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Monday February 19, 2018 1:49 PM

The golf course could host its final round as early as today

Just shy of its 50th anniversary, San Bernardino Golf Club is to close as early as Presidents Day.
After getting "frosted out" this morning, decided to incorporate playing Bixby Village into an errand I had to do in Long Beach. Had not played here since August 1984. Course has changed.

After waiting for a couple groups to tee off, it took us about 100 minutes to finish the 9 holes, which felt like an eternity. Greens were decent, but rather slow. Fairways/rough was scruffy, but about what I expected. Not in any bunkers, they looked rather thin on sand.

I did not really remember the course very well. (No reason why I should have) Truth is I enjoyed the time on a rather brisk winter early afternoon. I have it calendared to return here in another 34 years !
I played here yesterday on President's Day. I saw the review 7.2, I thought outstanding! I was pretty disappointed by the review rating after I played the course, played 36, the re-play rate was good ($15). It did not meet the 7.2 rating, that I saw. My review goes as , the tee boxes where level but has a lot of divots and bare spots on most of the holes. The fairways are firm and fast, and with a lot of bare spots. I funny how quite a number of holes have the course lay out favorable to bad shots, that turn out great. The are several hole where the course funnels to the middle of the fairway, since the rough is cut down so low, the ball just rolls back into the fairway. I did get some awesome long drives, because of the extra firm fairways, but to get a club on the ball is a different result. Your club head will bounce, when hitting down on your approach shots. The course does have a lot of angulation, which keeps it challenging. The bunkers where concrete hard, but not many throughout the course. The greens are the best asset. The are firm and fast. The putts will roll smooth and true. I know it sounds over critical, but after seeing the review rating, I was hope for better conditions. I will play here again, but please don't over rate this course, if the conditions don't match.
I have mixed feelings about this place. POP was longer since it was President's Day (holiday) so I am thinking that really played a lot to my lowered expectations. Played my GK Match Play today with Tocho.

Greens were FAST. Faster than El Dorado. I have never seen a ball pick up speed uphill with a stiff wind behind it. Today, well I saw a ball pick up speed with the wind behind it. The putts held their line for the most part but any debris or imperfection and you could see the ball skip and jump around. With the greens this fast you really had to dial in your speed to even have a chance for a second putt. No way to stop the ball even with high shots. Greens were firm so you had to run the ball onto the greens.

Bunkers were for the most part filled with decent sand. The par 5 on the back 9 however one of the bunkers had a thin layer.

Fairways had good coverage.

Rough was varied. Some locations were thick and penal others were the same height as the fairways. It was a mixed bag and whatever you landed on you did the best you could.

Tee boxes were flat and playable.

Overall conditions are decent to above average for time of year. Compared to the greens at El Dorado with the heavy foot prints, I think I prefer these greens to El Dorados. Mileage (hence, preference) will vary.

Green fee included Cart. Problem was I had a flat tire Hole 9. The tire literally popped on the cart path around the green at hole 9. Rather than destroy the tire I abandoned the cart. Asked the gal at the snack shop if I could get a replacement cart and she was either unable or unwilling to assist so I just gave her the keys and walked the rest of the 9 holes. Got a wonderful sarcastic remark to call AAA. I hope when she gets a flat tire and she has to ask for assistance the next guy she asks is as nice.

Oh despite the setback, I won my match 3&2. Great playing with you Tom!
Played 2-19-18

Ditto for everything Alex stated in his review LOL

The sand has been spread out in the bunkers leaving anything from a thin layer on hard pan to actual inches of playable sand depending on the individual bunker.
The greens were firm and quick with little to no damage.
Some green is starting to break through in fairway areas.
Cliffnotes: Worth the money, but the drive is horrible. They just need to dynamite a road straight to Borrego from San Diego region. If you read Johnny's previous review, I'll pretty much piggyback on that - re: the playing conditions.

Today, we had 40mph sustained winds with upwards of 50mph gusts. Almost made the course unplayable, as in - my 3i usually gives me 220; today I had a 165 approach shot and came up about 10 yards short of the green. On 18, I had 126 in - my 8i gives me 158, and I came up about 10 yards short on that, as well. The ball was ballooning like I've never seen.

That being said, the course is in decent shape. The greens are pure, but are getting slightly beat-up due to people not fixing pitch marks. Traps are in fantastic shape; I was able to pick a 5 iron out of a fairway bunker and had no issues (sans wind, lol).

IF YOU PLAN ON PLAYING ANYTIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE - the pro shop said this is the most wind they've had since the re-opening. Also, they've never had an issue with frost, but they are expecting to, starting on Wens. of this week. Make sure you check the weather - if you catch RH on a windy day, it wont matter how well your ball striking is or how far you hit the ball - it is brutal.
2/19 using Underpar $49 2some on a blustery cool am cruising around for a POP of 340 even with a pretty steady stream of golfers leaving the 1st tee. Starting with the worst==bunkers have a real abundance of rocks and pebbles--they look groomed but are generally thin--good for shots from the fairway type but not so much for greenside.
Fairways are dormant and most have ok cover which is== better toward the center and sketchy on the perimeters==there are some bare areas on 3-4 of the holes for the most part had ok lies except maybe 5-6 times from the fairway.
There is no rough fairways are flanked by bare/sandy soil which at times can amplify marginal shots as they roll into more trouble like the many burns that populate the course.
Played the whites(6281 on the card a little shorter in reality) tees level with ok cover.
Greens firm generally smooth medium fast rolling well but harder to read than I remembered not being here for about 4 months. Greens are the best feature most are large with opportunity for variable pin placements and with the slope and subtle contours--today add the wind we faced some extra challenges and were totally out of our depth on those down slope down wind putts toward front pin placements--whee!!!
Friendly staff easy check in==casual to go to 1st tee what with no starter every one just kind of fell into line to get going. Beverage cart around 3-4 times.
The course does reflect that effort has been extended to make improvements and according to staff more is on the way. The layout is good and entertaining--still has some rough spots but is worth the occasional play.
Played Strawberry Farms this morning. Fairways were OK, not great; typical winter conditions. Only a few tight lies. Greens were very good and rolled true. Bunkers are good. The lake is full again and waterfall on 18 running. Great staff. This course has really improved in the last year. Very nice! Well done Strawberry team!
Just a quick FYI. Played Sunday and I spotted 5 greens hat had a medium tine aeration performed on them in the last week or so, but only affecting about 10% of each of those greens. I am pretty sure they are not undertaking a full aeration as the affected areas were small, but are attempting instead to remedy some sort of problem (I couldn't tell what that was as the turf in the affected areas looked fine with the exception of #10 which had a small area of fungus).

Again, to reiterate, they are not aerating! But #'s 4, 5, 6, 9 & 10 each had a small area of medium tine aeration. All were on the margins of the surface. But what made it more obvious (and annoying) was they had then cut the pins in or near the aerated part! No word on this while checking in with the pro shop, which I think is a little off (especially given the much deserved reputation that these greens have)
Played Tustin Ranch Feb. 17. Fairways not so good but typical winter conditions. Some better than others. Some tight lies but overall playable. Tee boxes the same. Greens were very good, smooth, rolling true, perfect speed. They punch the greens Thursday though so will probably need 4-5 weeks to recover. Bunkers are the best in Orange County. Perfect sand! POP on a Saturday morning was 4 hrs 15 min. Great staff! Great food. Overall a great course.
Played Starfire on the 18th of February at 3:10pm at $29 twilight rate. Showed up early in hopes of being allowed to go out as a single because I was paired with an unknown grouping of three people and luckily enough they let me start with a well known local at 2:50 instead. Awesome. The pro shop is near the bag drop just past the dining area so easy to find and all staffers were present and helpful.

The course itself looked in presentable shape for a few weeks away from Spring. The tee boxes were easy to find and always seemed ready to accept a tee. The fairways were near perfect, knowing some landing areas that were close to the green being divot filled I would attempt to lay-up or go for the green, THEY WERE BAD in some areas. The bunkers were overwatered in some areas because of recent rain but none of them were crusty. The rough was 1-3 inches high so rather consistent and green around fairways. Greens were rolling great even though there seemed to be pitchmarks every one step, definitely something I'd keep an eye on. All in all the shape wasn't anything noticeable and didn't keep me from playing good golf.

This Arnold Palmer designed course has 3 nines, King/Hawk/Squire. We were scheduled to play King to the Hawk for completion of 18. King was a great combination of gettable par 5s and risky par 3s with no par 4 bearing incredible difficulty or requirements on the long irons. A rather tame and attackable 9 holes designed by a go-getter golfer.

On our way to the back 9, there were 3 FOURSOMES waiting on the first hole. NOPE. I wish I could say we stuck it tough and played through but we couldn't. I wish I could write a review for the rest of the course but I can't. Ranger needs to facilitate better timing between groups or this course needs to be avoided until the summer, which is when the local said it could be enjoyed to its full potential. Wouldn't return to play until then.
Ernie Banks was fond of saying "let's play 2". So after I checked into the hotel, I did just that. Love this course. Great location, great staff, great food and great golf. Play into the woods and then play along the ocean (like playing Spyglass but at a way less expensive price IMO). Tee boxes were all fine. Fairways were good and provided decent lies and roll. Bunkers were all playable and no complaints. Rough was playable on the front and back (except for that d%mn ice plant). Greens were very nice and playable, as well as consistent. Great place to have a snack/beer (maybe 2) after an afternoon round and watch the sunset. Great customer service. Yes the area is known for better known courses, but you won't be disappointed if you play here.
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