$200 will buy plenty of golf in San Diego -- if you know where and when

It's no secret that San Diego probably has the best golf weather in the United States. Or that it can be a fairly expensive place to visit. But there is affordable golf in San Diego .

So if you've got $200 and two or three days, I've got a trio of courses for you to try. And they're not bottom-of-the-barrel courses. In fact, they're among my favorite courses in the San Diego area, price notwithstanding.

Maderas Golf Club

Consistently ranked among the top two or three courses in the San Diego area, Maderas Golf Club isn't cheap to play during normal hours, but catch a twilight slot, and you've got yourself a bargain.

While it's not on the ocean, the Poway course has some of the best views in southern California. Designed by Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves, there are hills, cliffs and elevated tees everywhere. Translation: lots of panoramic views. Plus it's always in impeccable shape (at least it has been the times I've played it).

Normal green fees approach $200, but twilights during the week, which begin around 3 p.m., are around $85. And, yes, you should be able to get your round in if you can nab a 3 p.m. tee time. So my recommendation is to arrive in the San Diego area by early afternoon, and head over to Maderas.

Encinitas Ranch Golf Course

I first played Encinitas Ranch Golf Course , a terrific muni, a couple of years ago on the recommendation of other golfers in the area. I did not regret it.

The green fee there is $65, and the golf course, which is excellent shape, is well worth it. Again, a few elevated tees, but better yet, there are some ocean views. And the course is very playable by all levels -- wide fairways, bunkers that aren't too severe and large greens that don't do anything too crazy.

Plus, the clubhouse, which also has ocean views from its adjoining patio, offers a nice menu and drink selection.

Coronado Golf Course

Another municipal, this one owned by the city of Coronado, is really in the heart of San Diego. Not far from the airport, Coronado G.C. is a good one to schedule before your departing flight or heading into the Gas Lamp District for a meal.

Coronado, a 6,600-yard par 72 that opened in 1957, is a longtime local favorite. The course is solid, but what makes it so special is the setting. It's right on the water next to the Coronado Bridge with sailboats and downtown San Diego in the background. And at $35 during the week or $40 for green fees (twilight is $20 and $22), you still have enough money for a beer or two in town.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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If someone ever built a monument to outstanding, affordable golf it would be a memorial to Coronado Golf Course near San Diego. Golfers here find perfect 75-degree weather, sunny skies and views that are pure USA. You can walk and use a pull cart, and tee times are affordable. Take that, $500-a-round Pebble Beach!
When you combine weather with the quality of courses, dining, nightlife and scenery, the San Diego area is one of the best golf destinations in the United States. If money's no object, there are some obvious choices, but if you're on a budget, there are some pretty good selections as well. Mike Bailey offers up some recommendations based on cost.
Even if you're not from San Diego, you've probably heard of Torrey Pines, La Costa and maybe even Maderas. Those are three of the most high-profile golf facilities in the San Diego area, but there are plenty of other options, some that seem to fly under the radar or are out of the way, that are worth checking out, too. The best part is that they're often bargains. Veteran golf writer Mike Bailey offers up a few you might want to consider on your next San Diego golf vacation.
With more than 90 venues in the San Diego area, there's no shortage of good golf. But as anyone who's been there can tell you, there's so much more to San Diego than its golf courses. Simply put, San Diego is one of the most pleasant cities in America, and the golf courses and resorts fit that motif perfectly. Here are seven reasons to take a golf trip to San Diego.
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$200 will buy plenty of golf in San Diego -- if you know where and when
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