Pala Mesa Resort's golf course in Fallbrook, California: A back nine to remember

FALLBROOK, Calif. -- The old cliche "It's not where you start, it's where you finish that counts" certainly applies to the 6,502-yard golf course at Pala Mesa Resort.

Once players get past the first two holes, which are relatively flat, the course, designed by William H. Johnson in the 1960s, takes on a more dynamic personality. There's more movement in the land, more strategy in the shot-making and more striking views of the rocky hillsides that make the resort such a popular getaway.

As the 10th fairway climbs to an elevated green, Pala Mesa's back nine becomes a joyride. The adjacent highway doesn't spoil the splendor of these holes, many of them doglegs through towering sycamore and oak trees.

Most Golf Advisor reviews give Pala Mesa's golf course four stars, but user robert9175031 gave it five stars in November of 2016, writing : "The course was in perfect condition and the greens were tricky fast. The best I've seen the course in 2 years."

Pala Mesa Resort sometimes gets lost in the shuffle hidden in Temecula wine country between LAX (105 miles) and San Diego International Airport (58 miles). All 132 rooms of the 205-acre resort spread out among lodge-style buildings either along the first couple of fairways or tucked into the hills a short ride/long walk from the main lobby of the hotel and golf shop. A renovation of the rooms and the Aquaterra restaurant should be completed by the end of 2017. An already good stay-and-play getaway should get even better.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Related Links
Latest galleries
A look at the country's best college golf courses, from affordable publics to more exclusive private rounds.
Having been fortunate enough to visit Hilton Head Island about a half dozen times, I've played nearly every golf hole open to the public, and like anyone else, I've build a collection of my favorites.

Popular Videos

Matt Ginella reveals some of the highlights and the people he has had the opportunity to meet during Golf Advisor Round Trip. Find out how you can experience the trips yourself.
Now Reading
Pala Mesa Resort's golf course in Fallbrook, California: A back nine to remember
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE