San Diego, Calif. (KGTV) - The PGA Tour rolled into La Jolla Monday to prepare for this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Players will have to quickly adjust to the first major renovation at the famed South Course in more than a decade.
"I can't wait to see them play it and see what their scores are and try to hear some of their comments," Scott Bentley, who helps oversee the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Golf Division, said while giving 10News a tour of the changes Monday ahead of the tournment.
Respected course designer Rees Jones, who helmed the last major renovation to Torrey Pines in 2001, examined advanced analytical data from the 2019 tournament, studying where the pros are hitting their shots. Jones used that information to recommend changes, moving several bunkers to locations that will force players to make a difficult strategic decision on how to approach the hole. Jones also worked to bring Torrey Pines' cliffs and canyons closer to the action, bringing them more into play.
As one of the few world class courses that is municipally owned and operated, Bentley said it's a balancing act to make the course challenging for the world's top players, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, while still making the course playable and enjoyable for the thousands of San Diegans and visitors who play Torrey Pines each year.
"We tried to keep the changes not too dramatic because we do have all that public play and our residents visitors come here...we didn't want to make it too crazy," said Bentley.
Other changes include significant modifications to the course's drainage and irrigation system, which will help use water more efficiently.