Maderas Golf Club in Poway makes a strong case as the San Diego area's finest inland public course
POWAY, Calif. -- Maderas Golf Club doesn't have the tournament history of a Torrey Pines or La Costa Resort & Spa, but it just might be San Diego's premier public place to play.
Maderas, operated by Troon Golf almost since its debut in 2000, checks all the boxes of a destination golf course: a scenic setting, a great variety of holes, good food, attentive service, a nice clubhouse and even the chance to ride a Golfboard.
Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves routed a playable golf course on an extremely hilly site with a minefield of creeks, rocky outcroppings, arroyos and ponds -- all located about 30 miles northeast of the San Diego International Airport. The multi-million-dollar homes sitting on top of the hillsides add to the memorable backdrop. Maderas has gotten Top 100 recognition from both Golf Magazine (2012) and Golf Digest (2015-16).
The back nine of the course pumps up the challenge by offering more elevation changes and bigger trouble. Many rounds crash and burn at holes 14-16. The 14th hole, a demanding par 5, climbs uphill with a large hazard fronting the green. Pulling the right club isn't easy on the 253-yard, par-3 15th hole, which drops significantly off an elevated tee. No. 16, a 453-yard par 4, plays downhill to one of the narrowest fairways at Maderas. Be sure to head up to the higher platform tees to finish off the final hole at Maderas in style. The view down the par 5 is spectacular.
Golf Advisor user Randy3922383 puts the cost of playing Maderas in perspective in his five-star review: "The only reason for rating this course less than 5 stars on value is that it was $170 and golf shouldn't cost that much anywhere. Having said that, it's still $100 less than Torrey Pines and except for ocean views, I can't imagine TP offering anything better in terms of playing conditions or services. Save your bucks for a nice dinner and play here instead. You won't regret it."
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