The Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California, is an important contributor to the overall Park Hyatt Aviara Resort experience. While it is the resort that most visitors to the area are aware of, it’s the splendid, Arnold Palmer-designed, 18 hole championship layout that is the resort’s major draw. Set upon more than 200 acres of southern California’s most beautiful real estate, the golf course wends its way through the gently rolling hills and dales within the Aviara community. The golf course plays a little longer than 7,000 yards from the back (Palmer) tees for a par of 72, and it’s the only golf course in the greater San Diego area designed by the inimitable “Arnie.”
Perhaps Aviara’s most endearing feature is its great natural beauty: yes, I know that the term botanical garden has been done death as far as Aviara is concerned, but the term is relevant. A significant feature of the course is the adjacent Batiquitos Lagoon, a wonderful world of water and plant life that, between them, provide at natural habitat for than 130 species of shorebirds and waterfowl. To say that the decision to plant a major golf course down on such an idyllic spot was a tough one would be an understatement. It was a decision that the owners wrested with over many years: not only were there the natural wetlands to consider, the impact on the area could have turned into an ecological nightmare, but it didn’t; Mr. Palmer and his team took great care to keep and preserve the environmental integrity of the environment and its great natural beauty. Today, the golf course is more than a little enhanced by the native flora and fauna that borders the fairways and greens.
And, there’s no doubt that all the efforts to preserve the environment were worthwhile: Both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine rated the course as one of the best resort golf courses in America, and in Southern California. But it’s also Aviara’s amenities that add weight to its number 1 rating in San Diago golf: yes, it has all the usual good stuff, including a practice driving range, putting and pitching greens, a GPS system on all golf carts, and a full-service golf shop, but it’s the magnificent two-story, Spanish colonial clubhouse that is the jewel in Aviara’s crown. It’s a stunning complex with male and female locker rooms, an impressive 19th hole, a comfortable lounge, and the resort’s own Argyle Steakhouse.
Need to tune up your game? Ok, so book a lesson, or two, at Kip Puterbaugh's Aviara Golf Academy. It’s the longest running golf school in the Western United States. Services and tuition options include one, two, and three-day golf schools. The six instructors are all experience and qualified to check you out and pick you, figuratively speaking, of course. The Aviara Golf Academy is also home to the first TaylorMade Performance Lab in the U.S. If you’ve never experienced one of the TM labs, you should. Once available only to PGA Tour pros, the system is now available to one and all, at those of use who can afford it. The two-hour custom fitting experience will match you up with clubs that will suit your height, weight and build, and includes everything in the bag, from driver to putter. Is it something that will suite everyone? I used to think not, however… I do believe that a proper set of custom fitted clubs can work wonder with our game, no matter what the level of skill might be.
So, how about those green fees? Well, it’s not cheap, but then a round of golf on such a course as this never is: expect to pay $215 per round Monday through Thursday and $235 per round Friday through Sunday. For more information or golf reservations call (760) 603-6900, or you can visit the Aviara website.
Need more ideas for your golf vacation in Southern California? Check out How to Find the Best Golf Courses in Southern California.
The Aviara Golf Club, 7447 Batiquitos Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011-4732; (760) 603-6900; Fax: (760) 603-3680. You can also visit the Aviara website
How to Get There:
The nearest major airport is McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD / KCRQ). This airport has domestic flights and is about 5 miles from the center of Carlsbad, CA.
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