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Always like the layout here, but the condition right now is pretty iffy. Starting at the practice tee, range balls were very rough, many gouged up or scalped, or lacking dimples, and it was hard to find grass to hit off. On the course, tee boxes were very thin and took some hunting to find a good lie. Fairways are also thin in many areas, But not too many bare areas. Greens looked mostly ok but had a lot of bumps and were cut inconsistently (some looked like the mower skipped some of them). The rough was patchy, with bare spots prevelant among the tufts of longer grass. Bunkers were pretty poor, especially green side where there were lots of rocks and pebbles and the sand was very thin, hard, and sometimes scarce. Some can be forgiven for end of summer, but other issues shouldn’t be there. Kudos, however to the cart staff who were on the spot to pick us up in the parking lot, friendly and helpful.
Journey is probably in the best condition I've ever seen it. Overall it is quite lush and green, even in the middle of a dry summer here. Tee boxes, fairways, rough, and greens really couldn't be much better. Probably the only knock I could find was the traps were inconsistent and some were very firm. Strangely, I found the sand in a couple fairway traps to be soft while some green side traps were too hard - should be the other way around! But even so, the course is simply in great condition, and the grounds crew should be commended.
Encinitas Ranch is in better shape than I've seen in quite a while, but it is still sort of average in conditions all around. The greens are look fairly good although we did have putts bouncing around a lot. Fairways are pretty good, mostly decent lies all around and only occasional bare areas. Bunkers are horrible. Every one our group found was hard and crusty, some had grass popping up, and all could use a good raking. If you're an Encinitas resident, it's not a bad value but it's terribly overpriced otherwise.
Played 3/21 in the morning with an 8am tee time. Quite simply, I don't know if I've seen Torrey South look better. Fairways are lush and green but still roll out quite a bit, the rough is thick and tough but not terribly oppressive (one can find their ball OK, but it's still tough to get out with a good shot), traps have nice sand and were pretty well cared for, and the greens are rolling medium fast and very true, with relatively little divot damage. The greenskeepers are doing a great job, although they were a bit diabolical with some of the pin placements today - not a day to go pin hunting!

Service was pretty good, beginning with friendly starters at the window and the 1st tee. The beverage cart came by us at about 4-5 times during the round, and service at the halfway house was also friendly. My only complaint would be they're charging $5 for an Arnold Palmer now, which is certainly more than I see at other high end courses. But hard to complain too much when one gets to pay the resident green fee rate!

The tee sheet didn't seem packed this morning, and as a result we didn't have anyone in front of us or behind the whole time, finishing in 4 hours flat at a nice leisurely pace. We were lucky to not have any coastal fog this morning, and the ocean was flat and we could see quite a few whales offshore, some only a few hundred yards off the beach. The recent rains have everything nice and green, and the wildflowers in the canyons are in full bloom. Too bad the jets from MCAS kept spoiling the peace and quiet.

Seriously, the course is in tip top shape - a great time to get out and enjoy it!
Played 2/15. Course is in excellent shape and showing very few signs of the winter storms. Maintenance was excellent with no issues found. Greens weren't quite as fast as they often are at Maderas, but rolled beautifully. Fairways always gave a good lie, rough was in good shape (although there isn't much rough on this course), bunkers were excellent. And service was outstanding as always.
Played Sat 10/1 in morning in about 4:35. While that doesn't sound real slow, it felt more aggravating because the back nine was much slower than the front.

Greens are pretty good, a bit slow and mostly smooth and true, but the ones they punched were a bit bumpy and slower. Fairways are mostly good, with only a few bare lies. Tee boxes were very good. Sand was mostly good, although there were some bunkers that seemed to be just a whiff of sand over dirt.

The rough is pretty bad, however. It looks OK and somewhat lush from a distance, but when you get close you see it is larger tufts of grass with bare spots in between. A ball almost never would landin the grass part, but instead would be laying on bare dirt (often muddy since they're overwatering the rough) and up against a blob of grass, making it very difficult to judge what the ball might do. The rough was especially poor around the greens. Very disappointing for such a premier (and very expensive) course.
Played Thursday 4/16 with a mid morning time. Pace was quite slow at a little over 5 hours, waiting for every shot. The starter gives you a long speech about their "under 4:30" pace policy, but it doesn't seem to help at all and the on-course player assistants didn't seem to be doing anything about moving the slow groups along.

Tee boxes were mostly good with some divot damage, but not so much as it affected where to tee. Fairways were fairly thin, firm, and fast, with quite a few places with very thin lies. Bunkers were pretty good (except for player damage - comments below), with good sand and plenty of it. Greens were pretty good although fairly slow; no bare areas and reasonably smooth, except for player damage (again).

The pricing at Encinitas is quite high for the quality of the course unless you're an Encinitas resident, i.e. it isn't a very good value. A prior reviewer indicated the carts have good GPS, but our cart didn't have GPS and we didn't see any on any other carts. Overall, Encinitas Ranch is an average muni with some distant ocean views, at a high price.

One final word about the course conditioning. One thing that makes it feel like just an average muni, in addition to the slow pace and average conditioning, is the extensive player-caused damage and litter around the place. Every green had many, many unfixed pitch marks. Bunkers had footprints throughout, often going out of the bunker right beside a rake. Unfilled divot marks were plentiful in the fairways, despite the divot mix on every cart. Empty beer bottles and other litter were laying all over the place. Multiple cigar and cigarette butts were scattered on nearly every tee box, plus alongside greens. It feels that most of the people who play here absolute slobs without any respect for the course. I'm sure that isn't actually true, but it just doesn't feel cared for by the players.
The North course is a nice counterpoint to the South. While the South takes advantage of the ocean side location with some wonderfully scenic holes, the non ocean holes are a mix. The North course, however, throws a more varied and challenging course at you. The holes have more shape and require more strategic thinking, and although they lack the drama of holes like the South #15, they give you a better balanced golf experience. If visiting the Mauna Lani or Orchid and only time for one course I'd play the South just for the ocean views. Playing twice? Then do North and South. Playing 3 times? I'd play South once and the North twice.

Today's conditions were excellent overall. Greens play quite slow, but that seems common in Hawaii, and they weren't as slow as the South course or Mauna Kea. They are very smooth, though, with no blemishes on the greens, and roll exactly where your stroke your putt. Bunkers were excellent except for 2 where I experienced little sand over the soil (the rest were in great shape). Fairways are nearly perfect, and the rough presents a nice challenge.

Downsides? Pace of play was a little slow with a number of foursomes out ahead of me, but they moved at a pretty good pace. The range is OK but not great - balls were of so-so quality, and the practice green is faster than the real greens. And the restaurant at the course just closed, so your 19th hole requires getting in a car.
Overall I'd say the Gary Player is just average. I was surprised that it was a Troon-managed course, as it didn't seem nearly up to the standards of their other courses I've experienced.

The pro shop and restaurant buildings are smple prefab structures that resemble mobile homes stuck together. Service was good, however, with staff being very welcoming.

Driving range area is quite good, with a large tee line on grass, a very good pitching and chipping area, a separate practice bunker, and generously sized practice green. Range balls, however, were looking pretty tired.

Tee boxes were in good shape. Fairways were fairly lush, medium firm but not a lot of roll. Rough was decent, not very high and very few bad spots. Bunkers were very poor, kind of a mix of dirt and pebbly coarse sand. Many were very unkempt, not just from previous players but not smoothed well from maintenance staff. Rakes were kind of scarce - one 100 yard long fairway bunker had 2 rakes total.

Greens are in excellent condition. They were only medium speed, but were perfectly smooth with almost no ball marks. The reason, though, is they were very, very firm. Even a towering high wedge with a lot of spin would hit and bounce another club length forward, and leave no mark at all.

I thought the course layout and visual appeal was pretty boring and repetitive. Picture mostly straight holes with nearly identical houses along the sides with every fairway being kind of bowl shaped, higher on each side, and an occasional bunker to add a little visual interest. A few holes gave the player a different look, but overall it felt very repetitive. The greens were mostly flat with a tiny tilt one way or another, but almost no complex contouring at all. Pretty much every putt seemed a straight putt or maybe only a few inches of break. They rolled beautifully smooth, but not much challenge.

The course is in pretty good condition, and I know winter rates in the Valley aren't cheap, but the course felt quite overpriced for what one gets. There are much better choices around like Classic Club, Firecliffs, SilverRock, Escena, etc.
Played on Wed 2/18 with 9am tee time. Pace of play was OK at around 4:30.

Driving range was large but pretty busy and difficult to find a decent grassy lie. Range balls are ridiculously overpriced at $17 for a large bag. The balls were kind of hit or miss, with about 1/3 good balls, 1/3 mediocre, and 1/3 that should have been taken out of play long ago.

Tees are very shaggy, with long grass. It felt like one was teeing it way too low even with a long tee barely poking into soil. There were a lot of over-watered areas around the tee boxes; some were quite muddy between the cart and tee box.

Fairways are mostly good. A bit thin in spots, but few bare patches.

Greens were pretty good although it looked like they'd be recently punched with a small tine aeration tool, and the sand top dressing occasionally came into play. They were mostly smooth with occasional bumpiness. Ball mark damage wasn't too bad, although I usually fixed 3-4 unfixed marks on every green.

Bunkers were poor. Fairway bunkers had a gravel-like sand that barely covered a hard packed clay/mud foundation. Greenside bunkers had better sand but not by much, and it was very inconsistent.

Overall, the layout is OK but nothing special and has few memorable holes. All the holes have a bowl shape to the fairways (higher on each side than the middle), and that makes it seem repetitive. If one scores a good deal from UnderPar or SCGA, I'd say Oak Creek is an OK value (except for the very pricey driving range). At rack rates, it is a definite "skip".
Challenging course, great condition, fast pace, perfect service - what more can one ask for?

Played Maderas on 1/22 in the morning as a single, and was able to finish in just over 2 hours. The course is in great shape and looks fantastic with the tan dormant Bermuda rough bordering bright green fairways. Condition overall is excellent, some of the best I've seen at Maderas. Service is country club perfect, and the whole place makes you feel like you are in a nice little club. Greens were excellent, with little ball mark damage and rolled nice and true. Rack rates aren't cheap, but in the premium course category Maderas represents a good deal.
Played here Saturday 1/3. Starting with the excellent range, everything about re-opened Rams Hill is done well. Outstanding condition, great layout, uncrowded - an absolutely great golf experience and well worth the drive.
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