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San Diego Golf Course Review | Pala Mesa Golf Resort | Pala Mesa Golf Course

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Pala Mesa Resort - Get Away From It All - by Martin Olivera

The invitation is to unwind and get away from it all with a fabulous San Diego golf vacation. That's what the Pala Mesa Golf Resort has been promoting in its 40 years of existence. Built in 1964, just north of San Diego in the foothills of Pala Mesa land, by the Old Highway 395 and in the heart of north San Diego wine country, this magnificent and somewhat secluded resort is truly a call to peaceful relaxation. "We don't want to be presumptuous," says General Manager Joseph Bann. "We want our guests to feel relaxed, whether it's at the golf course or at the restaurant." The recent $14 million renovation included upgrades to the golf course, the fine Aquaterra restaurant, and the 133 cozy guest rooms and suites, and was aimed at not only providing excellent resort amenities, but also conveniently modern meeting facilities.

This San Diego golf course is a Southern California classic. It was designed by Dick Rossen and it opened to the public concurrently with the resort. It was rated as one of the top - 200 golf courses in the United States by Golf Digest magazine, and top - 10 in the San Diego golf area by PGA professionals. The layout really takes advantage of what the natural terrain has to offer. Century-old oaks, pines, elm and woodpeckered sycamores with acorn-filled holes and tree-line fairways in the more challenging and seemingly narrower front nine holes. Dramatic changes in elevation provide panoramic views of hills and valleys and visually wider fairways dominate the more scenic and gentler back nine. The signature hole is the short dog-leg left par-4 11th. At 304 yards from the back tees, it doesn't seem very powerful, but to be able to almost drive the green a careful soft draw is a must" indicates Mark Mittlehauser, a teaching golf professional at Pala Mesa. "It's my favorite hole because of the risk-reward situation it presents to the player, and also because of the colors of the ice-plant in bloom in the summer." A golf course these days is as good as its conditioning. Pala Mesa golf course truly delivers a top quality track with bent grass greens that roll like pool tables - fast and true - manicured bunkers and lushy fairways. The renovation added more trees and bunkers to an already thinking-golfer design. The golf course will host a Gateway Golf Tour event this winter, featuring high-level golf touring professionals. The course record, a 63, was recorded by local professional Chris Starkjohann.

Complete golf practice facilities are available so you can work on your game in between rounds. A grass stalled driving range and short game areas are part of the amenities. Golf carts equipped with the latest Global Positioning System technology to ensure your golf experience stays on course.

The nationally acclaimed - Bruce Baird's California Golf School is a long-standing winter resident at Pala Mesa Golf Resort. Their school facilities sport challenging practice areas, target greens, individual putting greens, and an uncrowded atmosphere.

In addition to a first-rate San Diego golf experience, the resort features walking trails, a yoga lawn, four lighted tennis courts, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a world-class spa and a fitness center guarded by orange trees just outside the door. You may also want to indulge yourself with a massage service in the privacy of your room after a relaxing day on the links.

Pala Mesa Golf Resort is conveniently located somewhere in between Los Angeles and San Diego. It's ideal for a "let's meet somewhere in between." A wedding pavilion that can accommodate 350 guests is surrounded by rolling foothills and uses a waterfall and picturesque view of the golf course as a stunning backdrop. Six meeting and reception rooms, and outdoor terraces are also available for corporate and private functions.

The ranch-style clubhouse where the Aquaterra restaurant is located also features a seafood bar which opens every evening. Wall-sized windows overlooking a lighted area around the 18th green adds to the peaceful ambiance. For extra-resort activities, concierge services can arrange wine tasting tours followed by a specially catered dinner at one of Temecula Valley's fine wineries, or even a hot-air balloon ride.

Click to book tee times, corporate golf events or read more information about Pala Mesa Golf Resort or any of "The 20 Best Golf Courses" in San Diego."

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