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Barona Creek Golf Club



Original Design

The Barona Band of Mission Indians wanted a special amenity for the guests headed to their new resort and casino.  The gently rolling topography, unique natural features and panoramic views of the canyon were elements often found on exceptional golf courses.  The Tribe appreciated our philosophy of designing a golf course gently set into the natural features, and not a golf course imposing its will on the land.


Initially, as senior designer for Gary Roger Baird Design International, we spent many days and long hours identifying the unique natural elements that would be incorporated into the routing.  Dry creeks, rock outcroppings and old, majestic oak trees were mapped and noted. Holes were routed to move into and around the oaks.  Rock outcroppings were showcased to set greens against and hide tees into. Variety in the design became an overriding focus, as well as allowing multiple ways for golfers to play the holes. Environmentally friendly design and sustainability we important themes as well.


Little dirt was moved.  By enhancing and utilizing the dry creeks, the site continued to drain as it had for the last thousand years.  All the runoff from the site was recaptured downstream and reused for irrigation water.  The course was grassed with water saving bermudagrass and the total acreage of turf kept small.

Renovation Work Completed

  • 2008 Renovation 

    • Introduced waste bunkering between the tees and fairways for turf reduction

    • Prepared the golf course for the Nationwide Tour Championship with new back tees and added bunkers

  • 2019 and 2020 Renovation

    • Renovated greens and greenside bunkers

Awards and Recognition​​

  • 2000 - Top 10 New Courses – Golf Digest

  • 2000 - Golf Development of the Year – Golf Inc.

  •  2009 - # 1 Tribal Golf Courses – Native American Casino Magazine

  • Top 100 Modern Courses – Golfweek

  • Top 100 Courses You Can Play – Golf Magazine

  • Top 100 Public Access Courses You Can Play – Travel & Leisure Magazine

  • Top 20 Resort Courses in the US. - Golfweek

  • #4 Ranked Public Course In California – Golfweek

  • Top 5 Casino Courses in U.S. – Golf Digest

  • Best Golf Courses in California (2020-21) - Golf Magazine

  •  #11 Best Tour Golf Course You Can Play

  • 1st Audobon International Signature Certified Sanctuary Golf Course in California

"The golf holes were routed around centuries-old native Oak trees, in and around rock outcroppings, and laid softly on the land. The result is a golf course that feels natural and decidedly 'old-school', as if it’s been there forever”.


Todd Eckenrode

Barona Details
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