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Played a GK Review Guru round with dconnally, gary00 and leef2020 here Wednesday at 11:04. Fun times! We arrived early to use the range, but they were doing some maintenance on it so it was closed all day. We then asked if we could get out early, but they were very busy. They did start us about 10 minutes early, and the pace was pretty slow all day. Total POP was 4:55. Partly cloudy skies when we arrived gave way to clear blue skies by the time we started. It got pretty windy a few times, but overall a very pleasant weather day.

The course is in good/decent condition overall. Greens are mostly smooth, although they seemed to get a little bumpy later in the day. They were more firm than soft, as I had a hard time getting shots to stop quickly. They ran about medium speed. A few greens (No. 4 comes to mind) had some pretty major bare spots near the edge. Fairways have mostly good coverage. Some are a mix of grasses and others are more pure looking. Overall good fairway lies all day. Rough had good coverage (for the most part; some bare spots here and there) and was fairly short and not very penal. Blue tee boxes were good, maybe the best conditioned part of the course right now. I was in four bunkers: One behind the 12th green was damp and hard packed, and my footprints barely made any tracks. The two fairway bunkers I was in were both good. The greenside bunker short-right of No. 17 was really nice.
Played here Monday morning with a 7:10 GN Hot Deal time. I started around 6:50, paired with two Vegas locals. I saw a group several holes ahead of us, but there was never anyone directly in front or behind us. We finished in 3:30. Weather was nice with partially cloudy skies to start and then clear blue skies from about the 7th hole on.

Conditions are good overall and pretty consistent throughout the course. I think I rated everything either a 7 or 8. Greens were smooth, medium to medium slow, and semi-firm. My full approach shots typically took a bounce before stopping, but that could also be due to the crowned and heavily undulating greens here. It seems quite a few greens have spots rolling away from the incoming shot. Fairways were deep green and lush for the most part. Not ultra pure, but nice. Rough was about 2 inches deep and also lush with good coverage. Back (6,222 yards -- I sent Johnny the new scorecard to hopefully update the one here.) tee boxes were good. I was in a few bunkers and they were all good.

This was my first time here and I enjoyed myself alright, but I'm having a hard time really forming any strong opinions – good or bad – about this course. Maybe I researched it too much, because it was very much what I expected – a middle-of-the-road Vegas golf option. The "Carolina pines" theme didn't really resonate much for me, as in I never really felt transported out of the desert to the Carolina sandhills as they allude to on their website. There's tons of mounding and moguls all over the course, and a recurring theme found on multiple holes is mounding in front of the green to conceal the green's surface. The whole course is squeezed into a small plot of land, and done so pretty effectively, although big freeway billboards looming over several holes are unfortunate. A few holes and specifically the 17th tee has a cool view of Downtown Las Vegas and the Stratosphere farther to the left. Overall, I'm glad I played here but as an out-of-towner, I doubt I'll rush back anytime soon. If I lived in Vegas, it's a fun enough course that I'd put it in my regular rotation, and I believe they have some really good resident rates.

My Flickr photo album of 54 photos here:
Joined the Guru group out here yesterday, playing the blacks with JohnnyGK, rgm2525 and GDR23. Really fun round on a magnificent course. Thank you Johnny for setting it up and thank you to RSM for accommodating us. Teed off on time and pace wasn't an issue with not many people out on the course. We let a single through at the turn and otherwise dictated our own pace, and finished in about 4:30.

The course is in really nice condition, highlighted by excellent greens. They were smooth, fast and accepted full shots very well. Fairways were good overall. They weren't super pure, but they had good coverage except for a few spots here and there. The 15th hole had some bare spots. The rough also had good coverage with a few bare spots here and there. Most of the rough was about two inches deep, but then farther off line are really deep grasses where you'll be lucky to find your ball. These provide a nice aesthetic. The bunkers I was in were a little inconsistent, but decent/good overall. The black tee boxes had nearly immaculate grass, but several of them seemed to have channels underneath the surface that sometimes made finding a flat spot difficult, so I knocked my rating down a point for that.

This was my first time here and I absolutely loved the the course. Talk about pure golf! The modest little pro shop/snack bar shows that golf is the main emphasis here. Great practice facilities with a really good chipping/sand area, a big putting green and a nice all grass range. The views are phenomenal and the course feels like it sprawls over a lot of land and includes lots of great elevation changes. I'd estimate it immediately ranks among the top 15-20% of my favorite courses I've ever played.

I posted 50 photos to a Flickr photo album that can be viewed by copying and pasting this URL:
Played a GK Cup match out here today with gary00. 10:30 tee time using a GolfMoose voucher. I used my $25 GolfMoose prize from the Rams Hill GK Plays toward the voucher, so we got an excellent deal. Course was pretty busy and we started about 10 minutes late. We waited on most holes but POP wasn't bad overall. Big gusts of wind at times under intermittently sunny/cloudy skies.

The course looks great right now and plays pretty good, too. The greens are the highlight, fast and smooth. They accept full shots well but shorter shots really need some spin to stop quickly. They are pretty glassy and you need to be careful on downhillers. Fairways have good coverage but lack uniformity. They are a bit thin in spots and sort of patchy with different types of grass growing throughout. The rough also has good coverage and different types of grass, some of which is pretty deep and penal. I wasn't in a bunker but Gary said some he was in could've used more attention/better raking. Tee boxes were very good to great.

I've always enjoyed this course, and the rains seem to have greened up this whole community and it looks very nice. Recommended.
Played out here yesterday in the back half of a fantastic 36-hole GK Review Guru day. Thank you Johnny for setting up such great deals on amazing courses! Paired with Johnny, Larry and sixpez. POP was a bit over 4:30, but I really didn't want the day to end, so whatever was fine as long as we finished. Toasty temps and little wind.

Course conditions are excellent/near immaculate. Greens were outstanding, smooth, fast and mostly firm. Difficult to get full shots to stop on many greens. Fairways and rough were perfectly lush, although the rough didn't look as visually stunning as it could had it been overseeded everywhere. Tee boxes were absolutely ideal, a perfect 10 in my book. Bunkers were a little inconsistent: first one I was in was a little thin and crusty, but the rest were all good.

This was my first time here after hearing lots of great things about this course over the years. It very much feels like a course built to host a PGA Tour event. It's definitely a "big" course where everything seems oversized. In that regard, it reminded me somewhat of the Plantation Course at Kapalua or Southern Highlands in Las Vegas. (Although no elevation changes like those courses, and a more contrived construction/feel.) I was slightly underwhelmed over the first six holes, but the design takes a turn for the better at the 7th and just keeps rolling to the finish. Tons of water hazards on many holes, many of which are beautifully landscaped and bordered by rocks, etc. I played the 6,711-yard blue tees, with the black stretching another 600 yards to 7,300, so it'll give you all the challenge you want.

I took a ton of photos and uploaded 66 of them to a Flickr photo album here:
Played in yesterday's GK Review Guru outing with sixpez and sparky14. We were the first group of the day and zoomed through the course in about 3:15. Beautiful clear desert day with very little wind.

The course is nearly immaculate throughout. The greens ran smooth and accepted full shots well. It took me a while to gauge the speed of the greens accurately; overall they were running medium-fast. I noticed some pock marks on some greens but they didn't affect anything. Fairways were lush green carpets, some of the most pristine I've ever seen or played. Rough was also perfectly lush, cut pretty short. Tee boxes were excellent (I was going to rate them a 10 until Classic Club later in the day were even better, so I knocked these down to a 9). Sand in the bunkers was great.

Always a treat to play what's arguably the prettiest public-access course in the Coachella Valley. Thanks Johnny for another great outing! I made a new Flickr photo album of 45 photos that can be viewed by copying and pasting this link:
Played here as the back half of my mini Vegas golf trip this week. Had an 11:53 GolfNow Hot Deal time on Thursday. Outside services attendant pulled up with my cart as soon as I parked, which was a nice touch. It was a beautiful day and the course was very busy, but I started just about on time. Total POP was about 4:10. After looking up at snow-capped Mt. Charleston from Paiute the day before, I got great views of the back side of the mountain here.

Conditions are great. The greens were medium fast, mostly smooth (one playing partner had a few bumpy putts) and very firm. Fairways were excellent: lush deep green coverage from edge to edge. Rough was very good as well, cut pretty short. Bunkers were the low point. I was only in two and they were fine, but one of my playing partners is a member who said they are inconsistent and many are hard. Tee boxes were pristine.

This is a nice, resort-style course and a good value option in the Vegas vicinity (although nearly an hour drive). With the two nines built at different times with different architects, it's a little bit disjointed. Ironically, the nine that runs through a housing tract is more interesting and memorable than the undeveloped one. I really enjoyed most of the back nine.

Here's a link to my Flickr photo album of 43 photos from Mountain Falls:
I went on a quick Vegas golf trip earlier this week. I started here Wednesday on a 12:07 GolfNow Hot Deal. Check in was smooth but there were three different starters out at the Sun Mountain first tee, and it seemed like there was a lot more confusion than there needed to be. First they told me I'd be playing with one group, and then moved me to a different group. Rather than just sending people out with the group/time they were booked, they acted like they had to slot everyone in for some reason. Anyway, started a few minutes late as a result. The course was very full but POP was good at about 4:15. Weather was clear blue skies, windy and chilly at times, but really beautiful with snow-capped Mt. Charleston visible nearby.

Course conditions are excellent. Greens are smooth and fast, although they are pretty firm. Even full shot short irons took a big bounce or two before stopping. Fairways are fantastic and seemed like they almost got better the deeper into the course I got. Rough was also very lush, great coverage, not too penal; maybe 2 inches deep. Bunkers were great with tons of soft sand. Gold (Championship) tee boxes were nearly perfect.

I've now played all three courses here. In my opinion, the difference between them is almost negligible. While conditions and the remote desert setting are wonderful, I find the layouts a little forgettable. Out of 54 holes, only a handful captivate me. I like this place, but I really wanted to LOVE it, and I don't.

If you're interested, here's a link to my 43 photos from Sun Mountain:
Played out here with an 11:45 GN Hot Deal today. Got an amazing deal thanks to a DealCaddy $20 for $10 voucher on top of a great Hot Deal price. Arrived a little early and the starter informed me there was a tournament that just went out, but he said I’d be paired with people and sent out probably a few minutes early. There was then some confusion and the twosome I was supposed to play with teed off without me, but the starter drove out to the first fairway and told them I was joining them. No big deal and nice work by the starter. That tournament two groups ahead of us caused pace of play to be quite slow all day. After a 2.5 hour front nine, the couple I was playing with (visiting from Minnesota for a San Diego golf vacation) quit, but I forged ahead. The back nine also took 2.5 hrs for a total 5:00 POP. Thankfully it was a gorgeous day on a beautiful course, and I took a ton of photos, so I wasn’t too upset by the undesirable pace.

The course is in very nice condition for the most part. I rated it just about 7s across the board. Greens are smooth and medium fast. They are more firm than they are soft, and there’s lots of mounding/undulations on them that make reading and holing putts tricky. Fairways have mostly good coverage but there are some thin spots. The rough is mostly lush, offering fluffy lies although there are some thin and bare spots, too. Blue tee boxes were good, although No. 14 was a little bare and beat up. Bunkers I was in were good, but one had some rocks in it.

Residual rain damage: There are several areas of standing water around the course, but they mostly seem to be in out of the way areas that would rarely come into play. However, a large area right of the fourth fairway was all wet and there was a temporary “lake” short of the 6th green. On the back, the right bunker on the par-3 17th has lots of water in it. I didn’t find any of these areas and I encountered no rain-related problems elsewhere.

This was my second time here and the course was much more pleasing to the eye this time around. They have it looking great with a cool aesthetic of tall grasses in many places that aren’t directly in the line of play. I really loved it; highly recommended right now. I uploaded 62 photos from today to a Flickr photo album that can be seen here:
Played out here this morning with a 10:48 tee time. Was sent out by myself right on time, following a twosome. Pace was decent and nine holes took about 1:40. Weather was schizophrenic: Very foggy to start, then beautiful, then cold and windy, back to beautiful, back to foggy. It seemed to continually change from hole to hole. Course is currently walking only due to recent rains. I encountered none of the service issues the previous reviewer did. Half the parking lot is self parking, so I didn't have to valet, and the pro shop guy I dealt with was super friendly and helpful.

The course is generally in good condition following a closure due to recent storms. Hopefully the storms coming later this week don't overflow Aliso Creek and cause further damage. The greens were great: Medium-fast to fast, smooth and held full shots very well. Fairway conditions were mixed. Most all were quite wet and they looked good from afar, but some were a bit thin and/or muddy in spots. No real complaints from me, though. Rough was pretty lush but also mixed conditions. There are large areas of GUR roped off all over the course, and within some of those areas is some of the lushest, best looking grass this side of Rams Hill (or Augusta, take your pick). It looks like they laid down sod in those areas and it's really fantastic looking. Tee boxes were decent, some a bit beat up. Bunkers I was in were good.

Despite living about four miles from this course as the crow flies, I'd only played it once before. That time, the whole course was aerated and dried out, and it wasn't all that inspiring. Wow, what a difference today! This is such a gorgeous course in a wonderful setting. On the third hole, if you'd told me I was in Hawaii, I would've believed it. At $35 for nine holes of par 32 golf, I doubt I'll be out there too often, but I sure would like to be.

I took a ton of photos and posted 40 to a Flickr photo album here:
Played out here today with an 11:52 GolfNow Hot Deal. Pretty sure this was the first time ever for me that a GolfNow reservation wasn’t in the course computer. Although I showed him my confirmation in the GN app, the pro shop guy asked me to call GN and they got it resolved quickly with no headaches other than that extra step. The pro shop guy was adamant that I wait for my other “half cart” partner, who arrived just a couple minutes before our tee time. As a result, we probably started a few minutes late. The course was full of twosomes, several in front of us and several behind us. Oddly, no one seemed like they wanted to join up, so we all just remained twosomes. The front nine was pretty smooth but that back nine got a little jammed up. Total POP was 4:25. Weather was fantastic and I played the black/Tournament tees (6,590).

The course is in pretty decent playing condition. Visually it’s rough around the edges but it plays better than it looks. The greens are by far the highlight. They are very lush and roll smoothly. However, they are only about medium speed, except me and my playing partner did have a few putts race away from us. I tend to think there’s a lot of grain here, because green speeds were inconsistent, but the greens are in quite good condition, so I can’t attribute it to certain greens being faster than others. The greens are medium firmness; my short-iron approaches stopped quickly but mid-irons bounced and ran out some. Fairways have good coverage but it’s a patchy mix of different types of grass – some very tight bermuda underneath some rye (or similar-looking grass) sprouting up. All of it was mowed short. If you’re in the fairway, you’re likely going to be on grass. The rough is much more hit or miss. I had some really lush, fluffy lies and also found some hardpan. The bunkers I was in surprisingly had tons of soft sand, but many fairway bunkers are almost like hardpan and balls ran right through them. For the most part, the black tee boxes had good coverage but some were shaggy and many were lumpy. The 14th tee was quite bare, though.

This was my second time playing the course. I love a lot of holes out here, and others aren’t very inspiring. All four par 3s are fantastic, and all quite different from each other. On the back nine, the stretch of 13 through 17 is really good and all fun holes. Basically anywhere the course butts up against the mountains, it’s great. The flatlands holes are more forgettable. If this course were closer to my home, I’d play it more often but it’s almost a 90-minute drive for me. Thankfully it’s a good value, so I can justify the drive occasionally.

Rain-related notes: There are a few large areas of standing water on the course, but none of them really come into play. They seemed to all be within the first 100 yards off the tee on several different holes. A large section of rough left of the 6th green is marked as GUR. The 9th hole was cart path only and carts are asked to observe the 90-degree rule on the remainder of the course. All in all, the course seems to have handled the rain well and/or already recovered.

Here’s a link to my Flickr album of 34 photos from today:
Played out here today with a 10:39 GN Hot Deal time. Paired with three nice guys from Calgary here on vacation. Their wives played directly in front of us and were very quick; we couldn't really keep up even though total POP was good at 4:10, and the course seemed very full. Weather was great with patchy clouds but lots of sunlight. The wind kicked up around the 5th hole and persisted most of the day, typical for here in Windmill Canyon. Getting on the base, check-in and starter were all easy. (*More on getting onto the base later.)

The course is in very nice condition. Greens are smooth and fast. Not necessarily glassy fast but more sneaky fast; very difficult to get balls to stop at the hole. There's lots of slope on these greens and it seemed today anytime a putt rolled past the hole it would catch a slope and run out another 4-6 feet or so. The greens are about medium firmness. They didn't stop on a dime most times...more like a bounce or two and then stop. Fairways were lush, cut short with good coverage and any remaining muddy areas from recent storms were roped off. Rough was also pretty lush, good coverage but not too penal. I was in one bunker and it looked very well manicured, but was a little firm underneath a thin top layer of soft sand. Blue tee boxes were all good. Today the 12th hole played from an alternate tee I'd never seen that is practically right behind the 11th green, rather than the one to the left of the 11th green. Definitely changes that tee shot with the creek crossing the fairway.

I really, really love this old-school course. I was surprised to see it had been more than a year since I'd played here. *Good thing it had, though, because apparently you can't access the base as a civilian more than once a year anymore. I called and talked to a pro shop guy yesterday who explained that you can apply for a 90-day access pass on the Camp Pendleton/course website. I'll be doing that, because I definitely want to get back out there again soon. If you haven't played this course, I highly recommend you get out there and give it a chance.
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