The Grand Golf Club - hole 17
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 17
Flowering lily pads decorate the par-3 17th hole at The Grand Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 1
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 1
The first hole at The Grand Golf Club, playing downhill, eases you into the round. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Grand Golf Club - hole 1 green
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 1 green
The picturesque Los Pe̱asquitos Canyon and gaping bunkers will impress those who play The Grand Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Grand Golf Club - hole 4
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 4
Trouble lurks along the perimeter of the tough par-4 fourth hole at The Grand Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Grand Golf Club - hole 5
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 5
The fifth fairway at The Grand Golf Club looks scary tight. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Grand Golf Club - hole 7
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 7
Long hitters can reach the green in two on the par-5 seventh hole at The Grand Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Grand Golf Club - hole 8
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 8
A nice draw will reach the back-left pin on the downhill par-3 eighth hole at The Grand Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Grand Golf Club - hole 15
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 15
With a nice view from the tee, the 15th hole is one of the signature moments at The Grand Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Grand Golf Club - hole 16
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 16
Two bunkers guard the 16th green at The Grand Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The Grand Golf Club - hole 18
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The Grand Golf Club - hole 18
A stream, fed from a waterfall on the right, crosses in front of the elevated 18th green at The Grand Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

The Grand Golf Club: Tom Fazio's fun playground at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in SoCal

SAN DIEGO -- Tom Fazio sure is a crowd pleaser.

There's no reason every golfer who plays The Grand Golf Club won't walk off the course smiling.

You don't have to be Bobby Jones, who has a statue near the first tee, to enjoy the Fazio course winding through the beautiful Los Peñasquitos Canyon on the outskirts of San Diego. There's no tricks or gimmicks to Fazio's simple, yet dynamic routing.

Fazio's fairways are wide, but if you go astray the ball will likely be lost in heavy brush. The challenge comes in hitting elevated greens and avoiding the bunkers that surround them. The 18th hole is by far the most scenic and difficult for most players. A manmade waterfall feeds a stream that crosses in front of the green and collects in a pond on the left side.

A few holes are perched high above the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, where golfers must stay to gain access to the course. All of the Fairmont's plush offerings extend to the golf experience. Target greens on the expansive range are guarded by bunkers to simulate the shot-making on the course. The golf clubhouse houses a posh men's locker room, where you can stock up on snacks after nine holes, and a nice restaurant, where you can wine and dine your foursome afterward.

The Grand's sterling reputation attracts all sorts of celebrities and athletes. Phil Mickelson held the course record for a long time before being surpassed. If you want to see and be seen, you could hang out at worse places than The Grand.

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.

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The Grand Golf Club: Tom Fazio's fun playground at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in SoCal
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