By Gail Kendall
March 20, 2021
For a bit of fun and a bit of educational history, Gail Kendall has put together this list of proposed golf hole names for the Rancho Santa Fe golf course. Enjoy!
In honor of Juan Maria Osuna, San Diego’s first Alcalde, or Mayor, was gifted the land that is now Rancho Santa Fe under a Spanish Land Grant in 1845.
#2 Roller Coaster
Looking down the fairway from the tee you can see the rolling hills and curves that remind you of a roller coaster. Course strategy is a must on this hole!
#3 Wishing Well
The small lake sitting between the tees and the green looks just like a lovely little wishing well – and makes you wish your ball doesn’t go into that well! Also, nearby the golf course in Rancho Santa Fe was once the home of a small hotel named The Wishing Well. In its day it was quite popular, frequented by many of those traveling to our beautiful community from Hollywood and the Los Angeles area. It also gained a rather notorious reputation as “the watering hole” for locals as well.
#4 To the Max
Hit ‘em high, hit ‘em long. Your drive and fairway shot must be to the max if you have a prayer of making par ‘cause this is the longest hole on the course. Also, we honor Max Behr, renowned golf course architect and friend and colleague of course designer Dr Alister MacKenzie. On December 3, 1927, Max was hired for design and construction supervision of the RSF golf course. The course was opened for play on June 5, 1929.
#5 Der Bingle
Shout Der Bingle! as your drive sails from atop the hill on this beautiful hole. Bing Crosby is a name almost synonymous with the RSFGC. DerBingle is a favorite nickname that was familiar to Bing.
From #6 you can see many of the lovely homes that surround our course. RSF is a growing community, but only property owners in the Covenant can become members of this beautiful golf course.
#7 Last Easy
#7’s serene setting and short distance makes it look like an easy hole. It’s challenges aren’t easily perceived at first glance but, surely, all three-pars to come are longer and even more challenging!
#8 The Rogue
From the tee this hole looks wide open and straightforward. But, beware, it is a scoundrel of a hole and can play mischievous havoc with your score.
#9 La Granada
La Granada is one of the major avenues of Rancho Santa Fe and runs almost the length of the golf course, beginning with #9.
#10 Easy Little Par Six
Don’t let this short 4-par lull you into complacency. If you survive the fairway roll to the right, and miss the menacing bunker in front of the green, you still must deal with the tricky undulations of the green!
#11 Hawk’s Aerie
A family of hawks makes the area between the 11th and 16th greens its home. Particularly in the spring, their presence is known as they protect and hunt food for their young.
#12 Santa Fe
Most of the original land grant to Osuna was sold in 1906 to the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. The nearly 4,000 acres of land bought by the railroad company was used to plant thousands of eucalyptus trees for wood to make railroad ties, but later was turned into the upscale housing area that it remains today.
#13 is both the Signature hole and the most challenging at the RSFGC. In 1937 Bing Crosby sponsored the first Bing Crosby Pro-Am Tournament. He invited a select group of golf professionals and friends from Hollywood to play the RSF course and called the tournament the Clambake. What began as Bing’s golfing party has evolved into today’s pro-am format and is an integral part of many of the modern PGA tournaments. WWII interrupted the RSF Clambake after 6 years but restarted in 1947 at Pebble Beach and played there until 1986. Though under a different name the tournament still lives on at Pebble Beach. Rancho Santa Fe is still known as Home of the Clambake. It is a fitting tribute that #13 be named after this special piece of golfing history.
#14 Turning for Home
Golfers make the turn for home here at this Par Three, nestled beautifully between the horse trails surrounding the tee area and the creeks and lakes in front. No rest for the weary, however, as this hole is fraught with a few challenges of its own.
#15 La Morada
La Morada is the name of the guesthouse designed for prospective land buyers of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Co and later expanded to become a hotel, which is now known as the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
It was at La Morada where 25 residents gathered to form the Rancho Santa Fe Country Club, which later became the RSF Golf Club.
#16 Slammin’ Sammy
Sam Snead was the winner of the first Clambake in 1937 and claimed the first place prize money of $500. Sam went on to claim three victories in the six years the tournament was played at RSF, his last win coming on a pivotal shot on the treacherous 16th hole that broke a tie with Ed “Porky” Oliver. Slammin’ Sammy is often on record that he considers the 16th hole at RSF one of his favorite holes in golf.
These graceful looking trees surround this picturesque par three hole. When the weather is just right the fragrance of the Eucalyptus is abundant as the golfers approach the green. …The nearly 4,000 acres of land bought by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company were planted with eucalyptus trees as a source for the manufacture of railroad ties. The project was abandoned due to natural disasters affecting the trees, plus the arrival of creosote, a substance that had remarkable wood preserving qualities that reduced the need for new ties.
#18 Fin del Camino
The End of the Road! Time to wrap it up, come in to the “19th Hole” for a drink and some popcorn; join your friends and share all the tales about your games that day! … In the early days of Rancho Santa Fe, it was customary for homes to be identified with names rather than addresses, much like ranches are named. Fin del Camino was a lovely Lillian Rice home and still is in use today.