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A SAN DIEGO GOLF COURSE REVIEW

STEELE CANYON GOLF COURSE

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

Panoramic Golf by Martin Olivera

The views are magnificent and this immaculate San Diego golf course is something to write home about. That is what a Junior World participant could tell you about Steele Canyon Golf Club. For the past several years, 13 and 14 year-old boys from all over the planet have come to play this San Diego golf gem in a world class competition. Designed by the legendary Gary Player and recognized with the prestigious "Four Star" rating by Golf Digest magazine, Steele Canyon Golf Course - which opened to play in 1991 - is composed of three distinct nine-hole courses: Canyon, Meadows and Ranch, each featuring a particular natural environment framing their Bermuda fairways and Bent grass greens. In reality, they offer the possibility of three different 18-hole layouts. All three are a scenic golf challenge. Canyon offers dramatic changes in elevation that will play with your mind when it comes to club selection. It's the shortest, yet perhaps the most difficult of the three nines for the average player, more so when the desert breeze kicks in. "My favorite hole on the Canyon nine is the par-3 eighth, 'Splash'" says Colin Radchenko, the Director of Golf Operations at Steele Canyon. "It's a long and challenging hole that requires an accurate shot to the green. Missing the green demands a very sharp short game to save par." The hills are populated with boulders and rocky outcrops, surrounded by semi-desert bushy vegetation. Meadows flows through a green valley with picturesque streams, wildlife and woodlands. Its holes have names like "Roll Away" and "Wee Burn." Two of them have forced carries off the tee. Ranch, the longest of the three nines at 3,535 yards from the "blues," meanders through the fields and corrals of a centenarian working ranch. Its third hole, appropriately named "Parachute" presents the player with a tremendously elevated tee shot overlooking a wide fairway. There is a feeling of "letting it go" and swing hard just to see the golf ball soar away. In spite the huge elevation change, the carry over the bushes and rocks on the hillside is only 170 yards from the regular "white" tees. Visually deceiving, but with a breathtaking view. Speaking of soaring, one could literally jump off the tee box on a hang-glider or a parachute to reach the fairway several hundred feet below. Luckily golf carts do not have wings so the temptation to fly off the deck is not there. The player has to carefully drive down the steep, meandering cart path back to the course. Bumps strategically placed along the narrow paved way help remind drivers to keep the speed at safe levels. Getting to the fairway is a bit of an adventure on its own.

Besides hosting the international juniors, Steele Canyon has been the venue for the qualifier to the PGA TOUR's annual Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines Golf Course, a Gateway Tour tournament, and various important local and state golf tournaments and corporate golf events in San Diego. However, being host of high level competition shouldn't discourage the average golfer. This San Diego golf course has four sets of tees to fit various levels of golfing ability. The design is such that common sense is rewarded. Some holes are not very long but are tight off the tee, with narrow and well protected fairways. Other holes are long but wide open, inviting a temporary relaxation and enjoyment of the panoramic San Diego canyon and valley views. Only five of the 27 holes include "watery graves" or true water hazards. For the first time visitor, the variety from hole to hole will keep him on his tip toes, anxiously guessing and enjoying what's coming next.

Steele Canyon Golf Club is in a privatization process right now. "It'll become totally private when we enroll 450 full golf members", indicates the Canadian-born and PGA Professional Radchenko. "Refundable and non-refundable membership packages are currently available." Local personalities Doug Flutie and Drew Brees, both San Diego Chargers quarterbacks, are among those who have decided to enjoy the privileges and conveniences of being members at this fabulous golf course in San Diego.

In addition to three exceptional nine-hole courses, Steele Canyon Golf Course offers a fully stocked Pro Shop and is staffed with several teaching professionals that will help you set up a customized golf lessons program. There are also complete practice areas with grass tees for practicing your long and short game skills. The facilities include the Canyon Club restaurant and an outside pavilion that can accommodate up to 250 people for corporate events, banquets and weddings. Steele Canyon Golf Course has some of the most dramatic elevation changes you'll ever experience. It is truly a "must play" San Diego golf course you'll have to play to believe how good golf can get!

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

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