The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 1
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The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 1
The first hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad is a downhill, dogleg left. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
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The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 6
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The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 6
The sixth hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad is a scenic par 4 that heads out toward the ocean. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 7
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The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 7
One of the more impressive water features on The Crossings at Carlsbad is the waterfall beside the par-5 seventh green. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 9
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The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 9
The ninth hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad is a short par 3 that plays back toward the clubhouse. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad GC
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The Crossings at Carlsbad GC
The Pacific Ocean is in view from many spots on The Crossings at Carlsbad. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 10
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The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 10
From an elevated tee, the 10th hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad plays downhill and then back up. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad G.C. - No. 11
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The Crossings at Carlsbad G.C. - No. 11
The par-4 11th hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad heads downhill from an elevated tee. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad - No. 15
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The Crossings at Carlsbad - No. 15
The 15th hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad is the first of back-to-back par 5s. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 16
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The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 16
A long, canyon carry is required off the tee at the 16th hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad - No. 17
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The Crossings at Carlsbad - No. 17
The 17th hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad is a short par 3 that plays slightly downhill. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 18
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The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course - No. 18
The 18th hole on The Crossings at Carlsbad is a long par 4 that requires a carry on the approach. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor

The Crossings at Carlsbad near San Diego, California

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The Crossings at Carlsbad , located just north of San Diego, is one of California's more ambitious municipal golf courses. It's also one of the area's newest courses, opening in 2007, and is operated by Kemper Sports.

The golf course was many years in the making, and the first glimpse of the site from the clubhouse will explain why. It's plotted out on 1,000 acres of very severe mountain landscape that features wetlands at its lower points. The site has no residential component and is set in an animal habitat and nature trail system.

Course architect Greg Nash faced the challenge of plotting out a golf course that features canyon carries and steep grades beside the fairways. From the course's higher points, such as the straightaway par-4 sixth hole, you can see out to the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles away. The result is a par-72 course with five sets of tees playing up to 6,835 yards. While fairways are usually pretty generous, they're seldom flat and often lined with native grasses and sage brush.

Two severely downhill holes to start the back nine, but the meat of the final stretch takes place at No. 15 and No. 16. They are back-to-back par 5s that play parallel to one another, and each requires a forced carry at some point.

The Crossings has no basic muni-style clubhouse. Instead, it's a 28,000-square-foot clubhouse that overlooks the property and the Pacific Ocean and features a pro shop, locker room and restaurant, plus plenty of meeting space for groups and events.

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.
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The Crossings at Carlsbad near San Diego, California
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