Maybe one day it was, but San Marcos hardly is in the middle of nowhere. But at Twin Oaks Golf Course, there are times when you feel you are playing golf in a faraway place.
There’s a very natural feel to this par-72, 6,535-yard layout just off Twin Oaks Valley Road. While it is technically centered in a housing development, the protected wildlife habitat that surrounds this JC Golf course and gives the course a more isolated feel.
Here’s a glance at the picturesque Ted Robinson design:
Overview: Twin Oaks is challenging – at times demanding – but not overwhelming. It’s not long and has enough variety to make it a fair test for golfers of all levels. The course includes three signature water features, a number of elevation changes and some testy, undulating greens. The fairways aren’t threateningly narrow, but a poor tee shot (see the par-5 18th) can make for some trouble.
Favorite hole: There are a number of holes that require some brain work and the 350-yard 15th is no exception. It requires a downhill tee shot that can end up in the water if your ball tails only slightly left. But if you split the fairway with precision you likely will have a short pitch to the green. It’s a risk-reward hole, a fun one.
Toughest hole: The 561-yard, par-5 18th is the longest hole on the course, but that’s not why it’s arguably the most challenging. You’ll need a big tee shot to carry a hazard and a well-placed second shot to set up your uphill approach. Knock it left into the natural habitat and your ball is gone. The three-tiered green is elevated and demands precision. It’s a great finishing hole.
Water logged: Love the water features at Twin Oaks. My favorite is the lake that fronts the 170-yard, par-3 seventh hole. The plan is simple: carry the water. Anything short will be rinsed. Make it over and you still have some work to do against the tiered green that slopes back toward the water.
Party golf: Scott Butler, the tournament sales director at Twin Oaks, knows how to throw a party. The course has hosted a number of themed tournament outings, including the Twin Oaks Brewery Tour featuring local craft beers, Golfers Gone Wild featuring a beer garden and Hooters girls, Endless Summer with no dress code, and the mustache-themed Movember. All have been hits with local golfers and are great reminders that golf is supposed to be fun.
Twin Oaks knows a thing or two about that subject.
Marc Figueroa is a freelance writer who has been covering golf in San Diego for more than 20 years.