Bradley S. Klein, Golfweek’s architecture editor, offers his opinion on one memorable hole:
Yards: 540-614 yards, par 5
Architect: William F. Bell, 1957; Rees Jones, 2001
Where: San Diego
Event: PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open, Jan. 28-31
It’s great because . . . the spirit of municipal golf is alive and well at a site that’s been home to a PGA Tour event since 1968. The South Course ambles along bluffs and canyons that look out onto the Pacific Ocean. When the tee is backed up on the 13th hole, the drive must carry 260 yards across a gaping chasm, leaving a long uphill second shot, with the green perched atop bunkers that flank both sides of the approach line.
It would be even better if . . . there were some strategic variety in what are collectively, by far, the most unimaginative second-shot par 5s on the PGA Tour schedule. Rees Jones’ bunkering simply calls for accuracy – no big deal for most good players. Besides, given the upslope here, every shot coming up short down the middle winds up in the same spot anyway. Yawn. How about dispensing with all of the extraneous sand here and relying on just one midfairway bunker on the upslope, 50-60 yards short? That would generate far more interesting decision-making options than now exist and make everyone sweat out the placement of their second shots if they come up even a little below the green.