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Tina Mickelson: San Diego’s Guide to Golf and More

Tina Mickelson - San Diego's Guide to Golf
Tina Mickelson - San Diego's Guide to Golf

Tina Mickelson – San Diego’s Guide to Golf

Callaway Golf Ambassador Tina Mickelson knows a thing or two about San Diego. Not only has she spent lots of time on the region’s many golf courses (just like her brother, Phil Mickelson), but she also loves to get out and explore the region with family and friends.

In San Diego, “everyone is very welcoming,” says Tina. We welcome you to join Tina Mickelson, one of  San Diego’s Guides to the Good Stuff, in exploring what makes San Diego a great place for golf-lovers and non-golfers alike.

Tina Mickelson’s Favorite Golf Courses

With more than 90 courses in the San Diego area, it can be hard to pick a favorite. However, Tina guarantees you’ll love the game on these courses.

  • Coronado Municipal Golf Course: For Tina, this course embodies the feeling of being in San Diego. “You really get to enjoy the view of downtown, and the ocean,” says Tina. “It’s just a lot of fun and a very laid-back vibe.”
  • Torrey Pines Golf Course: You get to see the wonderful views of the ocean,” she says, “and hear the waves crash.” Tina insists that these will help take the edge off any bad day on the course!
  • The Grand Golf Club at the Grand Del Mar: Tina loves how each hole is arranged so that you can’t see any other hole while you’re teed up. Plus, “you can’t beat the amenities here,” she adds.
  • Maderas Golf Club: Even though the beautiful course is only 20 minutes from downtown San  Diego, Tina shares that “you feel like you are far removed.”
  • Steele Canyon Golf Club: Tina loves the variety of the holes as well as the scenery you get out in San Diego’s diverse East County landscape.

Tina’s Perfect Day in San Diego

How would Tina spend a day in San Diego? Besides golfing, of course, she’d relax by the beach or at a spa, do some shopping and enjoy some of San Diego’s great cuisine.

  • Start your day by the sea: Tina suggests enjoying a big breakfast surf-side, then “take a nice long walk either on the beach or through the neighborhood of Del Mar.”
  • Shopping: Tina loves Mission Beach for boutiques and sidewalk cafes, and also recommends shopping Solana Beach’s Cedros Design District. “You find not only great clothing boutiques but a lot of great little shops for your home.”
  • Spa day: Relaxing with a massage is one of Tina’s favorite activities. “I love the spa at Estancia in La Jolla,” she says, but she also notes that with so many great spas in San Diego, you don’t have to look far to find a good one.
  • Dinner with a view: “It’s very common to be able to accommodate a great dinner with a great view, especially at sunset,” shares Tina. She recommends the ocean and bay views from restaurants in Coronado or downtown.

Check out more recommendations from Tina Mickelson, including tips for the perfect date night, at sandiego.org/goodstuff.

Candice

Golf for Beginners: Maderas Golf Academy

In San Diego, there are a few sports everyone should try. Surfing is one, and after living in San Diego for many years, I finally tried getting up on a board last year. Golf is another – after all, San Diego is home to more than 90 golf courses. When Maderas Golf Club was recently named one of the top 100 best public courses in the U.S. by GolfDigest, I knew it was time to give it a shot…even if my shot ended up in the sand.

Welcome to Maderas Golf Club.

Welcome to Maderas Golf Club.

Located in the rolling desert hills of Poway in San Diego’s North County, Maderas feels a world away from the city streets of downtown San Diego but can be reached in an easy 30-minute drive. Upon arriving to the green oasis spotted with golden lillies and sparkling fountains, I was greeted by Chris Mayson, Director of Instruction for the Maderas Golf Academy. Since Chris also happens to be the director of the USA Junior National Golf Team and was an accomplished NCAA golfer, I knew I’d be learning from the best…but it would take the best to get this klutzy kid to make it through even one hole.

Chris Mayson explains the different clubs to the beginning student.

Chris Mayson explains the different clubs to the beginning student.

Fortunately for beginners like me, Chris’s instruction was thorough, patient and kind. His enthusiasm for teaching didn’t even wain when I explained that I’d never so much as picked up a golf club before! We began by heading out to the range for a few practice shots. After explaining and demonstrating the proper grip of the club and mechanics of the swing, it was time to give it a try. WHIFF!! (That would be the sound of my club swinging right past the ball without making contact.)

But it wasn’t long before I was making progress. On the second shot, my club made contact, and the ball hopped down the range. Within the first 15 minutes, I managed to get one or two shots out to about 120 feet!

The scenery of Maderas Golf Club.

The scenery of Maderas Golf Club.

After trying out the different types of clubs and building up some confidence on the range, it was time to try the course. As we set off in a cart down the course designed by Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves, I could see why GolfDigest would rate Maderas so highly. Each prestine hole surround by flower beds, creeks, trees and rocky cliffs called out to be played on. Teeing off for the first time was a challenge; Chris reminded me that beginning golfers often have a hard time getting lift, so he reminded me to focus on hitting the tee underneatch rather than the ball.

Ok, so exactly a flawless first attempt.

Ok, so exactly a flawless first attempt.

On a hole with a par 3, I managed a respectable 7, though I think Chris shaved off a few shots and permitted me a few more “do-overs” than most golfers would be allowed. But when I sank the final putt, I understood why Maderas embraces the slogan “Golf is its own reward.” Golfers of all skills levels would do well to spend an afternoon at the Maderas Golf Club, and beginners, rest assured that if they can teach me, they can teach anyone!

Do you have a favorite San Diego golf course? Share it in the comments below!