It may be an executive course, but don’t forget those metal woods and long irons when you tee it up at the Fountains Course at Welk Resorts.
Stretching out to 3,940 yards, this par-62 layout in north Escondido has something for everyone. And with par 3s up to 200 yards and eight par 4s ranging from 260 to 337 yards, it’s no pushover.
As head professional Josh Karp said, “You can hit all your clubs. The avid golfer gets a good test and the beginner golfer doesn’t have to bite off more than they can chew.”
Here’s a glance at the longest executive course in San Diego:
Favorite Hole: The par-4 ninth is one you will remember for its majestic water feature and elevated views. The longest hole on the Fountains, stretching to 337 yards with a dogleg right, you begin from an elevated tee box. Be mindful of the lake to the right, which also comes into play on your approach shot. The hole is the most picturesque, but can also hurt if you’re not careful. Maneuver with caution.
Local Knowledge: Since November new superintendent Jesus Gomez has been focused on increasing the speed of the greens, which has resulted in a very consistent putting experience. “Our course conditions for both courses are the best they’ve been since I’ve been here,” said Karp. “Jesus and his team do an amazing job.” One marshal said most putts break toward Interstate 15, which is located just west of the resort. I thought that line was only true in Las Vegas where the word is every putt breaks toward the Stratosphere Hotel, but it proved true on the Fountains as well. Remember to play that freeway break.
Pushing the Pace: Pace of play is always top of mind at any JC Golf course, and the Fountains Course is no exception. While the scorecard states that Fountains is a “3 1/2 to 4-hour golf course,” we finished in 3 hours. On a busy Sunday afternoon, our group kept up a steady pace, only waiting on a few holes.
Kickin’ It: Welk Resort also features a pure short-game track — the par-3 Oaks Course. It’s ideal for short-game work – or a game of soccer. Well, sort of. FootGolf, a fast-growing sport that’s played with a soccer ball and oversized holes (about the diameter of a trash can) as targets, is tremendously popular at Welk Resorts. In 2015, the Oaks hosted nearly 8,000 rounds of FootGolf, making up more than one-third of the 22,000 rounds played.
Worldly Golf: Many of the world’s best junior players descend on San Diego every year for the Junior World Championships and the Fountains Course has played host since 2000. Hosting the boys 9-10 age group, last year Shubham Jaglan of India won the tournament with a 7-under-par 179 over three rounds.
Marc Figueroa is a freelance writer who has been covering golf in San Diego for more than 20 years.