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Got a chance to play here on 6/11. For those unfamiliar with Mayacama, it is an ultra-exclusive course located in the mountains just north of Santa Rosa. It is a rare and special opportunity to be able to play here & I feel extremely lucky to have been invited, along with my brother for an afternoon round. The setting is just spectacular, with a beautiful, giant Tuscan-Style Clubhouse in the middle of a 600-acre preserve. A Jack Nicklaus course winds its way through the hillsides all around the clubhouse It fits right into the terrain, like it's just always been there & part of the natural setting. It is just breathtaking. I've played a few Nicklaus courses (Pronghorn, Vista Vallarta & Vidanta) & this is best one. Kudos Mr. Nicklaus!

Mayacama is walking only. You can hoof your bag or take a caddy. We had a caddy & are so thankful for it. It is not an easy course to walk under any circumstance, as there are extreme elevation changes on both the front & back. It also happened to be the hottest day this year, so I struggled just walking around, especially on the front 9. Definitely effected my golf game, but just glad I didn't cash out on the 4th green. Not the worst way to go, though.

The course is fairly short, at under 6,800 from the tips, however with a rating of 73.8/150, it's no joke. Very much the definition of target-golf. The par 3s are some of the most scenic & challenging I have ever experienced. As for the Par 4s & 5s, a great mix of medium to long & short risk/reward holes. Most tee shots have generous landing areas with an optimal "side" of the fairway to approach the green. The approach is where things got real. The smallish, elevated & well guarded greens often had tiers or slopes which you had to hit or it was off the green or 3/4-putt territory. The greens themselves were very rolling fast & true, but very difficult to read. They were undulating & the with all the surrounding terrain, it was difficult to tell if it was uphill, downhill, left, right, etc. (very much like Poppy Hills in Monterey). Our caddy has been there several years & he still had some trouble reading the break/speed on a few holes.

Almost every hole is a signature hole & the views from many are just jaw-dropping. As you would expect with a course of this caliber, conditions are immaculate. From the 1st tee to the 18th green, not a blade of grass out of place. Bunkers were a bit baked on the top layer, but still perfect to play from. Fairways lush & even. The rough wasn't super long or penal, but definitely made the approach shots much more difficult to judge.

To be able to share this incredible experience with my brother was beyond special & something we'll cherish forever. Now to work on getting invited out there again......Posted some pictures that hopefully do some justice to the beauty.
Played in a tournament on 6/1. Beautiful sunny day with a PoP of 5+ hours. Very traditional course with no tricked-up holes, very little water and only slight elevation changes. Sounds a bit boring, but it's not. The placement of trees/bunkers, the rough & smallish, undulating greens make it interesting & a very good test of golf.

After the copious amounts of rain this winter/spring, the course is in great shape: Very green & lush. Being a high-end resort course, you expect stellar conditions & this course delivers. Fairways, rough, bunkers, tee boxes & greens are all in great to excellent condition. The rough was the biggest surprise. It is fairly short & seems benign, but turned out to be very penal. Super thick & snarly, it would just grab your club & send the ball in all kinds of directions & much shorter than you intended. The greens firmed up as the day progressed & were rolling medium/Fast and true.

The service was great from check-in to the end & the Cartperson was out all round. On a side note - they have the Hot Dog Bill's famous "BurgerDog" at the snack shack between Holes 7 & 8. Currently, it is the only other place besides Olympic Club you can get one. Simple, yet delicious! Great course & definitely in prime shape right now. Posted some pics.
Marin Country Club is a private course in the Ignacio Area of Novato. Got a chance to play here 5/29 on a warm, sunny afternoon. PoP was 3.5 hours with no waiting or being pushed. Ahh the country club life...

The layout is a short, hilly & tight test of golf. It is tucked into a valley surrounded by towering, scenic hills & is bordered by a housing community on the outside edges of the course, so some holes have few or no homes & some are lined with them. Lots of elevation changes & very tight, precise tee shots are needed for this track. Lots of OB/water lurking just off the fairways & often on both sides! The greens are relatively small & well guarded to boot (i.e. Oakmont West). If you can get the ball out there 250 straight off the tee & have a good short iron/wedge game, this course is gettable. If you spray the ball even a little off the tee and miss greens, this course will hand you your ass. My ass was in hand, btw.

As for conditions: It's what you would expect from a private club - immaculate conditions from tee to green. Everything is in great shape. The fairways & greens were the highlight of the course & a pleasure to hit off of/putt on.

As a private course, it is not like you can just roll up & play, but they do NCGA "Member for a Day" events out here, so there are ways to play it without knowing a member. If you get a chance, it's recommended. Posted pictures from today as well.
Played with the GK Outing on Saturday 5/4. Big thanks to Johnny for setting this outing up! It was great to see familiar faces & meet some new folks. The weather was a pleasant surprise. In terms of wind, it was very calm for an afternoon in Bodega at this time of year, where you can almost always count on 20+mph sustained winds. Also, played the entire front side in short sleeves. Played with Alex & Ron at a very comfortable PoP of a little over 3 hours. Really fun group & thoroughly enjoyed my day out there with those guys!

The course was also a surprise for me in terms of play. I always play Bodega in the morning & the first 4 holes are all uphill, into the sun and into the prevailing wind, which generally makes for a rough start. It was a totally different experience with the wind at our backs & the sun high in the sky. I felt like I wasn't struggling as much in the early going, which really helped me get off to a decent start. Made my scorecard happy & the whole round more enjoyable.

As others have stated, the fairways were in good shape. Some brown/thin spots, but overall coverage was good. The rough is a wild-card, the primary rough is mostly manageable, but there are a lot of spots of fescue & unmowed areas that will hand you your ass. The bunkers have nice sand in them, but lots of spots where people hadn't raked them. Side note: The rakes suck. They have the old-school, weathered & wooden rakes that look very rustic, however they're not very effective at raking the sand & you could easily get a nasty splinter. The greens were firm, but much slower than the past few times I've played it. I'm assuming they keep the greens slower as this time of year is very windy out there & balls would be rolling all over the place. Putts were surprisingly slow both uphill & downhill.

I arrived early & had lunch at the Bluewater Bistro. It's a little bar with an amazing view of the 16th & 18th holes as well as Doran Beach & Bodega Head. Very cool place to hang out. Their beer selection is top-notch & the grilled chicken sandwich was exceptional. If you make it up to Bodega, do yourself a favor make a visit to this 19th hole.
This is not a current review. I posted some pictures from the last 2 golf trips, as there were none up on the site.

Aspen Lakes is one of my all-time favorite courses. When visiting the Bend area, we always play here. There is a plethora of great tracks in the area, but this course retains a special place in my heart, as it offers fantastic conditions & layout at a very moderate price. The red sand bunkers are unique & really add to the visual appeal. The staff is extremely friendly & accommodating and the 19th Hole Patio is one of the most scenic places to grab some food & a beverage.
Played an early morning round on 2/16 on the tail-end of a series of very wet and windy storms that rolled through The Bay Area. The weather was mostly cooperative, but very windy & we had to dodge a few showers during the round. Cart Path Only, but it is a very walkable track, so no worries there.

The course was very playable with no plugs and ample fairway roll out. No lost balls & very little standing water on the course (except for the 5th Tee Box, which was a swamp). The rough was wet & penal, but totally doable. Tee Boxes were in good shape & every bunker I saw was dry & the ones I were in were very playable. The greens were surprisingly firm & fast and definitely the highlight of the course. The only downside is that some of the fairways are very thin & appear to be suffering the effects of a high play-rate. This course gets a TON of play, so hopefully they can keep the conditions up over time.

Overall, I was very impressed with the condition of this course, especially in light of the wet winter we have been experiencing. Definitely recommended if you want to play golf instead of slopping around in the mud looking for plugged balls.
Played an afternoon round on 2/18. Course was really wet, but the weather was sunny, although cold & windy. Our tee time was delayed about 15 minutes & PoP was awful at around 5.5 hours. It was a holiday & one of the first days in a long time that the weather was decent, so I understand why it was so crowded.

With all of the rain we've had, course conditions were extremely wet & sloppy. Lots of standing water & balls were plugging in the fairway, rough & even on the collars of the greens. The fairways offered no roll & just walking on them was an adventure. The rough was wet & nasty. It was about a 40% chance to lose a ball if you didn't hit the fairway & if you found it, advancing it was brutal. 80% of the sand traps were little lakes, with 2-3 feet of water in them. The few that weren't were surprisingly playable. The greens were nice. Soft, but rolling at medium-speed. Definitely the highlight of the course.

The course is green & beautiful, but I would suggest waiting for a couple consecutive weeks of dry weather before playing here. Late Spring/Early Summer & Peacock will be in wonderful shape. For now, I would suggest trying Rooster Run in Petaluma & Corica South in Alameda, as both are far more playable.
The course is closed yet again. Website says "Closed for the Season." I would venture that this is something more permanent.
Played early Saturday 1/26. This is by far the best draining public course in the Marin/Sonoma area. With all of the rain we have received north of the Golden Gate Bridge, this is the spot to play. Fairways had roll, no standing water on the course, no plugs & no lost balls in the rough. Had a couple of mud balls, but nothing severe. Carts were 90*, but a very easy walking course.

If you are looking to play in the North Bay during the rainy season, this course will provide the best playable conditions, hands down.
I have been to Monterey plenty of times & played many of the other offerings on the peninsula, but I have only been to Pebble Beach once – during the 2000 US Open. I remember rolling up to Pebble thinking I wouldn’t ever consider paying $500 to play any golf course & after walking the course, I would pay 4x that amount. The place is simply stunning.

Smash cut to 18 years later – I won a free round at Pebble Beach in my Golf Group’s Annual Member-Guest tourney in March of this year, so finally got a chance to play it on 11/10. First off the tee at 6:40am & our 4-some was set up with a caddie for each person. Just an amazing morning – zero wind, about 60 degrees & climbing and no fog. There was definitely smoke from the fires up in Northern California, however the air quality was okay.

Being first off, we set the pace at around 3:45. We were about 2-holes ahead of the next group throughout the round. They are hosting the Taylormade Invitational this week, so the conditions were immaculate: from the tee boxes to the greens & everything in between. Soup to nuts, a solid 9.5. Caddies were really knowledgeable & fun. We finished our round with the obligatory lunch & drinks in the Taproom & it is everything it’s cracked up to be & more. The food & service were outstanding & the ambiance is second to none. Just an amazing, Bucket-List Day!
Played 10/7. I had received an email on Friday with the "Come play our Great Course Conditions." With the discussion about this type of marketing on the message board, it should have been a red flag.

The Good: It was a beautiful, warm morning & I tee'd off early, paired with a great 2-some. PoP was around 3:30. Staff was really friendly from check-in to cart guy to the person behind the bar. The bunkers & rough were in decent shape & definitely playable. Unfortunately, that is where the good ends.....

The Bad: The fairways & greens. The overall condition of this course is generally average, with really nice greens. However, currently the greens are in the worst non-aerated state I've ever seen them. Evidently, they have a fungus and it has devastated 80% of the greens. It was just awful to putt, with huge portions of the greens cratered like really large, unfixed ball marks. Putts would bounce like a pinball through these & no way to read a putt in terms of speed or line. Very Frustrating! The fairways are very thin overall. Many times I was in the middle of the fairway, with zero grass under the ball. Not good. The tee boxes were chewed up & thin as well. Several severely not level. I didn't see a single maintenance worker on the course, which is very odd for teeing off before sunrise & disturbing as the course is in DIRE NEED of maintenance.

I understand that courses encounter issues like fungus & other "natural" disasters. However, my issue is the clear lack of transparency from the course. Sending out the "Great Course Condition" email and charging full Rate ($74 w/Cart - Just for comparison: I can play Corica South for only $4 more prime-time weekend), to me is just plain deceptive. A big, old Game of Thrones SHAME! to whomever is responsible for their digital marketing.

I've played this course for over 20-years & I love the layout, but will not be back until major changes are made to both course conditions & messaging. Total bummer.
Played Sunday 9/30. Teed off at 7:50, PoP was right on 4-hours. Like the previous review from Johnny, this was my 2nd time playing here & I enjoyed it even more than the first go around. The layout is just fantastic, with the back nine being my clear favorite.

The fairways, rough, tee boxes & sand traps all remain in great condition. The greens, however are just fantastic. Big, undulating, smooth, fast & firm.

They offer golf boards, which is like a combination of golf cart & skateboard, so I decided to try one out this time around. It was a blast, highly recommended if you're in to that sort of thing.

The staff there is really friendly from check-in to the starter to the on-course marshals. The only downside is that PoP is brutal out there if you don't tee it up early. Other than that, Top Notch: Quickly climbing the list of favorite Bay Area courses & highly recommended!
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