Historical Golf, just minutes from downtown San Diego
While in San Diego, Menekse and I had the pleasure to play golf at The Loma Club. The Loma Club is one of San Diego’s oldest courses and is located just minutes from downtown. It sits in Liberty Station, which is one of the cities many cool areas.
I have played The Loma Club before. I (James) lived in San Diego many many years ago, and back then The Loma Club was known as Sail Ho, and it was a military course. I guess I have forgotten how I was able to play there (most likely a call placed by the pro at Torrey Pines helped), but I really don’t remember Sail Ho being quite as cool as The Loma Club is today!
As mentioned, The Club is literally located just minutes from downtown, and it’s even closer to the airport. It is so close that you could probably deboard your plane and be on the first tee before the other passengers on your flight have even picked up their luggage!
Prior to our game, we had the pleasure to sit down with Jake Fredericks, the General Manager of the Club, to find out what makes the Loma Club such a cool place. Even with its proximity to downtown, I think we could safely say that The Loma Club flies under the radar. The course is relatively unknown to tourists, and many golfers that live in San Diego County probably haven’t heard of it either. But, as Mr Fredericks explained, the course has a dedicated following by the local golfers of the surrounding area. And sitting there, we could feel the almost “surfer” like cool vibe of the place!
Built in 1922, the stucco Clubhouse is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic Use Golf Clubhouse. Once you find yourself inside, take a few minutes to check out the multiple old black and white pictures that celebrate San Diego’s long history with the game. In fact, Sam Snead acted as the head Golf Professional here while he served in the Navy. How is that for some golf history!
One of the many things that we really loved about this historic clubhouse is the chalkboard menu that indicates the course rates. And with a weekday rate of 16 dollars, we don’t think you’ll find a better deal anywhere in golf!
The course record is 22. Yes, twenty-two! And it looks like it has been twice. One of the rounds even included a bogey! 6 2’s, 2 3’s, and heaven forbid one 4- we’ve never seen a scorecard quite like this!
The course itself comes in at just over 1100 yards. The all par 3 nine holes range in length from the 77 yard 5th hole to the 204 yard downhill 7th hole. While it may only be 1100 yards, don’t think that The Loma Club is a pushover, because it certainly isn’t. This makes the pair of 22’s hanging on the wall even that more impressive!
Our favourite hole was easily the course’s signature hole, the par 3 5th hole. This short downhill hole offers amazing panoramic views of downtown San Diego, as well as the harbor. We let the amazing view distract us as we both pulled our shots left of the small green.
The greens were the biggest surprise- they were firm, quick, and were in absolutely great shape. The Kikuyu grass provides great tight lies and provided me with a lot of great memories of my time spent working at Torrey Pines.
The Loma Club has kept some of its Sail Ho history. One of the coolest nods to its former heritage is the yardage markers that are on each tee and still have the old Sail Ho ball signage.
After your round, treat yourself to a delicious local San Diego IPA on the patio, add up the damage, and reflect on this hidden gem.