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Golf SD — Woods Valley Golf Course

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Woods Valley Golf Course

Woods Valley Golf Course

Location: Just off Woods Valley Road in Valley Center, near the top of the grade.

Difficulty: 4*  This is another target golf course. The front 9 has a lot of narrow fairways that lay parallel to each other and are separated by ridges of hard dirt, rocks, trees and tall grass. The back 9 is completely different: the fairways are flanked by forests of oak trees (and poison oak), a stream and houses.

*Scale of 1-10 where 1=Miniature golf and 10=Augusta National

First tee at Woods Valley Golf Course

First tee at Woods Valley Golf Course

Price:

  • Mon-Fri – $45
    • Twilight after 12pm – $35
    • Super twilight after 4pm – $25
    • Seniors (55 over) – $35
    • Juniors – $15
  • Weekends/Holidays – $60
    • Twilight after 12pm – $43
    • Seniors (55 over) – $60
    • Juniors – $20

Staff: The staff at Woods Valley is courteous and knowledgeable. There’s always someone behind the counter in the clubhouse to help.

Amenities: The course has a grass driving range, a putting green and a chipping green.

Driving range at Woods Valley Golf Course

Driving range at Woods Valley Golf Course

They have beer, cigars and food in the clubhouse. There’s a refrigerator with some sandwiches, pastries and burritos. I recommend the sandwiches. Make sure you grab a little cup of the yellow sauce to put on your sandwich. It tastes like a mix of mustard and Italian dressing—very tasty. There are club cleaners and coolers on the golf carts. There’s ice at the clubhouse and around the course to keep your drinks cold. There are water jugs at many of the holes with paper cups if you forgot to bring beverages. The beverage cart is good at getting around the course as well.

Tips/Advice: If you can catch the greens during the week or early on the weekends –they’re excellent. They’re true and fair. But like many public courses, they get thrashed pretty quickly on the weekends.

Depending on what tees you play from, the 295-yard 10th Hole (see below picture) is a good place to use a long iron or a fairway wood. The driver is tempting if you can control it, but you’ll be in good shape if you play a 4 or 5-iron. Hole 7 is the same.

Hole 10 at Woods Valley

Hole 10 at Woods Valley

One of my favorite on the course is hole 15 (see picture below). This has an elevated tee box and you can only see a sliver of the fairway bending to the right down below. I golf by the motto “Play for the spectacular” so I grab a driver and try to cut the corner. If you make it, you end up about 30 yards from the pin. If not, you’re out of bounds in the oak trees. The safe bet is your hybrid or long iron.

View from hole 15 at Woods Valley

View from hole 15 at Woods Valley

Lastly, I have a couple pieces of advice for hole 5 (see picture below). At 390 yards, it doesn’t seem like it deserves its 1 handicap. But with a par of 4, it definitely is the hardest on the course for several other reasons.

When you get to the tee box, it seems like you’re looking at a gigantic fairway. It’s hard to judge from the tee, but if you hit a good drive down the middle or right side of the fairway you could end up in a lake as the fairway begins to slope off towards the drink. I’ve done this twice. Depending on how far you can drive the ball, your second shot to the green could be a long one and it has to be on the money. The green is guarded by massive bunkers on the front and back. Laying up for a shot at par is dangerous too because the green is wedged behind the shoulder of a lake with only a sliver of fairway leading up to the tiered putting surface. Good luck.

Hole 5 at Woods Valley

Hole 5 at Woods Valley

Conclusion: Finesse and thoughtful golf are superior here over just slamming the ball down the fairway. Definitely consider using your long irons or fairway metal off the tees on a number of holes before you reach for the driver. With other target-golf courses, the holes are laid out so that they reward a long, straight tee-shot. Woods Valley is trickier because a long drive is not necessarily the best play.

View from hole 14 at Woods Valley

View from hole 14 at Woods Valley

Woods Valley Golf Course
14616 Woods Valley Road
Valley Center
760.751.3007
www.woodsvalleygolfclub.com

All photos by the author, except for the picture of Hole 5 – image source

Shaun was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He attended San Pasqual High School, graduated in 2000 and received his B.A. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in literature and creative writing. He speaks fluent English, a little Spanish, some Italian and even less Swedish. He golfs almost every weekend. He shoots in the mid 80's on a good day, mid 90's on a bad day. He enjoys good bourbon, black coffee and cloudy days. His favorite movie is the Big Lebowski.

1 Comment

  1. Dennis

    August 15, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Shaun,
    This is a great article; it is informative and humorous at the same time. “Play for the spectacular!” I love it. Well written review.
    Dennis

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