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Played Kern River Golf Course on 4/1/2020 with Kviser for our GK Cup match. Kevin did a great job describing the conditions. Which I would call “average Muni conditions”. Overall everything was ok. Nothing spectacular by any means but nothing horrible either. I thought the greens were slow to medium-slow. It took me a full 9 holes to get the speed of the greens dialed in. Part of that might have been that I had just rolled my putting green so it’s super fast right now and the two were night and day different on speed. Given that the greens at Kern River rolled smooth for the most part. Greens were medium sized with moderate slope and undulations.

Fairways had decent coverage but had some thin spots mixed in. Like Kevin said it was the luck of the draw on having a great lie or a sketchy one.

Rough wasn’t tall but very very sticky. Deceivingly tough. Sand traps were the weak link of the course for sure. Very thin at best.

Setting was fun without a doubt. Track is set up against the Kern River which was full and flowing nicely. It’s a few miles out of town so you get the away from the hustle and bustle relaxed feeling. Being both of our first times here we got fooled by the routing of holes as far as the doglegs but no big deal (especially since I made birdie on one of them).

My one criticism would be that it’s only a par 70 with three par 5’s and five par 3’s. Yet they had a few 430+ length par 4’s and three Par 3’s in the 200-225 yard range (one was 225 uphill from the whites). I would have thought they could shorten one or two of the long par 3’s and add the length to one of the long par 4’s to turn it into another par 5. Or shorten a par 4 and lengthen a par 3 to turn it into a par 4. At nearly 6300 yards from the whites there should be enough room to make this at least a par 71 course. That’s just my thought is all.

Overall it was an enjoyable day with nice weather, good company and a decent enough course. Staff at check in was very friendly. I don’t know that I will play here again in the future, but that’s only because of the location and distance to get there for me. Certainly for the price it’s worth it if in the area.
I played Madera Municipal on Saturday afternoon. Walked the course as it is completely flat and super easy to walk. Only one semi-long transfer (between 10th green and 11th tee). The rest is a walk in the park! Again social distancing orders in place. Single player per cart for those not walking, and raised cups along with no rakes in the bunkers.

Being a weekend with limited courses open it was packed. POP was a bit under 5 hrs. We waited on every shot. Such is life, during weekend golf.

Course was in slightly below average Muni condition. Tee boxes were about average and fairways are starting to recover from winter thin. Recent rains had fairways greening up but still some thin spots throughout.

Greens were very slow. They obviously have not recovered from the mid march aeration. Bunkers were hard pan dirt. No need for a rake as footsteps and club didn’t leave a single impact mark!

Overall, conditions were ok for a valley muni course. The only real drawback were the super slow greens.
Dragonfly is open and running under the new “social distancing” guidelines. Pro shop is completely closed up with just a kiosk at the starting hole which they elected to send everyone off the 10th tee to start. I chose to walk but everyone else was single player per cart.

Flag sticks were mandatory left in and there were Styrofoam rings in in the bottom of the cup that prevented the ball from going all the way in. No rakes in the bunkers but I did see employee’s coming out a couple times throughout the round to rake bunkers keeping them relatively fresh for everyone. They were also actively wiping down the flagsticks in case anyone inadvertently touched them.

As far as the course conditions go, the greens are still recovering from recent aeration. Not too bad but definitely on the slow side with some greens still visibly showing holes from being punched.

Fairways are starting to turn green from the brown dormant winter grass. Still about a 50/50 light green and brown combo. But fairways were still easy to hit off of. Tee boxes were ok. Some better than others with some still being winter thin.

I was only in one greenside bunker and it was probably the worst one on the course. Lol. Others have been revitalized with new sand but the one I was in was fairly hardpacked.

Pace of play wasn’t too bad actually. Given that there are only a few courses open and this is always a popular valley track the 4:10 round was very acceptable. We fell about a ½ hole behind the group in front for about 6-9 holes then caught up and had some minor waiting for the last few holes.
A quick updated on conditions at Ridge Creek from when I was there a couple weeks ago. I played on Friday 3/20/20. First off the fairways and greens all drained well from the recent rains. I elected to walk to help promote “social distancing” and I only found one area of standing water behind one of the raised greens. For the most part it was out of play unless you went long on the par 3 tee shot.

The rest of the course was nice and dry even though it had rained a bit during the night. Temperature during play was a fantastic Sunny mid -high 60’s with No wind.

I will say we did encounter quite a few pitch marks on the greens. It seems to be getting worse here as I noticed I mentioned this during my last review as well. One of my playing partners had at least 4 putts affected badly by pitch marks.

Other than that the course is good to go. I did see they sent an email later that afternoon saying the course was being shut down due to COVID-19. Restaurant was still open for take out food which we all grabbed some food afterwards as we were starving!

If the course is going to be closed down for a couple of weeks, I say it’s a perfect time to aerate the greens.
Trying to book a tee time today proved a bit difficult with the rain, course closures and aerations all going on at once. Managed to get out and walk Hunter Ranch this morning and avoided the rain. Course was very wet. No issues with the greens as they were dry and rolled smooth at a normal pace. However the fairways were soggy. No roll whatsoever and even though the recent rains have “greened” up the fairways they are still considered winter thin. Most of Hunter Ranch is on rolling hills which helps drain the course to make it playable.

It’s been a while since I walked Hunter and it’s very doable but there are some steep little short climbs to tee boxes etc. Other than that it’s not bad at all. Being that it was CPO, I was more than happy to walk.

Overall, conditions given the rain were very decent. I was only in one sand trap and it wasn’t too bad. Rough was definitely taller and thicker than last time I was here a couple of weeks ago. POP was under 3 hours. No one in front of me so I just cruised along.
Played Spanish Bay yesterday in my match with Sbarajasjr. The morning started out with pouring rain so we elected to skip the range. By the time our tee time came around the rain stopped and we made it to the 15th before it started back up. The nice thing about Spanish Bay is it drains very well. Other than a few puddles of standing water here and there, for the most part the fairways and greens were dry.

Course remains in excellent condition. The recent rains have helped “green” up the few areas on the fairways that were starting to turn a little brown. Fairways were easily a 9+ rating. Greens rolled perfect though at a medium-slow speed due to the morning rain. Obviously, the greens were very receptive to approach shots and allowed the player to get aggressive on chip and pitch shots.

Tee boxes were also a 9-10. Perfectly level, lush, and divot free. Due to the rain, the sand traps were wet with the sand compacted.

Spanish Bay is always and enjoyable walk with the constant ocean views and phenomenal course conditions.
Played Sandpiper yesterday during my match with Roarksown1. Due to morning rain the range was closed and it was cart path only. Had I known, I would have brought the hand cart and walked as this course could easily be walked. Still it was nice to be able to chitchat with Rob as we tend to do A Lot during our rounds. There was a threat of rain all day but it held out for us and though it was cloudy it actually wasn’t too cold.

Check in was flawless and they offered to send us off early if we wanted. As is the usual with this place, the course was in excellent condition all around. Greens are the odd grass (that Blackhorse/Bayonet use as well) which have some brown coloring to them when looking from a far but it doesn’t affect the performance what so ever. Greens rolled at a medium to medium fast pace and most were two tiered with a good amount of undulations. Enough that you paid close attention throughout the day but not so bad you felt beat up after the round.

Naturally with the recent rain the greens were soft and receptive to approach shots.
No issues at all with the tee boxes. Level, lush and divot free.

Fairways were also well kept. Nice hitting surface all around with only a couple minor wet spots here there from the recent rain. There wasn’t much roll out on the fairways. The first cut of rough was very manageable in that it was only about 1-2 inches thick and very lush. I always had a great lie from the first cut. The second cut was much taller and presented to serious challenge. After that and it was no mans land where you were happy to find your ball (Rob) but most of the time it was a lost ball (Me).

The layout is a mixture of a few things. Flat, straight and long parkland style, to some tricky dog leg holes with great ocean views and also some great imaginative routing down to the beach and back up top along the ocean. Of course there are a number of other ocean holes that play along the ocean to make this track enjoyable.

Without a doubt it’s a highly recommended course.
Played Ridge Creek mid-morning under the threat of rain but the day turned out to be absolutely perfect. The unseasonably warm (and dry) temperatures have the dormant grass starting to come back alive. Fairways remain a mixture of green and brown color but present a fine hitting surface all around. Tee boxes were similar in nature with all being nice and level and most divot free. Even the two short par 3’s had good grass on the tee boxes to hit from. Greens at Ridge Creek are medium plus in size and all have some minor to moderate undulations making long lag putts tough but doable. The good news is that the greens at Ridge Creek are soft and very receptable to approach shots. In fact it’s very easy to get a lot of spin on well struck iron or wedge.

The greens did have a few repaired and unrepaired pitch marks (come on folks, bend down and fix your ball mark). Having said that I don’t remember either of us having a putt affected by a pitch mark.

I was in about 4 bunkers total between greenside and fairway. All were pretty much hardpan dirt. One did have a thin layer of sand on the top and one had several pebbles throughout it. Course wasn’t overly busy but we did wait on the group in front of us for must of our shots, yet POP was at around 3.5 hrs. so no real complaints.

Ridge Creek is a true “links” style course with a premium on accuracy over length. Get off line and it’s lost ball city in the deep weeds/grass and bushes between fairways. The fairway bunkers are also to be avoided at all costs as it is often lob wedge to come out to avoid the steep ledges.

I always enjoy my round at Ridge Creek and look forward to the next round here.
I finally made it out to La Purisima Golf Course today. I’ve been trying to coordinate a round here for some time and finally got to experience the “tough” but fun course. The track sits in a remote hilly locale that makes for a peaceful setting as you are removed from civilization. It’s just you and the golf course.

The layout is a ton of fun with a number of dog legs and hilly terrain to negotiate. I had RGM2525 to help navigate me around the course which was a big help as there are a number of blind shots. For the long hitters there are a handful of corners to be cut making some great risk/reward holes. We had it good in that the wind didn’t really kick up until the last few holes.

Greens were great all around. They rolled true at a nice medium to medium fast pace. Greens are average in size with some tricky subtle undulations. I got caught by “surprise” on putts on the first few holes due to not paying close attention to the full terrain of the green complex. Once I realized that I need to take a full overview look from multiple directions, I found the greens to be very predictable (both in speed and direction).

I didn’t find a whole lot of fairways today, but I heard they were in normal “winter” condition. Decent enough that no complaints were generated but nothing to write home about. Tee boxes were in the process of being aerated so kudos to the course for doing some maintenance work to make the place be in top shape come spring.

I was only in one greenside and one fairway bunker. Both were fairly hardpacked dirt. Given that, I managed to escape both bunkers with decent shots so they must not have been too horrible.

The rough is a mixture of thick, take an extra club 3” grass and patchy thin grass/dirt. La Purisima doesn’t see a ton of play during mid-week so POP was fine. After the first group let us through on the first hole, we didn’t see anyone until around the 12th hole.

In addition to the elevation changes the course has a few lakes to add to the challenge and aesthetics. There are several trees on just about every hole to keep you honest, yet most holes have a fairly wide landing area.

Being that it’s a bit of a drive for me, I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to play it again, but certainly I’ll be back to give this track another shot when my driver decides to cooperate.
Played Spanish Bay on 2/29/20. Course conditions remain in great condition as described in my previous reviews. The one thing I would like to add for those planning on playing Spanish Bay this year. With the extreme dry winter we are having here in the Peninsula, they have already started to pull water from Spanish Bay to give to the other courses (Pebble and The Glass). By this summer, the fairways at Spanish Bay are going to have some thin and some brown spots.

It is a “links” course and will play as such this summer. Just a heads up is all.
I don’t have much to add to Matt’s excellent review of Spyglass Hill. Obviously with a top notch course the conditions are excellent as are the views. The only thing to really add is regarding the driving range. Players are allowed to use the large range/practice facility up the road at Pebble Beach. The other range is usually (90% of the time) on grass and has some practice bunkers, putting green etc. The range at Pebble even has it’s own mini-pro shop/coffee house in case you forget something like a glove, balls or the such. Just be prepared to take out a loan if you need a dozen.

I always enjoy playing The Glass and this time was no different. Matt and I already decided if we make the final at GK 15 we are holding the match at Spyglass Hill!
Played Laguna Seca this afternoon and the weather was actually overcast and chilly. This is one of my favorite layouts with some elevation changes throughout the entire course. There is a good mixture of fun grip it and rip it holes along with tough challenging ones.

Conditions are a bit less than ideal right now. Greens were smooth but rolling at a slow pace. Most greens are double tiered but usually pretty predictable.

Fairways had a number of thin spots throughout the course. Overall coverage on the fairways was decent but definitely winter thin. Tee boxes had a number of divots however they had a few of the tee boxes closed for complete reseed, so they are obviously working on improving the conditions.

Sand boxes were 50/50. I was in a lot of bunkers today and got a thorough sampling the of the sand. Some were very nice but at least 50-60% of them were riddled with gravel/pebbles.

The skirt areas around the greens were in great shape. Customers service is always good. Nothing over the top with valet parking but greatly friendly service.
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