Torrey Pines Golf Course (South)

Golf Course Review by: Alex Burger

Quick Facts

Designer:  William F. Bell in 1957

Cost:  $61.00 - $229.00 Click for current rates

Phone Number:  (858) 452-3226

Course Website:  Official Website - Visit Torrey Pines' official website by clicking on the link provided.

Directions:  Get here! - 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037

Photos:  See additional photos of

Accolades:  Annual host of the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open. Host of the 2008 U.S. Open (Tiger Woods) and 2021 U.S. Open.

What to Expect:  Simply the fact that the US Open was played at Torrey Pines proves to be an appealing feature of the course. For avid golfers wishing to play a quick morning round, a 5:00 AM arrival time is often necessary to secure an early spot in line for the starter's booth. This course is extremely long when played from the blue or black tees. Several par fours will require a driver and a three wood for the average player. The front nine at Torrey Pines is a bit shorter than the back, but surely the tougher of the two sides. A difficult stretch of holes on the front (4-7) requires length as well as the ability to avoid the sopping wet rough. Fog and deep bunkers usually prove to be some of the most difficult elements on this tough layout. The 18th hole is one that lacks absolutely no drama. About fifty yards short of this par five's green lies a lengthy lake followed by a mountainous slope leading up to the putting surface. A round at Torrey Pines South is very enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels.

Signature Hole:  3rd - 198 Yard Par 3 - Very few courses have comparable views to this coastal gem. This lengthy par three offers the most spectacular views of any hole on the property, overlooking the endless expanses of the Pacific Ocean. The shot plays two to three clubs less than the yardage, but it is still a tough task to gauge the right distance for this daunting approach. Shots that fall short, long, or left will surely find their way off the course into an unplayable bushy area. A bailout area to the right of this green is often the safest play for the not-so-confident hackers.

The hole everyone talks about at Torrey Pines, the ocean laden 3rd
3rd Hole at Torrey Pines (South) (198 Yard Par 3)

By the Numbers:

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Black 72 7680 78.1 143
Blue 72 7227 76.1 139
White 72 6885 74.3 136
Yellow 72 6542 72.5 133
Red (Women) 72 5542 73.5 128


Individual Hole Analysis

Best Par 3:  3rd - 198 Yards - The third hole at Torrey Pines is undoubtedly one of the most photographed holes in the golfing world. The thin sliver of a putting surface surmounted against the backdrop of dramatic cliffs and sprawling sea water seems nearly impossible to reach from the farthest tees. A general rule of thumb states that the shot plays exactly two clubs less when no wind is factoring into the golfer's shot decision. Long, short, and left are all extremely dangerous positions to flirt with on this approach. A bailout to the apron on the right is by far the safest play. Once on the putting surface, the golfers will notice the severe left to right slope of this small green. Three putts are a common occurrence on this difficult one-shotter.

A stunning backdrop for the 3rd hole at Torrey Pines; the mighty Pacific Ocean
3rd Hole at Torrey Pines (South) (198 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  14th - 435 Yards - The tee shot on this slight dogleg left par four is one that requires the utmost accuracy. Due to the solid length of this hole, a drive into the kikuyu grass is often not sufficient for the majority of golfers to reach the green in two shots. All along the entire left side of this hole, steep cliffs await careless shots. When approaching this tough hole, the golfers are faced with the task of carrying a deep bunker on the right while spinning the ball enough to keep it on the green and not launching it off the additional cliffs behind the green. A three putt is a common occurrence on this hole as well due to the incredible undulations that exist. As is the common theme on this course, the ball breaks severely towards the Pacific.

Torrey Pines (South) 14th hole
14th Hole at Torrey Pines (South) (435 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  13th - 614 Yards - From the pro tees, this par five is truly one of the most daunting in the game of golf. On right, deep fairway bunkers lurk whereas on the left, thick kikuyu rough awaits wayward tee shots. The second shot and third shots are no bargain either. The green complex on the 13th is one of the tougher spots on the property. Three deep bunkers on the right side of the green and two on the left create an extremely long forced carry into a shallow green.

Torrey Pines (South) 13th hole
13th Hole at Torrey Pines (South) (614 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  6th - 560 Yard Par 5 - The tee shot on this slight dogleg right par five is truly the only difficult part about this hole. Once you avoid a series of fairway bunkers on the left, limitless grass is available to position your second shot. The green is very receptive to a wedge or short iron. Though normally not reachable in two shots, this par offers several ways to attain a birdie.

Bogey Beware:  7th - 462 Yard Par 4 - Just after one of the easier holes on the course, one of the hardest holes directly follows it. Hitting this thin fairway is an absolute must because of the difficulty of the approach shot. This small green is surrounded by a collection area on the left and has deep bunkers on the right. From tee to green, this is absolutely one of the toughest holes on the course.

Final Cut:    Grade A-

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