The tentative return date circled on Tiger Woods' return-from-back-surgery calendar is January 28, at the Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla. He loves Torrey Pines, and it's a natural place for him to ease back in to the competitive waters.
If you want to get a sneak preview and see for yourself why he likes it so much, now might be the time. With the Round on Us Package, you get a free round (and breakfast for two all three mornings at The Grill) when you book a three-night stay at the Lodge at Torrey Pines. Prices start at $449 per night, and go up for weekends and holidays.
The South Course at Torrey is the stiffer test -- Tiger won the U.S. Open there in 2008, and it will be the site of the 2021 Open as well. Rees Jones' 2001 renovation created a 7,600-yard monster along the lines of Bethpage Black, but with a clifftop view of the Pacific Ocean.
If the South is full and you end up on the North, it's not exactly a booby prize. Opening rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open are played there every year, and it's plenty long from the back tees at just over 6,600 yards from the blue tees. Regular human players often prefer it to the South because the views are just as good and pace of play tends to be quicker when everybody isn't always making triple.
The Lodge itself sits adjacent to the two courses, inland from the ocean but overlooking it on gentle hill. It has 170 rooms, a full-service spa and three restaurants, including The Grill and the critically-acclaimed AR Valentien. For a broader palate of options, you can drive 20 minutes south to the San Diego's downtown Gaslamp District, or make the five-minute drive north to Del Mar and stroll its charming downtown.
If you've always wanted to know how the sausage is made, you can visit both Callaway and TaylorMade world headquarters in nearby Carlsbad. The two companies sit a mile apart in the same office park near the Carlsbad airport, about 20 miles from Torrey Pines. TaylorMade has an official company tour, while Callaway only lets you come in for a high-end fitting.