Torrey Pines North Course Vs South Course

Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, San Diego offers two 18-hole championship courses – the North and South Courses. Both offer a great golfing experience, but which one best suits your needs?

In this article, we’ll compare and contrast the two courses to help you decide which one to play or whether you should play both. From their history and difficulty to yardage and green fees, let’s explore what each course offers.

Torrey Pines North Course Vs South Course
Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Torrey Pines North Course Vs South Course


You have two amazing options when it comes to golfing at Torrey Pines – the North and the South – both of which are world-class.

The South Course is a whopping 7,802 yards, so you know you’ll get a challenge! However, the North Course is also an impressive 7,258 yards and in 2016 Tom Weiskopf was asked to renovate it.

Weiskopf on his work at the North Course:

I think everybody is going to enjoy this golf course, It’s playable. It’s maintainable. It’s memorable. This is such a special piece of property.

Tom Weiskopf – Professional Golfer and Golf Course Architect

Around 60 trees had to be removed due to an infestation but this opened up some wonderful views so wasn’t all negative. Fairway widths have been increased and the bunker count has been reduced.

The North Course is a lot more manageable for beginner golfers as well as veterans; its open fairways make it easier to play while providing some nice views. It’s also more affordable than Torrey Pines South.

When the PGA Tour comes to town for the Farmers Insurance Open both courses feature although the professionals only play once on the North.

In short, it’s up to you to choose between these two world-class courses depending on your skill set and budget!

Torrey Pines Golf Course Clubhouse
Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Torrey Pines Golf Course Clubhouse


With its two stunning 18-hole courses designed by legendary architect William P. Bell and his son, William F. Bell, Torrey Pines has been a must-play destination for golfers of all levels since 1957.

The South Course was remodeled by Rees Jones in 2001 and stretches to an impressive 7804 yards in length along with spectacular scenic views allowing you to play like the pros. It was the host venue for the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Open Championships. It is one of a short list of municipal golf facilities that have held majors in the United States.

There is also a restaurant/grill near the Lodge at Torrey Pines. If you want to warm up before tackling these tricky golf courses you can do so at their driving range and practice putting greens.

It’s no surprise that these classic courses are one of San Diego’s biggest attractions.


Playing Torrey Pines is a challenging experience, with tight fairways, plenty of rough and bunkers to test your skills. If you want to play like the pros then the yardage of 7804 will be enough to bring many to their knees!

Torrey Pines North golf course may be shorter than its sister but it still offers a variety of obstacles for golfers to tackle. With narrower fairways and smaller greens, it can be more difficult for players who aren’t used to playing on tighter courses. Additionally, there are several elevation changes throughout the course that can make it harder for players to hit their shots accurately.

While both courses are very different in design and difficulty level, they both offer an enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels.

Statistically Torrey Pines South is one of the more difficult courses played on tour.

Torrey Pines North Course First Hole
Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons- Torrey Pines North Course First Hole

Yardage and Hazards

At Torrey Pines, you’ll find an enjoyable challenge no matter your skill level, as both courses offer a variety of yardages and hazards – “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” that makes this unique golf experience so great.

The Torrey Pines North Course is 7,258 yards in total with thick rough lining the fairways and camp Callan bunkers scattered around the green complexes. While it is slightly shorter than its South Course counterpart, it still provides a tough test for any golfer.

Torrey Pines South Course is going to give players an even more challenging experience. With deep bunkers protecting small greens and thick rough to punish errant shots, there are plenty of risk-reward opportunities here – making every hole a thrilling experience!

Reviews of some of the courses I’ve played down the years.

Green Fees

The City of San Diego owns and maintains the municipal course, with green fees for both courses listed below.

CourseWeekday Rate (Resident)Weekday Rate (Non-resident)Weekend/Holiday Rate (Resident)Weekend/Holiday Rate (Non-resident)
Green Fees at Torrey Pines

Please note that the rates mentioned above are subject to change, and it’s always a good idea to confirm with the golf facility directly.

While many visitors probably just play the South because of its major pedigree the North is also well worth a round.

Torrey Pines, San Diego, Ca, Usa Panoramio (42)
Roman Eugeniusz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Torrey Pines, San Diego, Ca, Usa Panoramio (42)

Which Should You Play

You’ve heard all about the world-renowned courses at Torrey Pines but which one should you play?

Here’s a look at what each course has to offer:

  1. Torrey Pines North Course is designed by William F. Bell, son of legendary architect William P. Bell and remodeled by Tom Weiskopf in 2016. It’s a shorter 7258 yards in length, with more generous fairways than its sibling and plenty of bunkering that will challenge even experienced players. It also borders the Torrey Pines State Reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, the South Course was redesigned by Rees Jones in 2001 and now measures an impressive 7,804 yards in length. It features many challenging holes and it’s no wonder why this course was selected to host the 2008 U.S. Open Championship!

While neither course could be considered cheap compared with many major championship venues they are very reasonably priced.

So if you’re looking for a great round of golf and wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean, grab a tee time at Torrey Pines either the North or South Courses is sure to provide an enjoyable experience! While Torrey Pines South is more difficult than the North course if you are traveling any sort of distance you should take the time to experience both while you are in the area.

Torrey Pines South Course

Important Professional Tournaments

Experience the exceptional golf that Torrey Pines has to offer. The South Course hosted the 2021 US Open Championship and it is also an annual PGA Tour stop using both of the two courses at Torrey Pines.

The courses test players’ skill levels with tight fairways, lush rough, ample bunkering, and length that will challenge even professional golfers.

Recent winners of the Farmers Insurance Open include:

YearWinnerScore (Par=288)Margin of victoryPrize fund ($)1st Prize ($)
2023 Max Homa2752 strokes87000001566000
2022 Luke List273Playoff84000001512000
2021 Patrick Reed2745 strokes75000001350000
2020 Marc Leishman2731 stroke75000001350000
2019 Justin Rose2672 strokes71000001278000
2018 Jason Day278Playoff69000001242000
2017 Jon Rahm2753 strokes67000001206000
2016 Brandt Snedeker2821 stroke65000001170000
2015 Jason Day279Playoff63000001134000
2014 Scott Stallings2791 stroke61000001098000
Winners of Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines

Tiger Woods At Torrey Pines

Tiger has won the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines an unbelievable 7 times! If you add in his US Open Championship in 2008 that makes for 8 wins at one venue. Unfortunately for Tiger that only gets him into a tie for most wins at one venue – with himself – twice! The WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone C.C. (South) and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. Sam Snead also managed 8 wins at the Greater Greensboro Open although this was held at two different venues when Sam won his titles which were an impressive 27 years apart!

Other Notable Golf Courses Near San Diego

There is plenty of great golf in the area if you are planning a trip. Golf Digest named San Diego as one of the Top 50 golfing destinations in the world! Venues you should consider for your itinerary include:

  • Aviara Golf Club
  • Coronado Golf Club
  • Maderas Golf Club
  • Barona Creek Golf Club
  • Willow Glen at Singing Hills
  • Omni La Costa Champions Course

Unfortunately, like many parts of the US, a lot of the courses are private and that means members and their guests only unlike the UK where there are only a handful of courses that you can’t access – even if the green fee might be steep at some!

Torrey Pines North Course Vs South Course: Conclusion

You’ve now learned the differences between Torrey Pines North and South courses, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

While some may think that the South Course’s length makes it too difficult, don’t let that deter you – its challenge provides a great opportunity to hone your game and you can always play off a set of tees more suitable to the distance you hit the ball.

Regardless of which course you choose, you can be sure that Torrey Pines golf club will provide a world-class golfing experience!

Have you played Glen Abbey – another PGA Tour venue?

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A lot of PGA Tour events are held at TPC venues. Not sure what TPC stands for?

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