Flat. Dull. Unexciting. Those are words often used to describe many par-3 or executive golf courses.

Not Reidy Creek Golf Course.

When Cal Olson designed the 2,582-yard, par-54 course back in 2002, the veteran architect said he wanted to create 18 distinctive and memorable par-3 holes.

The course Olson created in the rolling hills north of downtown Escondido is still as unique as ever, with contoured greens, challenging bunkers and elevation changes that constitute a target-rich environment that challenges high and low handicappers alike.

Reidy Creek has been referred to as one of the top par-3 courses in California, named in the same breath as the Cliffs Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco and the Peter Hay Golf Course at Pebble Beach. Pretty good company. And there are many reasons why.

Start with No. 3, a 167-yard hole that tracks to a dramatically elevated hole with a false front.

The sixth hole can be treacherous if not careful. Fly the green some 114 yards away and you’re in the back bunker. Hit the green and you still have to navigate a tricky, delicate putt that dips wildly into a bowl where the elusive pin is waiting.

The longest hole on the course is No. 14, which is 194 yards from the blue tees and plays uphill and longer. The landing area is a massive three-tiered green that’s shared with the 12th hole. The green is also protected by traps on both sides.

The 18th hole plays from 110 to 164 yards and is protected by a dry creek on the left and a lake on the right. Come up just short of the green and you may end up in the bunker, which guards the left side.

With Reidy Creek comes opportunity. Translation: 18 real chances for a hole-in-one.

Reidy Creek has since its share of aces, including Beryl Harris, a men’s club member who knocked one in on the 158-yard 12th hole a number of years ago. Harris died in 2010 and there is a bench and sign near the 12th tee honoring him and commemorating his ace.

There’s many more where that came from, only at Reidy Creek.

 

Marc Figueroa is a freelance writer who has been covering golf in San Diego for more than 20 years.