here in San Diego, all you need is a little sunscreen and a couple of cold drinks to get through 18 holes.

I've been playing golf since I was 8 years old, mostly on courses in North County, so throughout the month of July, I thought I would count down my ranking of the top 15 places you can play in the area. I kept private clubs off the list, and geographically, I tried to shoot for anywhere between Mission Valley and the county line, somewhere between or within a few miles of the 5 and 15 freeways.

This is simply my own list with my own criteria of where I enjoy playing. Feel free to disagree.

#15 - The Crossings at Carlsbad

Still one of the newer courses in the county, the Crossings is named for the various bridges you'll need to cross to traverse the canyons between Legoland and Palomar Airport. I'm not going to lie -- it's a strange layout, and not a course where you can walk 18 holes. That being said, taken individually, the holes are good, and there are several memorable shots and cool viewpoints. If this is #15 on the list, you know this is a fantastic area for golf.

#14 - Lomas Santa Fe Executive Course

This course has sentimental value to me -- it's where I learned to play the game. To keep me from getting bored during summer vacation, my dad would drop 10-year-old Ben off around 8am on his way to work, and I usually ended up playing 36 holes, often with three white-haired ladies who'd comment on what a polite young man I was. Mostly par-3's, with a couple of very short par-4's, it's a good place to work on shots under 150 yards. To be totally honest, though, I don't remember seeing any executives around the course.

#13 - Oceanside Golf Course

So, Oceanside muni isn't going to win any awards for design or pristine maintenance. Sometimes, though, it's nice to play a round of golf for around 30 bucks. It's got 18 holes, a few challenges on the way, and it's easy to walk. A reminder that you don't have to spend $200 to spend an enjoyable afternoon on the links.

#12 - St. Mark Golf Club

If you've lived in San Diego as long as I have, you probably still know this track as Lake San Marcos. If you haven't been in a while, though, they've made some improvements and created a worthy 18-hole challenge. Sure, there are a couple of funky doglegs, but I enjoy winding through the trees around North County's hidden lake, with extra points for the somewhat surprising elevated tee 14th hole with a risk-reward drive and a unique view of the 78 corridor (home to some of the best craft beer in the world).

#11 - Rancho Bernardo Inn

​I can't say anything bad about RB Inn. It's hard to believe I have 10 other courses ranked higher on my list, but the competition is tough. Over 6,600 yards of well-manicured championship golf. A nice uphill finish up to the clubhouse and the hotel. Bonus points for being one of the JC Golf options throughout San Diego.


NEXT TIME: I'll count down the #10 through #6 courses in my favorite places you can play in North County San Diego.