Sometimes, it pays off to travel outside of your comfort zone. For all of us at G Social, golf is not only a professional affectation, but it’s something that we love (sometimes, a little too much, ask our wives and partners). Discovering new tracks is in our DNA; Native Oaks Golf Club is a little gem that we are proud to say is worth traveling the 60 miles or so south of Orange County.
Nestled in canyons in East San Diego, Valley Center to be exact, (the hub of avocado groves), it is an easy drive without traffic (all things considered, the 5 freeway was cooperating that day), and before long, you arrive at your destination. It bears mentioning that Native Oaks GC has entered a new phase in its management with General Manager, Eric J. Julian, and the course has undergone several improvements that are still going on as of this writing. However, the elements for a successful golf course are all here. It is a beautiful track that is coming into its own (the back nine is spectacular, rivaling the best that Orange County has to offer), featuring an extensive, all-grass driving range, very well maintained fairways and greens, and most of all, the serene and beautiful environment typical of this corner of Southern California.
Against the current trend of ever-longer golf courses that favor the long hitters, Native Oaks GC is a thinking man track. With narrow fairways, deep vegetations near the out-of-bounds areas, and fast greens, local knowledge, and a well-honed wedge game are essential to shoot a good score.
But we would be remiss not to mention the best part of Native Oaks GC, the people. Friendly and welcoming faces at every turn, from the cart girl with in-depth knowledge of the track (she saved us a couple of shots on hole #5) to the restaurant staff—by the way, the food that comes out of this little corner kitchen is rather tasty and beautifully presented, which, let’s be frank, is not something one would readily expect from a golf course—to the pro shop crew who are quick with a “welcome” and “have a great day, today.”
Our first experience at Native Oaks Golf Club was indeed a great one. There is something for everyone from the high handicaps to the more seasoned golfers. Needless to say, a fun time was had by all. And,as much as we want people to know about how great Native Oaks Golf Club is, we are a little bit torn as we would like to keep this great track just for ourselves.