The PGA Tour rolls through Torrey Pines Golf Course this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. One of the gems each year on tour, Torrey Pines has more to offer than just some good golf.
Here are five things you need to know:
Tiger Woods is making his 2014 debut
The world’s best golfer is a pretty big fan of Torrey Pines, largely because he’s mastered it. He’s won eight times here as a pro, including the 2008 U.S. Open, his most recent major victory, and last year’s Farmers Insurance Open. Should he secure No. 9 this weekend, that’d give him the record for most PGA Tour wins on a single course. The only other person to win eight times in one place? Tiger Woods, who’s also done the deed at Bay Hill (Arnold Palmer Invitational) and Firestone Country Club (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational).
You can actually play this course
Annually lauded as one of the finest public courses around, Torrey Pines Golf Course allows walk-ons. Advance reservations can be made for residents and non-residents, but the course doesn’t accept anything prior to 7:30 a.m. Tee times from 6:30-7:20 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and from dawn until 7:20 a.m. Friday through Sunday, are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Some diehards begin lining up the evening before. If you’re a San Diego city resident, the more-expensive south course will cost you $61 for 18 holes during the week, and $76 Friday-Sunday. If you’re not a resident, those fees jump to $183 and $229.
You can get a bird’s-eye view
If you watch the Farmers on TV, you may have spotted some parachutes off in the distance. That could be you! Plunk down $150 at the Torrey Pines Gliderport and you can go tandem paragliding. Or throw down $200 for tandem hang gliding. If you’re lucky, nab a spot in the evening and catch the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.
The best steak ever is 20 minutes away
It’s not at a steakhouse, or even an American restaurant. The best steak ever is served at an Italian restaurant right in the heart of downtown San Diego. Acqua Al 2 began in Florence, Italy, but opened a second eatery in the Gaslamp District in 2000. As soon as you sit down, order the Filetto al Mirtillo: a hand-carved fillet mignon topped with a blueberry sauce. Scrumptious.
Great wine is all around
Some of the finest wineries in California, which has a pretty good reputation for wine, are just north of San Diego. Temecula Valley is a wine haven, but it’s 45 minutes north of Torrey Pines. No problem – someone will come pick you up for a wine tour. Or don’t even venture that far and take a San Diego Wine Country Chauffeured Tour, which takes you to three family-owned San Diego County wineries.
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