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I met up with my old Vegas work buddy for some golf. He was in town from the Sacramento area to play in a club volleyball tournament. We had played a lot of golf together while working in Sin City, and since then we’ve tried to get together once a year for a golf getaway. We previously hit Mesquite/St. George, SoCal, Bend (OR), Paso Robles, and the Central Valley.

Ocotillo was our final Round 4 at 8:15am on Thursday, 3/1/18. We played the White/Gold rotation, from the White tees. We got a good $55 members rate for our morning start. This course was very different from the others (Las Sendas, Papago, and Raven) in that it is grass and water, period. Water on 14 of the 18 holes – some that must be carried or played along, some that you tee over, some that is farther from the line of play. And lots of grass – fairways are pretty generous and most holes allow for optional lines of play. It’s like Florida in the Arizona desert.

Conditions were good. Fairways and greens were lush – we had good lies, few ballmarks due to green firmness, greens rolling smoothly at medium+ speeds. Tees were large, flat, and in good shape. Rough was 2-3” and required your attention. Sand was a mixed bag, with some being fine, and others having only a thin playing layer over a hard-packed base.

From the White tees driver may be taken out of your hands due to proximity or runoffs to water – take a good look at the yardage card provided. No GPS, but some sprinklers are marked. Many greens are significantly angled to the fairway, so even on some of the shorter holes being on the correct side of the fairway makes approach shots much less stressful. And watch out for those green tiers, especially if you are putting back to front!

Phil Mickelson’s management group recently bought Ocotillo, and members here get access to some of the very pricey private clubs in the Phoenix/Tucson area that Phil’s group also own. Service at the bag drop and in the command center/shop was courteous and efficient. Saw the cart girl numerous times and food and service in the grill afterward were very good.

Good for a relaxed play as long as you can control your ball. Recommended.

Many thanks to several GKers in the Phoenix area who provided suggestions on where to play, given our restrictive geographic and cost criteria. We tried to get a mix of course types so we weren’t playing the same type of course over and over again. Thanks to chilipalmer99, dcoachl, bmcnicoll, sbarajasjr, and UNCLEDDBOY23 for suggesting great venues.
I met up with my old Vegas work buddy for some golf. He was in town from the Sacramento area to play in a club volleyball tournament. We had played a lot of golf together while working in Sin City, and since then we’ve tried to get together once a year for a golf getaway. We previously hit Mesquite/St. George, SoCal, Bend (OR), Paso Robles, and the Central Valley.

Raven Phoenix was our Round 3 at 2:15pm on Wednesday, 2/28/18. This was our most expensive round ($75 for twilight rate) and the round with some of the most disappointing conditions. For our Phoenix trip we tried to play courses with a variety of settings – Las Sendas was a mountain/desert course, Papago was a no-frills open desert course, and Raven is more North Carolina meets southern New Mexico. Lots of grass, many large trees generally well off the playing lines, and only small areas of desert/scrub to play over.

The course is pleasing to the eye, with trees and mounding dividing and isolating the holes. Fairway conditions were very good with good cover and lies. Rough was cut fairly low and was OK to play from – farther offline could be problematic for hard-packed desert-type sand, larger bushes, and vegetated drainage features. Greens were uniformly very good – firm, released most shots, and rolled smoothly at medium+ speeds. We had problems with many of the tees. Sand was unacceptable (see below).

The course was busy when we arrived after our morning round to eat lunch – OK food and on/off service at the grill. Range was busy and there was a lot of activity with range/practice green/loading/unloading all in close proximity. We didn’t use the range – the large putting green had speeds and contours consistent with what we found on the course. Starter was keeping a tight rein on groups loading up and going to the tee (on time). Once out there it’s isolated and quiet.

The negatives – although it had rained the night before, the bunkers we encountered during our morning round at Papago were in great shape – a little damp, but a grainy sand that shed water and had adequate depth to play consistently and well. At Raven, the bunkers did not handle the aftermath of the rain as well. Almost all the bunkers had puddles of water in the lowest points. The rest of the bunker had been machine-raked, but the effect of stirring up this 1½ - 2-inch layer was to make the consistency of the top layer like wet cement, and we struggled with bunker shots the entire afternoon. Given the fee we paid for a twilight round, I found the bunker condition to be totally unacceptable.

We also noted that on many holes the white tee boxes were not level, either sloping to one side or being mounded in the center. Par-3 tee boxes were particularly bad, in addition to being very chewed up. Many of the white boxes are on small pads and/or are set up very narrowly, making divot damage a greater possibility. I don’t recall if divot mix was provided on the part-3s – in most cases, I believe that it was not.

While fairway and green conditions were very good, I noted that there was a lot of repetition in the design of holes at Raven. Holes 3 and 9 are straight par-5s that play to the west, and set up to my eye much the same. Holes 12 and 17 are straight par-5s that play to the east, and again set up to my eye much the same. Holes 11 and 14 are par-3s the play in the same direction and to similar length, and, since the course uses a front-mid-back flag rotation, these holes also have the same pin color. Hole 7 is a longer par-3 that plays in the same direction as 11/14 and sets up similar to the eye, with just a longer club. For the par-4s, holes 5 and 15 play in the same direction and are very similar. So you don’t get the variety of hole designs at Raven that you do in some other settings.

Overall, we enjoyed the layout and conditions and recommend it, with the caveat of addressing the identified condition issues.

Many thanks to several GKers in the Phoenix area who provided suggestions on where to play, given our restrictive geographic and cost criteria. We tried to get a mix of course types so we weren’t playing the same type of course over and over again. Thanks to chilipalmer99, dcoachl, bmcnicoll, sbarajasjr, and UNCLEDDBOY23 for suggesting great venues.
I met up with my old Vegas work buddy for some golf. He was in town from the Sacramento area to play in a club volleyball tournament. We had played a lot of golf together while working in Sin City, and since then we’ve tried to get together once a year for a golf getaway. We previously hit Mesquite/St. George, SoCal, Bend (OR), Paso Robles, and the Central Valley.

Papago was our Round 2 at 7:40am on Wednesday, 2/28/18. We added this morning round late in our planning, and after seeing some of the big $$$ numbers for morning rounds at better-known venues, we opted for a more reasonable $69 each at what is regarded by many as the best muni in Phoenix. We were joined by local GKer dcoachl on a cool cloudy and breezy morning that saw some sunshine later in the day.

Papago is meat and potatoes golf – there are no big homes on the course, no fancy landscaping, no upscale touches. The course is draped over a sloping shelf below the Papago Peaks and facing downtown Phoenix. At this time of year you see green fairways and greens, straw-colored very short rough that is tight and patchy, and then you are in bare desert with packed sand and pebbles or a shallow erosion gully that begs for a rock iron or an unplayable drop. There are scattered large trees that only come into play on a few holes, or if you stray well off the intended lines. Many holes are doglegs with sand in the elbow and large bunkers guarding greens. A couple of water hazards.

Greens and surrounds were lush and perfect. I think these were the best greens we had on the trip. The course is obviously putting resources into the greens. Some are fairly flat, some pretty sloped, a few have some distinct tiering. All rolled great at medium and then increasing speed as they dried out from showers the night before. They were firm and most shots released – we saw very few ballmarks. Tees were flat and in good condition. Very good sand in all the bunkers – again, probably the best we encountered on the trip.

Fairways were also overseeded and provided good lies. Rough was a short dormant grass that gave a tight lie but could be patchy or near-bare. If you get outside the dormant rough it’s hard-packed sand desert with lots of little rocks. The rough was so short and firm that offline shots could quickly get out into the desert areas.

Even from the White tees here the par-5s play short and the par-3s play very long. Three of the par-3s are 195+ from the white markers – two of the three are on the same downhill line. Several of the par-4s look similar, playing across the slope and doglegging around sand in the elbow. Cart paths are very informal – most are simple dirt, a few short areas are paved, and in some cases you are just driving across rough/desert.

GIVEN ALL THAT – things may be changing in the near future. The ASU golf team is moving to Papago next year, as their current venue (the Karsten Course at ASU) is scheduled to be bulldozed for university expansion. The parking area and small trailer clubhouse were a zoo of activity the morning we played as a new clubhouse is being built and the practice area will soon more than double in size. A lot of money in a City/private venture is being put into the course, so in the near future you might see more landscaping, actual cart paths, some design tweaks, facilities to accommodate spectators, and a restaurant where you can get more than a hot dog or breakfast egg muffin.

Altogether a fun, relaxed play with good muni conditions. Recommended.

Many thanks to several GKers in the Phoenix area who provided suggestions on where to play, given our restrictive geographic and cost criteria. We tried to get a mix of course types so we weren’t playing the same type of course over and over again. Thanks to chilipalmer99, dcoachl, bmcnicoll, sbarajasjr, and UNCLEDDBOY23 for suggesting great venues.
I met up with my old Vegas work buddy for some golf. He was in town from the Sacramento area to play in a club volleyball tournament. We had played a lot of golf together while working in Sin City, and since then we’ve tried to get together once a year for a golf getaway. We previously hit SoCal, Bend (OR), Paso Robles, and the Central Valley.

Las Sendas was our Round 1 at 2:30pm on Tuesday, 2/27/18. Late morning the weather was clear and sunny with only a light wind, but it transitioned to very windy with rain showers later in the afternoon, and the weather on the back 9 wound up beating us up as much as the course did. The course winds around several large rock uplifts and through a high-end residential community. There was more slope here than I initially thought there was going to be, as the community and the course is pushed up against the foothills rising on the east side of the valley, looking down on the valley floor and downtown. Fairways are generous but offline shots can run quickly into desert waste areas.

Greens and green surrounds were in excellent condition. Greens were very firm, allowing almost no ball mark, although we saw evidence of quite a few older ball marks. Greens rolled smoothly at medium+ speed. Some greens are tiered, and others are pretty severely sloped, and putts breaking away from the rock outcrops and downhill had plenty of speed. Rough around the greens could be lush or spotty, and areas that gathered a lot of balls could have a lot of divot damage, making lies in those areas chancy.

Fairways were in good shape and lies were good, ranging from tight to lush. Some fairways are fairly flat, and others are real rollercoasters with rolling swales and runoffs to desert washes – it looks to me like the amount of fairway movement is tied to proximity to the rock outcrops and the need for fairways to function as drainage conduits. Rough was fairly short and thin, and quickly gave way to desert, where lies ranged from playable to unplayable to lost. Tees were flat and in good condition, with par-3 tees being pretty damaged. Sand traps were groomed and in good condition. Sandy waste areas could be packed firm or powdery, making playing from there chancy.

Small grass range with only about a dozen hitting stations and unlimited balls. Small putting green, somewhat worn in the middle, with about six hole locations around the outside. Also, a pitching green with the sandtrap that’s sloped pretty steeply. Starter was ushering off multiple groups of four spaced appropriately. The course has multiple restaurants, and a very busy clubhouse area with a large group of outside people, not golfers. The golf shop is fairly small and compact. I got a pleasant greeting, but the guy was reluctant to let me go to the range three hours early (I wanted to warm up, then eat lunch), saying they had “a lot of guests”. And no cart, please – walk to the range! Yardage book available, but no GPS on carts, which featured a small basket and a cooler with ice, but no water. Saw the cart girl several times, and adequate water was available on-course. Nice, well-located bathrooms. Staff was hand-filling(!) divots on tees at 1 PM! – nice!

Unfortunately, I messed up regarding the tee time, and we reported to the first tee a few minutes late. The twosome we were to join was long gone, and we had to wait for two other groups to tee off before they were able to work us back in. So we teed off about 30 minutes late (scheduled: 2:04pm [twilight] to help hold the cost down [$55]). That bit us at the end, as we played the last few holes in gathering darkness (all the cloudiness from that fast-moving front didn’t help, either!), and after hitting tee shots on the 18th hole we couldn’t find our balls, so we missed out on this Z-shaped finishing par-5 playing around two lakes. Bummer!

This is a very nice and challenging course with a lot of beauty. Highly recommended. I'm really surprised that this is the first posted review in 4.5 years!

This was my first time getting back to Phoenix-area golf in 20+ years. Many thanks to several GKers in the Phoenix area who provided suggestions on where to play, given our restrictive geographic and cost criteria. We tried to get a mix of course types so we weren’t playing the same type of course over and over again. Thanks to chilipalmer99, dcoachl, bmcnicoll, sbarajasjr, and UNCLEDDBOY23 for suggesting great venues.
Played on Sunday, 2/11/18, in a GK Cup 11 match with lotrgolfer48. Great time with Matt, Jim, and Ron with very good course conditions. One of my favorite tracks in San Diego County. Other than holes 1 and 4, greens are great – firm, held shots, rolling at medium+ speed. Not too many old ballmarks. Fairway lies were consistently good. Rough generally cut short and firm, but with scattered bare areas and bushy patches. Always recommended.
Played Friday morning, 2/9/2018, at 10am in a shotgun start with my monthly club. This course allows outside play on some Fridays, and our club plays here every February. Conditions were pretty good, with good fairway coverage, greens looking good with only scattered bare/rough spots, and sand damp but adequate to hit from. We played lift/clean/place, so even where we had deeper bushy rough we were able to get the best lie possible.

The facilities here don’t set up too well for larger shotgun tourneys – there’s only a hitting cage with 5 mats, and the putting green up at the cart area is very small. There’s another larger green down by the first tee, but outsiders might not know it’s there. Carts now have a ball washer and a small interactive GPS (F/M/B only, not distance to the pin location), and there are colored distance stakes on many holes. Scattered divot mix refill boxes, some with scoops.

Shotguns can be slow, but we were our lead group, finishing in ~4.5 hr and about 2 holes in front of our next group. Good for a relaxed play.
Played with my monthly group at 8:15am on Saturday, 1/13/18. Crazy warm weather for January – 80*+ today with clear skies and no wind. [Another 1 million people from the Northeast just decided to move to CA – great!]. As previous posters noted, the clubhouse and shop are undergoing extensive renovation – the new outdoor patio looks nice, but the shop is skeletal right now, and bathrooms are only in poorly-maintained porta-johns – ugh!! Range balls are chipped/cut/worn, and mats are also pretty worn. Putting green is in very nice condition. Started on time behind a couple 5somes and pace was expected 5 hrs. Not much divot mix provided initially, but we filled up from a bin on #8. Lots of unfilled divots in fairways and rough.

At that time of the morning everything is very wet, and the course still shows the heavy rain we had a few days ago, as the soil here is mostly clay and dries very slowly. Almost every shot wound up with mud on the ball. Fairway and rough turf is dormant and/or thin, with lots of scattered bare areas. Not a lot of rollout in the damp conditions. We played winter rules (LCP) but good lies were sometimes hard to find. Tees are also thin, and being wet they were quickly torn up between the markers even this early. Many were also sloping, with the worst offenders the 4th (to the right) and 18th (to the left, when you really need a L>R shot there!).

Greens were the best part of the course. They all had good coverage, rolled well at increasing speed as they dried out, and were pretty firm but receptive. Not too many unrepaired ballmarks. I didn’t remember this much slope on some of these greens (I play here just once a year), and the guy setting the pins chose some very slopy areas today! The position on hole #8 was really unfair – just below the crest of the runup to the upper tier. There was almost no way to stop the ball near the hole in any direction, and even putts from directly below the hole stopped near the hole, then rolled back 6-8 feet. I think the 5some in front of us took 18 putts!!

Sand was in good condition, ample in all greenside areas, fairly dry, and raked.

OK for a casual round.
Another great day with GKers at the wonderful Rams Hill GC – I grouse about the long drive but love the course and the great conditions. I think the thing I like most is that on almost every hole you can pull your driver and not be nervous about a disaster unless you totally wig out. There’s room off the tee on every hole – you can be rewarded by a good drive with a look at the green and a chance for birdie with a good second. I hit a couple poor offline drives and found bunkers – from there you have to work to make a score, as it should be. But the overall approach is relaxed and enjoyable.

All aspects of course conditioning were great, especially compared to other SoCal courses recently played. Greens were more receptive this year than in some past years, and rolled great at consistent speeds. I think the practice green was a little firmer/drier than the on-course greens, and we spent much of the day fearing the runouts and leaving putts a little short, especially on the slick downhillers. Fairway lies were great everywhere, and rough near the fairways was cut fairly short and playable. Tees were good, with some being a little more wet than others. Sand was consistent and wonderful – after having to chip out of concrete greenside bunkers last week at Hidden Valley, sand in these was ample and consistent.

Had a great time with Steve, Keith, and Dave – although the K/D ongoing in-depth discussion of Phoenix-area golf got a little old after a few holes. Good food and many great prizes available afterward, and good to see familiar faces again. As usual, we’ll see about making the trip next time(!).
Started the year on January 1st at Hidden Valley with a $26 GN Hot Deal at 11:50 am on a sunny, warm day with very little wind. Even after playing HC a few times I’m still amazed when I drive in and see the incredible amount of elevation change across the course – standing on the practice putting green, the 13th tee looks like it’s built on a sheer cliff face many stories above, and below that are the terraces of the 12th green and then the 18th fairway. Those types of views are all over the course – looking way up at other holes, or down across several holes as the layout sprawls down the canyons before you.

I was down at the first tee on time (pro shop has been moved to the events building while the restaurant renovation continues), but the Rodriguez threesome I was originally assigned to didn’t show. An Asian threesome was just teeing off, but declined to allow me to join them after the starter approached them. Eventually I was paired with a local father/son and another local guy. (The f/s name was memorable – pronounced like ‘kahoots’, but with a un-rememberable Czech spelling.) The father had two sons who had played Norco HS football (including the son in our group), and the third guy had played at Norco as well. Nice enough people, but it was constant chatter about Norco HS football - past, present, and future. For 18 holes. Almost non-stop. On the 11th tee I finally had to ask them to STOP TALKING! Who knew there was so much to discuss about Norco HS football!!?

These guys were pretty casual golfers and not that skilled. HV’s first hole was a bad way for our group to start 2018 – our foursome probably logged a total of 40 strokes on that sloping par-5 with many hazards about. I think we donated about 6 balls to hazards just on that hole. And that trend continued for the rest of the day. Eli Callaway was smiling from the grave with the several sleeves of his namesake balls donated to the wild by these guys today. I’m sure the group behind us was thrilled to watch this preview of their round!

As I stated in past reviews, I really want to like Hidden Valley. There are a lot of fun holes and a mix of short and long, and some drives where you can really let out the slack. And where else is the number 1-handicap hole a par-3?! (Hole #5) There’s not a level lie anywhere at HV, including on most of the tee boxes. When you have a course with this much slope everywhere, and you are trying to control shots to sloping fairways, and you are often hitting downhill onto steeply-sloping greens, the course has to be receptive, especially the greens, or it quickly becomes unplayable. That’s the case it’s getting to at HV, where the greens are extremely firm, and full shots frequently leave only slight indentations. And if you can’t control your ball coming in, you often wind up with downhill putts on the firm, very slopy greens – these greens are crazy fast downhill, some of them silly fast. So lots of defensive putting, 3- or 4-putts, slowing play and making golfers unhappy.

Man, these greens are slopy! At this firmness and these downhill speeds, even 3-footers require a high level of attention. Greens had good coverage and rolled consistently. Several greens had lots of small rocks thrown out of bunkers scattered about near the traps. I don’t know if it was the end of the day as clouds gathered and temperatures dropped, but the 18th green was more lush than any of the others, and speeds were noticeably slower – I actually left a downhill/downcanyon putt short on my birdie attempt.

Fairway and rough coverage were spotty. Turf in those areas was generally short, dormant, and tight. There were many scattered bare areas, but there were also scattered sloppy wet areas around malfunctioning sprinkler heads. It was frustrating to see scattered sloppy/wet areas next to thin/dry/hard “fairway” or rough. Many fairways had areas roped off or festooned with colored flags to keep carts away, usually showing areas with problems from the watering system.

Tees were all very thin; some were almost bare dirt in many places. Most were sloping or uneven, some severely so. Some par-3 tees had sand in the divot refill boxes, but some had no scoop! Sand traps were terrible everywhere. You really had to chip from all greenside bunkers encountered – they had only a thin dusting of coarse sand over a hard base, and you couldn’t get a club under the ball. The right front bunker on hole #12 had a large trough in the bottom - anything in the bunker wound up at the bottom and was unplayable, unless you've spent time practicing flop shots from inside a milk crate!

The new GPS on the carts is nice – it is interactive, but distances are given to the center of the green, not the pin position. The GPS also doesn’t show the position of other carts – with the many blind shots at HV, it was difficult to know when to hit, another factor that slows play. Those comfy cushions on the carts come in handy, as the cart paths and driving areas need some serious attention. The onboard club cleaner/ball washer is nice. With all the sloping cart paths and steep hills, the carts’ speed governors were working frequently, but not that well.

Many holes have colored yardage stakes to give you a feel for placement on the holes. The course puts a yardage book on each cart, but my experience with this book in the past was that many of the yardages were incorrect. With the ongoing renovation of the main building, it’s a long way over to the temporary pro shop and a bathroom at the turn. No cart girl today, basically the end of a 3-day holiday weekend. There was no water jug on hole 5 tee – only an empty cooler rack.

I can’t recommend Hidden Valley until conditions are more receptive, given the severely sloping terrain and conditions.
Thanks to Johnny for setting up a fun GK event on a warm Saturday afternoon, and thanks to my playing partners (Eddie, Joel [c'mon, guy, join up!], and Ron) for a pleasant, enjoyable round. My course comments of 11/30 still apply, although our pace was a little slower than 10 days ago behind a walking threesome and a slowish foursome. We started on #5, and after making the turn back to #1 had to sprint to get finished ahead of the dark.

Good venue for the after-party, with plenty of room after overcoming the resort's confusion, and with plenty of service. Better situation there than the very noisy bar area with limited staff last time. Plenty of prizes and good cameraderie on the patio.

Even the discounted rate of $75 for this course seems a little too high for me given the conditions and design/challenge.
Played with the GK Gurus on Wednesday, 11/29/17 – thanks to Steve, Bob, and Gary, a very relaxed group and enjoyable partners. We went out as the 2nd Guru group behind Johnny’s rabbits, and almost never waited on them, and rarely even saw the group behind us, finishing in under 4 hours.

I played the Champions course here for the first time at the GK event last September, and this was my first time on Legends since walking some of the holes watching the old PGA Tournament of Champions back in the 1980s (Watson, Trevino, etc.). This is a resort-style course, fairly flat with the opening holes on each nine playing downwind away from the clubhouse, and both nines finishing into the breeze, making the closing holes play tougher as the wind freshens. The course generally has small greens, and many have ridges and swales separating different portions of the greens, creating small target areas if you want to be aggressive with the pins. Blue pins were often found in small isolated areas of the greens and some were in red-light locations! The number and severity of the sand traps are less forbidding than at Champions, especially along the fairways. We played the Member tees (6,135/70.7/127) – there are no uncomfortable looks off the tees, and things are fairly wide open. Forced carries are generally only with short irons. The course was fairly wet to start; there was small-area watering going on in several fairways during the round and we had to drop away.

Some greens early in the round were very thin and had fairly large patched areas as well as a light dusting of sand, that looked worse than they played – greens were fairly firm but held shots, and all rolled at medium-fast speeds, and you had to be very careful of downhill runouts. We were also fooled several times by the amount of slope on some of the greens that affected lines and runouts; repeated plays would be beneficial to better know how to position shots and putting lines. Greens were badly holding spike marks on the front side; green turf improved on the back side and we didn’t have those problems.

Keeping with the resort vibe, fairways are fairly generous without as many confining traps and hazards as on the Champions course. Many holes have mature trees to be avoided, but options are easily available to avoid being blocked out. Rough was cut short and easily playable; there were some scattered wet/mushy areas to be avoided with carts or on foot, generally well off the playing line. Tees were all pretty level (we played White) with only a couple slightly crowned; there were no divot mix boxes on most par-3 tee boxes. Traps all had very good sand that was easy to play from; they were somewhat damp early in the morning.

There’s a nice interactive GPS on the carts, but distances are given to the middle of the green only, not the pin position; a yardage book is available. The course uses the entry/exit gate system for carts, which I think minimizes and better controls cart wear on the course margins. The range was on mats today; a large chipping area is also available. The practice green had a lot of slope – golfers be aware!

The course uses a red/white/blue pin rotation, but it’s not strictly followed. The “order” switched at #10, but the result was that the par-3 holes all had blue flags – the course needs to use their imagination to address this. There was no refill rack for divot sand; we finally cannibalized an infrequent sand box on the 14th tee to refill our bottles.

This is a nicely-conditioned course, and a relaxed fun play in good conditions. A stiff wind would make the finishing stretches on each nine much more beastly. The price we got for the Guru round was a great value – players would have to decide if rack rates are worth the cost.
I’m not sure how much longer Los Serranos can keep flogging the “Course of the Year” award from 2012 – it’s all over the cart logos and banners in the parking lot. Conditions now remind me more of El Prado than Goose Creek.

Played on a clear hot Saturday morning 11/25/17, at 10am, paired with a traveling couple who found LS on GolfNow – we booked on the course site for $60. Much less wind than I’m accustomed to at LS made the day hotter, but wasn’t as much of a usual factor in shots. Overall, I was disappointed with course conditions. Greens had good coverage and held shots, but were very bumpy, rolling at medium+ speed that increased as they dried out. Fairways and rough were disappointing – you either got wet/lush growth or dry/hard/bare dirt. All fairways had scattered small and large bare areas. Balls in the fairway tended to sit tight, even where there was adequate grass cover. Rough was lush primarily around greens, but along fairways and (especially) under the numerous trees there was generally little to no grass, firm conditions resulted in balls running forever, and lies were a crapshoot. Some rough areas have been converted from grass to mulch. There are lots of sand traps here and they were in good shape, although local golfers are apparently unfamiliar with the concept of the rake. Many tees are sloping, and par-3 tees show lots of use (we played Blue). At least the course provides divot mix boxes on the par-3s – if only golfers would use them!

Basic carts. Range on grass today. Adequate water available. Snack shacks in operation on #s7, 13, and 16. Ponds fronting par-3s #10 and 17 have been removed since I was here 5 years ago, as well as the pond left of #12. We waited on most shots and finished in just over 5 hours – fairly typical for a weekend morning here. Saw one marshal who was not doing anything to move play. He did give us some refilled sand bottles on #10 – the refill rack on the 7th tee was empty.

Except for greens, overall turf conditions here are poor. There are numerous areas scattered around the course which are sloppy wet and badly rutted from equipment – I assume these are related to leaky points in the irrigation system, so there are lots of areas needing attention. Maybe some of that saved water can go to the dried-out fairway/rough areas that apparently get little water.
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