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What happened to Birch Hills?

I hate, hate, hate leaving bad reviews, but there's nothing good going on golf-wise at Birch right now. I wonder if they are just out of funding? Or if the nearby home construction is affecting course operations? There was only one pro shop employee today, and he was trying to check people in and run food from the kitchen at the same time...I didn't want to bother him with questions after the round.

Tee boxes are hardpan with almost no grass, and I'm guessing at least a week's worth of broken tee litter. Fairways are hardpan with dirt and weeds. The rough is weeds. Bunkers look ok from afar, but many have a bunch of black gravel hidden throughout the sand. And lastly, the greens did not heal correctly from being punched. Bumpy, dead spots, and inconsistent slow speeds. The whole course kind of looks like they never turned on the water after the rainy season ended.

Sorry Birch, I can't recommend that anyone play here. I truly hope whatever is going on gets sorted out soon.
10 Likes.
Day two of my Borrego trip. The guys in my group were burned out from Rams Hill yesterday, so I called the pro shop here and they were able to get me right out as a single. Made it through 14 holes before a shotgun started, the round lasted just over two hours with the last four holes taking almost as long as the previous 14.

I really enjoyed this course. It's got a very old school resort vibe and layout, with excellent conditioning throughout. A couple greenside bunkers were too firm, and the greens could have been a little faster, but overall I was very happy with the track. Just about everything is out in front of you with no surprises, and the greens don't have many undulations...so there are plenty of scoring opportunities. This is a great course to go low on, which I feel is a hallmark of resort style courses. The $49 rate I got as a walk on was a great value. Recommended if you're in the area for sure.
10 Likes.
Played 4/21 at 10:00 AM. I'd run out of superlatives trying to describe my experience, so I'll just leave it at "the best course I've ever played". Perfect throughout. This should be on every golfer's bucket list.
10 Likes.
Had a great time with the guru group today. We went out in two groups, with nobody ahead when we began and a single behind us that never really pressed us at all. Nice, low stress golf.

I found the course to be in pretty good shape overall. The tee boxes were mostly level with good coverage, I never had a bad lie in the fairways, and the rough ranged from just above fairway height to pretty deep and difficult. There are several areas that have been filled in with bark/mulch in an effort to conserve water. I found a few bunkers and they all had adequate sand in them, but my playing partners did mention that the pot bunkers on 16 need to be filled up a bit.

The greens were unfortunately the low point of the round. They were inconsistent in both speed and firmness from one green to the next, and still showed signs of recovery from aeration last month. There were also some chewed-up areas on a few of the collars that could use some attention. I found my putts didn't want to hold the line, even very short putts.

Overall I had a lot of fun, and I'm sure the greens will be taken care of in the near future. Los Serranos is a great facility and I enjoy playing either course every chance I get.
13 Likes.
Quick review. Played today at 9:30, $60 rack rate. Got out on time, slightly over 4 hour round. The course is very green and lush. Everything is good to very good...the fairways need to be mowed and then they will be great. Nice quick greens. Play this week before they punch.
10 Likes.
Played today with a 31.99 rate, finished in 3.5 hours so good pace for this place. The first hole is temporarily changed to a par 3, and many holes are CPO. Unlike most area courses, the rain was not kind to this place. Every surface from tee to green is very hard. The coverage on the tee boxes, fairways and rough was very spotty overall. Tough to get tees in the ground as well. Most bunkers were hard beneath maybe an inch of soft sand. The greens were surprisingly nice as far as ball damage and roll goes.

The service in the pro shop was excellent. However, we had a ground crew fellow just ahead of us for most of the round. He was dousing every green with so much water it was causing pooling, and would take his time doing it so we waited on most approach shots while he soaked everything. Pretty much ruined the round. Hopefully this was an anomaly and doesn't happen to the next gk'er that plays here.

Final impression: Needs to soften up and green up everywhere. It's still golf so it's still fun, but don't expect good lies.
11 Likes.
Public service announcement: Go here now if you can! Even with the jacked-up winter rate of $60 and the swarm of denim-wearing snowbirds, it's still worth it. Best condition I have ever seen this course in.

Points have been removed for the tee boxes, they are not all level. The markers were on downslopes a few times which was annoying. Other than that, conditions are near pristine throughout. The greens are faster and smoother than ever, my guess for a stimp reading would be around 12 or 13. And absolutely pure in regard to reading break. Best greens I've ever had the pleasure of putting on.

I could go on about the perfect mower lines in the green fairways, the amazing views at every turn, and the great customer service from the starter to the lady that cleans your clubs on 18, but I'll just say this: Go now for the greens!

Disclaimer: I did NOT play well, so this isn't a happy review based upon a stellar round. I'm just in awe of how well the crew maintains this gem in the desert.
14 Likes.
8:36 tee time, had a $20 off coupon for the "Member for a Day" deal. Very cold and windy round, scoring was difficult. However, despite that, the course is in great condition. Level tee boxes with minimal damage, immaculate green fairways, dormant rough ranging from springy to sort of hard pan, and great smooth greens that were quick and true. The bunkers are the only negative here, hard and very rocky. Mr. Palmer made this course fair yet challenging. I'd definitely be a member if I lived here year round. Worth the $$.
14 Likes.
Played ElDo today, 9:40 tee time. Got out on time, dodged the rain until #15. Long round, finished in just over 5 hours.

I didn't rate the course due to the wetness, everything is very saturated. However, aside from that, conditions were pretty decent. Tee boxes were mostly level with good coverage. The fairways were typical winter muni, decent coverage with some bare spots, a little thin overall. The rough ranged from slightly over fairway height to very penal. Lots of leaf litter as well. Bunkers were wet but very playable. The greens were awesome...most held shots well, putts held their lines, and they were smooth and fast, especially downhill.

It was cart path only today, so it definitely slowed play down. The rack rate of $67 including cart is pretty steep for a muni, but I like the old-school layout and decent conditions here so it's worth it.
6 Likes.
Wish I had seen dconnally's review before I booked this one. I agree with him, poor Dad Miller is going on the "do not play" list for me. The greens and bunkers were fine, the greens were actually pretty fast and smooth this morning, but the fairways are horrible. Total hardpan with lots of bare spots. The tee boxes were ugly too, with the markers placed in some bizarre positions just to get some grass under the ball. The rough ranges from completely bare to "I can't find my ball!". I think only a total aeration/overseed or complete re-sod can save the fairways at this point, they are so far gone. Maybe they can talk Tiger into paying for it since his learning center is just off the property.
15 Likes.
11:45 tee time today, I paid the birthday rate of $15 and the rest of my group paid $49. This course is known for its long rounds, and today was no different; we finished just before dark.

Overall conditions are really good. The tee boxes were level without a lot of damage, the fairways were lush with a few bare areas marked as GUR, the rough was cut low and wasn't penalizing at all. Some areas in the fairways were pretty tight and firm though, approaching hardpan. Fairway bunkers were firm and crusty, while the greenside bunkers had adequate, fluffy sand. I prefer the bunkers that way. The greens were smooth, rolled true, and were quite fast. Being below the hole was key. Some greens had new sod in the surrounding areas, and one bunker on one of the par 3s was GUR.

I don't know why it took me so long to play here, I really enjoyed the layout and conditions. Glad I finally got out here. The 19th hole is great, good food and drink. And a huge bonus, the beverage cart came around several times and has bloody marys and margaritas on tap! Bottom line: If you can get past the pace of play, this course is a gem. And a great value.
16 Likes.
Black Friday round, 8:26 AM, $65 rack rate. Overpriced, but the snowbirds will pay it so they get away with it. The round lasted just under 4 hours, so not too bad.

The course just came out of overseeding, 90* rule in effect. All aspects of the course are shaggy due to this, they should start mowing shortly. The greens, however, were very tight and very firm, no divot tool necessary. They had a light top dressing on them but still rolled well with medium speed and no bumps. The bunkers had lots of rocks in them, best to stay out.

They switched the 9s here at some point since I played last. I'm not a fan, as now the starting hole is one of the hardest holes on the course, and beginning your round with a potential big number is kind of a downer.

Service was great, with friendly personnel throughout. Beverage cart came by several times. I stick with my guns though, $65 is too much for this course. Will be back if I can find a deal.
12 Likes.
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