Golf Course Reviews
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Played Anaheim Hills Golf Course Friday August 31st 2018 as a twosome with my friend Bob. We would be joined by a single Steven on the fifth hole. Round was booked on Underpar and the two of us played 18 holes, with small range bucket and cart with GPS for $34 per person. Our tee time was 12:48, we got out at 12:10.
The parking lot is large, the facility is attractive with a private club feel. The pro-shop has the necessary items in case you forget anything and the staff is friendly, efficient and knows how to process the Underpar round. We checked in a little over an hour early, got our ticket for the range balls and told we could go out have 12:05pm there was a foursome and threesome that had priority.
The driving range is basic, and being reworked. The hut with the ball machine needed a cleaning but the machine worked fine. Mats were good on the upper deck where we warmed up.
Practice greens. The practice greens were neat available right next to the driving range and another next to the starter stand. Both were in much better condition than any of the greens we found on course.
The carts are nice, clean, seem new and have a very good GPS that lets you know how your progressing against the planned play time, locates the other carts on course as many of the fairways require blind shots, and are set to prevent your from getting to many areas on the fairways. This last feature well it protects the course can be devastating to scores, if you have a bad shot and don’t have the right club. With the Kikuyu grass on this course especially around greens you are already hiking into the tendency is to play follow up shots with whatever club you have.
The course according to signage is undergoing upgrades and renovation.
This course is hilly, and features significant elevation changes, blind tee shots, blind approach shots. My two key takeaways from my round, a first at Anaheim Hills is that this not a course suitable for a high handicapper. I enjoy challenges, and don’t mind losing a ball or two, that said if Steven a member at the course had not joined us the round would have been far less enjoyable for me. Steve knows the course well, and could advise on targets, without this the round likely would have been a train wreck as every fairway slopes some way or another, and there are native areas the cut into fairways that are unseen.

The tee boxes on first inspection look very good, however most are not level, and a few actually have terrain features link spines running through them. Good footing is at a premium. Most tees are either elevated, well below the hole, and many feature waste areas to cross.
Fairways were very good overall, there were the usual one or two overwatered spots, and some areas were a little brown and thin, on whole they are in great shape for late summer. There are few level lies, the ball will undoubtedly be above or below your feet. My usually playing partner that will play a course like Big Rec or Sky Links to 6 over found himself playing bogey golf and felt the numerous blind shots, unlevel lies and massive elevation changes were gimmicky and did not enjoy the course at all. I on the other hand thought the views were wonderful, felt the designer had used the existing contours of the canyon pretty much unchanged, much as the founders of golf did in Scotland. This course could cause you to drink.

Rough. Where there is rough along the fairway it’s long, spidery, Kikuyu that grabs the club like an angry octopus. The rough around the greens were deeper and more difficult.

Out of bounds. There are extensive environmentally protected out of bounds areas, which are populated by rattle snakes. In several areas the GPS would post a warning, and there were hard signs in the ground along the fairway.
Bunkers. Over all the bunkers were in good condition with good sand, we did find one fairway bunker flooded, and had to rake it to find the tee shot that was lost. From the tees you couldn’t see the bunker. Bunkers both fairway and especially greenside are used extensively to protect the course as if a course with this much elevation changed need a stronger defense. (Was so glad my laser range finder had slope)
Additional defense. It never got bad, but besides sloping fairways, elevation changes, blind tee and approach shots, and the greens, being in a canyon this course is protected by wind. At times a one club elevation change was complicated by a one to two club breeze.

Greens. The greens are the low point of what is otherwise beautiful course, they are smaller than most practice par three course, and they seem to have suffered a fungal infection or a disagreeable bout of over seeding. Some looked water erosion damaged but counter intuitive to the topography of the green. There were a number of subtle breaks, curves, slopes, and on a couple of occasions tiers. The condition of the grass, and the overall bumpiness meant that putting was a combination of challenge and pure luck.

As a double bogey golfer this course is clearly more technical and challenging that I should be playing. Despite that I enjoyed the course and the people a lot. (well OK all but the guy mowing the grass around the green I was putting on, and the ushers for the wedding party hooting and hollering well I was trying to put on 18. (hey they were just having fun).

We saw the cart girl twice and she had a well-stocked cart with fair prices. The Snack bar was a little slow at the turn, but the hot dog was great, the bun fresh, and the attendant was kind enough to tell us that the price of dog and drink is the same with or without chips, did we want chips. I didn’t try the restaurant.

I like this course, and I would play it again, but I wouldn’t bring my regular playing partner. I would have to play with someone like our single Steven who knows the course well. I would also temper my expectations knowing that it’s a challenge. The thing I would most like to see fixed are the tee boxes. Great coverage, lack of divot damage, don’t help when your facing a long carry over a hazard to a sloping fairway form an unlevel lie.
10 Likes.
Played the nine-hole Par 3 course at Lake Forest Golf and Practice center Monday 08/27/2018, as a single, on a warm evening, teeing off a little after 5pm. The course was busy with disk golf and regular golf but played quickly in just over an hour and forty-five minutes.
Upon arriving the range was moderately busy, the practice green was full, and the chipping area had one-person practicing. The pro-shop had a couple of golfers waiting to get out, and the staff was very efficient and pleasant.
This is a walking course comprised of two par fours, and seven par 3 holes. Today the par threes were playing from 68 yards, to 120 yards.
Porta Potty’s at the first tee, 7th tee crossover was clean.
Tee boxes were mostly level, and lush, with moderate divot damage as would be expected, many were playing back. Ball washers were full and working.
Fairways seem to be patchwork of every type of grass imaginable in Southern California. The coverage is good, and honestly you should only be in a fairway on the fifth and ninth hold anyway.
Rough is penal, but choppy with some bare spots, the main defense for the course are small greens, and nearby out of bounds.
Bunkers were surprisingly good, with decent coverage of soft sand in all but those on the ninth hole. I was unfortunately in more than a couple of them and was able to get up and down.
Greens were in very good condition and there were few un-repaired ball marks. Pleasantly there were no sunflower seeds on any of the greens.
Kudos to the greens keepers for trimming the brush between the fairway leading to the ninth hole and the green so you can actually see if someone in on the green from most spots.
At the $5 dollars this costs me on my American Golf Players Club, (with a drink) I still consider it a value and provides good practice for my short game.
9 Likes.
Played Westridge Golf Club in La Habra, Friday 8/24/2018, 1:30 pm tee time on a Underpar deal at $35 per player with cart. (Restrictions on deal were a tee time after 10am Mon-Friday).
Arrived early checked in at the pro shop. Staff was nice, but the attendant on duty was not familiar with Underpar or the deal being offered and tried to tell me we could only play the morning even though she confirmed we were scheduled for 1:30pm until corrected by her co-worker, who then showed her how the voucher worked. Fortunately, we got checked in, when downstairs and checked in with the starter (very nice) got our cart and headed for the driving range. Medium bucket 80 balls was $8 dollars (The underpar deal did not come with range balls).
The driving range is very attractive the hitting bays have very fashionable club holders, cup holder, and tent covered driving bays. There is a sign on one waring of low overheard which seems odd for a place where you are swinging a club. The mats were in good condition but both my buddy and I commented on how much they moved during the swing. The cool looking club stand had a open are that regularly allowed clubs to fall thought and scatter. Not a strong point. Practice green was small but representative.
We were sent out about ten minutes early with a note we might be joined by twosome either at the tee or as we played. The twosome showed up as we were teeing up and I am glad they did. Two guys who regularly play this course Tony and Glenn were among the nicest guys I have played with. My buddy is a single digit handicap so it was nice that both of these guys were completive with him. I had a tough day with a two-way miss.
The course is beautiful, located in the hills of La Habra not far form Beach Blvd, off of Imperial. It’s not as majestic as Black Gold, but I think I like it even better layout wise. The fairways are very narrow and slope hard to one side. There is little in the way of rough, errant shots are most likely to find native area that is protected both by rule, and rattle snake as a result, I donated about three sleeves of balls. Where there was rough it was deep and very penal.
Carts are basic, no GPS, clean functional.
The tee boxes were lush but could have been more level, and compact. There were some irregularities not quite holes, soft or very hard areas. The tee boxes aren’t terrible and aren’t too unlevel, just lumpy however given the overall condition of the course they are the noticeable let down.
Rough, most rough is around the green, and in thin strips along the fairway. If the ball stops in the rough it will require all your attention as it is thick and sticky, but given the slope of the fairways the ball is as likely to go out of bounds. This is not a course the rewards spray and pray.

The fairways are narrow and feature very good coverage of mostly green grass. If you control your ball find the fairway, don’t get an unlucky bounce you will still most likely find yourself with a uphill, sidehill, downhill, uneven lie. This course takes the contours of the hills its built on and challenges the golfer.
The narrow undulating fairways pockmarked with fairway bunkers seem to be the courses main defense. This is target golf.
Bunkers - The course features numerous fairway and greenside bunkers. The fairway bunkers are a fair test but deeper than many I have seen on other courses, and the greenside bunkers look like they were dug by marines defending the area. The use of Bunkers around some greens present almost a moat surrounding the putting surface. The bunkers look nice; however, most are hardpacked sand / dirt. If you get in a bunker you will need to have studied Gary Player and Lee Trevino’s techniques for getting out of hardpan bunkers, there are no explosion shots here.
The greens are beautiful, fast with more breaks than tv show. I loved the greens, if you holed a one putt on these greens of more than four feet you feel accomplished.
This course has a really nice playing layout, with majestic views of the surrounding community. The tee boxes need a little attention, the bunkers well hard packed are very playable. Pace of play is very good, we took around four hours. The course needs more water stations. The separation of the parking lot from the clubhouse, and the starters station do a good job of preventing you bringing a cooler of water, however there were only two water stations on the course (at least that we saw), there were two low output water fountains by the restrooms. The snack bar is such that you have to go off route to stop as you make the turn and with the pace of play we experienced on Friday that would have been a train wreck. There is no sign on course giving you a number to pre-order. We did not see a beverage cart on course at any time during the round.

Would I recommend this course, yes very much, and I would definitely play it again at this rate? It’s not easy, and I was physically sore for a couple of days after playing. The course overall is in good shape, and well worth testing your game against.
8 Likes.
Dad Miller
Played Dad Miller Monday 07/23/2018 on a deal from Underpar – Two golfers, cart, and small bucket of range balls for $79.95 8am tee time. (Free replay if we wanted it)
Facility is very nice clean restrooms, well stocked pro shop with very friendly and efficient staff, and a small restaurant. (we didn’t partake, but can get a draft beer for a buck with your starter receipt). We checked in at 7am, picked up our cart and range ball certificates.
The driving range is across the street adjacent to the 11th tee box. Driving range is in good condition, hitting off of mats with a good number of targets to aim at. Our only problem was with my playing partners certificate. The ball machine would not accept the #4. We split my bucket and warmed up. The chipping and pitching area located by the driving range well the putting green is located near the club house. My only complaint is with the chipping area as the simulated green is not mown like the greens meaning you don’t get representative rollout during practice. The practice putting greens are perfect.
The carts are nice, and feature GPS. The GPS is unique in that it controls the cart. We turned incorrectly up a sidewalk and the GPS put the cart in .5 mph limp mode and posted a warning. Crossing fairway past the green (there was not cart waring sign) from a shot to the opposite fairway, the cart actually stopped until we backed up and then changed course.
Rest areas. The course has well placed bathrooms however they are protected by keypad locks. We happen to be playing with a marshal on his day off, and he had the code, but that could have been a problem otherwise. You would think during playing hours they would be unlocked. The GPS accuracy was excellent. The only drinking water on the course were water fountains located near the restrooms. We did not see a hospitality cart during the round, however a marshal with a large jug of ice water made several stops to offer us cold water during the round on a day when the afternoon temperature reached over 95 degrees.
Tee boxes were mostly level with a couple of exceptions, with good footing and lush coverage. We played form the blues giving the course a distance of 5,892 yards.
Fairways were mostly lush and green with a few lush brown spots. Truly bare spots were rare. There were numerous wet, soppy and even muddy areas along the sides of the fairways. There was a significant amount of maintenance being done to the course, mowing, watering, etc. The water only affected me twice and I took relief. The primary defense of this course are trees and dog legs. The course plays longer than the stated length would imply. The moister of the fairways, and irrigation of the greens meant there was little rollout from tee shots.

Rough for the most part it was dry, however this among the hardest rough I have played in Southern California. Between 3” and 4” deep, it is sticky, holding onto the ball. Very penal, prevalent, with few thin areas.

Greens were near perfect except for the occasional unrepaired divot mark. Fast putting surface combined with slope and tilt and you have an exciting match.

Bunkers. I wasn’t in a bunker, the deep rough was bad enough, I am glad I missed testing the bunkers. They looked well filled with quality sand.

For me $40 is a higher than average green fee. Dad Miller was worth cost. Great playing conditions, a challenging course that has the lore of having served as Tigers home course well in High School, who’s TGR center is next door too.
Dad Miller was voted Course of the Year by the golf course association. Well done.
11 Likes.
Played Meadowlark in Huntington Beach Thursday 07/16/2018, with a 12:15PM scheduled tee time on a Golf Now Hot Deal @29 per player with cart, plus fee. Used my $25 discount code earned by booking an earlier round during the July promotion. My cost with fee was $7.98.
Arrived early 10:45AM driving up from Mission Viejo early to assure time to stretch, practice pitching and chipping. The parking lot was about 20% full and the course was pretty open. I practiced pitching, chipping and putting before checking in at 11:25am and getting assigned a cart which I prepped and then went to the clubhouse restaurant for a tasty bagel. I did not try to go out early however when I went back into the pro shop to get a pencil the starter told me a twosome had just gone off at 11:40 there would be another at 11:50 which hadn’t checked in yet. I could tee off an catch up to the twosome or wait for the 11:50 to check in. I tee’d off to catch the twosome at 11:45.
Upfront I have warm feelings about Meadowlark, as it is the course I learned to play golf on in 1971. I like the layout of this course and the challenges. This classic course built in 1922. (Having moved to HB in 1969 when there was very little around, I can’t imagine how this got built in 1922) wind and doglegs are it’s primary defense.

The course has ample parking, a nice pro shop, and restaurant. The practice range is OK, with mats the only option. The practice green is very representative of conditions on course both in speed and contour. Carts were neatly lined up in front of the pro shop. They are clean efficient and simple, no GPS. Weather for my round was pleasant, blue sky, fluffy clouds, and about a 5-knot breeze wind that would grow to 10 knots with higher gusts as the round progressed. High was in the mid 80’s.
I played from the whites. Meadowlark is not an overly long course playing 5,568 yards from the blues, and 5251 from the whites.
Tee boxes were mostly level, light divot damage, with few brown spots. Ground was spongey in some spots. Overall good footing was easy to find.
Fairways were mostly lush, with patches of brown grass, roll was very good. The course had been heavily watered and there were some areas of mud, soggy rough, and standing water in dips in the cart path.
Meadowlark features concrete cart paths, which the course requires carts to stay to on some holes, and they force you onto in same areas around greens. Currently there are many signs telling golfers to exit the cart path only at a 90-degree angle to their ball. You are not to drive up the fairway. Many of these are in desperate need of maintenance. Either Kidney belts or raised ground clearance are needed until they can be patched replaced. I suspect the California national guard could use Meadowlarks cart paths to test the durability of armored vehicles.
Fairway rough is thick with bare patches, sticky and penal. These are aided by a large tree population defining the fairway. There is water on the course, but it is not the primary defense of the course.
Fairway bunkers – there are very few fairway bunkers on the course, but those that are present are like their greenside counterparts, well cared for sand was compact in the two bunkers I played from requiring a chop shot exit taught by Gary Player and Lee Trevino vs the more fashionable sand explosion shot.
There are three forced carries of water, none of which are that daunting. The primary defense for this course are the postage stamp size greens and on this day the wind. The numerous trees hide the strength and direction of the wind, when the ball gets above them shots get exciting and your recovery game will be tested. The greens are Poa Annua mowed very tight resulting in very fast greens, firm with few levels lies lots of slope in all directions, and ridges. The pin placements today were most frequently on a ridge or the break of a false front. On several occasions balls that landed within 5 feet of the pin rolled to the fringe or off the greens. I felt the greens were softer than when I last played here in May, and fair, there are a couple that are best described as upside down salad bowls, but they rolled reasonable well there a number of unrepaired ball marks.
Pace of play was excellent, I was not able to catch the twosome in front of me until the ninth hole and only because they had caught up with another twosome that was walking. They asked me to play through. Essentially although the course was busy, I had the course to myself. I completed the round in exactly three hours.
I really enjoy this course. The greens are in overall good condition. The elevation changes, judicious use of water, bunkers and trees puts a premium on finding fairways. The upside-down salad bowl greens mean you want to use a very lofted wedge if you can. There is currently a lot of ground under repair, the most extensive being the eighteenth hole where it compromises the route to the hole. If the wind hadn’t been present this might not have been an issue, but as the largest section of GIR sits adjacent to the large fairway bunker and water in a natural lay up zone it made playing the hole much harder.

At the Golf Now Hot Deal price of $29 this is a very good course, at rack rate during the week can still be a good value. Right now, in this condition I recommend playing. The coastal location makes for great playing weather, and the design of the course will challenge you. Bombing driver is often not rewarded.
Now if we can get them to fix the cart path that they want us all to stay too.
8 Likes.
Played Costa Mesa Country Club – Los Lagos course on Monday after noon on Golf Now rate of $44 per golfer including cart. Tee time was 10am and we got our promptly our twosome paired with a threesome of walkers. One walker would leave after nine holes, the others would pick up a cart at the turn.

Check in was easy, the pro shop is well stocked for the golfer that may have forgotten a needed item. the facility includes a driving range, very nice practice greens that represent the two courses Los Lagos and Mesa Linda well. Carts are very basic, clean.
The snack bar in across from the pro shop adjacent to the locker room. Prices are on par with most courses however the hot dog well properly cooked was flavorless, and the bun a little on the stiff not quite stale side. We would see the course cart three or four times during the round, however on one occasion she drove right into the line of fire as we were teeing on a par three causing my partner to stop his swing. Very pleasant however and well stocked cart.

Marshall did a very nice job sending out the groups even though there were fivesomes like ours, and I even saw a six-some. Surprisingly all groups played ready golf, there was very little waiting, none at the par threes. The round took close to five hours well never dragging.
The tee boxes were level, mostly lush, with little divot damage. The course starts off with a pair of par 5’s and is a fair layout. The courses primary defense is shape, doglegs left and right, with water and trees coming into play for errant shots. Bunkers are mostly used around the smallish greens, which are themselves protected by slope and in some cases tier.

Fairways were mostly lush, mostly green with very little brown, they are clearly being watered, however there were some very pronounced bare spots on most holes. The fairway presents a range of angles, dips, ball above feet, below feet on most shots. Most fairways are wide the undulations mean that three of you can all hit the ball the same distance and still have very different lies wellbeing in the fairway. All fair but your ball control skills are tested.
Fairway rough was largely absent, one to two inches at most, what you do find a lot of are pine needles which present a challenge to ball sticking and balance. Again, a very fair test for the golfer who has erred off the wide fairways.
Greenside rough is very different than the fairway rough being both deeper and stickier. The first cut is thick, the second cut is penal and seems to carry down to the way the fairway is cut for those shots that land within ten to twenty yards off the green. Putting form ten yards off the ground will seldom be successful. At the same time with the mild seventy-degree temps, cool sea breeze the morning watering had not fully dried around the greens.

Greens were very good despite having been recently punched and sanded. The punches were very fine, not the normal plugs being pulled and there was little disruption to the balls roll, and the greens were consistently very fast. Very enjoyable with challenging pin placements some just two or three paces on hidden behind bunkers.
Bunkers – the sand looked in good condition, raked, and fluffy, however none of our group were in a bunker to comment.

Complaints, not many really, the big for me are the cart paths, and fairways near the cart path. I am pretty sure the concrete cart paths have been victims of IED’s they are cracked, rutted, cratered, which means you need to a cart driver with calm demeanor. At the entry or exit of a cart bath onto or off of the course you are likely to have a wide rut, occasional filled with water hiding the depth of said rut. Make sure your health insurance has chiropractic.

Complaints about the cart paths aside, in its current condition I would rate Los Lagos as my favorite full-size course under $50 in the area from Long Beach to Carlsbad. It’s in much better condition than Lakewood, or Meadowlark, as good as Skylinks, it gets far less traffic than its neighbor Mesa Linda which is shorter. Well worth checking out.
9 Likes.
Costa Del Sol – Played Wednesday 05/16/2018 using my American Golf Players Club twilight rate of $5. Price includes 18 holes, cart and a drink. Tee time 3:00 PM. Played as a single joined by a single and twosome. Three great guys.
Check in was quick, and friendly. Facilities were in good condition; the practice green is healing form the recent aeration and is very representative of the green on course. They were running unusually fast today. Cart was clean, score cards are available at the first tee. The course was busy and the round took just over three hours. There were only two holes where we had a wait of any real substance, roughly 3-5 minutes.
Tees were playing alternately very up front, or from the tips. Lies were mostly level with good coverage. Whoever laid out the tees also decided to try and move them the extreme right or left of each tee box, and at really odd (Challenging) angles.
Fairways were in good condition, good coverage very few bare spots. Fairway rough was sparse.
Bunkers were a mix of firm sand, and hard pack. Not sure where the sand that was there a few week ago went to.
Greens were in good condition, with excellent coverage, however still very bumpy as the aeration heals. At this point they visually appear like a quilt, with a light topcoat of stand. Even the best puts are jumping on the bumps. Greens are firm but will hold a shot that has spin. There were a moderate number of un-repaired ball marks. Green-side rough was very short, and splotchy, almost weed like.
Pace of play was good at just over three hours with a full course. At the turn my partners wanted a beer, the bar was closed, the snack bar and outdoor grill were closed.

At the rack rate I consider this a good course, at the club rate it’s a deal, and at the twilight club rate it’s a steal.
10 Likes.
Played Meadowlark in Huntington Beach Thursday 05/10/2018, with a 12:15PM scheduled tee time on a Golf Now Hot Deal $35 per player with cart, plus fee.
Arrived early 10:30AM driving up from Mission Viejo early to assure time to stretch, practice pitching and chipping. The parking lot was about 20% full and the course was pretty open. I mention this to note that Meadowlark is one of those rare facilities (at least that I have found) that will not send a Prepaid player out on course early even if there is room available. I don’t believe I saw a single golfer tee off between 10:45 and 11:45 with a foursome went off. My partner and I were called to the tee at 12 noon along with a single.

Upfront I have warm feelings about Meadowlark, as it is the course I learned to play golf on in 1971. I like the layout of this course and the challenges. As such I will share some complaints from my best friend who has a different view of this classic course built in 1922. (Having moved to HB in 1969 when there was very little around, I can’t imagine how this got built in 1922).

The course has ample parking, a nice pro shop, and restaurant. The practice range is OK, with mats the only option. The practice green is very representative of conditions on course both in speed and contour. Carts were neatly lined up in front of the pro shop. The are clean efficient and simple, no GPS. Weather for our round was perfect, blue sky, fluffy clouds, and about a 5-knot wind that would grow to 5 to 10 knots as the round progressed. High was in the mid 70’s cooling off by 4PM to the low 70’s.
Chris our single played the course to an 8 over from the blues, my playing partner played to 10 over from the whites, I played from the whites. Meadowlark is not an overly long course playing 5,568 yards from the blues, and 5251 from the whites.
Tee boxes were mostly level, light divot damage, with some lush brown spots. Ground was neither too hard nor too soft. Good footing was easy to find.
Fairways were mostly lush, with patches of brown grass, roll was very good. The course had the sprinklers on at 11:00AM for a short period. As we reached the back nine, my partners had trouble on the right side of the fairways in areas that significant shade and as a result were more marsh than fairway on #12. There were several other small muddy spots. They did not affect me but were a problem for my partners. (unkind words were spoken about the course watering during play).
Meadowlark features concrete cart paths, which the course forces you onto in same areas around greens. Many of these are in desperate need of maintenance. Either Kidney belts or raised ground clearance are needed until they can be patched replaced.
Fairway rough is thick with bare patches, sticky and penal. These are aided by a large tree population defining the fairway. There is water on the course, but it is not the primary defense of the course.
Fairway bunkers – there are very few fairway bunkers on the course, but those that are present are like their greenside counterparts, well cared for and filled with fluffy sand.
There are three forced carries of water, none of which are that daunting. The primary defense for this course are the postage stamp size greens. The greens are Poa Annua mowed very tight resulting in very fast greens, firm with few levels lies lots of slope in all directions, and ridges. The pin placements today were most frequently on a ridge or the break of a false front. On several occasions balls that landed within 5 feet of the pin rolled to the fringe or off the greens. I felt the greens were very hard, but fair, my playing partner described them a upside down salad bowls, and again did not have kind words for them, despite them rolling reasonable well even late in the day, and with few unrepaired ball marks.
Pace of play was good, it could have been a little better but we had a foursome of twenty somethings playing in front of us, that were playing multiple shots, and tended to wait until the green in front of them was clear despite not being able to get a shot straight down a fairway or over 200 yards at any time during the round. They did mange to hit a tree and almost hit me and hit balls into some yards on shanks. This brings up the point that well we say the cart girl at least four times during the round, we did not see a single marshal. Pace of play was 4.5 hours.
I really enjoy this course. The greens are in very good condition. The elevation changes, judicious use of water, bunkers and trees puts a premium on finding fairways. The upside-down salad bowl greens mean you want to use a very lofted wedge if you can.

At the Golf Now Hot Deal price of $35 this is a very good course, at rack rate during the week can still be a good value. Right now in this condition I recommend playing. The coastal location makes for great playing weather, and the design of the course will challenge you. Bombing driver is often not rewarded.
10 Likes.
Played Costa Mesa Country Club Los Lagos course Monday 04/30/2018 on a Golf Now Hot Deal for $25 with cart less a very generous $20 Promo Code provided by abbacat . Round cost $8.34.

The Pro Shop is very nice, well stocked if you have forgotten anything, and friendly I checked in about 45 minutes early and they just gave me the cart key and sent me out. There was a starter at the Mesa Linda course with a line, and there was no starter and no line at the Los Lagos Course. I practiced my putting at one of the three practice greens and rolled up to the first tee met my playing partner Matt, and off we went. There is a very nice driving range available, since my back and hamstring were sore, I chose not warm up. Carts are clean but basic no GPS, no ice chest.
Conditions were mostly overcast, cool, and windy to approximately 15 knots.
The first tee and every tee was lush, virtually no divot damage and level. Matt and I played from the whites playing to a total yardage of 6,238 yards.
Fairways were mostly green with some brown, mostly lush with some areas of bare dirt especially along the cart entry point for each hole, and at some locations to the sides of the fairways were shade from the trees retards grass growth.
Rough wasn’t a major factor, mostly thin and patch along the fairways and littered with seeds, pine needles, leaves and twigs. Rough around the greens was deep approximately 4” and very even presenting mostly good lies.
Fairway bunkers were in good shape, with full coverage of heavy sand and played fair. Greenside bunkers had the same heavy sand, but where filled deeper than their fairway counterparts. All bunkers were in good condition. Players who had been in the bunkers were using the abundant rakes to repair the bunker, always a good sign.
Greens had excellent grass coverage, many slope fronts to back, or side to side, with a few featuring pronounced tiers. The greens had been recently punched and sanded so good rolls were difficult to obtain. Most rolled well but some in the late afternoon rolled like a motocross track. To the credit of players before us they were doing a very good job of repairing ball marks, and there were no sunflower seeds to be seen.
Pace of play was incredible at just under 3.5 hours. We could have played faster but virtually having the course to ourselves, we played at a steady pace well enjoying conversation. The Snack bar by the club house was closed, there was a stocked beverage cart sitting out front when we teed off, but there was no one attending it, and we never saw it on course. The locker rooms at the course were nice and clean though of older design. My one complaint of the course is the long stretch between comfort stations. We did have some begging sparrows, and squirrels, but none were obnoxious.

Last year I played the sister course Mesa Linda and come away unimpressed, Los Lagos is a very different course, and I look forward to playing it again as soon as I can.
12 Likes.
Thursday 04/26/2018 Played Casta del Sol on an American Golf Players Club Twilight rate of $5 with cart and drink. Tee time 3pm, pace of play 3:30 minutes. The facility was humming but as usual the pro shop was pleasant, and the marshal friendly. The bar is currently closed as the area is under renovation.
Carts are basic, clean and do their job. The practice green was busy with juniors and coaches but they kindly made room for others. It was not posted on the American Players Club website, however the greens at Casa del Sol have been punched, which would be the Bain of my round as they were not evenly sanded, there were clumps of sand and it was impossible to get a rhythm on the greens.
Played as a foursome with a charming couple and a friend of theirs following a high school match between Mission Viejo and Tesoro High Schools. We were then followed by a couple of foursomes, followed by a Junior PGA competition. Well first nine holes were somewhat slow with us having to wait for the first seven holes, the back nine was wide open as the high school match was only nine holes.
Tee boxes were lush, relatively free of unrepaired divots, and configured to create challenging sight lines and distance that I had not seen before at what I consider a home course. All but the eighth tee box were level.
Fairways were lush, mostly dry and rolling well. Perhaps because of the unusual tee placements and angle there were few if any divots in the landing areas.
Rough was thicker than it has been recently, a little spotty in places more like a patchwork but effective at creating stress. Most of the rough around the greens was cut short.

Bunkers were clean, with abundant sand that was particularly heavy feeling. Several bunkers were unraked.
Greens as I mentioned were punched, they should be back to normal on the front nine in about two weeks, and on the back nine which is in better condition in a week to ten days.
I would still like to see the course add a relief station at the fifth tee.
Punched greens or not it’s hard to complain in any way about 18 holes for $5, with a cart and drink. I had fun, the warm weather 74 degrees at start gave way to about 70 degrees and a nice half, to one club breeze by the time we finished up 18. As is normal this time of year there were an abundance of squirrels, water fowl, and bugs, none of which were particularly annoying. The high school teams were consummate gentlemen, my playing partners were very enjoyable, and the overall course condition was good.
If you have to pay rack rate, I would hold off on playing here for a couple of weeks. If you can play on a discount it’s a great deal.
8 Likes.
Played the nine-hole Par 3 course at Lake Forest Golf and Practice center Tuesday 04/24/2018, as a single, on a sunny still afternoon, teeing off a little after 12pm. The course was busy but played quickly in just over an hour.
Upon arriving the range was moderately busy, the practice green was full, and the chipping area unused. The pro-shop had a couple of golfers waiting to get out, and the staff was very efficient and pleasant.
This is a walking course comprised of two par fours, and seven par 3 holes. Today the par threes were playing from 55 yards, to 120 yards.
Porta Potty’s at the first tee, 7th tee crossover were clean.
Tee boxes were mostly level, and lush, with moderate divot damage as would be expected. Ball washers were full and working.
Fairways seem to be patchwork of every type of grass imaginable in Southern California. The coverage is good, and honestly you should only be in a fairway on the fifth and ninth hold anyway.
Rough is penal, but choppy with some bare spots, the main defense for the course are small greens, and nearby out of bounds.
Bunkers were surprisingly good, with decent coverage of soft sand. I was unfortunately in more than a couple of them and was able to get up and down. I did find one sizeable rock and a root in the bunker on the par 4, 5th hole.
Greens were in very good condition and have healed from being punched nicely there few un-repaired ball marks. Pleasantly there were no sunflower seeds on any of the greens.
At the $5 dollars this costs me on my American Golf Players Club, (with a drink) I still consider it a value and this afternoon it was a great way to spend my birthday.
8 Likes.
Played The Crossings at Carlsbad Monday on a free birthday round. There is a $25 cart fee required. Birthday rounds can now be played the day before, the day of or the day after the persons birthday. Conditions were prefect for a great round. Temperatures would be in the low 70’s for much of the round with a healthy marine layer until the back nine. We had still air until the sixteenth hole when the breeze began to freshen.
I played with a pair of friends one visiting from New York, the other down from Culver City. Terry visiting form New York played to a four under par round using rental clubs, from the whites, first time on the course. It was amazing to watch.
The carts at the Crossing are only a couple of years old, and are in very good condition, equipped with an ice chest which did not come filled, and very useful GPS.
The Crossings has a trio of very well prepared and maintained practice areas. The practice green is very large, features holes cut on different tiers, with various slopes, and ridges that are indicative of what the player will find on course. The chipping, pitching and bunker practice area are among the best I have seen, again featuring excellent simulations of the on-course conditions. The driving range is very well maintained though short at a little over 200 yards. On Monday only, mats were available to hit off, however the mats used will accept a standard tee.
I arrived an hour and half early for my scheduled 8:30 am round (traffic was really light and I wanted to warm up). After dropping my clubs off with the attendant to be taken down to the cart barn, I checked in at the pro shop. As with everyone I met the pro shop was helpful, and friendly. A medium range bucket was $7 and a course yardage book was $1.86.
I have to confess going in I have a love hate relationship with this course. Simply speaking it’s a beautiful course, that is in all honest more course than I can handle. I have now played five rounds and have only played the course well once. That round I played with a father son duo that were members and played the course every Sunday. The son was a high school golf coach, and between him and his father it was like having a local caddy. Playing on my own I have tried differing plans to no avail. Based on my warm up I went into this round confident. I was going to play from the golds which the course recommends for someone of my driving distance and handicap.
Bunkers – I don’t usually start my review with bunkers, like most armatures I try as much as possible to avoid them. At the Crossings even, the fairway bunkers are deep. The bunker I found for the second time in two consecutive rounds could have protected a squad of marines from nearby Pendleton. Because of the high face it was all I could do to lob out into deep rough (more about rough a little later). For the benefit of all GK readers I sampled several bunkers, fairway, and greenside. The sand was the best I have ever played, good coverage, well raked even where it was evident I was not the first of the morning to visit. There are numerous bunkers and they are positioned in choke points and at spots where the fairway runs towards them. As I mentioned I played Golds, that is what is recommended for those of us that drive the ball 200 to 230. From the golds the Fairway bunkers on one are 207 yards out on the right. How many of us fade or slice the ball? On three the fairway bunker lies dead center in the fairway up hill, hidden from view at 202 from the golds. 210 from the whites.

Out of bounds – I don’t usually cover out of bounds, you’re not supposed to go there and usually there is a host of other trouble your more likely to encounter, however The Crossings at Carlsbad is built in a series of canyons that are protected sensitive environments which are very close to the fairways. Much of this area is protected by a wood rail fence, perfect for letting your ball roll under and disappear into deep grouse which you are not permitted to enter. The wilderness areas are spectacular, the wildlife abundant and the butterflies populous. Fortunately, I only lost one ball to the critters. The issue with the OB is that many of the fairways steeply towards OB and are not protected by rough that might stop the ball from rolling out on the perfectly cut fairways toward the hazard. On holes one, five, eight, ten, sixteen, the player has to carry extensive expanses of this out of play area. On five the golds don’t have to carry the OB area as it exceeds 200 yards.

Tee’s are perfect. The grass coverage even on par 3’s was exceptional, little divot damage, boxes were level, and clean. A good stance was easy to obtain. Sight lines are tricky, four holes from either the whites or the golds are hitting into blind areas where what I would perceive as the conservative shot will in fact place you in a hazard. Ten is a classic example that wants a player the can draw the ball, but at the very least can fade the ball starting OB and coming back to the fairway. A straight shot can easily go to far, and off the course left into the valley. A fade or slice will go OB on the hill. Target golf at it’s best.
Fairways are perfect on all 18, evenly cut, clean, and green. I found very few divots during my round, and those that I did were frequently filled. I did my part to follow suit, as my cart was provided with two full sand bottles.
Rough was mostly deep and penal around the greens, and deep but spotty along the fairways. The only complaint I have was the rough along the fairway near the lay up zone on eight which was a swamp. I probably should have taken relief as I has water flowing under my feet as I took my stance but tried to play the chip shot over the water into the green 80 yards away. After rinsing a ball, I replayed moved a couple of feet to dry grass and played the ball close.
Greens were perfect, green, rolling fast with the exception of the 9th which was the only slow and inconsistent green on the course. Rolls were true and fast. Most ball marks were repaired, mindful that we had gone out at 8:20 am and there had only been a dozen groups before us. Holes were cut to make use of the tiers, ridges and slopes on the green, there were no boring pin placements.
Comfort stations are strategically placed around the course, clean and well kept, ball washers work, but are located at the back tee’s so plan accordingly as the various tees are seldom near each other. We saw the refreshment cart on three different occasions. The snack bar was open at 7:30am and served a very good cup of coffee.
Clearly, I am over matched by this course, despite that the visuals, the challenge, the staff bring me back, and I will come back again, I love the challenge. I also like the air show, in addition to the normal array of private jets going out, we had a B-17, and a B-24 fly over us and come back around to fly by us. Definitely worth the rack rate.
8 Likes.
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