A Drive, a Chip, and a Putt to SoCal’s Golf Mecca
When you think of Southern California, your attention immediately shifts to sun, surf, and (of course) golf. So what better location for the world’s top golf manufacturers’ headquarters than Carlsbad, California.
By Ryan Byers
On The Green
Q&A / Renny Brown
Aviara’s Golf Pro on new technology
and club fittings
With golf club technology constantly advancing, players are hitting the ball farther and farther. Do you the think the USGA should impose more restrictions to limit such equipment advances? It’s a good question and has been debated quite regularly the last few years. My opinion is that limitations should be imposed for the different professional tours. Golf courses have become so long, particularly for major championships being played, that it would seem to make sense for both equipment and the golf ball to have more restrictions. Before you know it, we’re going to have courses playing at 8,000 yards or more...where does it end?
For everyday or occasional golfers, I believe for the prosperity and the growth of golf in general, the USGA should allow people to play with equipment and balls that maximize distance - ultimately increasing enjoyment and participation. Different rules for amateurs and professionals could increase the amount of rounds being played.
When it comes to product choice, are there certain companies that cater to certain styles of play? I believe if you had asked this question a few years ago, my answer would have been much different. If you look at the major manufacturers that are mentioned above, all provide product that can fit different levels of skill, from advanced to beginner. I believe the big shift in the last few years has been in club fitting. The technology available to the public consumer has changed so drastically and if someone hasn’t been fitted for clubs in the last two years or more, then you are basically playing golf as if you were trying to win the Indy 500 with a race car that was built in the year 2000. Most golf courses host demo days and do club fittings. My suggestion to someone that has never been club fit or is in the market for new clubs is to find and contact your local PGA Golf Professional for guidance on what might work best for your game.
Located 87 miles south of Los Angeles and just 35 miles north of San Diego, the coastal resort city Carlsbad is not only home to the heavy hitters of the golf industry manufacturers (such as TaylorMade, Titleist, and Callaway) but also the esteemed Aviara Golf Club and Resort. Named by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the best resort golf courses in America and the #1 golf resort in Southern California (according to the readers of Conde`Nast Traveler), the Aviara Golf Club (pictured above) overlooks the picturesque Batiquitos Lagoon ecological reserve. The 7,007 yard, par 72 course, designed by the one and only Arnold Palmer, offers beautiful views along the rolling hillside fairways. And with plenty of bunkers, water, and flower beds, it offers a great challenge to every level of golfer.
Aviara Golf Club offers golfers a lot more than just a spectacular 18-hole championship golf course. It is also home to the Kip Puterbaugh’s Aviara Golf Academy. The academy is the longest running golf school in the Western United States featuring one, two, and three day golf schools. Kip Puterbaughs consistently ranks as a top 100 golf instructor and top 25 U.S. golf schools in Golf Digest.
With the TaylorMade headquarters just around the corner, what better location for the first TaylorMade Performance Lab in the United States than at the Aviara Golf Academy. The two-hour technically advanced club fitting includes driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putter. Custom club fitting will build a club designed specifically to match an individual based on his or her swing, to maximize distance and control. Previously only available to PGA Tour professionals, the TaylorMade Performance Lab now opens its doors to anyone who appreciates the game and is looking to improve. After only 24 hours of your club fitting, a custom set of TaylorMade clubs is made available for purchase. 760/603.6900
At the conclusion of your wonderful day of golf and/or visiting the Academy, it is time to unwind and relax at the AAA Five diamond Park Hyatt Aviara Resort. From atop the mountainside, the views of the Pacific Ocean and the Batiquitos Lagoon will leave you in awe. With its Spanish colonial architecture, the elegant resort offers 329 spacious guest rooms – including 44 suites - all featuring private balconies or landscaped terraces offering magnificent views. Along with the 18-hole championship golf course, the resort also offers expansive facilities for meetings and special events, acclaimed dining, a full-service spa, swimming, tennis, and a fitness center. 760/448.1234
Rich in history, The La Costa Resort and Spa has been a popular destination getaway for everyone from right here in Southern California to folks from across the country. With two championship golf courses, La Costa served as home to two notable PGA Tour events. For 30 years the resort hosted the Mercedes Championships from 1969 to 1998, as well as the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for seven years beginning in 1999. The newly renovated Champions Course, originally designed by Dick Wilson in 1965, offers a great challenge. From the furthest set of tees it stretches to 7,172 yards with many bunkers and hazards; it will test even the greatest of golfers. The South Course, also designed by Dick Wilson in 1965, has recently undergone some updates. As part of a $10 million renovation, 4 of the 18 holes have been redesigned completely. The South Course measures out to 7,077 yards and is equally enjoyable.
La Costa Resort and Spa, while earning its reputation as a stellar golf destination, sets the gold standard for wellness retreats, having recently been named the #1 Wellness Spa in the country by Spa Magazine and Travel. With many options of spa services as well as plenty of activities in the state-of-the-art athletic club, one full day spent at the spa might just not be enough. 800/854.5000
GRAND DEL MAR
The Grand Del Mar is known as a premier San Diego resort destination. Set on Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, this Mediterranean-style resort has been recognized as one of the world’s “Best Places To Stay” by Conde` Nast Traveler. The Grand Golf Club is rapidly scaling the rankings as one of San Diego’s top golf courses. The par 72, 7,160-yard course was designed by Tom Fazio (voted “Golf Course Architect of the Year” three years in a row by Golf Course News). Fazio is best known for his strong sense of environmental design and challenging but fair golf. The Grand Golf Club fits that mold to a tee. Along with the incredible championship golf course, The Grand Del Mar offers irresistible dining as well as one of only 20 Forbes Five-Star Spas in the country. 855/314.2030