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GRADE “A” ARCHITECTURE

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Carlsbad, CA

18th hole / 594 Yards / Par-5

Architects: Dick Wilson 1965; Joe Lee 1973, 1984; Damian Pascuzzo, Steve Pate & Jeff Brauer (2011)

For many years LaCosta served as the host site for the annual PGA Tour Tournament of Champions. The event played just after The Masters and the field was nothing less than stellar comprising of just winners from the preceding year.

Over the course of time LaCosta went through a series of internal issues and the event was eventually pulled by the Tour and moved to Hawaii to showcase the start of

LaCosta

Schematic of 18th hole | 594-yard par-5

the new calendar year.

LaCosta has made a range of improvements over the last several years and the luster has indeed returned to this resort nestled near San Diego under Omni ownership.

What many people may not realize is that the host course for all those years was a combination of both the Champions and Legends courses.

The Champions Course comprises a fine layout which culminates in dramatic fashion.

The closing hole, a long par-5 of 597 total yards, is often played into the prevailing winds off the nearby Pacific Ocean. In recent times many par-5 holes are nothing more than good birdie opportunities but the finale here at LaCosta mandates three top quality shots to get to the putting surface.

The tee shot starts a long journey home with the clubhouse looming in the distance high above the putting surface. Getting into the fairway is essential in order to get to the green in the regulation stroke. Water is a constant threat for the duration of the hole. The best position off the tee is down the left side to avoid a intimidating tree that cuts into the fairway from the right. The landing area for the 2nd narrows considerably and for the biggest of hitters the question becomes can one carry a pesky creek that cuts 30 yards in front of the green.

Most will opt to land their 2nd shots anywhere from 120-150 yards from the green. The putting surface is perched above the fairway and is thoroughly protected by deep grass left and a menacing bunker to the right. The green — 33 yards deep — is sufficiently contoured so landing an approach does not mean an automatic two-putt by any means.

Often times leaving the green of a par-5 hole with a par may not seem as such a big accomplishment. At the 18th at Champions that outcome is certainly most welcomed in capping one’s time at LaCosta in fine fashion.

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