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A quick update on conditions at Lemoore. Greens have improved greatly. They were soft and receptive to approach shots and rolled fairly true at a medium slow speed. The greens are on par with what you would expect at your average muni course.

Fairways have improved as well but there are still several thin areas and dirt patches mixed in throughout the course.

The one disappointment were the fairway bunkers. Not sure what happened but a couple were riddled with thousands of pebbles. One was so bad it looked like a gravel pit. There is no way I would use any of my clubs to hit from one of those.

Everything else is pretty much the same as noted in my other reviews. POP was decent for a weekend. It started off excellent and then came to a screeching halt around the 7th hole.
Got an invite to meet a fellow GK'er for a round at Poppy Hills. I hadn't played here in a few months so I was more than eager to join. For $25 plus tip, Poppy offers a Youth on Course caddie. Since we were walking, I was more than happy to support the cause. My caddie was decked out in a full on white jump suit just like at Augusta. I strongly encourage others to support this worthy cause when playing here.

As for the course, it was in excellent condition and as challenging as ever. Greens were fast with enough undulations to make you really appreciate the few straight flat putts you do occasionally get. Greens were firm so holding pitch shots was tough. Well struck balls were fine but anything hit even a little thin ran off the back without hesitation.

Fairways were green and a joy to play from. I say that because, I didn't hit many fairways today so I really enjoyed the few I did get to hit from! Sand traps for the most part were excellent. I was in several throughout the day and all but one had soft fluffy sand. I had one that was a bit thin.

With an abundance of deer and a few peaks at the ocean to go on top of the superb playing conditions on a fun but challenging track, you can't go wrong playing Poppy Hills.
Met a buddy for lunch on the way home from my So Cal golf trip. We decided to play 9 here at Casta Del Sol. It's an executive course comprised mainly of various length (100-195) par three's to a couple of short par 4's (225-285). Greens were in fantastic shape. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the greens were.

With most of the holes being par 3's there aren't too many real fairways to contend with. The grass area between the tee boxes and greens is so so. Sand traps are hard packed dirt.

Customer service was great.
Last day of the 6 round golf outing in 7 days. Finished the So Cal trip with a round at La Omni Costa on the legends course. After playing Hacienda, Maderas, and Aviara the previous few days leading up to this round, the legends course was a bit of a let down. However, I will say that the course is in decent shape overall. Not over top top fantastic but solid tee to green.

Tee boxes were level and lush with only the par 3's having divots (and those were probably from the groups ahead of us in the tournament). Fairways were also in great shape with only a few thin spots here and there.

Rough wasn't as penal as Aviara but was thick enough to get your attention. Rough did have some thin and bare spots on occasion.

Greens were a bit of a let down. A number of the greens were bumpy from old unrepaired divots. They rolled at a medium fast speed and rolled true.

Sand traps were a bit hardpan at times and thin at other times.

As for the course layout, it is a standard flat parkland style layout with only a few trees to cause trouble at times. The enjoyment comes from the water holes with a couple of lakes coming into play. Most are off to the side with no real forced carries. There are a few gullies in front of a couple of greens to contend with. Overall, it's a decent course but not sure it's worth the full rack rate.
Aviara is one of my top 3 favorite golf courses anywhere. Conditions are always excellent and customer service is absolutely the best. Played here in a tournament today and the service was top notch as always. Condition wise, the greens were in perfect shape except for two (3 & 16) which had recently been sanded. Greens are large with several subtle breaks They roll true and easily hold approach shots.

Fairways are excellent. Extremely lush and a absolute joy to hit from. You feel like you're walking on a sponge when walking on the fairways, yet they still manage to offer good roll out.

Tee boxes are level, lush and just short of perfect. Sand in the bunkers is top notch rating at a 9.75.

The layout is super fun. Numerous elevation changes throughout with a couple handful of water features added in as well. There are a few waterfall's off of rocks into the lakes below that are just pure beauty. The course didn't have as many flowers planted today as usual but a few of the holes and the most spectacular trees with purple leaves.

Aviara has three of the most beautiful par 3's anywhere. They involve waterfalls and ponds in front of the greens.

There's a reason the LPGA has a tournament here every year, the course is absolutely spectacular. A must play in my book.
Headed out to Maderas for a practice round before playing here tomorrow for a tournament.

Conditions are excellent right now. Greens have some undulations making lag putts a bit of a challange, but they are rolling super smooth. Greens easily hold approach shots.

Fairways are green and lush with rarely a divot to be found. Tee boxes are in excellent shape. Lush and completely level.

As far as the layout, what's not to like? Elevation changes and water features (lakes and flowing creeks) peg the fun meter. Tee shots range from demanding precise distance control for lay ups to downhill grip and rip it!

There aren't really any dog leg holes. Most are straight forward with bunkers and water features to challenge you off the tee.

Also, there are no fairways that butt up next to each other. All are separated by native area. This adds to the difficulty challenge but also keeps you from feeling crowded as you never run into another golfer from another hole.

What's not to like....?? Oh yeah, rattlesnakes and poison oak!!! But that's why there's a premium for being in the fairway!!

Maderas is a great course, well worth the fee. I just hope the pin placements are as friendly tomorrow as they were today
Day 1 of a So Cal golf trip. Starting out a golf trip at Hacienda was a great way to get things going. Course was in nice shape all the around and the layout was challenging but manageable

The greens rolled true at a nice medium-fast pace. All greens were single tier with modest back to front slope. Greens held well struck approach shots but were fast enough that short pitch shots could get away from you in a hurry.

Fairways were green and lush throughout. I was in several sand traps so I got a good sampling of the dirt. Most had pretty good sand with only a couple being thin.

Tee boxes were level and divot free.

Layout offered different challenges throughout the course. There's a handful of long par 4's (400+) and a few par 3's that play 185-210 yds. The short par 4's have sever dog legs in them forcing an accurate lay up off the tee. Course has numerous elevated tee boxes to add to the enjoyment as well as a couple of forced carries. One over the roadway and one across a mini canyon. Only one small pond on the course which was in front of a 170 yard par 3.

Clubhouse is top notch with a full service locker room.

Bottom line is Hacienda is a solid track all around.
And the run begins… Over the course of the next four weeks, I have a string of great courses coming up. Starting it out was Tehama Golf Club in the Monterey Peninsula. Tehama is a high end private course owned by Clint Eastwood. It sits 1200’ on top of the mountain range between Carmel Valley Road (Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley Ranch) & Hwy 68 (Laguna Seca Golf Ranch, Nicklaus Club).

I played on Tuesday 5/29 and the weather was perfect.

Driving up to the facility you immediately know you’re in for a treat when you feel the need to take a picture of the parking lot! Parking is underground on polished tiles for the cars. We handed the car keys to an attendant and he loaded our bags and stuff into a cart while we strolled up to the pro shop.

Check in is simple as there are no reserved tee times. However, there was some mix up regarding our forecaddie which does have to be reserved for a specific time. Due to the mix up we didn’t have a forecaddie for the day.

The pro shop is fairly modest with a small sampling of soft goods (shirts & hats mainly) and a few golf clubs on display for “resale”. A quick stop in the locker room which was staffed with an attendant and naturally included all of the accouchements you would expect of a place of this quality (mouthwash, shaving foam, shoe shine service, etc).

Off to the range. We were just a twosome as my buddy decided not to invite anyone else, so we could just enjoy the day. The range is set up with 15 hitting stalls on the most perfect grass you’ve ever seen. Completely level, lush, and the most beautiful green you’ve seen. Hitting stalls were completely divot free.

Each hitting station had its own towel, aiming rod, bag of balls, tees and club wash bucket. The range overlooks the Monterey Peninsula and bay. I will say that the condition of the golf balls was a bit disappointing. There were a number of balls that I punched shot into the range because they were cracked or the covers were sliced from mi sh-t s.

A chipping station and practice putting green are available as well. After clicking off a few we were off to the first tee. A par 5 that starts with an elevated tee box. The hole is V shape. You hit down from an elevated tee box and then back up to the green. Painted on the fairway grass approach under the green is a huge Revolver just like Clint used in his spaghetti western movies. It was pretty cool actually.

Greens were super super fast. I don’t think I’ve ever putted on greens this fast before. There was a big charity even the week before so the grounds grew had lightly sanded all of the greens to fill in any divot marks from improperly repaired ball divots. Even with the light sanding the greens were rated at a 9 out of 10. As fast as the greens were, they easily held well struck approach shots.

However, there were plenty of false fronts and sides that sucked your ball off the green and down into the collection area15-30’ below.

Fairways were absolutely perfectly lush, cut to 3/8”. As nice as the fairways were, they didn’t even come close in comparison to the perfectly manicured tee boxes. Cut to an exact ¼” of the most perfect level, lush and divot free hitting surface you will find anywhere.

The 2-3 sand traps I were in were fine with good quality sand. Not over the top white fluffy sand but good dirt to easily hit out of. My buddy was in one that was a bit thin though. Overall, the sand traps were the weak link of the course (and they played at a rating of 8).

As for the layout of the track. It’s a challenging course to say the least. This is a golfers golf course. You need to have all of your shots ready to go at a moments notice. We played the orange tees which is a Blue/white combo. The course had its share of scoring holes mixed in with the “just survive and move on” challenges.

The entire course is built on a mountain so there isn’t a flat hole to be found. The closest is the short par 3 17th which played at 130 yards into the wind. Tee to green was flat however the back of the green sat 15’ above the collection area. The rest of the holes all had some sort of elevation change with a number of the greens being elevated making precise distance control/knowledge a must.

There’s only one water hazard which I would have said doesn’t really come into play, except I snapped hooked my drive and found the water! Other than that it’s edges of the mountain that present the real hazards. Mis the fairway and your ball can plummet into the deep forest.

The exception is the 9th hole which has natural “guard rails” in the form of rock walls lining both sides of the fairway. It’s like having gutter guards up while bowling. Your ball will get knocked back onto the fairway.

Being that there were only 6 people on the course for the day, POP was excellent.

All in all Tehama is a challenging course played on excellent conditions with spectacular views. Now you've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? – (Inspector Harry Callahan). I think we all know the answer. Lol
A quick update since the last time I played Avila. Greens were much slower than usual. Towards the end of the day, we found some that rolled a bit faster but overall they were on the slow to very slow side. The greens are trickier than they appear. At first glance they look fairly mundane but be cautious as whatever little break you perceive will probably be doubled when you putt.

Fairways were green and semi lush throughout with only a few bare spots here and there. Tee boxes were much better than last time but still in need of some maintenance. Somehow, I managed to avoid the sand traps all day!

Pace of play was what we wanted it to be! The course was very empty. We let a couple of singles go through and then there were two twosomes behind us. It seemed like everyone was taking advantage of the relaxed POP and playing multiple balls. I know we did and I heard others in the restaurant afterwards saying they bad done the same thing too.

I talked about the layout in more detail on my last review, so I'll skip that this time around and talk about the pro shop and restaurant. What the building lack in architectural design, they make up for in location and vistas. Both are positioned to so you have good views onto Avila beach and the ocean.

Conditions are just average at Avila, but because of the course layout demanding true strategic planning and shot making skill, this is a fun challenging track.

It's a great place to drop the family off at the beach and then walk across the street for a fun yet inexpensive central coast round of golf.
Black Horse is always a peninsula favorite with several views of the Monterey Bay. Course is very challenging due to the severe undulations and multiple tiers of the greens. Greens are spacious in theory but realistically the preferred landing areas are tiny.

Condition wise the track is in real nice shape. They are getting ready for the PGA professionals tournament to be held here in a couple weeks so most things are in prime condition (Greens, fairways, tee boxes, sand traps). Being that they are putting the last minute touches on the course there are a few areas in the fairway that they have roped off for GUR where they replaced the grass with new sod. Also some of the tee boxes are temporary closed. Normally there are 4 sets but right now there are only two sets of tee's. Not a real big deal other than a bit embarrassing that of the handful of times they had us moved up to the "red" tee box, I only managed 2 pars out of it (but then again it was one of those days).

POP is always a strong 4-4.5 hrs. during prime time and we were right at the 4.5 hr mark. After years of being associated with Taylormade, I noticed the new range balls are Titleist. Honestly, I didn't check to see if they are Pro V1 practice balls or not. I saw the cart gal on the way down to the range but never saw her out on the course which was disappointing because you don't go back around to the clubhouse and I forgot to restock my bag with snacks.

Customer service is good. Not over the top great like Aviara or Quail but solid nonetheless. I was a bit upset at the guys at the front. When I pulled in they were too busy chit chatting with each other so I had to get my own cart. I never mind tipping the crew for loading up my bag and actually prefer it when at a nice course. A bit disappointing to not receive the expected service.

Also, from now until the tournament in mid June it's cart path only.

Definitely, a recommended Monterey Peninsula course and a great one to warm up on to get used to tough greens, before hitting any of the Pebble Beach tracks.
A quick update on course conditions. Course is in real nice shape right now. Greens are rolling smooth as always at a medium pace and are holding approach shot very well. Sand traps are excellent and tee boxes are level and lush. Fairways are lush for the most part with a few thin areas here and there. Skirt areas around the green are very lush offering great lies for the chance to get up and down.

Paso Robles GC is always a favorite track that offers good use of all clubs. See my previous review of the track for more details on the layout.
I had to drop some money off to my contractor, who's office is 2 blocks from this course so I made him come out and play. We used the Golf Moose coupon so it was only $40 for the two of us with a cart. I've never played here but I've heard from others it has decent greens.

First the layout. As Sixpez mentioned, it's a yawner. Front nine has one little lake in front of a par 3 green that makes things interesting otherwise the front 9 is just a parkland setting with some trees to try and keep you honest. The back nine is WIDE open with the only excitement being a long par 4 with a pond in front of the green to make things interesting. And really that was only a challenge because of a strong headwind.

Conditions wise, greens were decent. They rolled smooth at a medium pace and held approach shots very well. There's nothing to the greens as they are all single tiered with just a traditional back to front minimal slope (for drainage).

Skirt area around the greens was lush offering a good lie 90% of the time. Sand traps were surprisingly nice. I was in two and both had great soft sand. Not the pure white pristine sand found at high end courses but definitely soft fluffy sand and very playable.

Fairways were ok. Green for the most part and offered a good hitting surface with a few thin areas here and there.

Most tee boxes were lush. The par 3 tee boxes were ok with a couple of them having excessive divot damage.

No sand in the carts for divots which I thought was odd. Clubhouse is an old rectangle shoe box building with no aesthetic appeal. Check in was super quick and easy. For $20 it makes a decent little "kill some time" course. Actually, layout aside, the course conditions are definitely worth the $20
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