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Public Viewing Set For Glimpse At Phil's Torrey North Redo 

Tod Leonard shares some new details on the Phil Mickelson-helmed renovation of Torrey Pines North, including a $7 million price tag, a 2015 start date, wall to wall cart paths (sigh) and a public meeting to be held December 18th at The Lodge.

No word on whether Phil will shield himself behind chicken wire since the locals weren't exactly thrilled when Rees Jones redid the South and that was for much less.

Mickelson’s ideas for the North are being executed by the leader of his design team, Mike Angus, with additional input from Mickelson’s friend and former instructor, Rick Smith. The city has included in the team Glen Schmidt, a local landscape architect who has worked on many projects with the city.

Before any work begins, Marney said the plans will have to go before the city’s Design Review Committee, Park and Recreation Board, Planning Commission, and, depending on the permit requirements, the Coastal Commission. Marney said the City Council will have to approve the creation of the capital improvement project.

Peter Ripa, the tournament director for the annual Farmers Open, applauded the possibility of the renovation. Torrey North is not very popular among PGA Tour players, who ranked its 48th of 52 venues in a poll by Golf World magazine earlier this year.

Ripa said he believes tour players would appreciate less disparity in their scores between the South and North, but he also emphasized that the work “shouldn’t be done just for Easter Sunday. … It has to be a golf course that is enjoyable and playable for people of all levels.”

Leonard also files an excellent column imploring Mickelson to be sensitive, writing that "this could be as much a part of your legacy in San Diego as those three green jackets."

This project shouldn’t be about making the course harder or more “strategic” for the two days a year the PGA Tour plays the North. In fact, I’ve talked to numerous pros who say the North should stay exactly the way it is.

From what I hear you want to make the North “playable” and more “fun.” I’m not sure what your definition of that is, because as a golf entertainer you are equal parts Sinatra and Knievel. But we’ll assume that it doesn’t mean tiny greens surrounded by more sand than the Sahara. We’ll hope that it means the average guy can still run the ball up to the green, and not have to fly it to every dang hole (yes, we’re talking about you Rees). We’ll hope that the greens aren’t so tricky that we’d need Bones to read them.

We know that there isn’t much rerouting that can or will be done, and that’s a good thing. Do the greens have to be redone? Is the public clamoring for it? No. Even some pros say that despite the softer poa annua, they’d rather putt on the North than the South because the North’s surfaces are more consistent.

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Reader Comments (11)

"as a golf entertainer you are equal parts Sinatra and Knievel."

pretty good quote
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Wow what a contrast in processes with that other public course facility in San Andrews...
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
Wow-you guys really know how to splash the cash on an upgrade!
We would expect to build 3 new courses for that over here!
Californians stopped paying attention to "authority" when Junipero Serra died.
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
is it really possible anymore to redesign a course to be challenging to the PGA player while still being fun and enjoyable for the average amateur. other than scooting back tees for the pros, what other options are there to create difficult for one group and playable for less skilled.
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
these people are crazy they want the North to be similar to the South or not?....sounds like they can't decide

a no win fer sure

free internet advice for 3 time masters champ: run Phil, while you still can!
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUmp
Who did Phil's group outbid? Or did the city just select him?
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOB
We would expect to build 3 courses for that over here!!
12.11.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
according to Tom Fazio, hee are comparative costs to build a golf course from the 1960s to 1990s: (lots of variables)

1960s: $190,000-$380,000
1970s: $540,000-$1.08 mil
1980s: $2.0mil-$4.0mil
1990s: $3.8mil-$7.6mil

source: David Hueber 2010

So $7 mil for a redo is a REALLY fancy redo, especially for a "public" course. I put "public" in quotes because I am really not sure what constitutes a public course these days. Just as I am not really sure what constitues a "private" course these days.
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Hopefully there will again be significant backlash from local SD golfers; like when a Rees redesign was proposed several years ago. Lets face it, the course cannot be lengthened; holes 1,2,6,7,8,9,10,13,14,15,16,& 17 have absolutely nowhere to go as they are already on the boundry. The routing can't be changed, just not enought room. So, we'll blow up probably the best set of greens in SD so the Pros aren't embarassed by the fact they can't putt over significant undulation! Irrigation is in place, both potable for greens and reclaimed for everywhere else, So why do they need to spend $7,000,000.00! Whatever type of bent grass they plant on the new greens will be taken over by Poa within 5 years; just klike the South course. Granted, a couple of greensites could be moved closer to the canyon edge, but will they be given permission for this? The Torrey Pines State Preserve is very strict about encroaching on one of only two homes in the world for the Torrey Pine tree. Hell, even Billy Bell was told to stay away in 1957. This makes very little sense; so obviously it will happen!
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete L.
@Pete L.

your post makes too much sense, so obviously it will be ignored.
12.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D

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