feel, with Fazio’s signature treatments of visual complexity and
Farther inland, Barona Creek Golf Club is set within the type
of boulder-and-sage-strewn range-and-meadow landscape that marks
the transitional zone between coastal hills and the California desert.
Barona is brawny, a no-holds-barred
exercise in going long and then
managing the rolling, deep greens.
And San Diego is coastline, the
strand of water, beach and cliff
top that is So Cal in most imaginations. The county’s newest all-star
offering is The Crossings at Carlsbad, a literal naming scheme for
the canyon-spanning bridges that
link up the greens and fairways of
this hilltop Greg Nash design with
the on-high views of Big Blue.
The 800-pound gorilla of Left
Coast golf southerly of Pebble is, of
course, Torrey Pines, annually hosting the PGA Tour and site of one of
the most memorable U.S. Open’s in
eons, where a hurt cat and an old
warrior needed 72 holes of regulation play, an 18-hole playoff and a
91st hole of sudden death to settle
matters. Both the bruising South
Course and its easier-for-the-pros-if-not-us North sibling skirt ball-eating barrancas and pass across
At the risk of slighting the vaca- tion half of a golf vacation, this
is San Diego, a place often held up
as America’s most livable city, and
perhaps its most active.
I’m an ale-loving hophead, admit-
tedly. What’s notable to me is that
within the craft brew diaspora—Or-
egon, Idaho, Montana, Delaware—
is the number of really good prod-
ucts that originate within a handful
of miles of each other down San
“San Diego has definitely become a
hub for craft beer,” says Greg Koch,
CEO and co-founder of Stone Brewing Co. “It has earned a reputation for
quality and variety, and we couldn’t
be happier to be a part of that.”
Stone is one of the giants of micro-brewing, and that’s not a contradiction. Koch and company put out
a spectrum of award winners. All
are done the artisanal way, and the
product is quite widely distributed—
if it’s good, you want to be able to
get it back home.
Ironically, my second go-to SD
brews come from Stone’s former fa-
cility, now operating under the aegis
of two-labeled Port Brewing Compa-
ny/The Lost Abbey in San Marcos.
Green Flash Brewing Company and
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, both
in Mira Mesa, are part of my perma-
nent play list, as well.