Situated at the foot of Presidio Hill adjacent to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, this nine-acre golf course contains Casa de Carrillo, the oldest surviving adobe home in San Diego. Constructed circa 1817 next to an earlier pear orchard (1808), the home is now used as a clubhouse. The property began to deteriorate over the course of the next century until it was acquired by philanthropist and civic leader George Marston and four other members of the Chamber of Commerce circa 1907. Marston underwrote the restoration of the property and the development of the surrounding golf course. Opened in 1932, the eighteen-hole course is one of the oldest par-three golf courses in the country. Golf course architect William Park Bell designed the links for a challenging short game, utilizing hollows and hills and limiting holes to no more than 94 yards. In the late twentieth century, ownership of the park was transferred to the City of San Diego, which has since leased it to various caretakers. Referred to as the ‘cradle of golf in San Diego,’ the course has hosted many Junior World Championships, awarding titles to such famed professionals as Tiger Woods, Lorena Ochoa, and Phil Mickleson.
Built on a gentle incline, the course slopes upwards towards Presidio Hill. Several large shade trees, including oak, linden, sweetgum, and magnolia, dot the main links, while a tree line and hedgerows screen the course to the east and south. Desert Willows, Bert’s Bluff, Santa Barbara honeysuckle, Showy Penstemon, and various native succulents and cacti are clustered near the hedgerows. From 2015 to 2017, the historic pepper trees framing the course to the southeast were removed. A dirt baseball diamond is located at the northwest corner of the site.