Rancho Carlsbad Footgolf Course
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5200 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92010
Short but technical course
Accuracy more important than power
Only course in the North County area
Rancho Carlsbad Golf Course is situated in the northern part of San Diego, about 45 minutes from downtown, along the historic El Camino Real road. Coming in at a relatively short 1814 yards and a par 63, the Rancho Carlsbad course is also considered to be the most technical. Since the holes are a bit shorter, the ability to “drive” the ball becomes a bit less important; rather, the quality of the short game is emphasized. Another cool aspect is that the areas around the holes are manicured to be like golf greens, making for fun (or frustrating!) putting.
The front nine kicks off with the first three holes along the side of the fence closest to the driving range, and are fairly straightforward. Hole 3 is the only par 5 on the course, but can be reached in 3 easily with some long kicks. However, be aware of the trees littering the fairways, as they can be a real ball magnet. Hole 4 is fun with its raised tee box, and benefits the lefty curve, as the trees that block a natural right footer’s trajectory towards the hole.
Hole 5 has a huge tree smack in the middle of the fairway, while hole 6 is short, but offers a hilly green area. Hole 7 is tucked in a difficult location between a tree, a hill and a small ravine. Hole 9 closes out the back 9 with a trick shot. It is very short, but you must go for a banana kick around a fence and a tree to lay up close, or you can get crazy and try to chip it over the fence, a feat tried by many but executed by few.
The back nine has fewer trees blocking direct paths to the hole, but offers its own challenges. Hole 10 butts up against an ice plant covered hill on the right, making a tight shot for right footed players. Hole 11 is blocked by a sizeable tree, but is not too far at only 63 yards. Hole 12 is the best chance for a hole in one, with a straight line of 74 yards to a pin placed near a friendly hill.
Hole 13 presents another short hole equipped with an elevated tee box, yet the trick is to stay out of the brush and branches hindering your path to the hole. Holes 14-15 are longer and a straight-shot with the hole on the left side of the fairway. Hole 16 is probably the course highlight. The flagpole peeks through a small window between two imposing trees that block a straight shot. A right footed shot that bends (like Beckham) around the first tree will get you closest to the pin, but is undoubtedly the riskier option. Hole 17 is one of the longer holes with a fence along the right side, a bumpy area around the outside of the green closest to the trees and a bunker if you hit your shot too far! Hole 18 is a dog-leg left and leads you right to the clubhouse or parking lot.
Overall, Rancho Carlsbad is a great footgolf course, and with a course record of -16, offers much to consider for the newcomer and veteran player