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The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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TOPIC: The Best Finishing Holes in California?

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sixpez
The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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sixpez: sixpez - Golf Normad GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

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Tuesday July 25, 2017 1:09 PM
After playing Yocha Dehe Saturday with GK, which has a killer 18th hole, I was talking with the Pisarski boys about their round the next day at Half Moon Bay. I mentioned that the 18th of the Old Course there is perhaps the best finishing hole in all of California. It has everything going for it. Spectacular setting, distinctive design, risk/reward options and definitely challenging.

It got me thinking about the best finishing holes in the state. I put a mental list together as I was driving home. My nominations are below in no particular order, but grouped differently. What do you think are the best finishing holes, or at least your personal favorites for whatever reasons?

Southern California (Public):
Goose Creek
Classic Club
PGA West (Nicklaus)
PGA West (Stadium)
Desert Willow (Firecliff)
Torrey Pines (South) (Though I’d argue much better on TV with Sunday set-up than in person.)
Rams Hill
Pelican Hill (South)
Trump National
Moorpark CC (Canyon Crest 9)
Black Gold
Glen Ivy

Northern California (Public):
Pebble Beach
Half Moon Bay (Old)
Yocha Dehe
Mt. Shasta Resort (Really just love that mountain view when coming up to the green.)

Private Clubs (well, ones that I’ve played):
Sherwood
The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe
Dove Canyon
Spanish Hills
Toscana (South)
Mission Hills (Dinah Shore)
Rancho La Quinta (Jones)

Maybe Controversial Picks:
Pasatiempo (Great hole, but par-3 18th is odd.)
River Ridge (Vineyard) (ditto)
Eagle Glen (Funky, but so fun with some strategic options.)
Lake Chabot (Only par-6 left in CA, but should be par-5. Still a fun hole design.)

Sure I am forgetting some good ones and my Norcal/private lists are still somewhat limited, but this is enough to get the conversation rolling. Having played so many courses, these are the ones that stick out as memorable to me when I think back to my personal experiences.

[[Edited by sixpez on Tuesday July 25, 2017 1:45 PM]]
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 Message #84989
caligolfer1031
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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Tuesday July 25, 2017 1:42 PM
The tee shot on 18 at Glen Ivy is great.
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sixpez
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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sixpez: sixpez - Golf Normad GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

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Tuesday July 25, 2017 1:46 PM
Yes. I meant to include Glen Ivy, but I forgot. I added it because it's worth the mention.
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zeppelin51423
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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Tuesday July 25, 2017 1:51 PM
great list you came up with!

I would have to say, 18th at PGA West Nicklaus is one of the best finishing holes that immediately come to mind. Challenging but not gimicky.

I would add the 18th at Rancho San Marcos (when healthy and lush) is a very nice finishing, risk/reward, par 5.
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kevbig
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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Tuesday July 25, 2017 2:00 PM
+1 on Goose Creek and Glen Ivy.

Would also nominate Industry Hills Ike with that beast of a par 5 finish! Monarch Dunes' finisher is another great but tough finisher.

Least fave would be #18 on the Westin Mission Hills Dye course in your backyard Keith. It's a hole that does not set up well for me and just doesn't seem to flow with the rest of the course.
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sixpez
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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sixpez: sixpez - Golf Normad GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

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Tuesday July 25, 2017 2:12 PM
Oh yeah, I also wanted to include Ike on the "controversial" list. It's a fairly straightforward hole (especially by Industry Hills standards), but it sure is a stern test because it's so long. That one is more of a par-6 than the one at Lake Chabot in Oakland!

I'm not a huge fan of 18 at Monarch Dunes. Plus, it's hard to keep straight what routing they have now.

RSM is a good finisher, but it doesn't jump out to me among the extra most bestest.

A side topic is 18th holes that are somewhat lackluster (or maybe out of place) in comparison with the rest of the course. La Purisima 18 is decent, but not anywhere near as interesting as the rest of the back nine. Cypress Point famously has an 18th hole that people don't care for, especially following the best 3-hole stretch in the world of 15-17. The 18th at Spyglass isn't overly memorable either. I've always found the 18th at Indian Wells Celebrity an odd one. It's actually a pretty cool hole, but somehow seems very out of place with the rest of the course. I kind of like Oak Quarry 18, but I know a lot of people don't and it is another that doesn't quite work as a finishing hole of a really great and unique golf course.

Sandpiper is another par-3 finisher, but it definitely feels out of place to me. Rustic Canyon's 18th is one of the least interesting holes out there, if you ask me. Plus, the gimmick of having the green connected to the practice green is only kinda cute the first time you notice it. Lastly, La Quinta Mountain's 18th is a little lackluster after such a cool back nine stretch. That's unusual for a Dye course not to have a really distinctive last hole.


[[Edited by sixpez on Tuesday July 25, 2017 2:22 PM]]
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abbacat
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?

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Tuesday July 25, 2017 2:25 PM
OK, this makes me have to ask. I only have played a few of the courses listed but I recognize at least a couple of them as par 5's around or over water to the green. I've seen many reviews on here saying how much some of you don't like #18 at Redhawk, also a par 5 with water by the green. What is it about one that is less appealing to you than the others? Just curious .
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lotrgolfer48
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?

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Tuesday July 25, 2017 2:44 PM
QUOTED  I've seen many reviews on here saying how much some of you don't like #18 at Redhawk, also a par 5 with water by the green


Unlike some of the other par 5s mentioned in the thread so far, 18 at Redhawk takes driver out of the hands of some due to the creek bisecting the fairway and demands a perfectly placed tee ball with a fairway wood in order to have a go in two at the aformentioned heavily protected green. It really comes down to a course design/architecture question: If you're going to have a risk/reward second shot (Which is really what the length and green design of the 18th is intending), why are you making the "go zone" so difficult to get to?
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mhendu
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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Tuesday July 25, 2017 3:20 PM
One of my favorites would be Cordevalle as it is a par-5 with greenside water short left and bunkers protecting back right.
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weber2323
RE: The Best Finishing Holes in California?
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Tuesday July 25, 2017 3:36 PM
Best finishing holes in SoCal are (in no order): Goose, Barona, Classic and Rams Hill.
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