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Played 3/13 in the GK Guru outing. Huge thanks to Johnny for setting it up, great price on a great course.

My first time here and was very impressed with the layout. Nothing terribly tricky, just a very solid challenge from start to finish. Definitely a different feel from most desert courses, if it wasn't for the nearly 100 degree temps you'd never know where you were (i.e. no palm trees on every hole!).

Tees were level and nicely conditioned - even the par 3's didn't have a lot of divot damage. Fairways were just as nice, didn't have a bad lie all day, not too thin but not spongy, just right for making clean contact. The rough was fairly thick and made you choose wisely when playing from it, but not so much as to only leave a punch out or lay-up.

Greens were somewhat firm but not hard, need to play for a little release - depending on the pin placement that could be a good or bad thing. Being on the right tier or correct side is important here - a thirty foot putt from the correct spot can be easier than an eight footer from the wrong spot. Sand was probably the worst thing on the course - crusty on top and quite firm underneath, ended up switching to my lob wedge with less bounce after the first two attempts went sailing across the green.

Local knowledge is a big plus here to make sure you're in the right position, both off the tee and on the green - also to know where your miss should be and how much room for error you have (had one shot land on the fringe and still ended up in the water because I missed in the wrong spot).

POP was ok at about 4.5 hours - we were the 2nd group out and I know the first group waited on several holes. Could have been a little faster but given the course difficulty once it starts to stack up it's gonna stay that way. Water bottles available about every three holes, ice chests on the cart and a good GPS system all contributed to a positive experience.

Definitely want another shot at it - my golf game must have taken a wrong turn somewhere between home and the course! Definitely recommended!
13 Likes.
Played yesterday with my son (age 6), walking together for the first time. Fairly busy today, there were several people already on the course and a larger group starting about an hour after we did.

Conditions were as good as I've seen them in at least 10 years, the rain has helped tremendously. Some of the tees need leveling but if you moved around you could always find a decent place to tee it up. Fairways were good, couple soggy/muddy spots but even those weren't bad. Rough doesn't come into play on most holes but it's long and thick enough to cause problems if you find it. Was in one bunker behind #9 (which is where you do NOT want to be), a little thin and firm but playable.

Greens have always been the issue here, they are all quite firm and a little on the thin side. Due to the trees around some they don't get a lot of sun and don't always grow out well because of it. Putts still rolled well at medium speed but you always get the impression they're just this side of dying off (but they never do, not sure how that works!).

The course layout includes eight very short par 4's and one par 3. However, it plays a lot harder you expect given the yardage. There are only two of the par 4's where trying to drive the green is a realistic option - the rest either dogleg enough to cause major problems if you don't judge the corner perfectly or finish with a significant uphill climb. Also, the greens are REALLY small - #6 and #8 are no more than about 12-13 yards front-to-back and side-to-side. Lots of mature tall trees mean you have to stay in the fairway as well. Can easily be played with nothing more than a 6-iron.

Excellent value - $12 walking, no charge for my son. Nothing special but will definitely test your distance control and short game and is a great place to take a beginner, regardless of age.
12 Likes.
Played last Wednesday with Matt-Matt and David. Conditions were the best I've experienced here. This is not a course you can play quickly but it was even a little slower than "normal".

Greens were good but a little bumpy, rough was thick and lush but if you got past that it was hit-or-miss. Fairways were quite good and had a surprising amount of roll considering how much rain we've had.

Couple observations - maybe it's just me but I'm convinced the green on #4 is faster than the others. I think it's from the wind whipping through the rock opening that leads to #5 and drying it out. Also, the fairway damage David noted seemed to be heaviest on the last few holes - likely because people ran out of divot mix and there's no place to get a refill on-course. Finally, the only real disappointing aspect was the range during warm-up. The roped off area was as bare and trashed/worked over as any I've ever seen - I'd estimate no more than 15% of the area had grass, the rest was dirt/divots. Not important enough to keep me from coming back but out-of-place when compared to everything else.

Staff was great from front desk to snack cart, the Marshall delivering a replacement set of divot mix for everyone speaks to their level of customer service.

Recommended, especially in its current condition.
17 Likes.
Played Wednesday, started as a single (the 3-some didn't show), ended up being joined by Joe and Andy on #6, nice guys and good players. Finished in just under 4 hours, never rushed but couldn't really go faster due to those in front.

Playing conditions were good - not great, but solid. Greens has some very thin cuts, didn't affect putts until they lost speed. Should be much better in a week or so. They were also quite firm so only a couple times did any of us actually create a big ball mark - usually just slight indentations.

Tees were very good, not much damage and all were level with good coverage. Fairways were a little thin but they're never lush and fluffy, lots of roll out (both a good and bad thing). Rough was THICK, especially around the greens - on #8 I watched my ball bounce just off the collar and into the rough, knew exactly where it disappeared - and still took nearly a minute to find it.

Bunkers were quite firm, not really from lack of sand but from rain/weather. Still playable but you may be better off with something with a little less bounce than normal.

I've played this course occasionally since the first week it was open and still love the layout. VERY challenging and the different length holes mean you'll use pretty much every club in the bag.

Recommended - will definitely be back (just not sure when).
15 Likes.
Played Thursday accompanied by my 6-year old son. He didn't play a lot but wanted to get him some "big course" exposure.

Things have changed quite a bit since my last review, all for the better. Most dramatic was #9 fairway, it has completely recovered with nice coverage. Fairways were mostly dormant, lies were a little thin but about what you'd expect. Lots of roll-out so be careful with club/line choices off the tee (especially #7 and #14). Greens were firm but not hard and pretty quick - was VERY easy to run a putt 4-6' past. Rough varied tremendously - some was very thin or almost non-existent, other spots were thick and lush. Bunkers were firm, wet and packed, disguised with a thin layer of soft sand on top - great for fairways, not so much near the green. Tees were ok, nothing more - most were a little thin and a couple had some issues with ruts/not level. POP was good, finished in under 4 hours including some instruction time with my son.

In general, I like the layout (except #14 - supposedly a "risk/reward" hole but there's so much trouble around the green it's not worth the risk so you end up hitting 6-iron off the tee on a par 4). Condition wise it's ok, not great, but showing some signs of improvement. If you can get a good deal it's worth it price but I wouldn't pay full price unless conditions get better.
16 Likes.
Played Sunday as a single in roughly 3 1/4 hours, still very wet with lots of casual water (#1 now has a small water "hazard" short/right).

This is a "Good News/Bad News" review. Good news is it appears better than the last reviewer reported and it's clear they're trying to improve conditions. Bad news is they've got a LONG way to go.

Tees were mostly level but showed a significant amount of wear. I'll give them a pass on that because I was out quite early and they probably haven't moved the markers or mowed the areas due to recent rains (odd observation - #17, a par 3, was by FAR the best condition and had the least damage of any on the course). Fairways were hit and miss, many dirt areas but maybe 30% were in play for most players. Stray off the fairway and it ranges from bare ground to HEAVY growth - many trees alongside have recently been trimmed and the cuttings will swallow balls (you'd need a machete or small chain saw to start your search).

Greens were ok, most had some bare or thin areas - they held well struck shots with medium ball-mark damage. Speed was a little inconsistent - in general medium with some both slower and faster. Rolled true, there's a lot more break on most than you think. They're also relatively small so just hitting them is an accomplishment.

Bunkers were saturated so I can't mark them down for that - it looked and felt like they were a very heavy mix of dirt and sand.

The layout is not terribly exciting but it's a solid track with a decent mix of longer/shorter par 4's and you'll probably use at least 3 dfferent clubs on the four par 3's (not sure why #12 is so long since the typical golfer here would be hitting 3-wood or driver).

Service was good and very personable, if the person at the Pro Shop is any indication they really are trying to improve things.

As a low-cost alternative (especially when comparing weekend rates) it's worth a look but keep your expectations reasonable.
7 Likes.
Played last Thursday in the GK Guru outing with Bob and Jerry in the first of two groups.

Course was in good condition tee to green with only a couple exceptions. Tees were level and had good coverage with little divot damage, even on the par 3's. Fairways had a mix of grasses but presented good lies. Rough was fairly thick and lush, definitely affecting most shots so best to be avoided. Fairway bunkers were quite firm, some more like waste areas (best example would be the narrow one on the edge of # 13 just over the canyon, pretty hard and had several decent sized rocks in it).

Greenside bunkers were firm but playable, and there were a few areas around the greens that were cut pretty short as chipping areas. Greens were also fairly firm, definitely had to allow for some roll-out upon landing (I switched balls after a few holes, went from a Wilson Staff Duo to a Snell MTB, BIG difference re: stopping power). Enough ball marks that we could always repair a few extra but within reason. Greens started quick and got faster as they dried a little, if you play here you'll have to allow for grain influence more than most courses.

POP was good, a very relaxed 4 hours (could have easily been 3.5 or so). Cart girl was around a couple times on the front nine, once on the back and we saw a "Player's Assistant" (Marshall) on several occasions.

This course has a wide variety of holes so don't be surprised if you use every club. Front nine is more traditional, back nine has a some "quirky" holes that you have to adapt to (#11, sharp uphill approach; tee shot on #13; approach on #14 and tee shot/approach on #18). Some won't like them, I view them as an "outside the box" challenge (however, #16 drives me nuts!).

Staff was great, they keep a sharp eye on things while remaining very pleasant and helpful.

Possibly the most tranquil course I've played, there are times the only sounds are the birds and your own breathing - if you want to get away from the "house-lined fairways" of so many courses this is about as far away as you can get.

Recommended at their normal pricing - if you can get a discounted rate it's a great choice.
14 Likes.
Played last Sunday with Dave, Keith and Mark - the prior reviews are spot on regarding conditions. Golfweek named Rams Hill as the #3 resort course in CA - which is pretty high praise since Pebble and Spyglass are #1 & #2!

Since the conditions and service have been thoroughly covered, I'm going to focus on the layout in general.

Rams Hill presents as a "Resort Course" and it fits that niche perfectly. Plenty of tee options to allow for considerable differences in ability and driving distance with fairways that are (for the most part) fairly wide and accessible. Greens are good sized, and different pin placements can make the same hole play very differently from one day to the next.

A very wide variety of hole lengths means you'll probably use every club in the bag, even if you're not a big short hitter you'll have several short iron approaches (assuming you're playing the appropriate tees). Bunkers can be extremely challenging if you're in the wrong spot (let's not talk about the skinny little bunker on the front/left of #5) but with good quality (forgiving) sand it's normally not an ordeal to get out of them.

If you try and play at or slightly above your usual score you should be be able to stay close to that figure. If you try and shot under that, you can find yourself in WAY over your head in a very short time. It will definitely reward good shots and thoughtful strategy - and if you goof then the penalty will likely reflect how badly you messed up (small goof = small penalty/outside chance of par, big goof = double bogey or worse).

Now, if you want to challenge your game, it is more than up to that challenge. Most of those large greens have several much smaller areas you must hit to have a reasonable shot at a birdie. Same for position off the tee - there are definitely preferred locations on most fairways, but the greater the reward for being there the greater the penalty for missing.

All-in-all, Rams Hill is one of those rare courses that can be enjoyed equally by all players, whether a 25 handicap or scratch. Definitely a "must play" and highly recommended.
20 Likes.
Played 12/7 with dconnally using his unlimited play coupon. We intended it to be a warm-up for Rams Hill, but both of us are hoping the "bad warm-up/good performance" saying holds true!

Conditions overall ranged from acceptable to good. Couple tees weren't level but coverage was generally good. Fairways were thin but playable (though there are holes/divots out there, dconnally did an excellent job of finding them!). Rough varied widely - a LOT of dirt areas (turf reduction?!?) and the grass ranged from almost fairway level to "Where'd my ball go?!?"

Bunkers on front were thin/dirt but back nine were the complete opposite and nice to play from. Greens seemed to have a little sand residue and a fair amount of mowing debris but rolled pretty good - medium fast to start and quite quick once the greens dried a little. Too many unrepaired ball marks but that seems to be the "norm" nowadays. Whoever set the pin placements on the back nine is a sadistic little #&*!, most were tucked in NASTY spots with virtually no room for error.

PoP was good for the first time around, just over 3 hours. Went for the free replay and realized at the 2nd tee it was going to be a lot slower so we were looking at about 4.5 hours or better. That (combined with the "outstanding" play) helped us decide to bail out ofter 27 holes.

First time here and I liked the course layout, nice mix of holes and topography. A little too far for me to include in my regular rotation but definitely one worth the occasional extended drive.
8 Likes.
Played Tuesday as part of the GK Guru outing, thanks again to JohnnyGK for an incredible deal. Also thanks to IW Golf Pro Tom who came out and greeted us at the first tee!

This is definitely NOT your stereotypical "desert course". The first thing that catches your eye are the brilliant colors from the multitude of flower beds and other landscaping around the layout. Second is the gentle yet nearly constant up/down/sideways of the land, leading to a wide variety of lies and shot making opportunities.

Course conditions were excellent in all aspects. Tees were all level and uniformly groomed with minimal divot damage on the par 3's and a couple holes which dictate some players teeing off with irons. Fairways had great coverage and a clear distinction between that and the rough. Speaking of rough - it was long enough to make you think how it might affect your next shot, but generally not long enough to require a search party to find your ball.

Greens were smooth and rolled very well, a little slower than I'm used to but they should speed up as the season progresses. Our foursome seemed to consistently over read the break but that may be related to the slower speed. Bunker sand was very good, fluffy and consistent.

Service was also top notch. From the time I pulled up and my bag was taken and placed on a cart to retrieving the car and bag and the end, every person I spoke with had a smile, seemed genuinely glad I was there and knew their job.

Thanks Indian Wells Resort - been here 3 times and you always make it memorable.
21 Likes.
Played today, got out in front of a Pepsi min-tour event with a good rate of $37. What a difference a couple months make!!

Since sngernz review in mid-September, the course closed for nearly a month for overseeding. Re-opened this week with cart path only until next week - if you play before then be advised this course can take a serious hit on POP due to the typical clientele. However, it's a reasonable trade-off given the rate and conditions

Overall, everything is in good to very good condition. Fairways are still a little thin with a few small bare spots (hubcap size or smaller) that are being re-seeded. Tees have good coverage and are level, but also a little thin until the grass matures.

Rough is medium length and lush but the ball sits down pretty easily - again, this will change as it matures. Sand was ok, kinda heavy but there were several people working in traps throughout the course so this should improve over the next few weeks.

The greens were somewhat soft, shots would stop and back up with short irons, only a few feet of roll out with mid-irons. Very smooth (no play for 3 weeks = almost no ball marks - yay!) and pretty quick - my guess is somewhere between 10-11 to start and getting faster as the day progressed.

Recommended now and DEFINITELY recommended in a couple weeks as conditions continue improve.
14 Likes.
Played Wednesday 10/19, late morning start, supposed to be paired with someone but they no-showed - Paired up on the back with someone starting on #10.

Conditions were as mixed as any course I've ever played. Majority of holes were ok to good but could vary even on the same hole (example: #6 the tee box was in terrible shape, burnt out and not very level but the green and bunker were very good). #9 is a mess, basically a dirt fairway (allegedly over-seeding) but others (#s 1, 12, 14 & 18) were in nice shape tee to green.

POP was good at just under 3.5 hours, even as a single it's tough to crack the 3 hour mark due to the course layout. Good rate online but not even close to being worth the rack rate until conditions improve. Still a good challenge but play at your own risk re: conditions.
5 Likes.
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