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My reviews are starting to sound like a broken record. Played “X” course on a perfect sunny day with no wind. Today’s course was Pasatiempo and aside from a very slight ocean breeze on the back nine the weather was absolutely perfect. Being that it was my turn to treat, I invited a friend to come join as he had never played Pasatiempo before.

As expected for a high end course, the conditions were excellent all around. Tee boxes and fairways were both rated at 9. Very lush and green throughout. I will say that they use wooden tee markers with Tan and white designated colors for the tees. A lot of the markers were faded and it was hard to tell the difference between the white and tan markers. Yes this is a very tiny issue.

The fairways offered a perfect blend of roll out yet a plush hitting surface. One member of our foursome elected to take a cart and they actually let the cart out on the fairways about 60-75% of the time. We elected to walk and the course is built on a hill so there are a few “climbs” but nothing too extreme.

Greens are HUGE. Getting on the green is easy. Being in the right spot on the green is not so easy. All greens have severe slopes and multiple tiers. Greens rolled true at a medium-slow pace. I have to admit, I actually thought they were rolling a bit slow. No issues with unrepaired pitch marks.

Bunkers: Let’s just say that being in a bunker at Pasatiempo is an experience. Quality of sand is top notch. No issue there whatsoever. However, the bunkering is diabolical with some being 15’+ below the green. Sand traps are huge and the “bite” of the course really comes from the bunker and undulating greens combination.

As mentioned before, the layout is on a hillside to there are a few peeks of the ocean a few miles off in the distance. There’s no water hazards/features on the course but there are some forced carries over gully’s and gulch’s.

Customer service is great and we had time to grab a snack on the outdoor patio overlooking the 9th green.

One quick note: The driving range is temporarily closed. A few of the poles and net on the range came down in last weeks high winds. The range is expected to be back up and running by the end of this week.
I went out and played Del Monte mid-morning on a perfect sunny day with no wind. Even though we get free carts in February, I opted to walk to help loosen up some stiff muscles. The course is very easy to walk with most transfers are within 20 yards of the last green and the entire course is fairly flat. There’s just enough elevation to make it interesting but none that are steep.

Conditions tee to green right now are fantastic. Greens were on the semi-firm side but not too bad. Well struck approach shots with wedges and short irons would easily hold. Greens rolled smooth at medium-fast pace. Greens at Del Monte are small and most are two tiered so being on the wrong side of the pin can be a tough two putt.

Fairways were excellent. They were a nice deep emerald green color and lush, offering the perfect combination of roll out yet plenty of cushion for easy ball striking with irons.

Tee boxes were also top notch. Level and lush with very few divots. I was only in one sand trap and it was decent. The sand wasn’t very deep but the top layer was nice and fluffy.

Beverage cart was out and around several times. POP was at about 3 ½ hours. The layout is what most would consider a parkland style so the inner holes have plenty of room for error as a missed shot will usually just end up in the adjoining fairway. The tall cypress trees are prevalent on most holes and remind you that you’re in the thick of the Del Monte Forest.

Customer service is always friendly. Sort of like a bed and breakfast. Yes, it’s a business but they treat you more like family.
Played Ridge Creek in Dinuba today on a glorious sunny day. This was one of the few perfect weather days in the valley where it wasn’t scorching hot, windy or freezing cold. Conditions remain steady and very similar to my last review a couple of months ago. The main exception is that the fairways are now completely dormant and a constant brown in color. They still present a very nice hitting surface and with no rain for the last couple of weeks offered plenty of roll out.

Greens rolled at the perfect medium fast pace. As usual the greens were soft easily holding approach shot. Of course the trade off for this is the numerous pitch marks throughout the greens. They still rolled relatively smooth.

Customer service was spot on as usual. With the weather so great the course was very busy so POP was at 4.5 hours. I can’t blame people for wanting to be out on a nice course on a nice day. I was!!! I always like to have lunch at the restaurant after the round but unfortunately had to get on the road right away.
A quick update from my previous review. Course remains in top notch conditon tee to green. Tee boxes are a perfect 10 with the fairways not far behind. The fairways are cut low so they present. Ore of a "thin" lie surface a la Bayonet/Blackhorse. Now that we haven't seen rain for a week or two the fairways offered plenty of roll out.

Greens have also gone back to their firm and fast state. Greens roll super smooth, they just don't quite hold approach shots like softer greens.

Customer service is excellent. The Marshall even went out of his way to help me get around a couple of groups on the back nine. Pop was slow today. The warm weather had everyone out (including me) Luckily, by getting around a few groups on the back side I kept it to just over 4 hours.

Carmel Valley Ranch is a highly recommended course.
I joined Dblevs606 and Eli1488 at Avila Beach for their GK match. The course was in ok condition at best. Greens weren’t too bad. They rolled relatively smooth though they were slow. Only the 18th green had large brown spot on it. Other than that the greens were in decent shape. Tee boxes were horrible, especially the front nine. Severely unlevel and patchy. Finding a good stance and a clean hitting surface was difficult at times.

Fairways, had decent coverage but definitely on the thin side. The one good thing about the fairways was they were consistent throughout the entire day. Sand traps were more hardpack dirt than anything. In fact my one birdie today came from hitting a sandtrap and the ball bounced out and onto the green.

The skirt areas around the greens were hit and miss. And more miss than hit. The track is a fun layout. It’s a thinking mans track making you plot your way around for proper angles into the green. There are a couple of fun holes with forced carries over the ocean inlet that help make you forget about the so so conditions.
Played Hunter Ranch mid morning with Mnielson. Weather was perfect. Sunny in the low to mid 60’s with absolutely no wind. Course was in overall nice shape given it’s winter time. Greens are a perfect blend of challenging yet not over the top ridiculous. Greens were soft, easily holding well struck approach shots. There were some unrepaired divots as Mnielson mentioned. Greens rolled at the perfect medium-fast pace.

Fairways were decent. A little thin in some areas but nothing that affected shots. Tee boxes were probably the week link. Several divots on most tee boxes and a number were unlevel. I’d say it’s time for a complete overhaul on the tee boxes.

Sand traps were actually nice. It seems that everyone is on the bandwagon to improve the bunkers. As far as POP, We were the slow group. One of the guys we were paired with was struggling all day long and it made for a 4.5 hr round.

Overall, the conditions at Hunter Ranch today were a tad under their normal very good standards, but it is still well worth playing.
Played Braemar CC mid-morning on a great Southern California day. Weather was low-mid 60’s with little wind. This is my first time playing Braemar which has three 9 hole courses. We played the US Open and Western nines. Both were similar in style with a lot of elevation changes throughout the track and narrow tree lined fairways. Even though I didn’t play very well today, I enjoyed the course. It’s definitely an accuracy over length type of place.

Condition wise, the entire course was in nice shape. Greens were firm and fast. Downhill putts were lightning fast! There were a number of small “dents” in the greens from other golfer’s approach shots. The greens were firm enough that approach shots didn’t leave huge pitch marks but were soft enough that the ball compressed the green and left big enough dents to affect putts. Not sure why so many went unrepaired.

Fairways were top notch. Very lush and a joy to hit from (or at least that’s what I was told). No real issues with the tee boxes. Sand traps were also, nice. I was in 3-4 greenside bunkers and all were easy to escape out of and predictable.

POP was average. We zipped along for the first 6-7 holes then waited on every shot for the group in front of us. Staff at check in was friendly and an attendant meets you in the parking lot to load your clubs up for you. Locker room has full showers and like many country clubs, they want you to use the locker room facility and not change your shoes in the parking lot.

I definitely wouldn’t mind playing this course again
Played Poppy Hills this morning and wow the conditions are fantastic. For some reason I hadn’t played here in a several months. After today, that will certainly change. Tee boxes and fairways were both perfect 10’s. They were both deep emerald green and super lush. Tee boxes were level and divot free.

Greens were nice as well. They were a bit odd in that they were soft enough to leave giant pitch marks but yet the ball would almost always roll out a good 10-15’ past the landing spot. Greens rolled smooth at a fast pace. Almost every green has multiple humps and bumps to negotiate. It’s the main reason the slope rating is high for the relative yardage.

Sand traps were excellent as well. Heck, I save par 3 times from the bunkers so you know they had to be good!

Beverage cart was around throughout the round. Poppy Hills is cart path only so I would recommend walking as I do. Even though the course sits on a hill it is still very manageable to walk.

Weather was great today. Sunny the entire time with only a bit of wind towards the end. There are numerous views of the ocean throughout the course. You just have to peak through the trees. It’s another reason I recommend walking. It gives you the chance to soak in the surrounding views.

Course is built in the Del Monte Forest so every hole is lined with tall pine trees. There are also several “waste areas” along the boarders of the fairways. This was to cut down on water usage. The waste areas are manageable to hit out of as they are just semi packed DG and have very low lips. Some are 40 plus yards long.

Also, the on course restrooms look like they are part of a high priced hotel. Very clean with tile floor, satin nickel finish faucets and pristine wood work.

Poppy Hills is a highly recommended course.
A quick update from my last review here. Greens are still in great shape and the fairways are dormant but present a good surface to hit from. I noticed that crews were out today doing major maintenance on the sand traps. I was in a couple today that had already been re-done and they were very nice. What was once the Achilles heel of the course is now competing for airtime on the highlight reel. POP was absolutely brutal today. A 5 hour round.
After some horrible wedge shots and a non performing putter last week, I benched the starting Ghost putter and headed back out to Spanish Bay early this morning with the backup in hand. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Sun was out early and not a breath of wind on morning. We were a twosome and the first out on the course so POP was not an issue. We finished in about 3.5 hours.

As my previous review stated the course is in fantastic shape. Easily a 9+ from tee to green. Greens, fairways, tee boxes and sand traps were all phenomenal. Greens rolled at a medium-fast pace and easily held well struck shots.

Entire staff is genuinely friendly and the beverage cart was out right out of the gate coming around a handful of times throughout the round.

Spanish Bay is an all around great course with fantastic views. I’m happy to say that the putter and wedges performed very well today. Unfortunately, it took me 7 holes to get the full swing into rhythm (5 lost balls) so the score was still a couple north of 90. Oh well. It was still a very enjoyable morning. Albeit the last 11 holes much more so than the first
Pheasant run is another decent valley course. The greens at Pheasant Run are always in very nice shape and today was no different. Greens were smooth, pitch mark free and rolled at a fast pace. About half of the greens are single tiered with just a slight slope making you pay very close attention to the read because the breaks are very subtle. Others are two tiered with moderate undulations.

Whereas the rest of the conditions on the course were below average the greens were a definite highlight. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the sand in the greenside bunkers. I sampled plenty of bunkers on the back nine and all but one were above average for the area. In fact some would be suitable for higher end course.

Tee boxes and fairways on the other hand, left something to be desired. Tee boxes were flat but had patchy coverage. Not a real issue when teeing up a driver but made using anything else a real challenge. The par 3 boxes also had several divots in them.

Fairways were thin to very thin. It’s winter time so I get it but I’d say they could probably do a better job on the fairways to at least bring them up to average conditions.

Rough is pretty much non-existent. Hardpan dirt lies between fairways. Skirt area around the greens is also thin to patchy.

Layout is fun and challenging. There are several water features throughout the entire course. I believe water comes into play on like 10-13 of the holes including a peninsula green par 3 and an Island green on the Par 5 Eighteenth hole.

Pro shop is nothing special but the bar and restaurant are nice and well worth stopping at before/after the round. If you’re traveling through central California on Highway 99, Pheasant Run is worth a stop. Conditions right now are so so but the water features alone make it a worthy play.
For my first outing of 2020 at Spanish Bay the course did not disappoint. The views are always spectacular here and the swell was up making the waves in the background even more impressive. With ocean views on 17 of the holes the scenery is never dull at Spanish Bay. Add in the half dozen holes right on the water and it makes for a fabulous outing.

Course conditions were top notch. Tee boxes and fairways were just short of a perfect 10. The only thing holding the fairways back from a perfect rating were a few damp spots. They were small and really not in play but while walking in the fairway I noticed a couple areas throughout the day that were damp. Other than that the fairways were a dark emerald green and lush. They were an absolute joy to hit off of.

Greens were smooth as silk with very few pitch marks noticeable. Greens have some severe undulations so getting a ball to hold can be tricky at times. They rolled at a medium fast pace.

Sand traps were also very nice. They have pure white fluffy sand. I did land in one that was a little damp. Given it rained the previous night, it’s understandable.

The one ding on the course was the skirt area to the side and behind the greens. The “rough” in these areas was only about 1” deep but patchy at times. I struggled on a few holes getting clean contact with my ball just off the green.

Other than the course is in excellent condition. Of course the restaurant/bar overlooking the course and the ocean is also well worth stopping at afterwards.

As a reminder, there isn’t a range at Spanish Bay but you can go up the road and use the range at Spyglass Hill or Pebble Beach. Spanish does have a large practice putting green with some undulations on it to get you prepared for the greens out on the course. Also, for those taking a cart, it’s cart path only.
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