The Farms: San Diego Course Review
09 Feb 2016
by Bradley Weixel of amateurgolf.com

see also: The Farms Golf Club, All Course Reviews

The Farms Golf Club (SCGA photo)
The Farms Golf Club (SCGA photo)
There is no shortage of quality golf in the Rancho Santa Fe area. However, if you are looking for the true test, The Farms Golf Club has to be at the top of your list. This original Pete, Perry, and Alice Dye track will challenge even the most skilled golfers.

The par 72 course stretches to 6,947 yards from the tips, but length is not the main challenge. The Farms is a true shot-makers golf course. Many holes offer no bail-out and you simply must hit a quality golf shot, or suffer the consequences. 

The Farms eases you in on the fairly short par- 4 to start. Don’t get too comfortable though, the test just started. After the par-3 second, you are immediately faced with the number one handicapped hole on the course -- A par-5 with trouble lurking the entire way. If you're playing the tips, just getting to the back tee box can be a bit daunting. As you walk across the street to the tee -- you'll do this several times at the Farms if you're playing all the way back -- the fairway starts to look tighter. It's time to buck up and hit a solid drive, avoiding the bunker on the left and a heavily vegetated slope on the right.

This downhill par-5 gets exponentially harder the closer you get to the hole.  The presence of a large pond on the right forces you to play left, but missing left isn't very good either, since two difficult bunkers and a steep hillside will leave you with a terrifying shot back toward the same pond you were trying to avoid.

The Farms continues to impress with its course layout. Holes like the short par-4 sixth offer a risk/reward opportunity, and the par-5 ninth is reachable but requires two well struck shots. It's the best chance for birdie on the front nine.

Oliver Schniederjans
Ollie Schniederjans tees off at The Farms during the 2015 NCAA Southwest Regional

This course will not only test every club in your bag, but your mental and short games as well.

The brilliance of The Farms lies in the variety of challenges it presents. Deep bunkers surround every green, undulation changes challenge club selections, and fast greens complicate the process. The beauty of The Farms is interrupted occasionally by a lack of space. The course seems a bit cramped at times and on holes 6 and 10 the upscale homes are bit too close for my liking.

The back nine is truly spectacular, and is highlighted by the postcard 16th.  This par-3 can range from 114 to 220 yards or more depending on the tees you are playing and the hole location.  You are also required to navigate a large pond on the left and a deep bunker on the right.  Number 16 can swing any bet in either direction.

The Farms Golf club also offers the possibility of hobnobbing with some of golf’s major icons. The membership includes Phil Mickelson, Tom Lehman, Annika Sorenstam, and Liselotte Neumann. So, if you are in Rancho Santa Fe, and are truly looking to test your game, I cannot think of a better place.  If you are fortunate enough to have a friend invite you to The Farms you should definitely take he or she up on it. You'll find a top drawer practice area, perfect greens, immaculate playing conditions, friendly staff, excellent service, and a really tough golf course. 

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