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Played 3/3/20 early (8am) as a threesome. Never saw group in front and one following rarely. POP under 4 hours for threesome make your own pace of play perfect weather. 50-70's sunny. Good rate with Golf Moose voucher.
Course is in dormant winter condition with a few brown areas but in very playable condition. If it was play it down tournament play one could argue the rub on the green could effect your lie under these conditions. For example a fairway lie could end up in brown dormant grass with a tuft of green in front or behind it. One of the Sacramento course that definitely has a different look and feel winter vs summer play.

Greens in great shape rolling quick and firm. Bunkers well kept. Fairways as mentioned good overall with dormancy. Rough cut low easy extraction. Tee boxes level ok growth coverage.
Course plays tough with many carries over wetlands. Carts have GPS which is helpful for layup or carry distances for these obstacles. If you score a below your handicap differential here you have played a good scoring round.

Owned and operated by Thunder Valley Casino. Customer service great. No beverage cart out this day. Restaurant above average. More like a private course than a municipal bar and grill.
Recommend
9 Likes.
Played early afternoon 3/2/20. Highly acclaimed 9 hole course just off I80 in Auburn on the way to Tahoe from Sacramento. What a difference a day makes. Yesterday rain suit today shorts 73 degrees. $14 to walk with a pull cart and very easy to walk.
Course is said to be one of the toughest 9 holers in NorCal. I would say it's a fair test and a good course that knows what it is and is excellent at it's function.
Greens are good to great shape now and always are when I've played here. Simple clubhouse pro shop snack bar and good fair beverage pricing. Small driving range and practice green to left of first hole.
Fairways good for the time of year. Bunkers well kept. Rough short and escape possible.
A fun track that usually can be played quickly. This day we followed a foursome who where a bit slow but with no where to go but home we stayed behind them and enjoyed the day just as well as going through with a rush.
Recommend
8 Likes.
Played early 3/1/20 under iffy weather conditions. With only a trace of rain in February for the Sacramento area I expected course conditions to be very playable.
It was course is in good to better winter conditions in most areas. Tee boxes not full and plush, level and ok. Fairways are in good shape no issues. Not tight lies edge to edge as expected. Greens are in good firm condition rolling well holding high shots well. Back 9 more undulating than the front 9 holes. Bunkers are well maintained and soft sand.
Course has done some maintenance in the edges of the woods and cleared some areas between holes over the winter. The planted flower beds have daffodils coming up.
The elevation of the course and the design through the Carson valley is unique to the area.
Not quite Sierra mountain golf but close facsimile. Cart path only this day was surprising with the dry weather prior month and it made for some extra walking.
Forecast called for chance of light rain which we got and the temperature was low enough for snow flurries as well during the round.
Interesting course that some find quirky (target golf for long hitters) elevation changes forced carries over ravines or wetland areas. I find it challenging and fun enough for at least an annual visit and with the right deal will play it more often. You'll probably lose a few balls but replacements are plentiful knowing where to look.
Recommend.
7 Likes.
Played mid morning 2/24/2020 under ideal weather conditions. 52-65 sunny gentle breeze. I gave the greens a 9 rating but like the day before at another course (Darkhorse) I don't know why they couldn't be 10's. That good rolling true no defects.
Tee boxes excellent better than most courses fairways.
Bunkers well groomed good sand.
Rough maybe a bit variable. The way it's supposed to be in my opinion.
Customer service from check-in to leaving all outstanding.
The rating here on this day could be a perfect score. I must be too critical.
As an "in-land" course in the Monterey area I think this course plays as good as any of the bigger names. It's front nine has enough challenges and water to keep you interested and the back 9 is more hilly with elevation changes that after the 10th hole will mostly help as they play back downhill into the valley. Not the longest course at 6117 from the tips. As a Senior I look back but don't go back there much anymore.
Loved it would like to play again.
Overall recommend.
10 Likes.
Played early 2/23/20 under sunny skies and cool to nice temps (45-68) The course continues to improve and the dry February has only helped.
Can't say why I couldn't give the greens a ten rating. Maybe a bit firm for approach shots holding? But, I don't hit high balls or get a lot of spin. They putted near perfect and few ball marks. Asking after the round I discovered they don't have a roller only mowing surfaces. As good as a public course gets.
Fairways good full green coverage for 95% a few dormant areas. Tee boxes level very playable.
Rough was a bit variable. Again all good.
Bunkers plenty of pretty white sand that still need to settle a bit will only improve with time.
Course is under new ownership management as of late last year. The modular clubhouse is gone replaced with a sodded over grass area.
Doing business out of the cabana / bathroom building, which is a bit strange but gets the job done. Keurig coffee machine a few canned beverages and water available. I think they may still bring in sandwiches from subway or something. No liquor license yet.
As far as golf course it's great. Various specials should be used to maximize the value the usual course amenities still work in progress.
10 Likes.
Played 2/16/2020 8am And what a difference a year makes. Or should I say no rain for two weeks in February. Compared to my visit last year same time frame.

Course is in great overall condition and the greens fully healed from aeration from a little more than three weeks ago. Perfect weather mostly sunny skies very light breeze temps 45-68 F.

Troon managed resort/private course that hosts the 1st event of the PGA season. (Sept 14-20 this year) Pretty familiar with the course from watching that event and third time around the track. Love the subtle green nuances which is the only protection of par for long hitting pro game. 32 putts only one three putt I had a good day rolling it. Defensive putting above the hole, below it provided opportunity.

Immaculate fairways, bunkers great shape too just enough sand fluffy well prepped. The rough was penal and thick. On the first hole a spotter was on the left watched my ball and had a hard time finding it with me. Short grass was a definite advantage.

Par 5 18th tried to play it like the pros. (NOT) Big swing with the driver, pop-up I never saw to right in the redwoods. Opponent asks me if I used my wedge off tee. Great recovery with hybrid off the dirt to 200 yds back pin. Wild third to the LS of green 42 yds to pin 52 degree wedge from rough to 18' first to putt drain it for a routine par. They leave a small part of grandstand behind 18th green and two fans witnessed that! It's just fun so I had to include that great finish.

The showcases in the clubhouse entry hallway have the '73 U.S. Open and '76 Open Championship trophies and the clubs used by Johnny Miller to earn those titles displayed. Cool to see.
Adding this: Range is great but every tournament I've played they restrict to mats. Today only 8 spots for players starting on both 1 & 10.

Recommend.
8 Likes.
Played 1/12/2020 early cold start 36 degrees. No frost damp grass.
Course is in mid-winter dormancy. Patches of green and brown all through the green. We played winter rules. Variable conditions that would be expected this season. Some wet areas. Opened cart path only later 90 degree rule was posted on the cart GPS.

Greens in good to very good condition rolling smooth with a few ball marks. Holes fresh cut with sharp edges. Tee boxes level but a bit sandy / shaggy. Didn't hit a bunker.

Paid $55 online rate on course website which I'd rate a bit high based on course conditions and competition in surrounding area. Haven't played course in awhile and like the layout and no houses impeding.
9 Likes.
Played 1/9/2020 early morning second group out. There are reasons green fee deals can be found this time of year in Monterey. The four hour weather window in which we played was the most severe in a 5 day period. Temperature high 40's to low 50's Wind 14mph with gusts to 20-25+ partly sunny to sideways driving rain showers.

Now I will describe the course and how fun it was! Course is in great shape considering what mother nature has thrown at it. In the last month 11" of rain including 1/4" the night before our round. They have a swarm of maintenance crew daily prepping for the pro event 2/4-9th. Unlike the jewel down the road (Pebble) Spy can be described as a golf focus only facility. Simple pro shop and snack bar large practice putting green and good range area.

Rough wet and sticky aforementioned rain had soggy areas in low spots. Fairways great and bunkers variable. One fairway bunker on 10th like curing cement but ball sat up well. Green-side thicker sand with wet top layer. Best to play lift clean and place everywhere other than hazards this day. When the course dries out it should quickly return to top notch conditions as it normally plays I'd expect.

Greens were top dressed with finest grain sand and have been micro-spiked many times to promote drainage and keep high quality surface. Putted medium fast. Every green had a hand squeegee roller in the fringe. Very fair and some unusual shapes (4th) and sizes no huge undulations.

Played third hole straight into 2+ club wind from 131 yards in the sun. By the time we tee'd off 4 driving rain shower that stopped before we putted out. Turning back up hill in the forest on 6th was a relief.

Overall a recommend at the rate we paid and the company I played with. My rain suit which I purchased in May for possible June use was finally needed and kept me warm and dry. At the end they not only wipe down your clubs, they service your shoes with air and clean towel and presented you a complementary bag tag . By then the sun was out and a Sculpin IPA (F&B $$$$ with 17% gratuity added automatically) enjoyed on patio near 9th green before I went to Pebble Beach and viewed the 18th hole in absolute perfect golf weather conditions.
11 Likes.
Played early 1/5/2020 46-55 degrees sunny skies little wind. The winter condition temperature created some ground fog that lifted quickly warming things up, dew left damp conditions most of the round.

The fog was at the green on the par 5 second hole when we teed off the elevated tee. It moved uphill enveloping us at our drives then dissipated when we got to the green. That was different.

The course is in excellent conditions with a few wet spots. Nothing that is unusual for the season. Celebrating twenty years and was built to drain well particularly the greens. Tee boxes level. Rough a manageable thickness. We played winter rules clean your ball if necessary for mud which happened ten or more times. Roll out slowed but not stopped by the wet grasses.

Bunkers are settling a bit with ample sand. Rolling back into one on the 13th my ball track uncovered an orange ball inches from mine not visible until my ball rolled over it. Took me two to extract from this one. 1st fat 2nd perfect. They should continue to improve.

They have cleared brush and debris in many areas. This day I noticed the thorns behind the 13th tee box removed revealing some native rocks. Aesthetically pleasing here but in another area the clean-up allowed me opportunity to get back in play rather than a lateral drop.

Now to the greens. The "highlight" of the course so to say. If you like firm and fast which this time of year gives the course the opportunity to provide. They are all of that. Above the hole had to be respected with a very defensive small stroke. on the 7th I chipped up rolled back to the front edge (20Ft) putted up to 3ft. My opponent in tight 6 ft L to R semi-side hill putt hit too firm goes all the way down where I was. His putt back up not enough rolled back to his feet. Par opportunity to a triple! That's what we call the welcome to the Ridge putting. When the challenging greens are this good and rolling you'll have your skills tested. Only had to get faster as the day went and sun dried surface completely. 9 of 10

I've done 8 of the last 10 reviews here. Continue to recommend.
8 Likes.
Played 12/28/19 11AM on sunny mild winter day great weather. Earlier frost delay put us out a few minutes behind on the 10th tee 9's usually reversed in frost conditions since the back 9 thaws first. Course plays better this way in my opinion. Pace of play was the bummer at 5:20 total for 18. Course conditions were near perfect with the exception of damp conditions due to winter rains. Cart path only and fairways offered a bit more roll than the week before. Arrived early enough to use all the practice areas. The chipping and sand trap area very similar to the course. The larger practice green near the 10th hole is more like what the course greens are like than the smaller warm-up green near the number one tee on top of a hill. The view from #1 tee is stunning. All greens rolling smooth and well kept.
The pace of play is not usually an issue here but with a frost delay it seems to back things up as our experience was similar to Guru rudyclub's review from the day before. The quality of the course withstanding the slow play. 5+ hours is just too long for my liking.
Great weather, great course, great company, bluetooth speaker and the beverage cart made slow pace tolerable.
Always a recommend.
7 Likes.
Played 12/21/2019 at 9am on a cool cloudy day with fog persisting the first four holes. Damp conditions and this first day of winter it was cart path only.
Nothing to hide here at this first class Troon operated facility. I made the tee time on-line and received an email confirmation. A day later after another rain storm another email was sent stating that it would be cart path only until 12/24 maybe longer weather dependent. This gave us the chance to modify or cancel if we choose to. I feel this is just good business practice for a golf course that many don't choose to inform. Nice to know before you go, you know!
The course under winter conditions and the aforementioned fog had it playing long and damp.
Drives would take a bounce but only roll out minimally a few yards or ten at most. A stinger two iron may have helped but not in my bag.
The rough was thick and penal under these conditions. Usually could advance shot a ways, but three or more inches and sticky. Low run in approaches to the green were difficult to judge.
The greens held well struck shots and rolled well. A finishing touch of the mower around the perimeter edge of the green was not done so some dew was left in these areas.
Bunkers damp top surface and fluffy underneath. I couldn't get the feel and left a few in for another go.
Given these conditions course still was overall very playable and in above to great condtion. Customer service great as always. From bag drop to check-in, pro shop wait staff and on course workers. The warm hand towel at the 18th green nice touch as they wiped off your clubs. Have played this course a four times this year and it is always consistent upscale experience.
We choose to have breakfast and after round in the Cache Creek casino rather than the clubhouse. This resort is on Route 16 and the golf course in the back of the property with only a few farms in view. Otherwise it's foothill views which improved after the 4th hole to almost the sun poking through the clouds.
Recommend
11 Likes.
Played 12/15/19 first out 36 degrees with wind chill near 34. Still golf weather for us.
Surprisingly no frost delay. The greens mower had the headlights on mowing the 4th green as we approached the entrance.

TOPLINE IS: Darkhorse has reopened under new LOCAL ownership.
Under a "soft" reopening showing many improvements and poised to be a players course.
DH has been closed for a few months and recently reopened for public play.

They sent email this week with BOGO offer to come check it out. Took advantage of that with online reservation and wondered what we would find. Driving in entry first thing I noticed was the former pro-shop bar and grill modular building in the lower parking lot in pieces, with one piece left where it had been placed. To it's left a very nice bathroom / cabana building above the driving range which is now the check-in area (temporary). We were given a cart and paused a few minutes to ask questions. Have a coffee before heading to the tee. Sun would not come over horizon for first 4 holes so it was bundle up with layers hat mittens.
Many course improvements noticeable right away. A lot of work clearing areas of underbrush on the course edges and annual cat tails from the wet areas. Some oak trees removed, many trimmed.
Most dramatic improvement the bunkers. Pebble Beach #12 white sand installed in all bunkers. Therefore the sight lines now are the best they have been since the course opened. (2002)
Overall course played under winter conditions as I expected it would. Wet areas from winter rains the week before no fault of the course. No frost delay but the rough was frosty and stuck as ice chucks to our spikes which had to be knocked off. Once the sun got over the horizon it warmed up quickly. (50 by 10:30) Waited 10 minutes on 4th hole for fog to clear. POP was our own choosing.
Greens are real good to fine shape, fresh cut, smooth, medium consistent speed.
Rough penal and fairways cut well, but damp offering little roll out.
The bunkers are stunning visually now and the sand needs to settle. Shots settled in the bottom because the edges were breakable soft crusty frozen. Many deer tracks through them also.
Was surprised to see the beverage cart twice and offering snacks and beverages at no charge included in the greens fee.
A round played at 11am on would have been ideal this day.
Spoke to employees and management after the round and the plan is to offer what they feel most golfers want. Great course playing conditions and quality amenities. The later is a work in progress I witnessed sipping a Knee Deep Brewing Porter as they moved the last piece of building.
Driving range improvements: 5 station auto-dispensing ball machines with top quality thick mats in operation now along with natural grass practice areas.
Bottom Line: Darkhorse is back and should be given a chance to gallop.
Recommend again ;)
9 Likes.
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