Chula Vista, California
San Diego Country Club
Address: 88 L Street, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Location: Chula Vista, CA
Architect: William Watson
Course Rating: 74.5
Head Professional: John Osborne
The San Diego Country Club is the oldest country club in San Diego and the only private golf course in southern San Diego County. The first iteration of the course was built in 1897, nine holes constructed on land in Balboa Park, donated by the City of San Diego. One hole extended nearly 500 yards from what is now the San Diego Zoo parking lot to the green on the Old Globe Theater site. The 1915 Pan American Exposition in Balboa Park, however, necessitated a move and the Club was evicted. The club merged with the Point Loma Golf Club, just west of the San Diego airport. Remnants of that arrangement can still be enjoyed toay on the Sail Ho Golf Course. By 1920, the club desired a permanent location and attained 157 acres in Chula Vista at a low cost. In September 1921, the 23,000 square foot clubhouse and accompanying golf course officially opened. The clubhouse was designed by Richard S. Requa and the William Watson golf course featured the first grass greens in the county.
Since 1921, the country club has hosted several memorable events and been graced with the appearance of many famous golfers. In 1947, Ben Hogan competed against Dai Rees, the British Open Champion. In 1952-53, the club hosted the first two occurrences of the PGA’s San Diego Open, which is now called the Farmers Insurance Open and is played at Torrey Pines. President Eisenhower spoke at a rotary club meeting in 1960 and in 1964 the U.S. Women’s Open Championship was held at San Diego Country Club. The 93rd Women’s Amateur Championship was held here in 1993 and, most recently, the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship in 2002 and 2007. The course is also a designated US Open qualifying course.
The alumnus that the San Diego Country Club is most proud of, however, is Billy Casper. The native San Diegan learned to play on this very course and would become one of the most prolific golfers of all time. Casper’s 51 wins on the PGA Tour rank 7th all-time. He won three major championships (the US Open in 1959 and 1966 and The Masters in 1970). In 1966 and 1968, Casper was the PGA Tour Money Winner and PGA Player of the Year in 1966 and 1970. Casper was a member of eight Ryder Cup teams and is the all-time leading American scorer in Ryder Cup history. Casper’s streak of 16 consecutive years with at least one PGA Tour event victory is second only to Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, who each went for 17 years. Today, at the San Diego Country Club, the Billy Casper Grill pays homage to this stellar golf professional, who is a lifetime honorary member who can still be found playing rounds on the course today.
In 2012, San Diego Country Club was also a recipient of the Distinguished Club award, an accolade bestowed by BoardRoom magazine, cementing its status as one of the premier private clubs in the country.
A 1987 remodel expanded the clubhouse to 37,000 square feet and redesigned 15 greens. Located in Chula Vista, an easy 15 minute drive from central San Diego, San Diego Country Club is acclaimed for exceptional fairways, deep bunkers and challenging greens that the club describes as “Augusta-like.” Six sets of tees welcome any skill set. You must be an invited guest to play at San Diego Country Club.