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Played this past Friday on a beautiful sunny day with hardly a breeze. This was my first time here, and I left satisfied, if a little disappointed. The tee boxes were great, the fairways too, and the rough was barely over fairway height. The bunkers were very firm, which was great if you were in a fairway bunker; greenside, not so much. The greens are where my disappointment mainly lies. They were super firm, with balls not leaving a mark...which I can deal with. They were very fast...which I love. However, there were many, many random bumps and unseen irregularities which made it nearly impossible to choose a line and execute a good putt. The course is beautiful, and the hundreds of funny little chipmunks running around made for some amusement, but the greens soured what could have been an epic day. I'm hoping they are able to smooth those greens out, I'd enjoy another crack at this one.
Mow the grass...roll the greens...and Butterfield would be in really good shape right now. As it stands, the course is super shaggy, with not much roll on drives, impossible rough in places, and bumpy, inconsistent greens. Long, shaggy tee boxes too. The bunkers are still wet and firm from last week's storm. They switched the 9s since I played here last, and all the signs have been changed to avoid tee off on the old #10 (near #1 of the Chino Creek course). I think I like this routing better. Even with the long grass, I still enjoyed my round.
Ah, the joys of showing up as a single. Had an 8:45 tee time for $38, got off about 10 minutes late due to the three "locals" I was paired up with; they were arguing with the starter because they didn't want to play with me. Great start to the round. Sigh.

The course is in very choppy winter condition. Unmowed across the board due to recent rains, everything (tees, fairways, rough and greens) is long, shaggy and slow. Bunkers were hard and muddy. A mowing would help conditions, but probably not much due to the mixed grasses pretty much everywhere.

The bones of the course are still intact, and the design is mostly pretty good...but I'll be staying away for a few months to see how better weather can improve this place. Not recommended at this time.
Played yesterday at 12:04. I really have nothing to add to the last review, he nailed it. The starter was a bit more talkative when we were there though. This was my first time out at OQ and it won't be my last. Challenging but fair from the blues, very picturesque, a good variety of hole designs...I'm just happy it was a very light day for the wind, I imagine it gets very tough when it blows.
Played yesterday at 10:37, got out on time. Almost a five hour round, which is typical when the "winter visitors" are in town. The waiting between shots wasn't unbearable though.

The bad: The bunkers were a bit more firm and crusty than usual.

The good: Everything else. The greens are smooth, receptive, moderate speed uphill and fast downhill. Stay below the hole for sure. The fairways are perfect. Seriously. As is the rough, very lush but still playable with the correct club selection. I played from the blue tees, which don't get much use this time of year, and they were untouched and pristine, with perfect grass height.

The rack rate was $50, which is always a steal for the quality you get here. #6 is, in my opinion, one of the best par 4 golf holes you can play, anywhere. But there are many other postcard worthy holes as well. Spectacular views, superb conditions, unique layout in the canyons...get past the pace of play and you'll be one happy golfer just taking it all in here. Highly recommended if you're anywhere close.
Got out this morning at 6:30, $52 rack rate to walk. The course was damp and really shaggy throughout, like it hadn't been mowed in a couple of days. The tee boxes were too long, the fairways didn't have much roll, and the rough was up quite a bit, making recovery shots difficult. Just very lush, a little too lush, overall. My legs are really sore from all the extra resistance from pushing my cart through the long grass, fairway or otherwise. I wasn't in any sand but my partner was and it was wet and firm. The greens totally saved the, receptive, true, and barely any ball mark damage. A joy to putt on, even though my putter wasn't listening to me today. This course is a little steep for what you get with the riding rate, but the price to walk makes it a decent choice. I'll play here again after they mow the lawn!!!
Played yesterday at 2:22 for $32 w/cart, just under 4 hour round. The last review a week ago stated conditions were they are less than OK in my opinion. The greens were not good, with inconsistent speeds, dead spots, and way more unrepaired ball marks than usual (which is saying something, because there are usually a lot!). Patchy fairways, lots of piles of grass clippings all over, and plenty of straight dirt lies. The bunkers I was in had plenty of soft sand over a decent base, so there's the bright spot. Needs some work.
TPC Santa Ana is in halfway decent shape! Played after work, $28 to ride, just over 3 hour round. Tees are typical, hit and miss, but no problem finding a decent area to hit from. Fairways are pretty ok, mostly good lies with some bare and burned out spots. The rough is semi diabolical, some areas will eat your ball and not spit it out. Bunkers are average, some with weeds, but playable. Greens were fairly smooth, plenty receptive, and a touch faster than normal Wick speeds. Fun round today.
Played today, 8:52 tee time but they were running a few minutes behind. Pace was just over 5 hours, typical Sunday round. It was very hot and humid, I'm surprised so many golfers were out there today.

Conditions have changed a bit from the most recent review, and for the better. The greens showed a slight remnant of recent small tine punching but ran fast, smooth and true. Fairways were cut tight so there was plenty of roll, but the ball always sat up nicely. The rough has grown a bit, mostly just lush but some very penal areas. Tees were level and lush. I wasn't in any sand, but a playing partner complained of rocks in one.

Overall the course is lush and green, with few dried out areas. For a Muni that gets this much play, Rio Hondo is just top notch in my opinion as far as conditions go. The uneven fairways and subtle elevation changes take this from what would be a flat, "up and back" course to a really fun layout.
Teed off at 8:27, finished just before 2. The round didn't feel that long, but we did wait on every shot.

This was my first time here, and it was very fun. This course is right at the base of the foothills, and as such has many uneven lies and elevation changes. The conditions are overall quite average, but the setting makes up for that. Not a dog track by any means, but definitely no Goose Creek either.

A word to other first time players: You will not score well. You will three-putt. Often. You may even four-putt; I did on #5. Missed the hole, rolled back, rinse, repeat. The greens are unreadable your first time out. With a few more rounds I'm sure I'll learn the nuances, and I will be back. Bonus points for all the deer hanging out and watching you bomb your tee shots!
A quick review...played yesterday, Father's Day, a very long round as expected so can't complain about that. I can complain about the greens though. They were quick and receptive, but whoever is cutting the hole locations is insane! There are 15-20 unhealed old hole locations per green easy, and most putts have at least one or two in your line. Kind of a bummer.

The rest of the course was shaggy, not mowed in a few days so no roll in the fairways but fluffy lies everywhere. The bunkers were very wet and difficult to escape. I'm writing this off to the heat wave this week and hope it's a one off.
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.
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