186. Torrey Pines (South)
William F. Bell (1957) / Rees Jones (2006)
Torrey Pines sits on one of the prettiest golf course sites in America, atop coastal bluffs north of San Diego with eye-dazzling views of the Pacific. Rees Jones’ remodeling of the South Course in the early 2000s not only made the course competitive for the 2008 U.S. Open (won by Tiger Woods in a playoff over Rocco Mediate), it also brought several coastal canyons into play for everyday play, especially on the par-3 third and par-4 14th. An annual PGA Tour stop, Torrey Pines will see its second U.S. Open in 2021.
100 Greatest/Second 100 Greatest History: Ranked on America's 200 Toughest Courses, 1967-1968. America's 100 Greatest: 1969 through 1974. Ranked on America's Second 100 Greatest: 2013 to current. Highest ranking: Seventh 10, 1969-1970. Previous ranking: No. 166
Panelist comments, Torrey Pines (South):
"The course is visually stunning, has lots of contour and elevation change, and is an overall beauty. The holes don't present as much of a different set of challenges from one to the next."
"To me, Torrey Pines is the ultimate "muni." I love the feel/setting of the entire place."
"The vast majority of Torrey South's par 4s are long, demanding gently angled holes that require length and accuracy."
"Wished the bunkers had some character to them as they are very boring to look at and rarely varied in design or size."
"The beauty is stunning, it might be the best setting for a golf course that I have played. But it also a very difficult, brute, of a golf course. This is why it can host U.S. Opens."
"Torrey South is fair yet very difficult from the back tees driven by both length (7,700 yards) and challenging approach shots. Difficult yet still fair for the scratch golfer but very challenging if you're not much longer than average off the tee."
Photos: Courtesy of Jon Cavalier