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3.8
20 Reviews (20)
5 Stars
3
4 Stars
11
3 Stars
5
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
3.8
Value
4.4
Layout
4.3
Friendliness
3.7
Pace
3.1
Amenities
2.9
84.5%
Recommend this course
17 out of 20 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
3.0
Amenities
3.0
StaffFriendliness
3.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
3.0
Amenities
3.0
StaffFriendliness
3.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 9
Type Public/Municipal
Style Executive
Par 32
Length 2175 yards
Slope 0
Rating 0.0

Course Details

Year Built 1921
Fairways Kikuyu Grass
Greens Kikuyu Grass
Golf Season Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - $8
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Reviews

3.8
20 Reviews (20)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing

Definitely a course to play if in San Diego. Tough course good layout. Recommended great breakfast at course too

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
3.0
First Time Playing

Good layout, good greens, fairways and tee boxes could use some water

Fun layout. Some easy holes and some hard holes playing the blue tees. Some very long par 4s, for example the 450 yard 10th. Long par 3s as well.
Fairways and tee boxes not in good shape. Many bare spots.
Course has great potential.

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Fair
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
1.0
First Time Playing

Avoid at all costs!

We booked this thinking it was 9 holes at the real course, but we quickly realized that that was not the case. We were not aware that this course existed. It probably shouldn't exist. The tee boxes are so hard that you are afraid to take a divot out of them! You can barely tell the difference between the fairways and the rough! The only good thing about this place is the greens because the people that play out there aren't hitting any, so they are easy to keep in shape. The course should probably be paved over to be completely honest. Give the real course a shot, it's a nice layout.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Fair
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Excellent condition, tough & kinda funky

Haven't played here over 15 years and I was not disappointed. Course was in excellent condition. A few bare spots but almost not worth mentioning in terms of how much turf covers the property. Forgot how tight some of the holes are, No.4 in particular - a funky layout to say the least. Fair number of wide open holes as well. Greens were in superb condition. A fair test for anyones game. Clubhouse definitely outdated but in a historical and reverent way, but I'd prefer they pour their budget on maintaining the course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather

Play it Again!!

A great Municipal Course. An Awesome 99 yr. old course. Great Layout & very good greens.
Worth the $$ to play & would play again & again.
Staff were very friendly from Pro Shop, On Course & in Pub.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap Don't know
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

A Hard Course to walk

I really enjoyed playing here. However it was a REALLY hard course to walk. Nearly every hole is Uphill except for 1 and 17. You catch a break on the par 5's but I just didn't enjoy walking it at all. This is a challenging course that will punish you for a poor Tee shot. The clubhouse restaurant is a nice little diner with a little above average food at good prices.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Good value for this gem!

This being my first time playing Balboa, and knowing it's a muni course, my expectations were low upon arrival at the course. The parking lot is funky, the range is funky, but the practice green is well taken care of, and gave a pretty good indicator of the greens on the course. The Clubhouse staff were business like, but not overly friendly. I gave the off-course ammenities a low score because I went into the "restaurant" prior to teeing off to ask if I could buy a cup of ice. I was told no, that the ice was for the restaurant patrons. So, don't expect the restaurant to cater to the golfers. However, the restaurant patio looked like a nice place to get a burger and enjoy the view of downtown San Diego. The course was in good shape, escpecially for a muni course. The greens were well taken care of for the most part and rolled fairly true. For whatever reason, all in my foursome had issues reading them. But, that was probably more about us not knowing the greens than the greens themselves. We played from the tips (Blues), to get all of our money's worth. That puts the course at a little over 6300 yards. Short, but challenging enough. The layout is very up and down, with fairly narrow fairways througout. If you missed a fairway, there was a 50/50 chance of getting yourself into some trouble. Canyons and roads line the course, with canyons being the primary hazard. Many greens also had a steep drop off behind and to the sides. I missed a couple of greens long, where my ball SHOULD have been maybe 5-10 yards off, only to find that my ball had rolled into oblivion. The next time I play here, I will play to miss my approach shots short if anything. I played just about right to my handicap. Overall, a very enjoyable, if not beautiful day of golf! Take time to enjoy the views on the back 9!

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played

Beautiful day on the course

I play here often, my home course. Great condition, greens were great, fairways decent. 16th hole is always super tough, and the 4th. Great muni golf course, tougher than Coronado. This is a classic, old gem.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Decent course, great views of skyline and Coronado bridge

This is the course I play the most, best to play early in the morning because-right now-there's a ton of high school tournaments going after 3:00 PM.

The par 3 17th is classic, down hill par 3 with a great view of downtown San Diego.

Not bad, not great but decent track.

Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Enjoyable Round of Golf at a Great Muni

Balboa is one of the best old Municipal Courses in the country. Heavy previous rains made the fairways tough, but the greens were perfect and the views of the city are great. Played with a couple from Atlanta and it went really well. I like the course.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Top 1000 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather

The Devil's Liar

Balboa Park is centrally located in the heart of San Diego. The Balboa Park Golf Course is located within the 1400 acres of Balboa Park, as are the San Diego Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Spanish Village Art Center, San Diego Old Globe Theatre Complex, and the Morley Sport Complex, which includes the golf course.
The Balboa Park GC is a traditional links style golf course, with tall and rolling grass. The primary vegetation is chaparral, and coastal sage. There are also several clusters of trees to add to the course beauty and wickedness as well as a wide assortment of wildlife including mule deer, bobcats, and Red Diamond Rattlesnakes. The bird species are too many to mention, however I did see a very impressive large hawk. This is where things start to get interesting.
The Devil's Liar : the course is quite hilly, with visually intimidating tight fairways and postage stamp greens which are undulating and fast. I checked the course slope rating and yardage, which showed the Blue tees (the tips) at 72.1/127 and 6347 yards. This devilish little course will deceive you, because the yardage and slope rating does not accurately reflect the difficulty of the course. If ignored, the course demons will take your golf game straight to the Devil. Trust me, there will be a few times when you will shout "Jesus", and look for some form of devine intervention. Standing on the first tee box and looking down at a steep sloping fairway, which drops about 75 feet, you wonder should I hit driver. The hole yardage is 344 yards from the Blue tees. The fairway is wide, but if you spray the ball left or right you will find yourself on a side sloping hill in deep rolling grass or foliage. If you play by the rules of golf for a lost ball, then it's back to the tee box and a uphill climb. I used a 2 hybrid off the Blue tee and found the fairway. My next shot was uphill to a quasi peninsula green, with deep rough front and back, and a steep dropoff  on the left side of green. My second shot was short, but I chipped it close and one putted for par. By the time I reached the second tee box I was ready mentally to challenge the course, but my game was not. I had to make some adjustments to stay in the game.
The guilding light through the valley of evil: First, leave the driver in the bag, if you can't hit it staight. This course was designed for not so long hitters, who are virtuous iron players, with the putting touch of an angel. Second, good course management is a must. Aggressive play is a medieval curse that will lead your game down a path of disastrous consequences. Play smart and be prepared to lay up short of the green. Finally, swallow your pride, move up to the White tees, and by all means "Do Not Walk This Course".
You will have a better understanding of what I am talking about when you reach some of the signature holes. My favorite hole is hole #6, a 210 yard (Blue tees), par 3 with a peninsula green. The day I played this hole the pin was in the back and the hole measured 225 yards. I purposely layed up, chipped it close and one putted for par. The course is really challenging from the Blue tees and more relaxing from the White tees. If you are a low handicap player, then this course is devine. Higher handicap golfers playing the White tees will find enjoyment and heaven right here on earth. Which path will you take? Good or Evil?
The course layout is impressive as is the difficulty of play. Pace of play was good most of the time, with only a couple of spots where it slowed down.

I like this course and recommend it to all golfers except beginners.

Course Review
H.Bell (Golf Enthusiast/ Writer)

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Boston Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing

18 holes before a flight

I chose Balboa due to quick ride to airport for return home. Course is short with some really quirky holes especially on the front 9. Front nine plays in low area with climb gradually to back nine. Really nice sight lines to downtown. I walked but I'd suggest a cart , it's a climb. Practice range is not good, driving into a clay canyon? Staff was friendly I had ubered over and was carrying my luggage so man in pro shop held my stuff in back office during play. Highlight of course is 16. A par 5 over a canyon to a thin fairway with a big drop to right. Really neat to stand on that tee and plan strategy. Restaurant in clubhouse had super friendly people and cold beer!! That's a 5 star!! Back patio overlooking #1 and #18. Was a good day. If my plans permit it I'd play again.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Very nice old muni

Played in February, 18 holes with cart on a Friday for under $60 in San Diego - what a surprise. I play frequently and am somewhat critical in my review of courses. Balboa was a wonderful shortish course with beautiful vistas of San Diego. Front nine was very tight, while back nine a bit more open. While only 6300 yards, it is no pushover, due to tiny, very quick greens. Greens were similar to private clubs I have played. Rest of course was in adequate shape - great greens make up for most all other defects. I would highly recommend course to all who like the price point and quick ride to airport. Practice range is not good, and operational set up to pay confirms the county is involved. In summary, neat course at great price.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Old School Experience

This course was a lot of fun. Great views of the downtown and surrounding areas. Variety of holes were outstanding. Only a couple of similar holes Some excellent par 3. Number 16 par 5 is as challenging and exciting hole is you will play anywhere. The course was recently aerified so the greens were very slow but it was still a lot of fun. I walked the course and it was an incredible workout for a 6200 yard course. Will definitely play again my next trip to San Diego.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Good weather

Best Muni in San Diego Not Named Torrey Pines

Not a particularly long course, but the design is quite enticing and fun to play. Only a few holes seem to mirror each other; most keep the challenges and elevations varied.

Course in good shape - fairways are generally good to hit off of, rough is playable, greens are at a moderate to slower speed. Each time I've played here the pace of play has been pretty good, waits are infrequent. Good range and practice green.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Previously Played
Good weather

Great Value and Place to Work your Game

I've played here a few times - at its best, this is a very quick course where I've had opportunity to practice and work my game (and most clubs in the bag) for a very reasonable price (especially compared to Mission Bay GC not far away). At its worst, this fairly sizeable 9 hole course can move very slow with every foursome that hasn't played golf in years.

Pretty straight ahead design that maximizes on available space. Recommended during off-peak times.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

WOW is all i can say

My time is running up on my SD resident card and I wanted to play Balboa and Torry in the same weekend. Tee time at 315 and got off a little early, which is always nice.

I was absolutely amazed on how good the course looked. I play 3 times a week, and this course is in better shape than most courses in SD. Both myself and my playing partners were amazed on how good the course looked, especially in the past this course is a little less then desirable.

The only draw back is the prehistoric way they make you pay and then go to get carts in another area. This is so ridiculous, but hey the course totally made up for it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Great Muni course

For a muni course, the greens and fairways were in great shape. Twilight rates start at 2pm and are a bargain. Weekends are always busy and it's expected to have some wait times. It would be great if they require carts on "weekends" only to keep the pace manageable. Our cart died several times and mgt was quick to replace on the course.

When weather is perfect, you get a great view of the city and ocean. Definitely recommend that you play here at least once.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Texas Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Not bad for a muni!

Played this as a final round of a golf trip since it was near the airport.

For being a muni it was in pretty decent shape (especially compared to most munis i've played in Texas).

It's a pretty straightforward course, but is interesting enough to be enjoyable. There is a par 5 on the back (i think #16) that was the toughest par 5 of our trip (Steele, Madera, and Torrey were the other courses we played).

If you are looking for a good, inexpensive round this is the spot.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Friendliness Fair
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
5.0

Best fairways in San Diego!

According to the people who know, the course is in the best shape it has ever been for the last 50 years.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
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Valid dates: Sep 16, 2019 - Mar 31, 2020
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