Golf Course Reviews
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Played the front 9 at Goat Hill Park on Friday with AndrewZ28. Walked, great workout even for 9 holes. We had a blast. It was my first time playing it since the renovations were completed. Challenging course not to be taken for granted. Small undulating greens. Lots of elevation changes. Nice views. Lots of forced carries. Holes you are tempted to bomb your driver on but best to play smart. I’m disappointed I did not get in the back nine but, hey, great reason to get back out there hopefully soon. Super cool vibe by the staff. Very relaxed ambiance with some music playing. I met the GM Peter, great guy with plans to build a kitchen and improve the driving range. I think the course overall was in very good shape. The greens were in great shape. Moderately fast, smooth and firm. Greenside surrounds lush. Fairways mostly dry but lush in many places. Bunkers well maintained with quality sand that I was in. Rough, besides greenside, not very existent which in turn adds a difficultly factor to the course where if you miss the fairways in some areas, your ball will find some hardpan and go for an unexpected journey. Here is what you don’t want to do, take someone on that has USGA index at Goat Hill Park. Especially on their home turf. The golf course is massively under rated. Another thing you don’t want to do is walk this course if you have a heart condition. There are some very severe hills to take on. But what you do want to do is play this little gem. I know I will. Posted some photos. Check them out!
Last time I played The Crossings at Carlsbad was in April, golf course was in great shape, this time, even better. Teed it up with GK Gurus dconnally, leef2020 and Tubedude Thursday, 6/22. Made the 2 ½ - 3 hour drive down and back for this from Westlake Village, 5 hours of total driving, got home sooner because I stayed after golf to enjoy their Buckets & Brews driving range party and missed traffic. They do their Buckets and Brews once a month. $10 gets you two quality craft beers and medium bucket of balls. Music and BBQ as well. Loved it. Anyway, as for the course, very green, very lush, every aspect in great shape. I think conditions will be peaking at the course for at least another month. This place is a must play right now. Terrific layout I continue enjoy more with every round. Interesting holes, no two holes even remotely alike. Difficult and at times crazy undulating greens. All par 5’s offer Risk/Reward. I have such a blast out here. Leef2020 joined their Crossings Club program, if I lived in the area, I’d do the same. Food is always good as well. I got a hot dog, chips and soda for only $5 at the snack shack. After at the Buckets & Brews, got a cheeseburger, high quality, good grub. The IPA’s were Karl Strauss, had a very satisfying enjoyable day. Play The Crossings at Carlsbad - Highly Recommended!

Also, just posted some fresh photos, got cloudy on the back nine, coastal onshore clouds.
Had a great time on Tuesday at Eagle Glen Golf Club. Played with fellow GK Gurus Tubetude, Stickboy, Larryq2001 and Gary00. It was blazing hot so naturally there were very few playing so instead of having us play as threesome & twosome, they allowed us to play as a 5-some provided we did not play too slow. Well, we finished in 4 ½ hours.

This was my third time playing Eagle Glen and like the layout better and better. This time the fairways were not only much more green and lush, they were overall in very good shape. There are still some patching thin areas and some new sod. I’m impressed with how far the golf course has come in improving the fairway conditions and expect them to continually get better. The greens are always very good to great at Eagle Glen and this time was no exception, although not as fast and smooth as my previous rounds here, still mostly smooth and medium/fast. Rough was thin in some areas, a few bare areas on the edges, but mostly grass covered and good to hit from. Bunkers has quality sand although thin but playable. As far as tee boxes, we played the blue tees, they were mostly lush yet many were not level. Overall the golf course was in very good shape.

After golf, I had a bite to eat in grill with stickboy and larryq2001. Ordered the patty melt, delicious. Good service as well.

Looking forward to playing out here again soon.

Check out the photos I just posted.
Its heating up, its summer time in Southern California, which means the majority of our greens are going to be getting slower and bumpier. If you want pleasant weather combined with smooth greens, there are only so many choices, but one of your best choices is going to be River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard.

This was the main reason for choosing River Ridge Lakes Course as host for the GK Cup 9 final and it did not disappoint. In fact, very impressive conditioning, and not just because it was the same day as the Oxnard City Championship, because it’s always in great shape, especially over the summer.

I thoroughly enjoyed my round Sunday with Nickesquire, sixpez and kassper7. Check out the photos I just posted and the GK Cup 9 recaps/video in the forums.

Greens were very fast, smooth and holding shots. Fairways in great shape and only going to get better (bermunda turf). Rough in very good condition, blend of bermunda/kikuya, inconsistent in length but lush. Bunkers in great shape, quality sand. Tee boxes in very good condition, mostly lush and level.

There is a GK Coupon posted for River Ridge Golf Club, you can find it listed in the Specials-Golf Deals page and also on the River Ridge Golf Course pages here on, they appreciate very much. This is a must play summer course, great conditions, fast pace of play, worth the drive and very affordable. But please note, many Southern Californian’s like to drive north on the 101 freeway to escape the heat so there will likely be a lot of traffic on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. You’ll also run into traffic on the 101 freeway late Sunday morning/early afternoon. Plan for the traffic, be patient, once you’re at the course it will be all worth it.
Got out Thursday with 7 other GK Gurus, make that 8! – was fun to see roarksown1 surprise appearance in the proshop and after the round teeing it up with his buddy John. So a bonus GK Guru review!

Black Gold Golf Club continues to impress me with every round. It’s a layout that never gets old for me and continues to challenge on every hole. You have to be accurate on all shots yet you don’t feel the course is target golf. But most of all, you need to putt well. Every hole interesting and unique. Some great views as well.

Conditions are excellent right now. Very impressed with the Kikuyu fairways so lush and dark green. I love the way a golf ball sits up on a lush Kikuyu fairway. As far as the Kikuya rough, lush with some thin areas yet torments me so it was nice to see Black Gold Golf Club had it cut lower than previous rounds I’ve played there. Don’t take it from granted that it is short, it will still grab your club all day. The bunkers are in outstanding shape compared to the majority of golf courses I’ve played in Southern California this year. Quality sand, well maintained. Tee boxes lush, some divot damage (but repaired and I attribute that to the good practice of them having divot mix on the tees). Greens, to me always the highlight of the course and once again I could not figure them out. They seem to always break more than I read, be more uphill or downhill than I anticipate. However they are in great shape, firm, smooth and moderately fast.

Service was super throughout the day with frequent sightings of on course food/beverage service, friendly professional attitude of proshop staff and starter.

I snapped some photos and posted them. Check them out.

Highly Recommended.
Played Moorpark Country Club Monday with fellow GK Gurus. Enjoyed all three 9’s, 27 holes. Super time.

The golf course was in excellent playing condition. Greens running mostly smooth, moderate speed and holding compressed shots. Rough mostly fescue/rye, lush and beautiful dark green. The fairways, highlight of the conditions IMO. Pure tight light green lush bermunda. Such a pleasure to play them. You get mostly perfect lies to compress irons producing lots of spin, the ball runs out for good length on your drives and they are flat out gorgeous in contrast to the rest of the course. I noticed some fairways on the Creekside 9 more dry with a few light brown areas but on the Ridgeline 9 and especially Canyon Crest 9, perfect. The bunkers had quality sand yet were mostly firm. The tee boxes in great shape, mostly lush.

I've played Moorpark CC many times but never all 27 holes in same day. What a pleasure that was. All the holes are challenging/unique and each 9 has it's own character. This course is truly a masterpiece. It trails through hills with scenic views. There are many extremely elevated tee boxes and doglegs. The greens are large yet challenging. The fairways do not have many bunkers but will challenge your accuracy. The green complexes are well guarded by bunkers and hazards. Most Par 5 on all three 9’s gives you opportunities for risk/reward strategy. Pace of Play was fast with our average being 2 hours per 9 holes. They have an exceptional clubhouse, staff and practice facilities. This is my favorite golf course in Ventura County to play. It never gets old and always delivers a great golf experience. Highly recommended.
Teed it up with Rob1563 for a quick round/stop in to Vegas on Thursday 5/25. Great time on windy warm day. Thanks Rob for meeting up with me.

I can't even begin to describe the astonishment of experiencing essentially flawless greens on a golf course like this. I rated the greens a 9 only because I rarely ever rate greens a perfect 10 but had the greens been a little faster and more receptive to shots, I would have given them a 10. Rob and I found one ball mark all day. They are uniform lush, roll perfectly smooth, are perfectly consistent and wow are they beautifully green. You don’t expect to spend less than $30 and get greens better than most high-end courses and country clubs. The unique thing about these greens, like the entire course, they are paspalum turf. It’s the only golf course I have played paspalum greens and I hope not the last.

The rest of the golf course is in good to great shape. Last time here in August the fairways and rough were more lush. This time on some holes I noticed a few bare spots. Afterwards I spoke with the GM and it’s because of the cool and very windy Spring. There were 15 straight days of strong wind that negatively impacted irrigation and given paspalum is warm season turf, turf growth was less than expected. This caused some thin/bare spots on a few holes. They are in the process of getting some sod but in most cases, now that the warm weather is back, most will lush back up on their own fairly soon. The bunkers are very good shape with quality sand. The tee boxes are lush and groomed. The rough is mostly lush, cut low and in good shape. Actually I would prefer the rough a little higher to help hold balls up from going in the wash. Overall, course is in a great shape.

It’s a straight forward layout, no frills and simple scenery. Most holes have houses adjacent on the left side and of course the wash on the right side. You need to putt well and keep the ball on the left side of the fairway. No need to overpower the course which I have learned now for a second time is the wrong move. Keep the ball in play and those green will reward you with some pure scoring putts.

Pace of play is fantastic. You should easily finish under 4 hours. We got around in 3 hours. It’s a regulation course. Take a look at the photos and give The Club at Sunrise a try.
Fun GK Review Guru round out at River Ridge Vineyard Course yesterday. Got to tee it up with Nickequire, dsal_13 and 3-4bravo. Thank you toritori, rgm2525 and GDR23 for joining.

I was concerned at the start when I got news they had lightly sanded the greens that morning and they were running much slower than normal. These are the type of procedures superintendents don’t typically inform other golf course staff much in advance. I always look forward to playing either River Ridge Course (Victoria Lakes or Vineyard) because you can always count on smooth, medium to fast greens when maintenance is not being done. They have their city championship approaching in 3 weeks and you can bet the greens are only going to get better. Turned out the greens were much slower but at least they rolled smooth and held shots.

Vineyard is a golf course that seems to be greatly overshadowed by its big brother Victoria Lakes. Although I certainly think Victoria Lakes is the better course, the Vineyard is still a great golf course. It’s mostly the original layout at River Ridge Golf Course and presents many challenges. It features some very good holes, nice mix of short and long par 4, some risk/reward par 5’s, and the spectacular “Island” 18th hole. See photos I just posted.

Overall condition was very good and only going to get better quickly. You’re going to love taking on those greens as they speed up which should be soon. Fairways are mostly lush but will get lusher. Rough mostly lush but will get lusher. Tee boxes in good shape, level and lush. Bunkers in good shape with quality sand. I’d like to revisit this course with some GK Review Gurus in a couple weeks. Play the Victoria Lakes course as well. That would be an awesome 36 hole day. Although I know conditions are going to improve, right now it’s still a very fun golf experience I recommend!
My second to last round in North San Diego County was with Tudedude as we headed up to Mt. Woodson following a GK Review Guru Woods Valley Golf Club visit on Thursday. I’m a huge fan of Mt. Woodson having run 3 outings there and enjoying every round I’ve ever had (even when conditions were down) – it’s just that fantastic of layout IMO. I honestly think it’s the best target golf layout I have ever played. Place overflows with character and uniqueness. The scenery is stunning at times and layout is just a blast to play. It’s a par 70 only 5842 from the blues, but rated 69.0/133, which I feel is under-rated, it will bring you to your knees. Everything about the course is challenging. Blow-up hole potential on every hole while at the same time legit birdie chances (with exception of the monster uphill par 4, #12). The area is secluded and peaceful. If I lived in the area this would be my regular late afternoon course given how incredible the place looks at that time. Bet it’s pretty amazing at dawn too. And I can't forget to mention the famous "Bridge" cart path from hole #2 to hole #3. Check out the photos I just posted!

OK, done gushing about the layout, what impressed me most about this visit is the great playing conditions. The fairways are some of best bermuda turf I have played in a long time. So pure and tight with plenty of padding under the ball. The greens are healthy poa running mostly smooth (even for a late afternoon), medium-fast and firm, the rough was not that penalizing, mainly bermuda turf with patches of fescue. Sand traps firm and in need of quality sand. Tee boxes lush, little divot damage considering how small they are and some slightly not level (but wow they are impressive structures).

There is GK Coupon for only $30 to play the course anytime Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday or $55 on Sunday. That’s a steal.

Highly Recommended.
Teed it up Friday with 6 other GK Review Guru’s at The Golf Club of CA. Great time!

This layout body slams me, every time, yet I love it. You have to be accurate off the tee, long off the tee, work the ball left or right off the tee, be able to play uphill, downhill and side hill approaches, not get intimidated by forced carries over hazards, bring a sand game and putt well. It’s an interesting great test of golf. No two holes alike.

It’s a country club atmosphere at the facility with large fancy clubhouse and patio. The service is excellent. Good pace of play.

As far as playing conditions, the course continues to improve to what I would deem very good/great shape. Greens on Friday were running smooth, some inconsistencies with speed and mostly firm. Pleasure to play. The fairways which used to be a sore spot, are getting softer with continued routine aeration. This had no effect on the play of them as they were light green, firm and provided good lies all day long. The rough was cut down, sporadically lush or thin. The bunkers were in excellent shape with quality sand, which is very important as sand comes into play on all holes. I foresee this course continuing to improve its playing conditions.

I posted a lot of photos so please check them out. Looking very forward to my next round at The Golf Club of CA.
My first time playing Woods Valley Golf Club. Not sure why it took a GK Review Guru round to get me out there given all the positive reviews I’ve read over the years. But none-the-less, its reputation stood true. This is a very enjoyable, tale of two 9’s layout with plenty of fantastic golf holes and great playing conditions to go along with it. On the back nine I discovered why it’s called “woods” valley. Had my share of lost balls into the trees. Which are predominately beautiful large and small oak trees. 10 – 16 is a special stretch of golf holes carved into a natural secluded landscape featuring position golf and challenging green complexes. Took many photos, check them out.

I thought the playing conditions were great with the highlight the greens. Smooth, medium fast and held shots very well. With exception to some patches of thin areas on the front nine fairways, they were predominately lush and groomed. The rough was cut low being thick in many places and thin in few. The secondary rough on the back nine was long and wild. Hole #13 comes to mind (what a beautiful par 3). The tee boxes were in good shape, lush and level. The only negative was the sand quality in the bunkers. Pretty thin in most and in some rather wet. They could use a good turning IMO. Overall very happy with the playing condition I experienced.

The staff I encountered were all friendly and professional. There is a good vibe at this place. They have a good driving range hitting off grass and excellent practice putting green. A couple years ago Woods Valley Golf Club won's award for “Most Worth The Green Fee” San Diego County. I now see why. Highly Recommended.
What a great time teeing it with fellow GK Review Gurus on one of my favorite courses. You’ve probably heard this from me before, but the stretch of hole #10 - #14 is my favorite 5 hole stretch anywhere. There are some spectacular golf holes at Sandpiper you will never forget. I’m also a big fan of hole’s 5, 6, 16 and even 18 (don’t mind it being a par 3).

Over many years, Sandpiper, like so many golf courses in Santa Barbara County, was impacted by the severe drought. It was simply impossible for the golf course to combat it with its own irrigation. Well, amen to our wet winter/spring because Sandpiper is back to former lush green self. Take a look at the photos I posted above. How long the golf course will remain this green, I don’t know, but you can bet it’s going to be in great shape for some time.

As far as the conditions, loved them. Greens were running smooth, moderately quick (I’ve seen them much faster) and mostly firm. Fairways, lush, cut tight, ball sat up well. Rough, mostly lush, cut low, some dry areas but always grass to hit off. Tee boxes, lush, cut tight, well groomed. Bunkers, I found 3 greenside bunkers, all seemingly a little different in texture/weight, but all a heavier type material. Likely to handle off-shore winds from the ocean which we got a good dose of on Monday. Overall, the bunkers were in very good shape.

Service was very professional and friendly throughout the day. I like the golf carts as they ran well and had a USB charger. The carts did not have GPS and the course is not marked very well so I guess if I have to one suggestion to Sandpiper to improve, I would consider more on course yardage markers if they are not going to have GPS.

My personal highlight of the day was hole #11, we decided to play the tips, mistake for me, should have been on the Gold Tees as the tips measure 7200 yards, anyway the hole was playing like 248 into the wind. I hit driver to a small target and missed the green left. I proceeded to get up and down for par, felt like a tough birdie!

Thank you to everyone that joined me on Monday. Let’s try to get back up there again!
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