Presidio Hills Golf Course Restoration for the 250th Commemoration of California

| May 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Some San Diegans don’t realize just how popular our City is to people around the country. Whenever I travel outside of San Diego, which is frequently, I hear the same comment from people I meet, “I love San Diego and wish I could live there.”

Unfortunately, those of us who live here sometimes forget how fortunate we are. We also don’t realize that we have incredible surroundings due to others who had vision and commitment to make San Diego a gem of a city. Thanks to people like George Marston and Kate Sessions who gifted San Diego with their time, talent and resources, we have Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Presidio Park, and other landmark properties, including Presidio Hills Golf Course in Old Town San Diego.

This past week, I attended a community meeting chaired by Councilman Chris Ward. In attendance were representatives from numerous organizations, including SOHO, Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce, California State Park, San Diego River Conservancy, San Diego History Center, as well as descendants of those who resided here 250 years ago. The purpose of the meeting is to begin planning for July 2019, the commemoration of California’s first settlement. Next year is the 250th anniversary, and Old Town San Diego is going to be the focal point of this commemoration.

During his introductions, Councilman Ward offered information about various projects being planned for Presidio Park, the Serra Museum and the site of the old CalTrans building. He also mentioned that the Friends of Presidio Hills Golf Course are currently working toward the restoration of Presidio Hills Golf Course. He seemed encouraged that there would be progress made toward resubmitting a proposal that needed some modification for the city’s real estate assets division.

As noted on the Friends of Presidio Hills Golf Course web site, Presidio Hills Golf Course has been a San Diego institution since 1932 and is one of the oldest par-3 courses in the United States. The clubhouse (Casa de Carrillo), built in 1802, is the oldest adobe dwelling in San Diego. George Marston, who is a key figure in San Diego history, opened the golf course. He supported Balboa Park, founded the San Diego History Center and saved the surrounding Presidio area from development. Marston also played the first round at Presidio Hills.

John Vallas, the acting executive director for Friends of Presidio Hills Golf Course, shared with me that he felt encouraged with the latest meeting with the city councilmembers, “While our presentation wasn’t able to be presented as planned, I believe we were still able to accomplish what we set out to do. Introduce the full council to Presidio Hills Golf Course, it’s history, what’s happened, and our vision.”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this organization, Friends of Presidio Hills Golf Course is a community-led nonprofit organization comprised of San Diego residents and golf enthusiasts working together to help return Presidio Hills Golf Course to its former glory.

In addition to restoration of the golf course and buildings, Friends plans to host educational programs and clinics for San Diego schools and organizations.

To assist with proper restoration, SOHO has partnered with Friends to return the seventeenth century adobe house to its 1810 configuration including the pear orchard. The adobe house would be reopened as a museum and include history of the Kumeyaay Indian nation.

I’ve also learned that the Friend’s proposal includes building a community center with classrooms, a pro shop, and snack bar. The community center entrance would showcase golf history for San Diego and Presidio Hills.

There is a lot of history coming from Old Town San Diego, the birthplace of California. And history may also be in the making. That’s because, as previous civic-minded people have stepped up to protect and restore landmark properties around San Diego, Friends of Presidio Hills Golf Course have committed to do the same.

Maybe the timing is ideal for the future of Presidio Hills Golf Course. To join this effort to support the Friends of Presidio Hills Golf Course, visit It may be your time to be a part of history in the making.

Presidio Hills Golf Course is a gem of history for San Diego.

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