Golf Course Reviews
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Played Reflection Bay Golf Club with KevBig for only the second time yesterday, this time in winter rather than summer conditions, next I got to play it in spring conditions, lol, because this place is just fantastic. Great conditions, service and quickly becoming one of my favorite desert layouts.

Compared to the summer conditions, greens a little faster, little more smooth and firm. Fairways lush but in terms of rye grass instead of bermunda. You don’t get as much roll in the winter. Rough, dormant providing a beautiful contrasting look framing every hole except hole #7 (guess because its along side of the road). Bunkers in great shape with quality sand. Tee boxes mostly lush, level, well groomed in great shape.

Have to say while there is not one let down hole and they are all a blast to play, holes #8 and #9 are breathtaking. They used to be holes #17 & #18 but logistically it made more sense to flip the nines a couple years ago and given that current holes #17 & #18 are awesome I got no complaints. The par 3’s and par 5’s IMO steal the show on this course. All the par 5’s are beautiful risk/reward holes and provide for big hitters a chance to get home in two. The Par 3’s provide a major test with holes #8 & #17 right on Lake Las Vegas stunning.

Another thing about Reflection Bay is the service. From the moment you pull into the lot to leaving you are constantly made comfortable with friendly smiles and professionalism. After golf we sat down in the grill which I understand was not there a couple years ago and had excellent food.

The only drawback is the golf course does not, at this time, have a driving range to warm up on. It does have some hitting bays. I’m not one that needs a range often but I could see those that do not too a happy about it.

Check out the photos I just posted.

Highly Recommended.
Wow, another great Rams Hill outing. Thanks so much to everyone that came. I’ve got some photos posted on our GK Events page.

This place always impresses me on every level.

From a playing conditions standpoint, I was very glad we caught the golf course on a beautiful day given this time of year. It was a wet golf course for Rams Hill standards but still in excellent shape. The only blemish were the greens not being the typical immaculate shape. Reason being is they had many challenges over the summer with the abnormal heat and humidity combined with them being soft from the recent rains. Expect the greens to continue to improve over time. I still rated the greens an 8 and the rest of the course 9’s and 10’s.

Layout. Spectacular. Was my first time playing the white tees as I mostly play the blue or gold tees here. Loved it from the whites too. Fantastic views on an exceptional Tom Fazio design. Bunkers treacherous yet stunningly beautiful. Greens large, undulating but not unfair. Fairways with ample room to grip and rip but will severely punish if you miss them. Rough lush rye grass with dormant bermuda outlining the bunkers (love that). Be ready to play draws and fades but above all else you need to pitch and putt well. I love the contrasting colors that is hard to describe but take a few minutes to view the photos I just posted and you’ll agree. My favorite hole is my toughest hole, #18. Jaw dropper for a finisher.

From an organizers perspective, they always treat us here like we're members. Friendly and quick to respond to all our needs as well as organized. The staging area is perfect with the putting green, first tee and clubhouse spaced together. The driving range all grass with targets and proV1’s. Food is excellent as well as the service on and off the golf course. The patio restaurant is the perfect setting to wrap up the day. Just love this place and you can count on a GK Plays outing return in 2019!
Super time running and playing in our GK Plays outing on the Legends Course Saturday. Thanks everyone for coming! Check of the photos on the GK Events page.

From an organizer's perspective this outing went perfect! Great playing conditions, weather, prizes and service. It’s the 3rd outing I have done at Omni La Costa and they have raised the bar each time. They are great people to work with and their attention to details with our outing showed. Love how they set up an area on the Vue restaurant patio to cap it off.

From a player’s perspective, I’ve played the Legends Course twice before over the last couple years and Saturday the golf course was in the best shape I’ve ever seen it. I am very impressed with the continual improvement. Even after the heavy rains days before the course played beautifully. Full lush coverage in all fairways and rough. Greens a little wet and soft still, ran mostly smooth and at good pace. Tee boxes a little shaggy but lush and only shaggy because they had not fully dried out enough from the recent rains to cut. Bunkers in good shape with quality sand. The story of the day for my group was the brutal rough they had not cut yet due to the heavy rains that week. Sort of a gnarly thick mix of 3 to 4 inch kikuyu and rye where the ball sat down every time. Man it was challenging but in a twisted way fun. From a service standpoint on the course, we saw the beverage cart 6 times (yes, a record for me). Also marshals a couple times ready to assist with POP and other needs.

I like this layout more and more every time I play it. Makes you work the ball around big trees and putt very well. Level traditional layout with beautiful bridges over creeks and water hazards throughout. Fresh flowers to pretty the place up more. Well protected greens with risk reward par 4’s and 5’s. I’ve always been a big fan of their other course the Champions. Now I’m a big fan of this one too. Just a wonderful 36 hole facility.
Had the pleasure of playing one of my favorite Vegas golf courses with GK’ers rob1563, kevbig and sixpez last week. With the growing support for GK in Vegas look for many more rounds to come out there with more GK’ers.

Rio Secco Golf Club was as expected a top-to-bottom excellent golf experience. Even on a windy day, even playing badly, even with a heavy head/heart that day after finding out about the shooting tragedy in my home city of Thousand Oaks. It's a strong testament to how fun of a golf experience this place is and why it’s a top high end Las Vegas golf course.

Rio Secco was in excellent shape. Fairways in lush rye grass conditions. Greens running fast and smooth. Rough almost completely dormant with some color hanging on (look for them to be blonde in a few weeks) had full coverage. Tee boxes, the back tees appeared to be overseeded but the white tees we played did not. Still level lies and well groomed. Nothing to complain about. Bunkers all in excellent shape with excellent sand. Love the texture of these traps. Might have found all of them – LOL.

Service is outstanding. Everyone super friendly and professional. We saw the cart girl three times on the front nine and twice on the back nine.

Layout is very challenging and with the gusty cool winds that morning it was even more so. It’s a fun layout that demands accuracy off the tee. There are lots of scenic views of the Las Vegas skyline so enjoy the photo opportunities. Especially with the crystal clear morning we played. Check out my photos I just posted here.

I’ll be back for more. Love this place. Highly Recommended.
Finally got to experience Bali Hai in Las Vegas Thursday with Kevbig, rob1562 and famed02. Super time!

Bali Hai lived up to its image as a high rollers “Vegas” course and then some. What I liked most about Bali Hai was how “Vegas” the place is. It totally personifies it. Its right next to the famous Las Vegas sign, there are constant views of the Mandalay and Luxor hotels, hospitality Vegas style with friendly attractive staff, deluxe fancy clubhouse, fun atmosphere throughout the property, music, great food (get the Hole-In-One breakfast bagel in the morning and the Bali Hai ½ burger in the afternoon) … this is a unique one of a kind experience.

Regarding the golf course, fun challenging layout with an island tropic theme. Much more demanding than I expected and we played the Silver tees. I could have stepped back to the Gold tees but glad I did not for my first time. No way am I playing the Black tees. Forgiving off the tee but very challenging on approach with lots of big difficult bunkers to deal with. Some forced caries over water on the par 3’s yet many opportunities to go for the par 5’s in two. The par 3’s IMO are the star of the golf course. All of them beautiful with varying lengths. The layout can get repetitive at times with holes featuring the same backdrops and similar design … however they are all great holes so I didn’t mind. Check out the photos I just posted!

As far as conditions its in great shape. Their fairway overseeding did not go as well as planned on the majority of holes, still good coverage but not as lush as one would expect. But they are addressing it with a deep veriticut + extra watering so I anticipate the fairways conditions to improve significantly within a matter a weeks. Greens in great shape with the back nine greens being better than the front nine greens. Mostly smooth, medium speed and holding shots. Rough, oh boy, its nasty difficult around the many greens. Being October the bermunda rough is still present and a good 4 inches deep in many areas around the greens. Quite a few times my ball was buried and I had to chop it out. Other times I’d hit a good approach just short of the green and it would shut my ball down. As far as the bunkers, well-groomed with quality sand. I found my share of traps for sure. Tee boxes, the Gold and Black tees looked like they were in great shape, but we played what I think 90% of golfers play out there, the Silver tees which were in OK shape. Some with noticeable divot damage and few that need to be leveled. Again Gold and Black tee boxes looked very nice.

Over the years I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about Bali Hai and I now know why. If you are someone that could care less about a one of a kind “Vegas” golf experience that no other golf course can replicate, you might be disappointed. My suggestion is everyone should try playing this course at least once although because the uniqueness of the full experience it provides if it’s in your financial means to do so. I really enjoyed it.
Played with sixpez and Nickesquire Thursday morning. Was my first time playing Terra Lago after all these years. It pleasantly surprised me. I knew not to expect excellent playing conditions typical of the higher end Palm Springs golf courses which I have been accustomed to playing. Also the South golf course was fresh out of overseeding. What surprised me was how interesting, challenging and flat out fun the layout was. As a first time player that loves shot value, this course is loaded with them. Risk/reward tee shots, intimidating bunkers, lots of doglegs, forced carries over water, tough green complexes, hazards on both sides of every hole, elevated tee shots, a fantastic signature par 3 … a blast.

As far as conditions, very good. Interestingly is after the round I talked with the Superintendent who informed me the greens are not overseeded with rye but rather poa. That they are tiff bermunda surfaces that do well the majority times of the year but need a cool grass added for winter play. This explains why the greens rolled so well. They are basically all bermunda with some poa sprouting through. I was told the greens right now are as slow as they get and to expect them to gradually become faster and firmer. Makes me want to head back there for sure. With all those undulations and tricky pins, must be diabolically fun when they are running faster.

Fairways in very good shape mostly lush with some thin spots. Rough mostly lush greenside and adjacent to the fairways with occasional thin/bare areas. Bunkers, well groomed but in many cases very firm and depleted of quality sand. Fairway bunkers overall in poorer shape than the greenside bunkers. I did find a couple in decent shape and got used to the firm texture. Tee boxes in very good shape with exception to the gold tees on the 17th hole.

Service was friendly and excellent all day. After the round I grabbed a bite to eat in the restaurant. Decent burger with tasty fries and great view of the signature holes on the North Course.

Overall, I’d play the South Course again and want to try the North Course. If the track was manicured better and in the kind of conditions of a PGA WEST, Desert Willow Golf Resort or Indian Wells Golf Resort the layout would be on par with most of those playing experiences. Granted the courses I mentioned do have higher levels of service and amenities but my point is this place has great bones with a ton of upside potential. It looks to be moving in a positive direction. CHECK OUT the photos I just posted. Recommended.
Good times out at Black Gold Golf Club Sunday with GK’ers Mattias, roarksown1 and kassper7.

Sunday was a great testament of how much I like this layout even when I was looking for my tee shot on the majority of holes. My driver was as bad as I can remember as far as accuracy and let me tell you this course will eat you up on a day like that. However, take a drop, or two (lol) and play out the holes, enjoy the great views. I still had fun with the approach shots, be it many different angles than I am used to. The challenging green complexes and putting greens.

As for the conditions, very nice for October. Like roarksown1 I was expecting the golf course to be a little on the brown side but rather it was green. Good lies when I found the fairway. The rough was hit and miss as far as lush long or thin in areas. We played after the big rain on Saturday so it was still damp in places. Damp + Kikuyu grass is a tough combo! Noticed many greenside bunkers with new sand. Played a couple shots from them. Very nice. Tee boxes in good shape. Some were closed for what appeared to be nothing more than just giving them a break to grow in more. Last but not least the greens. They were in very good shape BUT very soft for Black Gold standards and consequently a bit bumpy and slower than I’ve experience in the past. I’m sure it has to do with the fact the greens were softer due to aeration 4 weeks ago combined with heavy rain the night before. Add to that we played in the afternoon on full tee sheet of players before us. You put all that together and still get very good greens, you know these greens are going to be rolling fast and smooth again likely by the time you read this review.

Service was excellent all day. Check-in, starter and on-course beverage service. After our round there was a wedding taking the whole clubhouse but normally I always enjoy their food/drink on the patio. I might try to get back out here again this fall/winter. Need to redeem myself for my poor play but more so just love this place.
Found myself in Santa Barbara late afternoon yesterday, 10/8, so decided to swing by Sandpiper Golf Club for a late TW round. Beautiful weather, clear day, played as a single. Teed it up at 3:45pm. Hardly anyone out there that late. It was a surreal experience. Fabulous views. Peaceful sounds. I can’t recommend a late TW round at Sandpiper enough.

Golf Course conditions are very good despite very dry Summer/Fall weather the region has had. Greens in super shape despite some tiny hole venting aeration (no sand). The tiny holes did not affect the putts whatsoever. Fast, holding approach shots, running out on pitch shots and smooth. Fairways in very good shape. Firm with a good padding to the hit the ball from. Light green with occasional light brown areas. Primary rough is cut low just above fairway height. There in no longer tall secondary fescue rough, likely to conserve water so they can focus resources on the fairways, so if want to cut the corner a little bit on hole 15 go for it. Bunkers in good shape, firm but decent sand. Light brown coloring in most traps. Tee boxes in good shape. Lush, groomed with some tee boxes (played the gold tees) needing to be more level.

Finished in 3 hours. I only had to skip one hole to play through a foursome. I also had to stop playing to take a couple phone calls which resulted in 20 minute delay. Add to that I took a ton of photos which I will post some on GK this week.

Some might feel like for a golf course that expansive, and actually if you are a tri-county resident (live in Ventura, Santa Barbara or San Louis Obispo County) it’s a significant price break, that conditions should always be fantastic. I disagree. The high green fee is 100% justified by the experience of playing a very fun layout with some of the most beautiful golf course ocean views anywhere I've played. In addition the peaceful unique ambiance of the place is special. The stretch of holes 10 – 14 on the cliffs of the ocean is simply spectacular. Holes 5 & 6 on the front nine are also excellent ocean golf holes. You can see the ocean from almost everywhere on the golf course if you look in its direction. Just a handful of holes that are mediocre in my opinion such as 8, 9 and 15. Some might not like that 18 is par 3 but its an fantastic par 3 IMO with one the toughest greens on the golf course. I love this golf course. It’s one of my very favorites. I highly recommend it.
Had a meeting at Angeles National on Tuesday that pleasantly turned into 15 holes of golf. Been a while since I’ve played it. I was also curious how it looked after the brush fire damage from last year. Have to say looks even better. I love how they’ve incorporated wood chips, gravel and landscaping (lots of blue agaves which I dig) into the layout. Plus it’s nice to get a free drop from those wood chips bordering some of the fairways ;)

Golf course was in great shape for this time of year. The fairways are light green, excellent coverage, a few thin spots, firm and dry. Which is to be expected. I talked with the superintendent Matt before the round and found out the course in built on very rocky terrain where they only have about 6 inches of top soil. What this means is the fairways roots can only go so deep and doing a deep fairways aeration is impossible as the rocks will break the machine. However they do 3 shallow holes aerations on the fairways per year to keep them healthy. I thought they played very well and enjoyed the extra roll.

As for the greens, really good shape, fun, mostly smooth, not as firm and fast as some of my previous visits but I expect them to speed up moving forward due to coming cooler temps. It’s a hot climate so makes sense to not cut them down yet. My favorite aspect of Angeles National are the green complexes. They are very big yet diabolical. They allow you to get creative with all the contours to play a large variety of shots. On every hole you can find a spot where you could enjoy practicing your short game for hours. Makes the golf course a blast.

Tee boxes in great shape. Lush, cut tight and level.

Bunkers are well groomed but need more sand.

Rough, there really is not much. Through the green the golf course is pretty much fairway height. Definitely puts more demand on the tee shots and approaches to keep it in play.

As for the views and ambiance of Angeles National, love it. Yes there is some freeway noise but that becomes unnoticeable, at least for me, after a couple holes. The backdrops of Angeles National Forest Mountains are stunning. You feel like you are on a desert golf course at times. The clubhouse is beautiful. You know you’re at a high end golf course from the level of service and amenities that immediately greet you. They have an excellent driving range and practice facilities.

Check out the photos I just posted.

First thank you everyone that came out to be a part of the GK Cup 12 Final and those that participated this year! Also want to thank Eagle Glen Golf Club for hosting our GK Cup Final. I always felt it would make for a fun championship due to its challenging layout, awesome closing holes and excellent clubhouse which includes a restaurant overlooking the property. Worked out great.

I was in the last the group, the finals group, teeing off at 11:00am. They were running a little behind and we teed up closer to 11:15am. Pace of play was slow as they had a full tee sheet Sunday morning. But wait, it was Ryder Cup Sunday, oh yeah, it was over when everyone woke up, so let’s go golfing!

I thought the golf course was in very good condition. End of September can be a challenging time to find a well-conditioned golf course in Southern California due to many in maintenance, prepping for maintenance or dried out from the summer heat. So given Eagle Glen aerated their greens in the beginning of September, I was confident they would be healed and I was right. With exception to the very first hole, as I had the same feelings as Itslikeimsayin's review, the remainder of the greens were rolling moderately fast, mostly smooth and holding shots. The rest of the golf course played mostly firm, was light green, had occasional light brown/thin turf, yet overall provided a good surface to play from. I was only in a few bunkers and they were well groomed with quality sand.

After the round we got together in the restaurant to celebrate HmtGolfGuy’s GK Cup victory. I could not help seeing the patty melt Itslikeimsayin was about to dive into (there I go again referencing Mark’s review, feel like such a copy-cat! – lol) so I ordered it, super good tasty. Seemed they only had one, maybe two staff working the bar/restaurant so service was slow however professional. I’ve ate here before and always enjoy the food. If it was not so hot Sunday I would have liked to be out on the balcony looking over the course, its good dining experience.

Thank you again to everyone that came out!

btw - was also a very special day for me, please see my Pebble Beach forum post :)

Squeezed in one more round on the NorCal trip teeing it up around 3:00pm at Corica Park Golf Complex South Course on Thursday. This was my second time playing the course and I enjoyed the layout even more. Great variety of fun holes with not one letdown. Last time teed it up for a shotgun start on the 13th hole during its grand opening. This time starting on hole 1 playing as it was designed felt better. The front nine is pretty open allowing you to grip and rip. The back nine quickly contrasts the front with tighter layout bringing many trees and at times OB in play. The closing stretch 15-18 is fantastic. Two signature Par 5’s (15 & 17) reachable in two with a tough final hole Par 4.

As for the conditions, it’s in great shape.

Greens, bent, were smooth, fast and firm. The only bumps you run into are not properly repaired ball marks but due to how firm the greens are the ball marks are not deep. These are huge greens with many undulations and very challenging. They were a blast to play.

Fairways, santa ana bermuda (does not go dormant) mostly lush, full coverage, except some spots in front the greens that are being worked on, firm and tight. Exactly how they should be for this Australian links design.

Rough, just adjacent to the fairway, santa ana bermuda as well, lush and tight like the fairways. Secondary rough is either 4 inches to foot tall fescue or California wild bent grass. Looks beautiful and is very challenging to escape from. Was in great shape. Although many of the California wild bent grass around the green complexes since I first played it have been cut down a little or been trampled down. This is actually a good thing from a pace of play standpoint. The times I hit my ball into the wild bent grass during my first round it was very difficult to find.

Bunkers, great shape with quality sand. Better quality sand on the back nine than front nine.

Tee boxes, cut tight, mostly lush and firm.

POP, finished in 4 hours.

Customer Service: Friendly & Professional

Love this place. I’m going to see about doing a GK Plays here in 2019. Check it out!
Next up on my 36 hole day yesterday in Fairfield was Paradise Valley Golf Course. The golf course also provides very great conditions and contrasts Rancho Solano Golf Club excellently for a second 18.

Teed it up again with Alex326 and BSF at 1:30pm. Brandon unfortunately could not join for the next 18 so we went out as a 3-some. Great time.

Before our round although we grabbed a bite to in grill/sports bar. I had a delicious Clubhouse wrap that was so big that I finished it out on the course. Recommend making a little time before your round to eat there.

For our twilight round we waited a little here and there but overall pace of play was around 4 ½ hours.

Greens, in great shape, little bit faster than Rancho Solano, mostly smooth and little bit more firm. Not as undulating and certainly not as big but definitely challenging. The greens are better guarded by bunkers and pins can be set in tough spots. You need to be careful not to be behind the pins out there. They can be slick coming back. Star of the show from a conditions standpoint and given the high amount of play this track gets, impressive.

Fairways, firm, mostly lush with occasional thin spots. It’s a level golf course so you get some good run out.

Rough, cut low, about an inch above the fairway height, mostly lush with occasional thin spots. Greenside rough is more lush and a little longer than adjacent to the fairways.

Bunkers, quality sand, little firm at times but in good shape.

Tee boxes, we played the white tees which get by far most of the play so they had some divot damage but driving by the blue and black tees, they looked near perfect, so to mixed feelings here about how to rate them.

Service excellent, very friendly staff, and talkative. Saw the cart girl many times. Everyone had a good attitude.

Highly recommended.
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