San Diego — You can literally golf yourself silly here. There are sixty-eight golf courses in the city and county of San Diego.all but 16 are open to the public. Two of the busiest also seem the most leisurely -- Singing Hills Country Club in horse, rural El Cajon and the Pala Mesa resort in avocado and orange country near Fallbrook.
Singing Hills often tees off 750 golfers a day, says STeve Horrell, the personable general manager, but so amiable and oranized is the place that you can pause to smell the flowers (beds of fragrant stock planted by many holes) and nobody will glare.
You have the choice of two full-length 18- hole courses, spinning out in opposite directions inside 700 acres of the tree-studded valley, once an olive orchard. All about are half-naked hills, peculiar for their giant bare boulders.
Tight fairways and small greens are typical of the par 72 Oak Glen. Large green and traps are what you will remember most about the par 73 Willow Glen.
Just a stroll from the pro shop, the Singing Hills Lodge offers 80 rooms, all with color TV. Guests have use of an attractive swimming pool and tennis-playing privileges at an 11- court club about a mile up the road.
At the Pala Mesa Golf and Tennis Resort you're welcomed like a member of the family. Indeed, it is a family affair there with James and Joanne Leonard, managers, and sons Bob, Jim, and Tom in charge of sales, the grounds, and tennis.
Supergenerous servings of avocado are feature year-round in the cozy dining room, whle golfers wandering into the rough can help themselves to oranges right off the trees.
Players face vivid green rolling countryside on the front nine, a river and hundreds of gnarled oaks on the back. Golf balls ricocheting off the trees echo through this virtual forest, sounding for all the world like a Buddy Rich drum concert.
Pala Mesa's 85 rooms, all equipped with game tables and color TV, let for $55 to $64. Golf package for three days, two nights is $95 per person double.
Diversions besides golf include four tennis courts, a pool, a hilltop spa a few miles away and, come evening, a one-man band in the clubby convivial lounge.
Available, free, from the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1200 Third Avenue, Suite 824, San Diego 92101 is a leaflet that pinpoints all course locations, gives phone numbers, addresses, lodging, and restaurant data.
The vitals: Singing Hills Country Club & Lodge, 3007 Dehasa Road, El Cajon, Calif. 92021. Phone (714) 442-3425. Two courses: Oak Glen, par 72, 6,400 yards; Willow Glen, par 73, 6,900 yards, green fees $7 weekdays, $9 weekends. Lodge rates $29-$32. Pala Mesa, 2001 S. Highway 395, Fallbrook, Calif. 92028. Phone (714) 728-5881. Par 72, 6,461 yards, $9 weekdays, $11 weekends. Golk package, $95 per person double, three day, two nights, includes room, dinners, and unlimited golf.