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Played Wednesday noon twilight in building breeze mid 80s between a several hole gap in players. Full overseeded fairways having a distinct green from dormant rough that vividly outlined best play lines on a relatively flat course. Was able to adjust ball flights with wind from the sides and when going with but was very long going into. Rough was cut low and tight to thin in some areas. In two greenside bunkers both fine brown sand having few pebbles. One hole looked to have had a waterline break from large muddy waste areas and dry mud on cart path. No damage to playing surfaces but noticed a nearby fairway bunker flooded. Greens rolled true at medium fast speeds holding shots and leaving only a small smudge or dent. They were good sized some steep back to front but mostly flatter with mild undulations. Moved along quickly until catching a couple fours at 16 still finishing in 3 hours. Course located in under developed housing tract with each hole secluded by chaparral and having long mountain views all around. Prominent Oatman Boundary Cone landmark was an apparent aiming point on several holes. Played here about 4 times over last six years and this is the best conditions I've had though not necessarily during the same season. The Avi Resort and Los Lagos looked similar but that was just from minimal views while driving by them.
8 Likes.
In the area decided to try The Refuge just coming out of overseed on Tuesday 11:00. Nice staff got me out quickly with starter recommending open back nine since front was busy. Worked out good with no one seen on front when I came around finishing in 3 hours.
Overseed made for cart path only on back and 90 degree rule for front. A few long jonts up and down hills on backside glad I did that first as temperature rose into upper 80s later on. Greens 9-18 very woolly uncut made a one putt effort on each then picked up and moved on. Front nine okay cut medium speed firm with few marks. Dark green fairways mostly full with a few spotty areas still filling in. Dormant rough along fairways cut to 1" held ball up easy to play from with some thick sponge like tufts around greens made for tough chipping if ball settled down in. Tee boxes were flat with grass neatly trimmed and course had several elevation changes some with lake views. Sparse dead grass/dirt along cart paths appeared unsightly but not immediately in play and wayward shots here could be lost in thick native vegetation or uneven desert waste areas. Country Club should pave the long dusty dirt trail skirting an RV campground from first green to 2nd tee. Front nine felt choppy after back nine start with three par 3s in first five holes and 7,8,9 all par 5s. Other than the hairy backside greens conditions were fine and should improve in the next couple weeks.
7 Likes.
Ending a fishing trip to Kern River stopped at Rio Bravo CC at mouth of canyon Wednesday late morning. The private gated community allows some public play and friendly staff got me off quickly with yardage book, range balls and cart at 10:40. All grass range had several levels with six stalls on each not busy and well maintained. The two practice putting greens showed what starter assured were near perfect surfaces following mid September punching. Teed off after warmup finding the tee boxes level with good coverage and all divots filled. There were no unrepaired ball marks or divots seen supporting that members care about their course. Wide fairways cut tight mostly green with some dormant areas starting to show. Rough about an inch long with some mixed grasses becoming thin to ragged out along edges but those are far enough away to be mainly outside of play. In two greenside bunkers both light fluffy tan sand flopped 60 wedge to slow rollouts on green. The greens were some of best I've played rolling true lines very smoothly and fast. Glad I'd tried both practice greens to get speed down before hitting the course. Fringe around greens cut low enough to putt from 15'-20' off. Found the white tees quite long at 6521 with one par 5 just under 600 yards. Terrain varied more than area looked with up, down and side hill fairways along with flats. Needed driver into light breeze on two longish uphill par 3s and four or five lakes came into play. A nice cart/walker couple waited to let me pass on a backside par 3 allowing finish just before 2:00. Had fun playing especially putting but sure was a long drive home from there.
7 Likes.
Planned to be nearby so purchased a Golf Guide certificate for Wednesday. Death Valley was quite busy with visitors but the golf course was not. Hit a few old balls on 6 lane grass range and putted on undulating practice green then headed out at 11:00 with temperature at 88. Surprisingly green and well maintained the fairways are with only a few yellowish spots here and there. Ball sat up nicely unless offline then settled down into 1 1/2" rough. Rough became thin and dry out at edges and overwatering there left some muddy puddles. Rough thick and tricky around mostly elevated greens. Not in any bunkers but the few noticed had ample fine grey sand and were neatly trimmed. Greens similar to practice one for medium slow speeds with downhills quicker looked uneven but putted smoothly. They were firm but held shots. Three had large dry sections but still putted the same. Will probably improve as the temperatures are beginning to cool from the summer highs. Remarkable conditions when considering the elements and time of year. Plenty of cold water jugs every few holes and a soda machine stationed randomly between some trees along cart path. Large tamarisk trees provided lots of much needed shade, palms tightened fairways and several lakes were in play. Finished at 1:45 in mid 90s after enjoying course and long scenic views.
13 Likes.
Took an $11 hot deal to sparsely crowded course and found the Cruiser hadn't been aerated yet. Greens were smooth and medium speed with mostly repaired marks. Fairways neatly trimmed with minimal rough. Traps appeared damp-wet wasn't in any to confirm but by lack of rake marks nobody else was either. White tee boxes found level enough spots on most but some were quite beaten. Highlight of the round were several flyovers by Canadian Snowbirds out practicing for the HB air show. Seven planes flying formations and trailing smoke made for a loud fun outing.
7 Likes.
Wanting to swing my clubs called El Prado Tuesday told Butterfield Stage had been punched the 16th & 17th with 1/4" holes and most were playing Chino Hills side (aeration 30th & 1st). Arrived Wednesday morning putted a few minutes on nice practice green then headed out on Butterfield at 7:30. Playing two balls off tees and fairways while putting quickly through aerated greens finished at 10:00. Caught a foursome finishing on nine so I just went straight to 12 and played 10 & 11 after the 18th. Conditions wise the greens had been sanded were still bumpy but looked to be healing. Flat tee boxes well covered and very few divots while the fairways were fully covered, trimmed evenly and green. Only dirt areas seen were cart paths trying to grow over or outlying waste areas with lush rough 2"-3" along fairways. Even had longer grasses filling in between trees. Traps have been turned but looked like wet sandy dirt. Course has been receiving heavy watering first thought there may have been thunderstorms from the long range of the sprinklers. I was able to accomplish my intended purpose and was surprised by the overall conditions sans the greens maintenance. Crews rebuilding the creek crossing at bottom of the 10th fairway. Always friendly staff work to get everyone off quickly and noticed carts were newer than last visit.
10 Likes.
Stayed a couple nights at San Vicente Inn playing the course Wednesday morning at 10:30. Usually lighter turnouts that day but steady member play seemingly women early then men's groups following along with public mixing in leaving few open times till afternoon. After a good breakfast at onsite Oaks Grille chipped and putted around practice green then called to tee behind a local twosome. Played a couple balls following along after 2 twosomes and a five. Back nine affords little opportunity to skip around therefore stayed in pattern to finish at 4 1/4 hours. Course has a fun mix of holes none alike and well separated from each other. There were several lakes, a creek and water drainages crossing the mostly tree lined fairways with a few large boulders lurking about. The white boxes 6228 were in good shape par 3s showed wear but easily playable. Fairways were green and ball sat up for woods and clean divots with irons. In two greenside bunkers one very damp one dry with the first an easier play out of than the dry one. Greens were much slower than the previous day at Barona and the front nine much smoother than the back when the poa annua began blooming with footprints taking hold. Really liked the course, surrounding mountain scenery, serenity and lots of turkeys moving about. Staff was friendly even made sure I got a yardage book and explained routing. Thursday morning greens were sprayed as part of regular maintenance to extend current conditions as they have detrimental pH, salts and nutrient problems which will require an entire course closure to completely rebuild them along with bunker renovations in the near future.
8 Likes.
Went to Barona Tuesday about noon and after signing up for the Classic Card went over to the course for twilight first using large uncrowded all grass range, chip area and practice green. Headed alone to first tee at 12:40 in nice GPS cart with plenty of provided water bottles, ice chest and ball/club washer. Was informed prior to paying course was under some back nine maintenance which was mainly one fairway area roped off GUR and the two par 3 tee boxes were all being reseeded but playable. Hoses with sprinklers were running in a couple fairways but we're not a hinder. Played 6231 silver tees having level neatly mown well covered boxes which looked the normal for others as well. Bermuda fairways were very nice down the center with drying occurring further out toward edges. Had no problems hitting from fairways and most were lush around greens. Not much rough and balls rolled good/bad distances. Found 4 greenside bunkers all with fine white sand easy to play out of. Grass was a little ragged along cart paths probably late season impacts. Greens were smooth and somewhat fast not lightning tho. Played second ball at times and afternoon breeze made last few holes long but easy 3 hour round only glimpses of a few others enjoying the day. Great cart guys pickup/drop off in lot and starter at counter informative and personable. Fun time recommend.
10 Likes.
Used Golfnow for 9:30 round this morning before temperatures heated up which has made play a little slower than usual according to staff. Arrived 30 minutes early and had easy checkin told greens had been micro punched recently and I could go off by myself when ready. Hit a few range balls (plenty of leftovers) from mats and tried practice green which rolled fast and smoothly with barely noticeable punch marks. Headed out catching a member five some on 3rd who let me pass by to fourth tee and I was able to fit third hole back in after 16 from nearby the 17th tee box. One member came over as I finished 6 and they were heading to fifth tee introducing himself and thanking my courtesy in asking to pass. There were no others caught or behind me in 3 hours of playing but noticed a few heading out on front around noon.
Found the conditions to be very clean and manicured, tee boxes level and recently mown, fairways were neatly trimmed and easy to hit woods and irons from with all divots filled. Rough along fairways about 1" with some areas between trees a bit sparse and although bunkers were nice looking brownish sand I stayed out of them and cannot verify thickness or feel. Greens held and putted nicely having all marks repaired playable undulations and fast enough just not quite the 11-12 stimp they are known for. Terrain varies flat to hilly with several elevated tees, tree lined fairways had a few tight feeling spots, over one lake with another in play and creek laterally beside several holes. A couple house views on outside holes but only wild miss hits could reach them. Lots of work ongoing by maintenance crews and the main clubhouse facilities were being painted. Really enjoyed this round and plan to play again.
9 Likes.
Stopped by Wednesday afternoon before scouting nearby Candlewood CC and played a quick nine. Two maintenance workers out ahead blowing leaves off greens and raking bunkers. Tee mats were large and of good quality to hit off keeping the boxes from being heavily worn as many par 3 courses are. Bent grass greens rolled smoothly at medium speed despite the multitude of pitch marks. Fixed about five on each hole that were nearest my putting lines. The greens were damp and easily marked. On the ninth green my shot stopped on lip short of hole in one. Didn't use range but even with 102 temp there were a few practicing. Everyone was very friendly and there were additional sand, chip and putt areas.
6 Likes.
Left SLC on last leg of trip home pulled up to Conestoga around 10:30 and was ushered out before a tournament starting. Given a very reasonable rate and a hole card showing distances from each tee to traps and hazards which came in handy. Starter Sean took me out to 1st tee explained layout, hidden views, facilities and made sure I had plenty of water and ice. Two other singles were sent out to join me but both declined one wasn't ready and the other wanted to instruct his 12 year old grandsons play. Quickly off with pars on first three holes opened a gap behind and all clear ahead. Tee boxes flat with divots filled from recent play, fairways green and lush with only minimal browning along desert edges, didn't notice much rough, plenty white sand in bunkers I had easy out from one but the smooth greens seemed quite slow. Really had to whack a couple longer ones and firmly hit shorter putts went straight in! Might have been protection from heat or readying for aeration? As others stated front nine seemed funner than back but I was into a stronger breeze on most of the back nine making shots longer or moving them a bit offline. Very enjoyable round and a nice but hot 107 finish in about three hours. Afterward had a cold draft while chatting with the nice bartender Esteban. Headed home the next day after 10 rounds (a couple were 12 hole par 3s) over 16 days. Out of all those courses I had a love/hate relationship with Nicklaus' Red Ledges in Heber City as the best play, scenery and conditioning but extremely hard and unforgiving whether on the greens or leading up to. Quickest round was on an unexpectedly pleasing White Pine course in Ely, NV
7 Likes.
On a side trip to Capital Reef stopped in the hills above the isolated farming/ranching community of Ferron, Utah. Beautiful course that winds up and down canyons and along the top of mesas somewhat reminiscent of Mesquite golf. Not overly long from any tees but forced carries, rock outcrops, waste areas, native brush and shear drops along with swirling breezes defend each hole. Was in good condition with some thin or browning in fairways due to heat but don't recall any problems while playing. Tees flat few divots on par 3s, heavy course grained sand in playable bunkers, short rough just enough to slow fairway runoffs and nice smooth med fast greens with only a few repaired pitch marks visible. One uphill par 4 was don't be long with only a 4' wide fringe at back of green rolling off into deep abyss (also a safety warning sign). Very scenic area with adjacent lake too low to provide flows for spectacular waterfall on signature hole. Still a small falls evident in back of the canyon. Quick weekday afternoon round with groups out ahead but never caught them in 2 3/4 hours. Friendly gal in clubhouse got me out fast, gave putting tips with course routing while serving food and beverages. Really wanted to play again but unfortunately returned to SLC a different way. Will remember this fun course for another trip in the future.
8 Likes.
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