THE GOLF OF CALIFORNIA

Mild weather, abundant sunshine, and more than 92 courses dotting the county from the ocean to the mountains and desert make San Diego a year-round destination for golfers. The region is home to some of the world’s most prestigious tournaments, with courses designed by the top names in golf including Arnold Palmer, Alister Mackenzie, Robert Trent Jones, Pete Dye, and Tom Fazio.

A short list of the area’s most luxurious links includes the Four Seasons Resort Aviara Golf Club, La Costa Resort & Spa, Grand Golf Club Del Mar, Morgan Run, and Torrey Pines Golf Course, also one of the nation’s foremost municipal golf facilities.

SAN DIEGO’S SPA SCENE

An invigorating combination of sun, surf, and sea breezes complemented by the region’s enthusiasm for fitness and healthful cuisine makes San Diego a natural choice for a destination spa experience. Now regarded as an essential component of many meeting and incentive programs, restorative therapies can be enjoyed at the city’s impressive array of superb spas.

SPA NEWS

• A spa and fitness center opened in June 2005 at the 315-room CATAMARAN RESORT HOTEL on Mission Bay. The 9,300-square-foot spa features a tropical Polynesian atmosphere, 10 treatment rooms, therapies incorporating South Pacific and Asian healing traditions, and an outdoor whirlpool tub offering 180-degree views of the bay.

• The 43-room, all-suite RANCHO VALENCIA RESORT in Rancho Santa Fe opens a full-service spa in spring 2006. Planned facilities include 10 treatment rooms with private patios, three pools of varying temperatures, a lap pool, and a Vichy room dedicated to hydrotherapy treatments.

• The SPA AT LA COSTA is home to the Chopra Center for Well Being, founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra, where services include wellness golf, yoga fitness, meditation, and astrology.

• Roses, lavender, papaya, pineapple, coconut, and sea salt are some of the ingredients found in new treatments offered at BELLA TOSCA SPA at Town and Country Resort in Mission Valley.

• The SPA AT TORREY PINES at the Lodge at Torrey Pines offers two packages that combine rounds of golf at the famed Torrey Pines Golf Club with therapeutic body treatments.

• Plush pampering can also be enjoyed at The Spa at La Costa, Four Seasons Resort Aviara, The Golden Door, La Valencia Hotel, Hotel Parisi, Hilton San Diego Resort, Paradise Point Resort & Spa, L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, and Coronado Island Marriott Resort.

LUCKY NUMBERS

San Diego offers eight casinos within a half hour to 45-minute drive of downtown hotels. For an entertaining and efficient group excursion, planners may wish to consider an organized casino outing arranged by one of the city’s tour operators. Several casinos feature amenities of interest to planners. Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino offers 397 luxurious guest rooms, an 18-hole championship golf course, and a Golf Events Center accommodating up to 600. A spa and 12,000 square feet of meeting space are offered at the 653- room Harrah’s Rincon Casino and Resort. Pala Casino Resort & Spa has 507 guest rooms, a spa, 17 meeting rooms, and a 20,000-square-foot ballroom. In the wine country of Temecula, Pechanga Resort & Casino boasts AAA Four Diamond award-winning facilities with 533 guest rooms and 40,000 square feet of meeting space. Sycuan Resort & Casino is a mecca for golf and gaming with 103 guest rooms and two championship 18-hole courses, while Viejas Casino offers its own double-header of gaming with shopping at the adjacent name-brand Viejas Outlet Mall.