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I played this past Friday afternoon, teeing off about 1 PM on an absolutely PERFECT day.

First thing to note, Goat Hill Park just finished a complete renovation of the 12th green so there's a temporary green right at the aiming pole (215-ish yards?). When you drive/walk from the temp green up the hill to 13 you get a look at the new complex. This is my home course and I absolutely LOVE the change. I hated that green and in my opinion, the new design knocked it out of the park. I asked and it's probably going to open around early April.

As for the rest of the course, the main thing I can say is the greens are awesome. I know that a local high end private course donated a green roller and other equipment and it absolutely shows. Greens are the best I've ever seen them out there. They are quick and pure and still hold. There was a good breeze going and at the end of the day they were almost too good. Being in the wrong spot was deadly.

There are 4-5 new tee boxes and the turf is fantastic and level, but like most new turf installations, it's a bit firm to get a tee in the ground.

I never had a bad lie in the fairway but it's a bit dry as we haven't had much rain. I hit some wayward drives and found areas where the addition of turf about a year ago saved my tail. Really a good add to the design.

The Goat is what it is. A funky layout (absolutely fantastic for Match Play which I was playing) but it does what i feel ALL muni's should focus on....have exceptional greens and playable conditions otherwise.

The POP at the Goat is always off the charts. We went through as a four ball in about 3 hours and then hung out with some music playing, the firepit going and a bunch of people laughing and telling stories.
8 Likes.
Playing the GK Plays out at Rams Hill on 12/8. I absolutely love the setting at Rams Hill and it seems every time I play there I find something else that's pretty cool (the room we met in after was great and then there's a little patio area off the driving range over looking the creek/waterfall behind 18). Although the conditions were pretty blustery when we got there, I really loved it. I guess I'm strange that I prefer playing in conditions like that. It just lends itself to being a bit more creative I guess.

As always, every staff member I came across was super friendly, attentive and a pleasure to work with. Rams Hill always has fantastic customer service and it wasn't any different this time around. On top of that they have a nice GPS on the carts which maps the holes and allows you to get exact yardages to hazards, landing areas, etc. This really helps with the strategy of the course so that is a nice feature.

This is the second time I have played Rams Hill right after a rain storm and this time it seemed to be the most "soggy" I have played it. That being said, I think the overall condition of the course is really good. I did happen to have some pretty wet lies (it seemed most were around the greens), but I don't recall ever having it cause too much trouble. The greens were way softer than I can ever remember and with the prevailing wind yesterday, that course played LONG!

It seems to me that our current weather patterns are about 3 months behind where they traditionally are so the overseeding and overall condition of the course felt "young". I think with a bit more time, some sunshine and hopefully higher temps out there the course starts to fill in a bit. Maybe they will end up keeping the course open later in the year too, as June seems to be a bit cooler too :)

Anyway, love the layout here, the course is going to be in prime condition in the next few weeks and I had a great time with the whole GK crew. Definitely an experience out at Rams Hill and I'd always recommend it.
10 Likes.
I'm a bit overdue for this review as I played Pronghorn for a tournament September 29th-30th.

Pronghorn is such an incredibly cool place. With two courses that are distinctly different it's a great place to hang out for a couple days.

First off, the location of Pronghorn is absolutely gorgeous. Its more of a high desert feel than mountain and the long drive in to the property gives you a feeling of seclusion. The golf facilities at Pronghorn are some of the best I have ever seen. The range is HUGE with just perfect grass, high quality golf balls and more targets than you need. I could hit balls there all day! Nearer the pro shop and snack bar is the Nicklaus course short game area and it's more of a zen garden than anything. With the trees and landscaping you can't help to want to practice all day.

As for the course, I have never played in better conditions than what we had at Pronghorn. This was tour level quality with tight bent grass fairways that were unreal to hit from. It was so cool to take those big pelt-like divots. Even though the course played extremely firm with tons of roll out, it was still easy to work through the ball on iron shots.

The tees were basically tees, flat and perfect grass. I never make a big deal out of tees unless it's something really bad seeing as you can do whatever you need to give yourself a good lie.

The rough could get a bit thick in places but it wasn't absolutely penalizing. The bunkers had a totally different kind of sand than the Nicklaus course, darker in color but lighter in texture. REally an interesting feel and I wonder if it was some sort of local sand as I've never played sand like it before.

As for the greens....AMAZING! They were rolling 12.5 on the stimp and were super firm. You'd leave small bruises on higher shot and could hold shots, but the firmness and speed really lent itself more to playing some roll with the mounding and undulations. I have never putted on greens that were this smooth. If you got the ball rolling it never went off line. Just the best thing I've ever putted on.

After playing the Nicklaus course the day before I was really looking forward to the Fazio. While the Nicklaus was more or less your standard Nicklaus course, the Fazio felt like each hole was unique and presented an almost unlimited amount of ways to play them. With greens open in the front, routing that took advantage of the landscape and greens with some crazy mounding and shaved surroundings you could get really, really creative on every shot. I spent the entire day almost laughing at how much fun it was. This is my kind of golf! On top of that, #8 is possibly the most amazing par 3 (not next to the ocean) that I have ever played. At about 160 yards you hit over these two massive caves from old lava flows, surrounded by cliffs. Just spectacular.

While the Nicklaus course was great, I can't remember having as much fun playing a course as I did the Fazio. I would HIGHLY recommend Pronghorn to anyone but I'd recommend playing the Nicklaus first and then enjoying the masterpiece that is the Fazio.
7 Likes.
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.
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