POWAY, Calif. -- One of the top standalone golf facilities in San Diego County, Maderas Golf Club has made a name for itself in a crowded golf scene since it debuted in 2000.
The course, designed by Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves, is a little off the beaten path, located to the east of I-5 in Poway, but it welcomes golfers with a top 100-caliber design as rated by Golf Digest in 2015-16. It's also one of Golf Advisor's top courses in the state of California and in San Diego.
Maderas was built as part of a high-end residential community, but homes largely tower over the course, well away from holes, rather than sit beside them. The course winds up and down hillsides, making for few flat holes, but also a lot of great views. Hole variety is a big reason why Maderas is a top 100-worthy course. A lot of shot-making is required to score well here, and holes are a lot different from one another.
The back nine has some pretty spectacular holes, particularly down the finishing stretch. The par-5 14th hole, uphill the whole way, is one of the more daunting for amateurs, but the downhill par-4 16th, featuring a narrow fairway well below an elevated tee, requires great precision. The finishing par-5 18th, also with an elevated tee, makes for one of the most fun drives of the day, with a big fairway and long views beyond.
Managed by Troon Golf, the clubhouse at Maderas is on the smaller side compared to what you'll find at some of San Diego's top resorts, but it's highly functional and well appointed with a fabulous dining room overlooking the 18th, indoor and outdoor seating, with a food-and-beverage menu that includes craft beer and Kobe-style beef burgers, truffle fries, plus fish and other entrees. there's also a great practice facility and range balls are included in the green fee.