Maderas Golf Club
Maderas Golf Club is generally considered by most to be in the upper echelon of public daily fee golf courses in San Diego. This semi-private club is probably the closest thing you will find to a fully private country club experience available to the public in San Diego.
Esteemed yet controversial golfer designed Maderas turned announcer Johnny Miller who can be hit or miss for some with his design. Maderas is one of the best courses in San Diego, without a doubt, and it’s easy to see why before you even get to the course. The scenic drive into the hidden valley in Poway has all the attributes of a top-notch system. The clubhouse, driving range, and practice area are among the best in the area, and Troon golf is typically known for keeping the conditions at a high rate.
The front nine at Maderas rises and falls dramatically, a theme throughout much of the course; with several forced carries, it requires strategic positioning off the tee. This course has always been known to play firm and fast, although it has matured a bit over the years. The front nine has a mix of some suitable holes and some less desirable ones; 6 and 8 come to mind. The course picks up steam on the ninth hole. An elevated tee shot usually calls for no more than iron, with a fairway falling off into a lake that wraps around the hole and splits it in two. A short iron should get you close if you land safely on the fairway without going too far.
The back nine is excellent throughout at Maderas and a part of the reason why the course is so highly regarded. It is also filled with some of the biggest houses in town. Madera’s setting is truly stunning throughout the course, worthy of these homes. The 12th hole is a personal favorite. A blind tee shot to a fairway that slopes down to the lake by the green’s left and right sides.
The 13th hole from the back tees is quite different, there are several other tee boxes at Maderas, but this one is arguably the most noticeable, requiring a long forced carry over a lake into a stiff breeze. A good drive and you still may be left with around 200 in; par is a good score here.
The 14th hole is arguably the signature hole at Maderas, a picturesque par five that requires strategy. This is a true 3-shot par five that requires a layup as a barranca protects this elevated green surrounded by a vast natural amphitheater. A layup of the ravine should have a short but testy wedge to this severely elevated green. The 15th hole is a beast of a par 3, 253 yards from the tips but plays straight downhill. Shots hit to the right of the green will generally kick down to the dance floor. The 18th hole is a 600-yard par 5, rounding up a tough stretch of par 5s at Maderas. This tee shot is highly elevated, with beautiful views of Mt. Woodson in the near distance.
Many talented golfers play here, so that this course can be intimidating for less experienced players. However, Maderas is still a good challenge and experience for any golfer. Maderas is and will continue to be one of the best courses in the San Diego area.