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Sports Weekend

Southland Focus

July 31, 1998|SHAV GLICK, 18 Handicap

A weekly look at golf courses open to the public in Southern California.

TORREY PINES MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE (SOUTH)

Address: 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla

Phone: (619) 452-1784

Green fees: $46-51; $19-30 for those with San Diego resident ID cards.

Tee times: Seven days in advance.

The facility: If the course were 10 miles inland, it would be another uninteresting municipal course. But it's not inland, it's on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean with as breathtaking a view as California's other seaside courses, Pebble Beach and Sandpiper. For diversions, there are often colorful hang gliders soaring along the coastline, or military jets roaring overhead. The course has been the annual site of PGA tournaments with a variety of names since 1968.

The good: The fairways are wide and mostly straightaway, the greens are true and the trees catch only the most errant hooks and slices. The breeze off the ocean keeps hot summer days enjoyable, although it can make club selection tricky. The 18th is an easy finishing hole, a 495-yard par five with a green guarded by Devlin's Billabong, a small pond named for the Australian pro who took six strokes to get his ball out of the water and an eventual 10 on the hole in the final round of the 1975 Andy Williams San Diego Open.

The bad: Because of their relatively low cost--for residents of San Diego city and county--both the easier North and the more renowned South courses are crowded. Getting a starting time is more difficult sometimes than shooting par.

The score: It's always a pleasure to play where the greats of golf have played, and the winners at Torrey Pines have included Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Fuzzy Zoeller, Johnny Miller, Craig Stadler, and in the Junior World, Tiger Woods.

*

Overall rating: 3 balls.

*

* One ball: No-frills golf.

** Two balls: Worth an occasional round.

*** Three balls: Like shooting four strokes under your handicap.

**** Four balls: Where the golf gods play.

*--*

Hole Back Tees Middle Tees Par Front Tees 1 447 430 4/5 374 2 365 351 4/4 283 3 173 138 3/3 97 4 453 433 4/5 350 5 404 392 4/4 320 6 557 518 5/5 453 7 453 434 4/4 380 8 171 157 3/3 148 9 536 521 5/5 433 Out 3,559 3,374 36/38 2,838 10 373 356 4/4 291 11 207 195 3/3 162 12 468 456 4/5 394 13 535 520 5/5 411 14 398 384 4/4 255 15 389 341 4/4 282 16 203 185 3/3 176 17 425 411 4/4 345 18 498 483 5/5 418 In 3,496 3,331 36/37 2,734 Total 7,055 6,705 72/75 5,572

*--*

Rating/Slope: Black--74.6/136, Middle--72.6/130, Front--72.5/122

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