Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 10
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 10
A rocky hillside frames the 10th hole on the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort in El Cajon, California. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 3
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 3
A collection of boulders sits to the left of the third green on the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort in El Cajon, California. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 4
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 4
The fourth hole is one of the signature moments on the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort near San Diego. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfPass
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 5
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 5
If players survive the pond off the tee, they can attack the short par-5 fifth hole on the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort for a good chance at birdie. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 6
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 6
The sixth hole on the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort in El Cajon, California. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 9
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 9
The 184-yard ninth hole on the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort plays over the same ditch that's a hazard on the par-3 sixth hole. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 12
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 12
A front pin brings the water into play on the par-3 12th hole of the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort in El Cajon, California. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 13
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 13
The 13th hole on the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort is a 395-yard par 4. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 15
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 15
Shadows creep along the 15th hole of the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort in El Cajon, California Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 16
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Willow Glen course at Sycuan Golf Resort - hole 16
The 16th hole on the Willow Glen Course at Sycuan Golf Resort plays long at 431 yards. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
10 Images

Willow Glen: The gem of Sycuan Golf Resort near San Diego in southern California

EL CAJON, Calif. -- The Willow Glen Course is the crown jewel of 54-hole Sycuan Golf Resort, located in the beautiful Dehesa Valley northeast of San Diego.

The 6,651-yard course has more elevation changes than the Oak Glen Course, and Pine Glen, an executive course with 18 par 3s. Cecil Holingsworth originally designed the entire complex, but Ted Robinson, Sr., came in for a rebuild after some severe flooding. Views of the surrounding hills create a memorable day.

Willow Glen's signature holes are quite spectacular. The par-4 fourth drops off of an elevated tee to a green guarded by a pond. Another water hazard, this one fed by a waterfall, protects no. 12, a 174-yard par 3 in the shadow of a mountainside. Interestingly, both nines end in par 3s -- the 184-yard 9th and 168-yard 18th.

Stay-and-play packages are available at the nearby hotel, a collection of buildings home to 100 rooms, all near a small resort pool. With additional dining and gambling at the Sycuan Casino, the resort sells the total package for golfers looking for a nice getaway. Shuttles are available from the resort to the casino, so there's no need to worry about having too much fun at night.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Willow Glen: The gem of Sycuan Golf Resort near San Diego in southern California