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On the way back to the SAC airport, we stopped to play Teal Bend on 9/24. The course sits right next to the airport and along the Sacramento River. I have played TB a couple of times and always thought it was so so. Different story today and was pleasantly surprised to see the difference. Had a 12:10 tee time, payed $49 and finished in just under 4 hours. Thought it was going to be slower being a Sunday but had a very enjoyable time.

The layout is great. A good mixture of long and short par 4’s with some dog legs and small lakes. The setting is very nice. Large trees line the fairways but the trees also provide a very nice and scenic background for the greens.

The course is in great shape. Fairways are Bermuda and most were lush. Some fairways had drying areas but not many. Excellent roll out. The rough was also in great shape and very playable. Bunkers had good, firm sand.

The greens were a bit chewed with many unrepaired ball marks. In addition to my own, I repaired at least 2 ball marks on just about every green. I take it that repair of ball marks on the greens is an issue here and is being addressed. On this day at #10 green, there was a box filled with plastic divot tools and a sign that says “please take one and use it to repair your ball mark”. Interesting but they make a good point. The greens will only be as good as those who play it. Like the idea. Regardless, they still rolled nicely and were medium fast. Most were pretty large with large undulations. Really challenging

Had a great time out there and if I lived in the area, I would make this course as part of the rotation. A must to play if in the area.
Played Bidwell on 9/22 while traveling up to Chico to visit with some friends. I see I was the last one to review this course and I don’t really have a lot to add from about 2 years ago. There are some improvements however. For one, the fairways are more lush than before and in pretty good shape. Areas off the fairways are still try but noticed these areas are improving also. Bunkers are in good shape. Good firm sand.

The greens were a bit chewed but rolled nicely. Some of the greens have some sizeable undulations and make putting a challenge.

It is a fun course to play and scenic as it sits adjacent to famed Bidwell Park. I would still suggest that if you are ever in the area, it is a must play.
Decided to play GR as a single today 9/19. Got there about 10:00 am and the starter sent me right out to the tee. Ended up playing with another single, Doug. Nice guy and we had a good time out there. Know that they are not aerating the greens this week and will do so on Sept. 25, 26. Pace of play was slow. We still played in just under 4 hours but should have been faster but there was a 4 some a couple of groups ahead that was really slowing things down. They quit after 12 holes which was fine by us.

The kikuyu fairways are decent. They pretty much keep them mowed down but still not a lot of roll out. Tee boxes were ok. Very thick though and could have used a mower. Bunkers were hit and miss. Some were playable but most of them were rock hard. Sadly, this is so common on many courses so it’s tough to be critical here but I did make a point of mention to the pro, Art Guevara about it and he said he would make it a point to remedy. Art is great guy and if you’re ever there, say hello.

The greens are starting to wear with some showing some burnt areas. They did roll very nicely but looks like they could use some work.

Green River has a great lay out and I have always found this course challenging (then again, they’re all challenging). If you play after 11:00, you will get some wind to hit into. They’re going to aerate the greens soon but I would definitely recommend.
Played Vellano today 9/12 as a single. Booked online rate of $25. I knew the greens were aerated about a week ago but that didn’t matter as I recently bought some new irons and wanted to get the play in with them.

The place was empty. Teed off around 9:30 and finished in about 3 hours. It had been about a year since I last played here and right off the bat I got confused. What was #1 is now #10. Oops! Had to go back to what used to be #10 to start the round. Followed a slow twosome but jumped ahead of them at the turn.

The course is one tough layout which is why I like playing here. You cannot spray the ball otherwise you end up in the weeds. Even on approach shots. You need to hit it straight or end up in a bunker or end up rolling down a hill. It was very dry out here. Brown fairways everywhere. Disappointing actually. Don’t think they were dormant, they were just dry. Sand traps were hard as concrete, at least the ones I was in. Not much rough out there as the fairways and rough blended together on most holes. In addition to the greens, the tee boxes were being worked on as well. All were punched with holes which didn’t impact play.

I really like this course but improvements on the fairways are a must. They don’t need to be lush green but anything to keep from hitting from hard pan.
Played Black Gold as part of the GK Guru outing on 8/29. Only two of us Guru’s this afternoon and played with grantar2. Thoroughly enjoyable round playing with Arthur even on a pretty warm afternoon (well actually it was freaking hot!). Unfortunately, Arthur could only play the front 9 so I played the back 9 solo.

I am beginning to learn to love this course. When I first started playing here, didn’t feel it was a course suited for me. Now however, it is one I look forward to playing. Always a challenge from blue or white tees. And always in good shape.

Check in was great in the pro shop which is full of nice clothing and equipment. Once I identified myself as part of GK, they rolled out the red carpet. GK has definitely made an impact on this course. The layout is challenging but fair. Some blind shots but fairways are generous and were perfect. Lots of roll out. Tee boxes were also in great shape. I was only in one bunker on the back 9 and it was very soft, white sand.

Greens were great but they always seems to be. Never played here when they weren’t rolling nicely.

Pace of play was just about 4 hours. As a twosome, Arthur and I caught up with the group in front of us on #6 but there was no one behind us. Playing solo, I followed the same 4 some but never really waited long and was playing 2 balls.

Didn’t stick around after for “Taco Tuesday” in the restaurant (heard two tacos for $5.00. Nice!) but one day going to try it out. So looking forward to my next time out. Definitely recommend. Sticker price is a bit steep to play but their web site sometimes has a couple of tee times that are discounted.
Tournament day (8/28) for me at Los Verdes and was looking forward to it as I have never played here before. The course was closed for us this afternoon and we teed off at 1:00 shotgun start. It was a slow day – 5 hour tournament speed but I guess that just can’t be avoided with so many people.

I have mixed feeling about the course. The layout is kind of neat with good length playing at over 6,700 yards. Has a mixture of short/long holes and some dog legs. Fairways were in good shape providing you were in the fairway. Lots of trees out there lining the fairways but missing the fairway meant you were in wet, uncut Kikuyu or dry hard pan. The hard pan was pretty bad but its typical of courses who let these areas go due to water issues. Just seems this was the worst I have seen. Tee boxes were in good condition. Wasn’t in any bunkers for a change but they seemed to be in nice condition.

The greens were the best part. They were in in good shape and rolled nicely. Actually I found them challenging and difficult to read.

I was told there are nice views of the ocean and have seen the pictures on GK but the coast was foggy so the ocean couldn’t be seen. The fog also brought the wind and made some holes hitting into it, pretty challenging. I enjoyed the day and would like to come back now that I got the lay of the land.
It’s been a while but our group finally got back to play LS. Had an 8:30 time on 8/24 and teed off right on time. It was a light day out there with not too many groups surprisingly. We never caught the group ahead of us and the group behind us never caught us. Nice and leisurely pace just under 4 hours.

The course is in good shape. Fairways are in good shape with great lies out there. Tee boxes are ok as well. Sand traps are in good shape however some are good firm sand while others have very soft, fluffy sand. The bunkers in front of 17 green are still rock hard. Guess they will never change them.

The greens were a disappointment. Very grainy and slow. This is not like LS to have them this slow but can’t have them perfect all of the time I guess.

Still, LS is a great place to play. The layout is great with a combination of short and long par 4’s with very challenging par 3’s. Definitely recommend.
Had another doctor’s appointment in Duarte and while out here, had to play SA, particularly after reading the last few reviews. The last couple of times I played here I was pretty disappointed with the course conditions as this has always been an old, favorite muni of mine. Walked up and registered as a single and the starter mentioned I would need to wait a bit unless I wanted to go out as a single. Only waited about 10 minutes and other single checked in and off we went. Nice older gentleman and we had fun.

As a twosome, we finished in just over 4 hours which was surprising being that we waited on every hole. We were behind a pretty slow foursome. Example: On hole #8 a par 3, we walked up to the tee box and found the group ahead of us sitting eating lunch while the green was open. I mentioned to them that the green was open and they can hit. They jumped up and scrambled to grab clubs to hit. Oy Vey!

Well, I am pleased to say that there are some nice improvements out here. The fairways are in very nice condition. And they are filling in many of the bare spots around the green with sod (looked like kikuyu). Sand traps are nice but they have always been good here. Tee boxes were really nice. Good coverage on all of the tee boxes.

Greens are better but still very slow, bumpy and grainy. The good news the ball would stay online for the most part but not sure why they are so slow.

Overall, I was impressed with the improvements. It’s clear they are trying to improve the operation here. The restaurant and bar has been upgraded a bit and there are little things out there that make the course look clean. SA has never been noted for their greens but I’m hoping one day they will get to a point when someone would say “boy those greens at Santa Anita are great”! One day!
Played The Champions course with the GK Guru’s on 8/18 and it was a real thrill to play here. Thanks to JohnnyGK for getting such a great deal. Played the blues which made the course a real challenge for me at over 6,700 yards.

What a beautiful and well laid out golf course. Fairways were in real nice shape, bermuda and not kikuyu for a change!! :-) Some tight lies but for the most part, fairways had some cushion. The first cut of rough was not super thick but you definitely had to power through it. A little more off the fairways and near some of the hazards, it was very thick. Sand was what I expected from a course like this – good, firm sand.

Greens were nice. They didn’t roll very quick but did roll true. Many un-repaired, ball marks which was disappointing to see. I fixed my own pitch mark as well two others on just about every hole.

Pace of play was disappointing. We were moving very well, probably at about a 3½ hour pace until we hit hole #6. At that point we came to a screeching halt and waited several minutes on every shot. The two foursomes just ahead of us were part of a group together it seems but they fell way behind. They were having fun which was nice to see but they needed to keep up. We finished just short of 5 hours.

Overall, the course played as I expected it to. Some holes are not real difficult but no cakewalk either. Some holes are just brutally long. From the tees I played at, # 12 is a 244 par 3 and #14 is a 472 yard par 4!! Crazy! Par 5’s are pretty long also and # 18 has a drive of about 230 yard carry over water. Still was so glad I played here and definitely recommend.
Payed with the GK Guru’s outing on 8/18. Enjoyable playing with GK’ers Ron, Steve and the Boss, JohnnyGK. Played the blues at about 6,800 yards which is pretty much max for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It is an old course built in the mid 40’s located on the Camp Pendleton Marine Base but it is great condition. Really nice layout with numerous palm trees lining the fairways (it kind of has the look of General Old in Riverside but MM is much nicer). Fairways were in excellent shape. They were a mixture of bermuda and kikuyu grass (Kikuyu however is predominant) but was cut down so lies were perfect. The rough was thick and knarly. (hate kikuyu rough). Tee boxes were in good shape but some were a bit uneven. I wasn’t in any bunkers but they looked good. And there are quite a few bunkers out there, many guarding the greens.

The greens were outstanding! These greens are as good if not better than any private course I have played on. Some undulations but no real huge breaks. Most breaks seem to be from back to front.

Can’t say enough good things about this course. Customer service was excellent. Each cart had some nice gifts including a sleeve of balls and a divot tool. During the round, the GM John Martinez drove out to us on hole #7 to ask how we were doing and if everything was going ok. Very classy!! They have a nice little grill there so we stopped to have a sandwich after our round. Good deal for under $10.00 bucks.

I am just sorry that it’s not close to me (about a 90 minute drive). Very reasonable on the green fee, $30 to walk and $35 on the weekends. I am definitely spreading the word about this course with the various groups I normally play with. Suggest that if you are in the San Diego area, you should make it a point to give it a go here. A comment about entry. Since it is a military base, you need to check in with the guard at entry. Have your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of auto insurance coverage. The guard will scan it and you’re in. They tell me though that if you’re going to visit more than 3 times, you should go to the club web site and request access. A little extra to do when you come out here but worth it!
Played Eagle Glenn in a GK Guru outing with walnutgolf and Tubedude. Nice afternoon. Not really hot (at least compared to the last time we were there). We followed a twosome but didn’t catch up to them until hole 16 so we finished in about 3 ½ hours.

I think EG is playing great. There are some dry area on the fairways but overall they played just fine. Some of the fairways had some tight lies but I definitely see the improvements they are making. The rough isn’t very thick and is playable. No improvement with the bunkers however. Still pretty hard and difficult to get out of.

The greens were great. Weren’t holding all shots so you had to hit them clean but they rolled very nicely.

I always enjoy playing here and today was a lot of fun playing with the Gurus. Looking forward to the next time.
Still up in the East Bay area an decided to give BF a try. With some family members who do not play a lot of golf, this seemed to be the place for us. Buchanan Fields is a 9 hole Par 31 course located in Concord, CA. Noisy course as it sits right next to Highway 680 and the Buchanan Fields airport. Didn’t see it listed in GK so I asked Johnny GK to throw it in there and I would update it.

It’s an old course with a huge driving range (mats and grass). Had a 10:00 time on Saturday 8/12 and paid $23 with cart (carts are gas, are really old and there are not very many available). It was packed with golfers. They tell me it’s always like this. 2 groups on every hole which made the round much longer. A lot of twosomes out there so they don’t pair up groups which slows things down a bit. Plus these aren’t the greatest golfers in the world so truly a Duffer’s Paradise!! :-)

The course is in good shape lined with old pine trees. Nice change of pace with 4 par 4’s averaging about 300 yds. and 5 par 3’s averaging around 140 yds. Kikuyu fairways but mowed down so some role out. Not much rough to speak of but the trees definitely come into play. Only a couple of holes have bunkers and of course I was in one of them and it was rock hard.

The greens were nice. Heavy poa annua and pretty flat but they rolled very nicely.

I had a really good time especially with the family out there with me. Real nice young lady as the starter. Our cart broke down on #2 tee. Since the key fit all carts, my son in law ran back to get another one. As we finished, I mentioned to the starter that the cart broke down on #2. She offered to give me back the $10 for the cart. I said not necessary as we ran back to get another one. She reimbursed me anyway which was very classy.
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