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Well, my final golf opportunity while in the Bay Area and what better way to finish off the week than with my son in law and my 2 bothers in law at Buchanan Fields a.k.a Duffer’s Paradise– lol. Even my son in law asked why are we playing here?? My family does not play a lot of golf and this was a good place for their level of play. A warm Saturday late morning, it turned out to be a fun day. $13 to walk. Another $10 if you choose to ride the very old gas cart that backfires occasionally.

An old, 9 hole, tree lined par 31 (4 short par 4’s) which gets a lot of play and in good condition. The young man in the club house got us off on time. We did rent one cart and the young man went out of his way to get us one. They only have 4 or 5 carts and they were being used but he found one somehow. Fairways on the par 4’s are decent enough. Tee boxes are a bit beat up. Bunkers are hard. Awful actually. Very hard and damp, like hard pan.

Greens were very nice though. Smooth, holding shots and rolling true.

Not much change from when I played here last time which was just about a year ago. Not exactly on my “oh boy, let’s play this one soon” list but for folks who are all over the place or just starting to play, it’s a good one.
5 Likes.
Onward on my trip in No. Calif and played Blue Rock Springs East on Friday 8/3 with an old college friend. Got there about an hourly early and noticed the place was packed. A lot of golfers out there which was actually nice to see. Had a 9:02 am tee time and payed $31 through golf now. Went to range to warm and drove back to the first tee early and saw the tee box was open. It was about 20 minutes before our time but we decided to tee off anyway. As we walked off the tee, we heard the starter call out our name to be 3rd up. Ooops! We went ahead anyway and played in about 3.5 hours. Would have been much faster but we were behind a slower 3 some but wasn’t in a hurry and enjoyed the time with my good friend.

Now to the course. Not a very long course but it is hilly and in decent condition. I enjoyed the layout and was fun to play. Fairways were decent. Some tight lies but not bad. There really wasn’t much rough to speak of. Mostly dry or hard pan. Tee boxes were ragged and some not level. Bunkers were in good condition but what I liked about them is the rakes were very light weight. I know that sounds stupid but most courses have rakes that are big and heavy. Not here!

The greens were really nice. Looked like they were verticut recently but didn’t affect the roll. A little fast with some undulations and you really don’t want to be above the hole putting downhill.

Had fun out there. My friend said he had heard rumors of one of these courses closing down. Doesn’t look like that’s true judging by the good Friday crowd. Looking forward to coming back. Recommend!
7 Likes.
Up in the Bay Area visiting the in-laws and going to try to get in a few rounds. I always start with Boundary Oaks as it is only 10 minutes away from where we are staying. Got there early today 8/2 and a twosome was already on the tee hitting. So, the starter sent me right the tee to follow. Real nice guy in the clubhouse. Wish I had got his name. $27 to walk and didn’t bring a pull cart so decided to carry. Made it around with no problem and in 3 hours. Never caught the 2 some in front of me.

A beautiful, cool morning and was very impressed with the conditions. Mostly kikuyu fairways but they were cut down. In fact I seemed to be following the maintenance guys cutting the grass. Had to wait on many holes as they made their way through the fairways. The rough was not thick and very playable. The bunkers were in excellent shape. Soft, fluffy sand which was nice to hit out of but could easily get a fried egg because they were so soft.

Great greens!! All of them. Soft, holding shots and they rolled perfectly. As fast as I have ever seen them.

This course is in excellent condition right now. As nice as I have ever seen it. If you’re ever up here, got to give it a go. Note that they do charge weekend rates on Fridays so Mon-Thurs are the best days.
7 Likes.
Played MM late morning on 7/31 with a good friend and was out as a twosome as there was no one to be paired up with. It has been a couple of years since I last played here and was looking forward to it. A warm day and it moved a bit slow - 4.5 hours. The wait on the par 3’s was brutal , 3 groups backed up on each of the them. Ugh!

The course is in great condition however and not many browned out areas. A lot green out there so they must water regularly but the fairways are heavily “kikuyufied” (a new word) and even though cut down, not much roll out at all. Very soft fairways. I hit some good drives only to be disappointed when I arrived at the ball to see I didn’t get much distance. Good lies however. I can truly attest to the bunkers as I was in six of them! They were in good condition. A little damp/hard underneath but not hard to get out of. The rough was thick in some areas and you didn't want to be in there. No bueno!

The greens were in great condition , but they have always been good here. They rolled great. And not too many ball marks which is always nice to see.

Overall, I was impressed with this muni. Except for the wait on the par 3/s it was a great day. They have also done a nice upgrade in the restaurant. It’s now a restaurant with a full bar, numerous tv’s so I can see this making a big hit during football season. I would like to add MM to our rotation. Recommend!
10 Likes.
Finally getting around to doing this review for BG. Was invited out to play with leef2020 on a very warm afternoon and not very crowded. $39 beat the heat special. That’s the best price I have ever seen here and thanks Lee for setting this one up. Also, thanks for your kind words.

A very relaxing pace, about 4 hours following a couple of twosomes but the heat got to us. We were pretty beat up when we finished. The course is in very nice condition. Very green which is impressive considering the heat. Wish other courses could do as well. Fairways were cut down but were soft so limited roll out. Bunkers were in good shape as well. Firm and not real damp underneath.

Greens were soft, holding shots and rolling true. They were pretty damp. Guess with all of the heat, heavy watering appears to be the answer to keep from losing them.

The course is a lot of fun to play but the back 9 is pretty challenging. I have never seen it in bad shape. The price tag is a bit high but there are specials and if you find one, take it! Recommend!
11 Likes.
Was invited out to play with cthuyen’s group on 7/24. A pretty warm day had a 10:00 tee time but got out a few minutes early as it wasn’t very crowded. Only played RH once and was really looking forward to it. Wasn’t disappointed.

The course is very nice condition. The fairways had excellent coverage and were cut down so we got some roll out. Bunkers were great also with good, crisp sand. The rough was lush in most places. Some dry areas but overall, in good condition.

The greens were rolling very well. Were soft, held good shots and about medium speed.

Thoroughly enjoyed the day despite the heat. $53 to ride seemed a bit high for a muni on a weekday but it is what it is. There are a good mix of long and short par 4’s. A couple of nice dog legs are mixed in so you need to hit to a good spot to approach the green. Par 3’s are challenging as well. Definitely recommend.
8 Likes.
Joined fellow GK’er cthuyen and his group for a fun outing at SA on a warm/humid day. Had a 9:52 tee time and it seemed pretty busy for a Thursday but we got out pretty much on time. It started out pretty slow as we seemed to wait on every shot but the back 9 moved along just fine. Still we finished just under 4.5 hours.

This has always been one of my favorite muni’s and was thrilled to get out but disappointed with the conditions. What a difference since I was here last in April. Some of the fairways are really dry, browned out and burnt in some areas. Clearly drought conditions and every course struggles with it but it was sad to see. Not much rough out there as that was dry also. Was in one bunker and was in good shape.

The greens were in better condition but still Santa Anita slow. The good news is they were smooth with very few un repaired ball marks which is always nice to see.

A lot of cosmetic improvements have been made with the clubhouse, restaurant and some of the tee boxes. The folks in the clubhouse and in the restaurant are always great but I hope to see conditions return to the course I have always enjoyed. Still had a great time out there as I always enjoy this layout. A nice mix of long and short holes with a great setting. As we approach the winter months, let’s all do one thing. Pray for rain!!
9 Likes.
Was invited out to play Arrowood by leef2020 on July 5. He found a $40 spot on their website with a 1:27 tee time. Got their early and got a small bucket to warm up and paid $6 bucks which seemed like a lot for a small bucket. The range mats were pretty beat up. Very old and hard and actually hurt my wrist on them. Was paired up with a couple of nice guys from Tucson and off we went about 10 minutes late.

First time for us and was a little tentative not knowing where to hit it. Nice course over all however. Fairways are bermuda and have great roll out. The bermuda has not grown in completely on many holes and found many dry and hard areas. Quite a few tight lies. Bunkers were hit and miss. One I was in had soft, white sand while the others I was in were wet and ugly. Rock hard! Rough was not very thick and in nice condition.

The greens were really nice and held most shots, but not all. If you were in the rough and hit to an uphill green, it was difficult to hold. In contrast, hitting downhill to a green was better.

I really enjoyed the course layout. A good mixture of long, short holes with some doglegs. All of the par 5's were pretty long and challenging. Much nicer holes on the back 9 IMO and 3 tough finishing holes. Hole 16 was really nice but very challenging. Long downhill par 4 with a green protected by water. Windy conditions make this course even more challenging.

Had a good time out here and want to give this course another try. Highly recommend!

It’s a trek for me, about 1 hour and 15 minutes but you can make it a full day by playing 36 holes; Arrowood and Marine Memorial which is very close.
13 Likes.
Our regular group went out to play Shandin today and was looking forward to it even though the latest reviews and my last experience here were not very good. Had a 9:20 tee time. The club house attendant was a real nice guy and suggested I buy the $31 special which includes golf, range balls, breakfast and lunch. Being that we were on the tee in 10 minutes, I passed on the deal and just got the walking rate of $20. Good thing I passed as there was not any breakfast available. :-(

The last time I was here, the place was not in very good shape. A better story today however and I was impressed with the progress. Fairways were in good shape overall and not with kikuyu. Understand they were not perfect but ok. Still a lot of brown areas and dried out spots but it has definitely improved. The rough was pretty much dried out. Most of the bunkers were very damp and rock hard. Disappointing actually. The tee boxes were in good shape also.

The greens, although green and lush and rolled well, they were a bit slow and a bit grainy. I just think they needed a good mow because all of the greens were in good condition.

I have always enjoyed playing Shandin. Like an old friend, I am always wanting to get out here and visit but was always discouraged by the poor course conditions. Still rough around the edges, I can say it is definitely trying to make a comeback. Summer heat and water restrictions will always hurt this course just like many other courses but but I was impressed with the progress thus far. I am definitely coming back.
8 Likes.
Played the Ike today with fellow GK’er cthuyen and had a great day. Had a 9:40 tee time and was paired up with two older women who were Industry Hills members and played pretty well. They kept it in play and kept up with us. We finished in about 4.5 which was ok considering we waited on a number of holes. We had one hiccup which was disappointing. When we made the turn, the marshal came up to us and said the group behind us was complaining about our slow play and told us to pick it up. I told him we were keeping up with the group ahead and he agreed but it kind of pissed me off because we were keeping up. We pretty much ignored it but never had I had a group complain about my group's slow play.

The fairways were in very nice condition but were some were pretty wet. Some fairways had cart path only which was really inconvenient. The tee boxes were a bit beat up but many were aerated so repair is underway. I was in a couple of bunkers and they were in good shape.

The greens were the best today. Smooth, were soft and rolled very true.

I always find The Ike challenging regardless of the tees you play and you need to hit it well and today was no different. A great day out there and a big thanks to Cuong for bringing out the Woodford Reserve! Really loosened up the muscles and joints!! :-)
9 Likes.
Was invited out by leef2020 to play The Crossings on 6/28. He got a great price for a guest and I had a great time as I always do. Thanks Lee!

I am beginning to like this course more and more. For one, the weather is always nice. Never warm or hot and sometimes windy but always comfortable. The views are great from just about everywhere. The guys in the clubhouse are great as are the servers in the restaurant/bar. Always enjoy playing here. We got out around 1:40 paired with male/female twosome who were a bit slow. We fell a little behind but still finished in just under 4.5 hours.

I love these Bermuda fairways. They are in great shape and with a good drive, you will get lots of roll out which is nice to see. Bunkers were in great condition. The one I was in had white, fluffy sand. On some of the fairways, the rough was thick and you don’t want to be in there. Tough to get a club on it in the rough.

The greens were in really nice condition. Medium fast and rolled true. Some are tricky to read.

This course is so challenging yet it is fun to play. Hilly course that winds through the hills with some generous fairways but you need to keep it in play. Missing fairways is no fun here.
14 Likes.
Decided to give GR a try and played it 6/27. This course used to be our home course as we had a standing morning tee time every Saturday for years. We didn’t renew our tee time this year, largely because things started to go downhill here.

Got to the course around 11:00 and got right out, walking for $21.00. Was stuck behind a rather slow 4 some but was able to jump ahead of them on #3 and from that point had clear sailing.

Although not a lot of new improvements, the course is starting to come back. All of the issues they had with the greens seem to have been resolved particularly #’s 6 and 9. You can see the patchwork done on these greens but they rolled great. The rest of the greens are in good shape as well.

Fairways are in good shape but with heavy kikuyu. Holes 10 an 11 which got hammered by floods some time ago have recovered well. Some thin spots but generally ok. Bunkers are in good shape as well. A little damp but no issues there.

Nothing spectacular here but GR is making a comeback. I have always liked this course because I feel it’s a fun layout. It is also challenging and the wind can make it even more so. Construction still continues as they are widening the river bed next to the course but give it a go. I think you will enjoy it.
12 Likes.
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