Turf, Surf & Champagne: The Secret Sauce of San Diego Surf Polo Club

Situated steps away from the breathtaking coastline of the Pacific ocean, sits an equestrian oasis boasting an unparalleled social scene with a SoCal twist. Enveloped by mountainous terrain in the Rancho Santa Fe equestrian valley, the immaculate San Diego polo fields have hosted countless VIP parties, tournaments, and premium vendors for the past 30 years. San Diego Surf Polo Club (SDSPC) as it is now known has emerged in it’s 31st year more popular than ever, with over 5,000 people attending opening day on Sunday, June 11. With polo clubs all across the country and the legendary Santa Barbara Polo Club to the north, what is SDSPC doing differently to have such a phenomenal turnout?

Spectators at Opening Day 2017
Spectators at Opening Day 2017

So before you get any ideas, polo surfing is not a thing, yet. Actually SDSPC’s rebranding from the old San Diego Polo Club is the result of a recent partnership with Surf Cup Sports, youth sporting event organizers. Aside from the addition of the word “surf” to the club’s name a year ago and the new corporate structure, this venue is managed by the same team. Originally founded by 30 people, the club has transitioned over the years from being predominantly high-goal to primarily medium and low-goal with a specialty in producing A-list Sunday polo events.

As anyone who has ever been to Sunday polo can attest to, you don’t have to be an equestrian enthusiast or even knowledgeable on the sport to have an unbelievable afternoon. Sunday polo is in itself a unique and regional experience, it transcends the game. Polo culture is multifaceted, it thrives in social tradition, both elegant and casual, relaxing and thrilling. After many seasons San Diego Surf Polo Club has perfected what guests love about the experience of polo and continued to strive to exceed their expectations year after year.

“We’ve been around for over 30 years and in that time we’ve learned how to put on a really fun polo event for polo fans as well as visitors, tourists, and people who want to experience the party atmosphere. So when you mix the two and you have those people that are really there to enjoy the game as well as all the others who come to enjoy the crowds, scenes, music, food and drinks, it all comes together,” remarked Nour-Dean Anakar, club president.

Add in the proximity of the beach and the very real possibility of spotting frequent celebrity guests including James Bond (Pierce Brosnan), Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), or Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), people flock to SDSPC in droves just to mingle and take part in the grandeur of the festivities.

“We have a few very well known celebrities from Hollywood area and Southern California that have residences in La Jolla and Del Mar,” Anakar continued. “A lot of them are completely unannounced, they come out just to enjoy the game, scenery, drinks and food like regular fans. You never know who you might run into while you’re here.”

Snake Oil Cocktail Company
Snake Oil Cocktail Company

Once you’ve arrived, grab a stylish, handcrafted Snake Oil cocktail and have a Wild Thyme (gourmet dish that is). Themed foods adorn the VIP areas, garden tables, and grandstand concessions in both gourmet and casual varieties. Enjoy the beautiful decorations of SDSPC’s preeminent lifestyle magazine partners including San Diego Magazine and Modern Luxury Magazine or visit fun vendors like E.C. Stylebar in their vintage airstream beauty lounge. Take a walk on the dapper side even if it is just for a day, sipping champagne against the idyllic backdrop of the mountains while eight horses thunder past you.

E.C. Style Bar offers fashionable braids
E.C. Style Bar offers fashionable braids

Of course to top it off, San Diego Surf Polo Club is located in the hub of Southern California’s equestrian activity, not far from the Del Mar racetrack. Sharing an equestrian spectator base with Del Mar’s thoroughbred racing scene, the club attracts sports fans and social butterflies who both naturally gravitate to the local polo venue for it’s unparalleled atmosphere. All the ingredients are here at SDSPC to craft the potent polo cocktail. The secret’s out, indulge.

All photos courtesy of San Diego Surf Polo Club and Scott Fink.

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