An Op-Ed by Julie Alexandria – Host of “This Is San Diego”Sponsored By Circle 8 Productions

Between San Diego and Orange County in Oceanside, CA resides the anti-country club: Emerald Isle Golf Course. Located within a retirement community, this executive golf course is casual, membership-free, and open to the public. I met up with Holly Kennedy, owner and manager of Emerald Isle, and she took me on a tour of the grounds.

It was a gorgeous day (thank you, So Cal!) and as we walked around, I saw men and women at the driving range, taking lessons, and playing with their dogs. I had to find out more about this fun, relaxing environment that encourages people of all ages to have a good time and enjoy the outdoors.

Julie: When you think of golf courses, you think country club, you think dress code, you think very exclusive…
Holly: Golf can be very uptight, lots of rules, have dress codes. And we are the anti-country club, in a positive sense. We totally respect that part of the industry, but we’re all about people coming and learning, socializing, having fun. We’re dog friendly so people can bring their pups out on leashes. We’re filling this need in the golf industry: affordable golf that doesn’t have a lot of rules or restrictions. You can come and have fun and learn the game on our course.

Julie: Do you offer lessons as well?
Holly: We have a PGA and an LPGA instructor on staff. They teach beginners, advanced students, juniors. We do clinics and we have a yoga-for-golfers class.

Julie: You seem like you have a close-knit community here.
Holly: It’s not just about the golf. It’s about having somewhere to go and meet that’s accessible and fun and relaxing. That’s everything that we wanted in a property like this.

Emerald Isle is a beautiful golf course that’s low-key and casual, where you can play a few holes and then just hang out. With great food, happy hour specials, and live music, this is the perfect way to spend the day with your family and make new friends.

Julie Alexandria is a host and television personality who specializes in sports, pop culture, fashion, and all things geek-tastic. She has hosted shows for top networks including Fox Sports, MTV, Spike, TLC, and CBS. Discover all the best businesses San Diego has to offer by watching us Saturdays and Sundays on CBS2 LA. Click here for listings.