From the archives: Torrey Pines Golf Course opened in June 1957

The US Open golf tournament is scheduled to end today at the beautiful Torrey Pines Golf Course.

Located on scenic cliffs high above the Pacific, the Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course opened 64 years ago this week.

The course is named after the trees that dot the mesa and the nearby state park.

The Parcours Sud opened to the public on June 19, 1957 following inauguration ceremonies and a pro-amateur tournament. San Diego Mayor Charles Dail hit the first ceremonial golf ball – after breathing on his first stroke.

A fully professional quartet consisting of Paul Runyan, Olin Dutra, Ralph Guldahl and Don Collett was the first to take the start.

Collett was a naval chief who had recently won the San Diego County Open. Collett, who died in 2016, was also part of the inaugural quartet to open the Coronado Golf Course in December 1957.

The Torrey Pines North Course opened without much fanfare later that year. It is shorter and easier than the southern route.

Renowned golf course architect William Bell, of Pasadena, was hired to design both courses. He passed away before they were completed and his son, William, Jr. completed the work of making ties from the earth once used for Camp Callan, an Army anti-aircraft training facility during the Second World War.

This is the second time that the municipal course has hosted the tournament. Tiger Woods’ 2008 playoff victory at Torrey Pines is considered one of the greatest US Opens of all time.

City golf fees were increased at municipal San Diego golf courses when Torrey Pines opened in 1957. The new fees were $ 1.50 for 18 holes on weekdays and $ 2 for 18 holes. holes on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

From the San Diego Union, Thursday, June 20, 1957:

Yesterday, pro Paul Runyon shot a two-under-70 for the top honors yesterday, as about 1,500 people showed up for the grand opening of the new Torrey Pines South Golf Course.

Runyan, former National Open champion, performed an exhibition in a quartet with Olin Dutra and Ralph Guldahl, also former open titlists who shot 73s and Don Collett, County Open champion who had 71 .

Pro Jim Borders and amateur V. Cappi teamed up for a 64-of-eight under par to win a pro-amateur tournament that drew 150 entries.

The low raw score among the pros was a 70 by Leonard Kennett, Walter Duda was second with 72.

Colorful dedication ceremonies preceded the actual shot on the picturesque 6,723 yard layout.

Mayor Dail struck the first shot on municipal beach links, with the ball traveling no more than 10 yards before hitting a spectator in the leg. The mayor had completely missed the ball on his first shot.

Yesterday’s pro-amateur leaders:
64-Jim Borders and V. Cappi.
66 — Len Kennett and Don Bietel; Kennett and Dr W. Hart, Bob Hummel and G. Grimm.
67 — Julius Skinner and F. Thill, Walter Duda and D. Peterson, Duda and Bob Stevenson, Merius Ahlstrom and P. Mail, Ahlstrom and User Tucker, Ahlstrom and J. Thompson.

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