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The North Course at Torrey Pines has long lived in the shadow of the more prestigious South Course, but fresh off its renovation the new North is finally enjoying a bit of its own celebrity status.
Torrey Pines Golf Operations Director Mark Marney said requests to play the North have risen dramatically.
“The demand for the North Course is off the charts right now,” he said.
Rounds have not risen in kind partly because the course is still rationing them on the North while the course grows in and a bit of remaining maintenance from the renovation is completed.
When it re-opened in November, the course only hosted play for four hours a day. That was later bumped to eight hours, but twilight rounds were withheld. The course will finally be open for play all day in the middle of May, Marney said, after Torrey completes its spring maintenance.
Restricting play has been done to protect the course, Marney said: “We’re trying not to love it to death.”
But Marney said the renovations and updates made by course architect Tom Weiskopf have been received positives reviews from locals and visitors alike.
“Players at all level have been pretty happy with their now being five sets of tee options so there’s a little better variety there for folks,” he said. “The greens are also 20 percent bigger on average, and are there are still approach where you can run the ball up to the green. All in all, it’s worked out pretty well.”
And the difficulty of the course didn’t increase, which was a primary concern of residents. The South Course, host to the U.S. Open and the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open, remains by far the tougher test and a destination course for tourists.
However, after the renovation, it’s now the North’s time to shine and Marney said he hopes see an increase in the appeal of playing 36 at Torrey.
Historically, Marney said there’s been about a 20 percent disparity favoring the South for non-resident rounds.
“We’d like to get more people playing both courses,” he said, “and right now, the interest in the North is certainly there.”