In San Diego, we have something called the Sunshine Tax. Think backyard barbecues, surfing, and ragtops year-round. Warm winters – here in the land of Phil Mickelson, Gene Littler, and Billy Casper – also mean golfing galore! And, it’s not just for the men anymore.

These days, golf can be a way of life, a passion and a career for women around the globe. Whether you’re experienced or a novice, San Diego is a ladies golfing haven. With 92 golf courses in San Diego County alone (including Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla where the 2008 U.S. Open and 2009 Buick Invitational took place), golfing in this town is a way of life, for men, children, and the ladies.

Sunday mornings, even during football season, can be a great time to play a little golf. While the sun is still hiding behind the marine layer and most of the city is still sleeping, get a head start with the golfing crew.

Start the morning by heading to the Mission Restaurant, open daily at 7 a.m. Stop by early to miss the lines and to get a hot coffee or protein-filled breakfast. Be sure to try their rosemary potatoes; they alone are worth the trip to North Park!

With your belly full and warm, head five miles north to the Stadium Golf Center behind the San Diego Charger’s stadium. The center – open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. – offers a driving range, short game practice area and batting cages.

Go with a few friends for some practice, or join the Chicks Time Fore Nine ladies for a 90-minute group lesson with PGA teaching professional Mike Nokes. You’ll get instructions on your full swing with video analysis, or short game depending on the schedule. Nokes and the ladies are very welcoming, so give them a call to see if you can fit into one of the limited spaces. The Chicks’ president Jodie Keller may even reward you with a golf goodie bag after your first lesson.

Once warmed-up, head west to the beach to Sail Ho for a game! Leave your bathing suit at home though; Sail Ho is a golf club where you can practice your new golfing skills or learn some new ones. Sail Ho is a par three (aka executive) course offering affordable rates and very well-maintained greens. They also offer a patio and snack bar to entertain you while you’re waiting for your tee time. Recently renovated, the Bar & Grill offers cheddar cheese jalapeno bites and cold beers: the right boost to keep you moving.

With your energy and confidence revived, get out on the course. Located at the Liberty Station in Point Loma, the course is a great way to see the city skyline while getting in a few walking miles. Although the club has been in San Diego County since the 1920s, the course offers a few new amenities, including a club house and pro-shop.

Once you’ve finished your round put the golf clubs down and head a half-mile to Rosecrans Street for a walking tour around the Naval Training Center (NTC). Listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places in San Diego, you’ll get a look at a range of sights, starting with the Commissary and Chapel. At each of the 15 stops along the way, you can get a free audio tour by calling 619-342-8021. Or plan ahead and print out the walking tour map from their website.

With your muscles and mind sufficiently stretched, it’s time to loop back to Sellers Plaza where your next mission can be found.

Whether you’ve played the game all your life or still refuse to keep score, the end of your day may need to be a relaxing one. Located next to the Sail Ho Golf Center, Wine Steals is the place to end your evening.

Enjoy a glass (or half) of wine and an aperitif. If you have a taste for cheese you’ll love the blue; it’s delicious and will help you forget those pesky bunkers. The knowledgeable staff offers daily deals, a private dining room, and a full selection of wines to take home for another night. Ask for advice on red, white, or specialty wine for any occasion. Their daily specials are great, too!

Drive safely and enjoy the sunset along the San Diego Harbor.

What & Where:
Chicks Time Fore Nine
(www.chickstimeforenine.com, Jodie@chickstimeforenine.com)
NTC Foundation/NTC Promenade (Officer’s Quarters A, 2801 Rosecrans St., San Diego, CA 92106, 619-573-9320, www.ntcpromenade.org)
Sail Ho Golf Center (2960 Truxtan Road, San Diego, CA 92106, 619-222-GOLF (4653), www.sailhogolf.com)
Stadium Golf Center (2990 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego, CA 92123, 858-277-6667, www.stadiumgolfcenter.com)
The Mission Restaurant (2801 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104, 619-220-8992, www.themissionnp.signonsandiego.com)
Wine Steals (2970 Truxtan Road, San Diego, CA 92106, 619-221-1959, www.winestealssd.com)