(Update: This is a review of the North Course at Torrey Pines before the 2016 renovation)
The North Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course is an often overshadowed golf course because of it’s famous big sister, the South Course (you should also read my South Course review).
However, playing the North Course mustn’t be overlooked when visiting Torrey Pines. As with the South Course, the North Course is open to the public year-round, except when the PGA Tour is making its annual stop for the Farmers Insurance Open. It is included in the rotation Thursday and Friday, with each professional playing it once, and playing the South the other day. Then the South Course takes the spotlight for the weekend.
The most obvious difference between the two courses is length. The North Course can be stretched out to 6915 yards from the black tees, which is still a lot of golf course for the average golfer. They recommend 0 to 12 handicaps play from the blue tees (6601 yards), with special permission required to play the tips.
Except for the obvious difference in length, there isn’t much value in comparing the two courses. I just take The North Course for what it is – a challenging, extremely fun, and scenic golf course to play at a very fair price.
We lined up early (before 6am) at the starters shack, as we did for the South Course, in an attempt to get a walk-on time and save the $45 per player advanced reservation fee. We ended up being the second group off as the sun rose just before 7am. Bliss.
The approach to the par 5 1st hole:
The North Course can be played by non-residents for $100 during the week, or $125 on weekends. It’s easily one of the best $100 golf courses I’ve played to date. San Diego residents are able to play it for $40 during the week, which is almost a joke.
The North Course is the type of course you could play everyday and continue to enjoy. For the average golfer, the North Course still provides a good challenge while being far more playable day-in and day-out than its sister South Course. Their back-to-front sloping greens look tame, but can be sneaky tough and often difficult to read subtle breaks.
Interestingly enough, for women, the North Course plays longer and has a more difficult rating than the South Course.
Anytime I’m in the San Diego area, I will not pass up a relatively cheap early morning at Torrey Pines to play the North Course.
(Published from my iPhone)