Short but sweet: Mt. Woodson Golf Course is 6,000 yards of fun outside of San Diego, California

Mt. Woodson, a popular hiking destination, frames many of the holes at the Mt. Woodson Golf Course outside San Diego. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
The third green looks like a tiny target at the Mt. Woodson Golf Course. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
Favor the right side on the par-3 sixth hole at the Mt. Woodson Golf Course. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
The seventh hole at the Mt. Woodson Golf Course will give up birdies with a good tee shot. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
The first and 10th hole (pictured) run parallel to one another at the Mt. Woodson Golf Course. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
Don't let the narrow opening intimidate you on the par-3 eighth hole at the Mt. Woodson Golf Course. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
The par-3 11th hole is like the Mt. Woodson Golf Course - short but requiring precision. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
No. 14 is the second of back-to-back par 5s at the Mt. Woodson Golf Course. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
The finishing hole on the Mount Woodson Golf Course is no slouch. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
The 12th hole at the Mt. Woodson Golf Course climbs uphill. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )

RAMONA, Calif. - Golfers who think they can take advantage of the Mount Woodson because of its lack of length might not enjoy their serving of humble pie.

The 5,764-yard, par-70 course, located 40 minutes northeast of San Diego, is a target test worthy of almost any handicap. It's a cerebral challenge that's loads of fun. For the sheer value and the scenery alone, you could make a strong case that Mt. Woodson belongs among the best places to play in San Diego. Without a permanent clubhouse or a range, it will never be confused with Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course, Aviara Golf Club, Maderas Golf Club, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Barona Creek Golf Club and the other golf tourist traps in the region, although shot for shot, it's in the same league.

Architects Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt did a masterful job creating an interesting collection of holes, given the severity and limitations of the land in the shadow of Mount Woodson, a popular hiking spot. Water comes into play on five holes. The scariest shot comes at no. 12, a long par 4 where the sunken blue tees require a blind drive that must carry rocks and desert scrub to reach a fairway climbing up the hill.


The best part about the round is you could shoot your best score of the year, but only if you make good decisions and hit quality shots. Every low round is earned - not given - at Mt. Woodson.

Staff rating of the Mt. Woodson Golf Course: Review by Jason Scott Deegan

Jun 30, 2017

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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