The irony of a nude beach literally mere yards from the out-of-bounds markers at Torrey Pines is almost too much to handle. One would be hard-pressed to find a greater dichotomy than the buttoned-down, white collar crowd of the U.S. Golf Association and the freedom-seekers at Black’s Beach who like to swing it in a whole ‘nother way.
Will these opposing forces be able to coexist during the Open this week? Whose version of “stroke play” will prevail?
Which begs the au natural follow-up question: What will folks in the bleachers see if they looked in his direction?
“It’s pretty much what you would see on any other beach,” said [Lloyd] Johnson, the frontal man for the nudist group that frequents the scenic stretch. “People playing volleyball, throwing the Frisbee, body surfing, building sandcastles, collecting seashells. Maybe playing some backgammon.”
“Actually, I see a lot of backgammon games,” Johnson laughed. “How scandalous is that?”
These people absolutely disgust me. I don’t know how anyone has the nerve to play backgammon. Actually, the beach remains a mystery in large part, even to locals, and it’s unlikely that anyone showing up to watch balls fly on the course will give a second thought to balls flying on the beach.
“As long as I lived there, I have never gone there,” said the area’s most popular local, Phil Mickelson. “But you hear funny stories. I know that the week of the San Diego tournament, the blimp, which has some very powerful lenses, has encountered some very interesting sights. Sometimes you go in some caves and corners and think you are isolated, but you aren’t from directly above.”
Speaking of which, many of the folks watching golf this week, especially the out-of-towners, will never know it’s there. Black’s Beach isn’t listed on any map and isn’t easily accessible. Most visitors hike two miles in from Torrey Pines State Park to the north or traverse a series of switchbacks down a steep hiking trail that begins at the nearby glider and parasailing staging area.
“You’ve got to want to be there, bad,” said Pat Perez, a tour veteran who grew up in San Diego’s beachside cities.
Those who do have first-hand accounts usually come away disappointed:
Exactly one San Diego tour professionals admitted to having set foot on Black’s, shaggy-haired Charley Hoffman, who said it’s because the stretch of coastline often produces the best surfing in the region.
“I have only been down a couple of times,” Hoffman said. “Too many dudes.”
Anyone on the PGA Tour can relate to that, I’m sure. Even if you were on a nude beach, hoping to sink one with a hottie, all it would take is one swim in the cold ocean to have your chances shrivel away. Talk about a water hazard.