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Played a late afternoon 9 (Back 9) here on August 24th. We got to Reno later in the day and only had time for 9 but this course was really enjoyable.

There are two things that stood out to me about this course:

1) The greens are diabolical. They don't look too severe but they were FAST, and the ball would roll all over the place. Downwind, front pin you had no chance. I absolutely love greens like this....just not the first time you play them.

2) We didn't see any marmots. Was really looking forward to that.

As for the course conditions, I thought they were really solid. There were quite a few really wet, soft spots in the fairways and I'm guessing this time of year, for that type of grass, they really need to soak them A LOT to keep them alive. But outside of those spots I had nothing but really pure lies.

As I mentioned, the greens were really fast and firm, but they rolled pretty true. I have to imagine earlier in the day they are pretty close to perfect. After a day of play and wind in the afternoon they got a little bumpy. I will say that I can't remember a course having as many unfixed, BIG ball marks as Wolf Run. My playing partner and I couldn't figure out why but my guess is that a lot of the time when you land on the green your ball would roll out 20-30 feet away (even on wedges) and maybe people couldn't figure out where they landed (?). But outside of that, great surfaces.

What I really enjoyed was the layout. We played the back and while the first couple holes are pretty basic, there's a lot of good shot values out there and I think the course was designed well to take into account the terrain, the weather and the type of turf they have. It was really a lot of fun!

We paid $30 for the 4 PM twilight rate and I think we could have finished 18 if we turned and burned. But we were practicing for a tournament the next day and just wanted to hit some shots, have a couple beers and see some marmots.

Next year when I'm up there I'll definitely try and go back. Everyone at Wolf Run was great and the setting is pretty cool. Deifnitely give it a shot when in the Reno area. I think you'd really enjoy it.
9 Likes.
Little late in posting my review but played Grizzly Ranch on August 25th & 26th for a tournament. Grizzly Ranch is one of my all time favorite courses and this year didn't disappoint.

I think recent reviews hit on some of the design features pretty well so I won't go into too much. I will say that this year I went in having read some of the recent reviews and I really paid attention to the playability of the course and the amount of different shots I had to hit. This course will require every club in the bag but never seems unfair or overly difficult. It's just a true test of golf.

Grizzly is always in fantastic shape and this year was no different. I did notice that the long grass off the holes seemed much thicker than years past and I have to attribute that to all the rain/snow they had up there this year. It wasn't a good place to be.

The other main difference I noticed this year was the speed and firmness of the greens. For our tournament they double cut and rolled the greens three days in a row and by the final round they were lightning. It was so much fun!

The fairways, tees and bunkers were immaculate. There were a few areas with some minor browning as summer comes to an end but I actually like it when the course plays a little firmer. But even if you ended up in a "dry" spot, the lies were perfect. I always have so much fun playing off the turf there. You can take some really cool divots :)

To me, Grizzly Ranch is a must play. The surroundings, the conditions, the layout, and the staff make it a destination worth seeking out.

Already counting down the days until next year....
9 Likes.
Played in the GK Cup Final yesterday and had a great time. I was super excited to play Oak Creek since I hadn't done so in about a decade and I"m so glad I did because I was really impressed.

First off, everyone on the staff I came across was great. From the dudes in the shop to the guy at the range, the beverage cart attendant and the guys in the grill, I thought everyone was super nice and did a great job. It was really cool being able to hang out there for the day.

I really, really liked the practice area. The range seems huge with good turf and a killer chipping area. Those are the kinds of practice areas I can spend all day at so definitely worth it to make a day of good practice there. It was nice having the putting green down by the starter as well.

Another area that I don't remember but was really impressed with was the overall grounds and facilities. The shop, restaurant and other buildings create a really cool vibe and I could see people having some awesome events there. Really good space.

As for the course itself, I think Oak Creek is classic Fazio. Landing areas off the tees are pretty generous (once you get up there) but from the tee the sight lines, bunkers, trees give a visual of being a bit tighter. Most slopes help funnel the ball into play and if you take the time to either play the course a lot or use the GPS you can really be aggressive off the tee and in position to attack pins.

I found the green complexes to be the highlight of the course. They required being on the right side of the fairway for good approaches, offered different shots to be played into them and had just enough trouble to put up a good defense. Really fun to play.

As for the course conditions, I thought they were really, really good. I didn't have a bad lie all day and the greens rolled great but weren't getaway fast which helped with scoring. I wasn't in any bunkers but the practice area bunker was great.

I think one really cool feature of Oak Creek is that even though you're basically right near a freeway and major streets, you feel pretty secluded. The water features on the course really add to that feel and it was cool to spend the day out there.

I'd definitely recommend Oak Creek as I thought the thoughtful design, really good conditions and awesome staff made for a fantastic day.
13 Likes.
Played just a couple holes walking the other night after work. Just wanted to report that all the new sodded areas are now open for play! It's amazing how well the sod took and the course has never been this lush. I can't decide if it makes the course easier or not. The placement of the sod in some places was genius as it stops some run off on shots that aren't very far off line. On the other hand, some rough grown up holds the ball and can make shots that normally provide good bounces some unreal chips/pitches around the greens (i.e. left of 5 and right of 13).

Greens are super healthy right now. Rolling smooth but a bit slower than usual.

Overall just a good time out there. Kind of crazy how good the place looks. Definitely worth a shot.
6 Likes.
Played in a tournament at Goat Hill on Sunday, June 30th.

There are always improvements going on at the Goat and right now it's definitely some major work. There has been a ton of new sod laid in fairways and some tees that had become pretty chewed up and unlevel (happens on these shorter courses and Par 3s). It's pretty cool to see right now but for the next 2-3 weeks you just take a free drop from all construction areas.

As for the rest of the course its in really solid shape. The greens are running really smoothly, however they still seems a little on the slower side than I'm used to. In the morning especially when the moisture is still in the grass it takes a little to get it to the hole. On the flip side, it does help with the difficult greens.

I think the new improvements are going to make the course much more playable and enjoyable. If you've played the Goat you know that sometimes you hit pretty decent shots or have some small misses but the ball would bounce and roll into some tough spots. Now, with new grass, that will be minimized. Good for everyone!

With the greens in good shape and the rest of the fairways, tees and rough in good shape (while waiting on the new sod to take) the course is still a fun test.
10 Likes.
Played Saturday the 29th teeing off at 11:30 on a warm (and on the back nine) breezy day.

This was my first time playing The Journey and my first time visiting Pechanga in maybe 8-10 years (?) and I was blown away at how much they've grown. Everything about the clubhouse and amenities at Journey was awesome. The style of the building, the carts, the practice facilities and staff were top notch. It's definitely a place I could see hanging out all day at and just practicing and working on the game.

As for the conditions of the course, I thought they were about as perfect as you could get. The fairways were awesome. Never found a bad spot out there and every lie I had sat just perfectly. The tee boxes were more than fine even if they were a little divot heavy on the white tee boxes which we played. I'm sure that's where the majority of play hits from so it's to be expected. I thought the greens were absolutely perfect. I'd venture to say they were running at the 10-10.5 speed with some getaway spots to some of the pins we had, especially when the wind picked up and dried out the greens. But they rolled absolutely true so if you hit your read you could make a lot out there (I didn't....). I was in two bunkers and they were fine.

As for the layout, I couldn't have enjoyed it more. From what I've read and heard I kind of expected it to be much trickier but I thought that everything was really right out in front of you. There's a crazy variety of holes and you really do end up having to hit a ton of different shots. You could really have some fun with the green complexes out here and I'd love the chance to play this one often and utilize some of the slopes and bounces.

With everything considered I have to say the Journey is near, or at the top, of my list of all the courses in the San Diego/Riverside area. Across the board just a cool experience that I would recommend wholeheartedly.
14 Likes.
Played in our Team GK Cup Match this past Saturday with an 11:00 AM tee time.

Goat Hill is definitely a very different golf course when it gets the amount of rain we've received. Typically it's pretty firm and fast but areas that typically were more bare and firm are now thick with lush grass/plants and it takes a little getting used to.

I think overall the course is in pretty good shape. The tees seem to be pretty beat up and since it's a shorter course with a lot of par 3's you get some decent divot damage. Couple that with the cooler conditions and the grass not growing as fast, a few tees needed some work.

I felt that the fairways were in pretty solid shape. Good coverage and the ball sat up nicely when I actually found the fairway. Wasn't in any bunkers (I think there are only 3-4 on the course) so can't comment on that. Greens are running really smoothly right now but are a tad slower than normal out there. In my opinion that's a good thing as the slopes on those little things get a bit hairy when it's faster.

Pace of play was awesome at around 3:45. New carts are a huge plus and the range and practice areas (four practice greens) are always solid.

It was a fun day out there with other GKers and it was cool to play the course in a drastically different condition than I'm used to.
8 Likes.
Was part of the group for the GK Plays this past Saturday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day after the rain during the week and I thought the course was in the best shape I have ever seen it. Considering the amount of water it received I still felt it held up great.

The fairways, which I'm not sure what type of grass (paspalum?) provided nothing but perfect lies for me all day. I will say that between the lushness of the turf and the rain we got, they provided little to no roll, making the course play very long. The rough was pretty tricky since it was long and lush and it made errant tee shots a big problem. I loved the very distinct look from the fairways to the rough. Very cool.

I thought the greens were really really good as well. Some late day foot traffic but what can you expect, it seemed pretty busy out there. Shots held great and the putts ran smooth.

I am a big fan of the Legends layout. For some reason I think you just get a better group of holes and the group of holes on the back nine where you go into the canyon area and all the big trees is really cool.

The environment at La Costa keeps getting better and better and the people there are fantastic. I highly recommend getting out there soon because it's just a cool experience all around.
8 Likes.
I played Monday and Tuesday this week in a work tournament. Aviara is absolutely a top notch facility and the service is always top of the line.

It was fun playing in a tournament out there as they got the course primed for us and some of the pin placements were just insane. These greens are HUGE and they can really create multiple versions of holes, just by moving pins around. I'd say there are up to 30-40 yard differences on a few holes.

Anyway, Aviara is a gorgeous, gorgeous place to play golf. We had epic conditions although I will say that the greens, while as smooth as could be, were just not as fast as they looked. I'm not saying it's good or bad, it's just that it took a little getting used to in order to be aggressive and make putts (or maybe I just sucked on the greens).

I hadn't played Aviara for maybe 15 years but have played it three times since the LPGA was there and it's really a great track. I think it plays MUCH longer than the yardage with the hills, wind off the ocean and the overall lushness, but I can't remember a more beautiful course with all the landscaping (kind of reminds me of Indian Wells).

If you get the chance to get out there and play, definitely do it. The crew at Aviara are awesome and it's always been a fantastic experience for me.
16 Likes.
Played in the GK Cup final match this past Sunday.

This is the second time that I've played Black Gold and I really love the layout. I think there's a good mix of holes with changing terrain, strategic options and a good balance of being fair and challenging.

I really thought the condition of the course was overall really good. The greens were super healthy albeit a bit slow because it was later in the day and there just seemed to be too much grass, if that makes sense. I think with a mow and roll they would firm up a bit and with a little extra speed (just a little!) they would be perfect.

As for the tees and fairways, I never had a bad lie all die. I'm a huge fan of kikuya fairways in SoCal, especially on courses with as much slope as Black Gold as it tends to remain a little more lush in the dry climate.

I was in a couple bunkers the sand was great, no complaints at all.

Everything about Black Gold really provides an awesome golf experience. The views, the facilities (great range, cool chipping and putting area by the first tee, the bar/restaurant) and the staff do a great job. In Orange County I have to rank Black Gold up there as one of my favorites. Looking forward to getting back out soon!
13 Likes.
Played on Sunday, 6/3 teeing off around 8:15 and paid $49 through the course website (I assume, I didn't make the time).

It had been a few years since I had been out at St. Marks even though I had been to the executive course and the resort restaurant and grounds since the new ownership took over and did the renovations. I can say that they have definitely done a really good job with St Marks. The pro shop and restaurant have been changed around and now it's much brighter, open and a really cool spot to hang out. Pretty good pro shop with all the balls and stuff you need (although the apparel needs some work :).

As for the course, St Marks isn't the most interesting or compelling layout, but it's a pretty good set of 18 holes. There are a couple holes where you need some experience to play well and I feel like I hit every club in the bag. Now that I think about it, you get a fair share of dog leg holes and a couple greens are funky enough to make things interesting. However, the conditions of the course have really improved and it was really great to play.

Lots of good coverage in the fairways with nothing but good lies for me. There are occasional brown or bare spots here or there but overall I was really pleased with the conditions. Definitely can tell they've put some resources into this part of the course.

The greens were in really good shape. Just really healthy, smooth and held great. I wouldn't say they were fast but definitely true. Lots of fun to play on.

I think the ownership of the resort and courses set out the goal to provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere to play golf and I think they succeeded. Considering this course is 5 minutes from my house, it was $50 with cart (super nice carts by the way) on a Sunday morning prime time and we played in about 4 and 15 minutes, I'll be back soon.

Nice work St Marks team.
11 Likes.
Played in my GK Cup match with John and Matt yesterday, 5/17. We teed off as a threesome riding around 4:40ish and finished in 2 1/2 hours. That's pretty typical at the Goat if you're riding. Obviously it's a workout if walking but still, POP is usually great here. Love being able to burn through a round in that amount of time.

I hadn't played out here in a month or so since they punched the greens. They are about 99% back, the only noticeable leftover being that they are a bit softer than normal as there's probably a little more coverage as they heal. Before the punching they were the firmest and fastest (and super pure) that I had ever seen out there and it made the course even that more difficult (the green shapes and complexes are tricky enough out here). I'm looking to seeing them firm up a little more but right now they are rolling really true and holding well, just a tad on the slower side.

I think the rest of the playing conditions (tees and fairways) are pretty solid right now. Not a lot of water this winter has the course playing firm and a little dried out in spots which leaves you vulnerable to bounces and rolling and sometimes that just feels a bit unfair. But when you do hit it where you're supposed to, the lies are good and there's really solid playability.

There's constantly been some improvements going on and even since the last time I went out there there's new paths and concrete work around the clubhouse that looks really nice and the range was in really good shape (all grass).

The Goat is my home track and I love the vibe out there. It's probably the quirkiest course I've ever played but I've also never played a course that is as demanding of iron play with a set of Par 3's that have serious teeth and greens that are tiny and undulating. It's definitely a course you could get frustrated with the first time around (tons of local knowledge needed to play the bounces), but a great place to call home if you want to hit all the shots.

Oh, and based on the other thread about Veteran rates I looked and the Goat does have a special rate for Veterans. Looks to be about 30% off the normal rates. Which is cool since Oside is still a military town.
10 Likes.
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