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Had some business in the area and the weather was way too nice not to play today. I’ve never played Tulare and thought I’d give it a shot over playing Valley Oaks down the road. The website says a new family took over the course a couple of years ago and has been putting a lot of time and effort into revitalizing it.

I walked into the pro shop without a tee time. Staff was super friendly and got me out right away with no issues at all. Either the family is in construction or has a lot of friends in the business because the pro shop was in top shape and had obviously been remodeled recently. Very impressive to say the least.

On to the course. Night temperatures have started to drop in the valley. The fairways were all completely brown. I’m not sure if this is a result of the grass going dormant for the winter or lack of water and everything is just dried up. Fairways were a bit hit and miss and I couldn’t help but wonder if the color threw me off or the lack of thorough coverage/lushness.

The “rough” was brown and patchy. Only about a ¼” taller than the fairway. Tee boxes were nice. No issues at all. Green, level and lush without many divots.

The greens: The front nine had several elevated greens with severe slope and undulations. Some challenging pin locations for sure, but on par with other “difficult” multi-tier greens (aka: Blackhorse & Spanish Bay). Greens rolled true and had very few pitch marks. They were soft but did not hold approach shots. I’ve never seen anything like it. Several times my ball left huge craters in the green but rolled out instead of checking up (yes, I was playing a top tour level ball). speed was at a medium-fast pace. I was actually impressed at the speed of the greens. I was thinking they were going to be slower.

Sand traps were poor. Most were very very thin layered dirt. A couple had a small amount of dirt/sand allowing the player to get somewhat underneath the ball. I was in 7 bunkers total, so I had a good sampling of the traps.

As for the layout, it was ok’ish. Completely flat which was expected being a valley course. Narrow fairways put a premium on accuracy, yet there are several 400(+) yard par 4’s so length is needed as well. Most of the holes are designed for right handers with a fade. Tee boxes are on the far left side with tree’s crowding the fairway. I found myself numerous times dealing with the tree branches on the left with either my drive or approach shot.

I was able to get through a few groups early and only had to wait for about 3 holes before getting out in front of everyone and having the last 8 holes wide open. Total POP was right at 3 hours.

I’m sure I’ll give this course another shot in the future when I’m in the south valley and looking for an alternative to Valley Oaks and Lemoore. It just won’t be until the spring when conditions improve.
7 Likes.
Met up with Dconnally at Ridge Creek on 11/7/19 for a perfect day of golf in the valley. Weather could not have been better and the course was in its usual nice shape. We enjoyed the scoring conditions of the course with three birdies on the front 9 between us. Sadly we never saw another birdie after DConnally’s near eagle hole out from 140 yards on the 9th. Fairways are starting to go dormant so they are a mix of light brown and green in color. Regardless of the “color” of the fairways, they still remain pleasurable to hit from maintaining a good balance between lush (good lies) and thin (good roll out).

First cut of rough is manageable but thick enough to present some unpredictability and challenge. Outside of that and it’s game over for locating your ball.

Greens offer a great balance as well between size and undulations to give the golfer a challenge but not enough to be overwhelming. Speed was great; medium-slow up hill and medium-fast downhill. Greens became much fast towards then end as temperatures warmed up. As Dconnally mentioned, the downside to the greens at Ridge Creek are the numerous pitch marks on most greens.

No issues with the tee boxes. Even the short Par 3 boxes had good coverage with limited divots. Customer service was excellent as they accommodated us with an altered tee time when Dconnally was a little late after driving all the way up from Orange County.

Ridge Creek is always a fun and challenging track worth playing. You must keep it between the lines if you want any chance of a decent score.
9 Likes.
Not much has changed since my review last month. In fact I'd say the course is in identical shape. The one notable difference is they are doing a ton of tree maintenance before the upcoming winter. Be prepared for some chainsaws going off in the background and there were a number of piles of tree branches on the sides of the fairways. Not an issue if you're in the middle of the fairway, but certainly a lost ball if you stray off to the side.

Definitely a recommended course.
7 Likes.
This is my first time playing Eagle Ridge and it's hard to say whether I'd play it again or not. I liked the layout a lot. Challenging and strategic yet enough grip it and rip it holes with elevation changes to make it fun. Only one water hazard but several forced carries over gullys and such.

Conditions were average. Greens were very challenging in that they all had severe undulations. I have No problem with that at all. Greens rolled smooth if you didn't have any pitch marks in your line. There were several un repaired pitch marks on almost every green. Being that we were the second group out I put the blame 50/50 on players and course. Yes the golfers need to repair their pitch marks. That's a given. But the course would also have their maintenance crew fix them in the morning as well. Just my thoughts. Greens rolled medium - fast and held well struck approach shots.

Fairways had a lot of thin and brown spots throughout the entire course. I managed to land in good lies most of the day but there were some seriously ugly spots out there.

Tee boxes were ok. Decently level with adequate coverage. I avoided the rough for the. It's part. Nothing sticks out one way or the other

Sand traps are horrible. They have signs in the bunkers that say ground under repair and the guy at the pro shop confirmed that the bunkers are all GUR with free drops. He was right.

For $40 ea with a golf moose it was worth playing. I wouldn't pay more than that though.
7 Likes.
I got the invite to join fellow GK’er RGM2525 at Cypress Ridge and couldn’t pass up the opportunity since I’ve only played this course one other time. We teed off at around 7:20 AM as the first group out. Overall the course conditions are very nice right now. I’ll start in the middle as the fairways were awesome. Very lush and green throughout and never presenting a bad lie. Tee boxes weren’t bad. I remember one par 3 being particularly chewed up and one of the par 4 boxes being unlevel. Other than that all was good on the Tee. I never hit a single bunker, fairway or greenside so I can’t say what the traps were like.

The Greens…. Odd and tricky; but smooth and fast (some of the time). I fully admit that I struggled all day on the greens. Mainly with the speed and then with my lines as I started focusing on the speed and less on the direction. But that was on me. The greens rolled smooth. No issues there whatsoever. They didn’t seem to hold approach or pitch shots very well. Yet, they were soft enough to leave pitch marks. Again, odd and tricky.

The layout is fun with some slight elevation changes on a number of the holes. A couple of the holes even have a (very slight) peek at ocean off in the distance. Being the first ones off in the morning we set the pace with our foursome. There was a mini-tournament behind us and they were easily 2 holes behind so we didn’t have any pressure.

There’s a Golf Moose deal right now that makes it well worth playing given the all around nice conditions of the course.
9 Likes.
Played Hunter Ranch yesterday mid morning on a glorious fall day. Just a quick update on the conditions as the last few reviews give a decent overview of the layout. Greens remain top notch. Rolling fast and smooth. Greens easily held well struck approach shots. I seemed to be on the uphill side of the pin all day making putting a real challenge.

crews were out aerating the skirt areas around the greens on a few of the holes on the front nine. It didn't really affect anything.

Fairways have started to turn brown. My guess is the nights are getting cold enough to trick the grass into going dormant. Even though the fairways are starting to turn brown they usually present a decent lie. Tee boxes were a different story. All of the par 3's were torn up pretty bad. Same with a number of the other boxes. Sand traps were all crusty dirt but manageable to escape from.

Pace of play was around 3 hours and that was hitting 2 balls on the back 9 and even on a few holes on the front 9.
9 Likes.
Played Sunday at around Noon teeing off as a single and eventually ending up as a foursome. After my morning mountain bike ride, Laguna Seca was the perfect track to go out and enjoy the beautiful weather without spending a fortune or being backed up for hours. Front 9 was wide open then it started to back up a bit on the backside. Still POP was just over 3 hours.

Last time here I posted that there are some thin spots in the fairway but I didn't hit any. Well my opening tee shot (one of the better ones of the day) landed in a thin, dry, patchy dirt area of the fairway. A pain to hit from for sure. After that, I managed good lies in the fairway. Sandtraps continue to impress me, big time. Tee boxes were a bit chewed up but good enough for the entry price.

Greens were in great shape rolling at a medium-slow pace. At least that's what rated them at. One of the guys I ended up joining on the back nine thought the greens were rolling fast.


All in all Laguna Seca is fun track with decent conditions.
8 Likes.
Conditions at Valley Oaks continue to disappoint. Some friends suggested we play there today as one needed to stay close to home. I should have stayed home and gone for a bike ride. I will start with the positives. The greens are in nice shape. They held well struck shots and rolled fairly smooth with only a few pitch marks here and there to get in the way. Greens rolled at a medium slow speed.

As for the rest of the course…. Garbage. Fairways were thin, brown and patchy. Rough was only about 1” tall but very patchy. Most of the time your ball would find a low spot and sit down in an indentation in the ground if it missed the fairway.

Areas around the green were just as bad. I had more double bogeys today than bogeys and I was playing fairly well (8 pars & a birdie). It was just if you missed the green the ball would be in a horrible lie. Usually in a thin, part dirt, part grass/weed that was sporadic in its coverage and probably sitting down in some type of old gopher hole indentation in the dirt.

Tee boxes were atrocious. Yes they were level (course is completely flat so that’s not hard to do) but the tee boxes were torn up bad. Not just the Par 3 boxes but almost every tee box had dozens and dozens of divots throughout.

The one sand box I was in was actually decent. POP was ok. We set our own pace on the front nine and then had to wait for a twosome couple, numerous times on the back nine.

We did the Sunday late morning $30 tee time and for that price with the quality of the greens on a weekend, it’s not too bad. Just know that outside of the greens, the rest of the course is garbage. Conditions were so bad, that by the time I got to a decent photo oppertunity, the 7th hole par 3 with a lake in front of it (which was our 16th), I totally forget to take a picture and post it on the GK App.
9 Likes.
I had a couple of minor issues with the GK App at Spanish Bay and Johnny told me there is a new update. So I used that as an excuse to go play today so I could test out the app some more. I chose Quail Lodge because they do a ton of awareness and fundraisers during October for Breast Cancer Awareness month. As a side note they are doing a $50 special on Friday with half the money going to a local Cancer foundation. As of this morning there were only a couple of spots open on the tee sheet. At a third of the price, I’m surprised there were any still left.

Quail is always known for its excellent staff friendliness, great course conditions and they are also dog friendly. I arrived early, dropped off my bag with the attendant/starter and hit the all grass range (balls included) The range does have a 200 yard max so no driver or 3 wood.

Thanks to a nice tip to the attendant, he got me out about 30 minutes early. I made my way through a couple groups zipping through the front nine in an hour. The back nine was a completely different story, but I still finished in 3 hours.

The greens were a perfect 10. Extremely smooth, pitch mark free and gorgeous dark green in color. Greens were rolling very fast. Definitely the fastest I’ve seen them here.

They are in the middle of verticutting some of the fairways. Fairways are always top notch at Quail Lodge and once all of the maintenance work is done on them, I’m sure they will all be at a 9-10 rating.

No issues with the tee boxes. Divots had been smoothly filled in to keep the box level. All tee boxes had plenty of lush grass to hit off of.

Sand traps were absolutely spectacular. A definite 9.5 rating. I was in 5-6 greenside bunkers and all were top notch.

Even though 16 of the holes at Quail are completely flat, it doesn’t feel that way. Maybe it’s the mountains that boarder up against both sides of the course or just the great routing of the holes. The track is anything but boring. A definite must play and the hotel is an excellent place to stay at as well.
12 Likes.
Weather this week has been absolutely gorgeous here in the peninsula. Today was no exception. Teed off a little after 10:30 in perfect warm sunny weather. Where as last time out at Spanish Bay, I never saw the sun, today was the complete opposite. Wind did kick up for the last few holes but when you’re out on the open ocean, that’s to be expected. Course was perfect and apparently the word got out as it was packed. Even Spyglass up the hill which had recently aerated their greens was super busy. I had to wait for a spot on the range.

Back down to Spanish Bay and even with the busy course we managed to finish in 4.5 hours which is good for these courses. Condition wise, the track is in perfect shape right now. Greens are a 9.5. Perfectly smooth, divot free, and held well struck shots. They rolled at a medium fast face. Could have been a touch faster but that’s nitpicking. Greens at Spanish Bay are large but have several undulations and severe slopes. Being on the right tier is key.

Fairways were also near perfect. Easily a 9 if not a 10. Dark green and lush without a thin or brown spot to be found on the course. First cut of rough is manageable. Lush and only about 2-3” thick. After that and you’re in native no mans land.

Tee boxes were level, lush and also fairly divot free. I had my weekly quota of bunkers on Friday so I’m happy to say I avoided ALL greenside bunkers. Was in two fairway bunkers and both were fine.

With ocean views on 16 of the holes and solid conditions all around, it’s a definite must play. I took a ton of pictures and posted them on the GK App.
14 Likes.
Played early this morning teeing it up wit Abbacat. Weather was clear and chilly to start with but quickly warmed up to perfect sunny golf weather with excellent views of the bay. Blackhorse is always a tough track with fast greens that have several undulations. Today was no exception and the greens flat out kicked my tail. After bragging about having one of my best putting days last weekend, today was the complete opposite. Greens afre firm, fast and roll true. Fairways present a lot of tight lies but on the flip side offer a lot of roll out.

Tee boxes are in the middle of their seasonal maintenance with most having been recently sanded and top dressed. No issues with the bunkers. Some gorgeous white sand some brown but all very playable. And between us, I think we were in just about every fairway and greenskide bunker on the course!

Blackhorse is a tough but scenic track. There are views or peaks of the ocean on 16-17 holes. Every hole has some sort of elevation change. Price is very reasonable making it a peninsula go to course.
11 Likes.
Another fun day playing with the new GK App. Took some friends to Pheasant Run so they could experience the numerous water hazards on the course. And by numerous, I mean 13 of the holes have water in play. The peninsula green par 3 fourth hole and island green 18th highlight a track filled with forced carries and strategic shot placement due to the water hazzards.

Plain and simple the water features make what would be a boring and dull track, fun and exciting.

Greens were running their usual smoothness and in good shape. The first few were sloooow. Then we let the mower get ahead of us and they rolled a medium-fast pace. Greens aren't too complex. Most are single tier or have a small shelf in the middle to split the green into an upper and lower. They easily held well struck shots from all distances and were the highland of the course condition wise.

Fairways were feeling the end of the summer beat down. A number of brown and thin areas mixed in with the green and lush. I was fortunate and avoided the thin areas (when I was in the fairway at least). There really isn't any rough at Pheasant Run. Once off the fairway, you are either in water or hardpan dirt that separates adjoining fairways. It would be nice to see a buffer layer between the fairway and the dirt "run off" area.

Skirt areas around the greens were in very nice shape. It's obvious that the grounds crew put their effort into the greens and surrounding area. Bunkers were OK. About average for the valley.

Tee boxes were decent on the par 4 & 5's but horrible on the Par 3's. Every Par 3 was chewed up with divots.

Pace of Play..... 5 hours. the two groups in front of us were brutal. The only thing that mae it manageable was we were a foursome with a couple of rookies that were struggling from time to time, but even with their constant double, triple and worse scores, we were still waiting on the group ahead on every shot.

Because of the slow play we didn't get a chcance to eat on site but the restaurant at Pheasant Run is worth the stay (very similar to Ridge Creek).

All in all Pheasant Run is an enjoyable track at a reasonable rate with decent conditions.
5 Likes.
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