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Had a fun time playing with Jerry, Perry, and Sal at the GK Guru event today (11/18) at The Saticoy Club. What a great day it was. Perhaps it was a little too hot for this time of year, but that's Southern California. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful golf course. I walked it, and I can say that as beautiful as many of the views are on this hilly course, it made for a very vigorous walk! But enjoyable.

I have never played this course. I thought the layout, though challenging, wasn't overly difficult. It was on the narrow side on numerous holes, but not target golf or overly narrow. I really enjoyed the variation of types of holes as well as the many elevation changes. Many holes were spectacular sights, and a couple of them were breathtaking to me.

Overall, the course is in excellent condition. For the most part, the tee boxes were fine. The fairways were quite green with no bare spots or real signs of distress. Though they were on the tight side, the fairways were lush, with the right amount of cushion under your ball. There were no bad lies. The rough along the fairways was mostly 2 - 3 inches or so in length. If your ball settled down it could be a challenge to advance it very far.

I was in two greenside bunkers. One of them had nicely raked, medium firm sand that was a pleasure to hit from. The other one was a little thin on the amount of sand in it, but still nice to hit from. The greens and green complexes were a stout challenge. Many of the greens had multiple levels with varying breaks. So you needed to be on the correct part of the green to give yourself a chance to score. The greens were running quite fast, and smooth. They were in great shape. However, as we all found out, if you were above the hole, your chance at a two putt was very low. You MUST stay below the hole on this course or it will wear you out.

All in all, it was a great day at a wonderful golf course. If you get a chance to play it, don't hesitate. It is a gem.
8 Likes.
Teed off as a 4some at 9:04am on Monday, 11/11. The course was quite busy since it was the veterans day holiday. We did quite a bit of waiting on the front nine, but it eased up somewhat on the back nine. Total play time was 4.5 hours - not too bad for a holiday.

Evidence of the fire in this area is abundant. The fire definitely was on the course. Most of the canyon areas surrounding the holes were completely burned out and covered with the red fire retardant the airplanes drop. In fact that red stuff was on many cart paths and fences on the course. Fortunately, the actual playing area of the course was not burned. It still smells pretty smoky in many areas. But I didn't notice it much after a while.

On to the course playing conditions. THE GOOD: fairways and greens. The fairways are in good shape, plenty of coverage, with good lies and a fair amount of roll out. The greens were quite smooth, running medium fast. They were firm but held approach shots just fine. THE BAD: Tee boxes were a little shaggy. The rough was a bit spotty and not too penal. THE UGLY: The sand traps at the course are damp and VERY hard. I was in two greenside bunkers. I was able to get out, but it was not easy. They need to churned up and raked.

I enjoyed playing here. The course, overall, is in good condition. I recommend it.
6 Likes.
Played Balboa on Wednesday 10/23 at noon as a foursome. Since we were the first group out at the reduced twilight rate, there was no one in front of us at all. We completed the round in 3 hours, 20 minutes. We never waited on a single shot. I was surprised at the conditions of the course. Although this is not a country club course by any means, the conditions were far better than I expected. Tee boxes were lush and green, as good as I've ever seen them.

The fairways had some very nice grass as well as some blotchy areas. But I encountered many good lies when in the fairway, easy to hit from. The rough is a mixed bag of semi lush and clumpy/bare areas. Not very penal. I was in one greenside bunker. It had plenty of nice firm sand. The greens were running very smoothly, about medium speed, soft and quite receptive to approach shots. For a quick, stress free round Balboa was fun to play.
9 Likes.
Played The Oaks on Monday, 9/16. I received an email invitation to play this private course for $49.00, including cart and balls. I have played this course many times. It opened in 2003. From that time until around 2013, the course was always in pristine condition. The past several years have been another story.

This Monday the course was in OK condition. The fairways were very playable, but were not very green. They had many areas that are brown and slightly burned out. They were a mix of thin and well cushioned areas. I would put the fairway condition at a better than average municipal course. As a comparison, Simi Hills and Hansen Dam golf course - both city owned courses - have better fairway conditions than The Oaks.

In the past, the rough off the fairways was thick, green, and penal. They have shaved down all of the fairway rough, and even some other areas that normally would have long grass. The rough is only a little bit longer than the fairway grass, and it looks brown and burnt out. Easy to hit from.

The greens were in great shape. They were running medium fast, smooth, and they held approach shots very nicely. I was in one greenside bunker (they don't have a lot of those on this course). It contained very nice slightly firm sand. A pleasure to hit from.

ALL of the tee boxes have been cut down and machine aerated. They looked and felt AWFUL. They were gouged up, with deep lines and much dead grass. It you were on a tee, it was OK, but aesthetically these were the worst looking tee boxes I have played in a very long time.

This is a challenging course, with many up and down holes. If you are anywhere near the sides of the fairways you will likely have a lie that is above or below your feet and either uphill or downhill. Some of the greens are crowned, making it a real challenge to get close on your approach shots.

Overall, the course is in mediocre condition. The course layout is a mix of some good holes and some very awkward holes. With the current conditions, I would be very unhappy about being a member of this course. There are many public courses that are preferable to this one. Too bad, because the clubhouse, practice areas, and views at this course are among the best you'll find. Just not the golf.
4 Likes.
Teed off at Encino on Monday 8/26 at little after 7am. As a twosome we completed the round in about 3 hours and 40 minutes. Overall, the course is in very playable condition. Teeboxes were OK. Some of them were a little unlevel, and for several, it was difficult to get the tee to penetrate the ground. But not a big deal.

The fairways were in better shape that what I expected. Although there were some bare areas and thin spots, for the most part the fairways are green and pretty lush. They had a nice cushion under the ball. With a few exceptions, if you were in the fairway, you likely had a nice lie. I wasn't in any bunkers, but they looked wet and firm. The areas around the greens were usually well covered and decent to hit from. The greens were quite soft. They held shots well and rolled smoothly at about medium speed. As an inexpensive municipal golf course, the conditions make this a good deal to play.
7 Likes.
Played a thoroughly enjoyable round today (8/12/19) at Simi Hills. The course is in VERY nice condition from tee to green. The fairways are lush and green with nice padding under your ball. The rough is a mixed bag, depending on the hole. But, for the most part, it was 1 - 3 inches and a little penal (which is as it should be). The greens were beautiful; medium to medium fast (they became faster as they day warmed up), smooth and quite soft. The greens held approach shots nicely.

My only complaints are about the bunkers and grass surrounding the greens. The two bunkers I was in were quite damp and heavy. They did get a little better later in the day, but for the morning golfer, they were not as playable as one would like. I hate the type of grass surrounding the greens. It is thick, grows toward you, and grabs your club unless you can nip the ball just perfectly. I could not use a wedge for short chip shots on many greens due to this. I used an 8 iron and swept the ball so as not to get the club stuck in the grass. I prefer greenside grass that will allow you to use your wedges. Other than this, the course is in great shape. Go play.
7 Likes.
After seeing Ron's review of Sterling Hills, I decided to give it a try and beat the heat of the SF Valley. Had a 8:45 am tee time. We finished in exactly 4 hours. The weather was cool and foggy at first, but cleared up to sunny and breezy within 30 minutes or so. I enjoy the layout of this course. Although some holes are a bit repetitive, there is enough variety to make it interesting.

The course is in decent shape. I would rate it 6/10. The tee boxes are a bit inconsistent, with some shaggy boxes and very hard pan dirt. The fairways are quite playable. I wouldn't call them lush, but they are fairly green and generally provide nice lies. The rough is inconsistent, as stated by the previous review. The greens were medium speed and smooth. They were fairly firm but held shots quite nicely.

My one complaint is that quite a few areas around the greens and most of the greenside bunkers were VERY wet. I was in one bunker, and I had to move my ball because it was standing in 3 inches of water. Where I placed it was firm and damp. I was able to get the ball out OK but it was a challenge. I had a couple of short pitch shots near the green that were too wet. If you didn't hit ball perfectly, you could end up with a severe chunk or bladed shot. If the wetness was not an issue, it would have been a better golf experience. But, still it was enjoyable, and the weather can't be beat.
8 Likes.
After playing The Lakes course last Monday, I decided to give The Vineyard course a try today (7/22). It was a nice change of pace from the Lakes course. The course is in very good condition. I thoroughly enjoyed my round. The greens were soft and receptive, ran smooth and were medium speed. Some of the pin placements today were challenging.

The fairways are in great shape. They are lush with good lies all around, with an average amount of roll out. Tee boxes were fine for me, and the rough was about 1 - 3 inches and usually manageable to hit from. The one bunker I was in today, had plenty of nice firm sand.
With low 70 degree afternoon temps and a nice cool breeze, playing here is a pleasure. One thing I should mention is that the 13th hole Par 5 was playing as a par 3. Not sure why. I couldn't see anything that made it necessary to move up to near the 150 marker for the temporary tee box. Even with that, I highly recommend this course.
8 Likes.
Played RR Lakes Course on Monday, 7/15. On a 100 degree day in the San Fernando Valley it was very nice playing in morning overcast and 73 degree sunshine in the early afternoon. The course is in Very Good condition. Fairways, although not completely green, are in great shape. Nice cushion under your ball. Great lies everywhere. The rough ranges from 1 to 3 inches. It can be OK or a little punishing, depending on your lie. Bunkers had plenty of firmly packed sand. No problem hitting out of them. The sign near the starters shed said that the greens were 10.8 on the stimp meter. In the morning when it was damp, it felt a little slower than that. They sped up to medium speed during the afternoon. They rolled fairly well (could be a little bumpy at times), held well struck approach shots nicely, and were on the soft side. It's a nice challenge, and great weather playing this course. Right now, it's in excellent condition. I highly recommend it.
10 Likes.
Played Hansen Dam on Monday, June 3 in the early morning. Not too much to add since the review from 6/1. Fairways are in great shape. The two greenside bunkers I was in had enough firm sand. Good to hit from. My experience of the greens is that they are fairly bumpy and medium speed. Some greens were very bumpy (had several puts go offline) and others were OK. The greens are just OK at this point. The other noteworthy point is that the tee boxes are awful. Every single one had MANY bare areas, with clumpy grass spots. Often the best tee area was dirt. Not sure why this is so, but it was noticeable. If you're using a tee, then it was not a big problem. But it was very noticeable. Overall, the course is decent, with very good fairways.
7 Likes.
Played Knollwood as a walking twosome on Monday morning (5/20) at 7:30am. After a foursome let us play through on hole 4, we breezed through our round in just over 3 hours; great pace of play! Overall, the course is in excellent condition. The fairways are nice and green. They are lush, with excellent lies everywhere. This is the best condition I've seen at Knollwood in quite some time.

For the most part, the rough adjacent to the fairways is about 1 - 3 inches deep, lush and in great shape. However, there are some areas where the grounds crew hadn't cut. If you landed there ( I did twice!), your ball was 4 - 5 inches deep, and a bear to hit out of. Fortunately, there weren't too many spots like this after the first few holes. The grass around the greens is cut short and in good shape, with no bare spots that I can recall.

The greens were a mixed bag. They all ran medium-fast and were quite soft, holding approach shots nicely. However, on several holes throughout the course, they were a little bumpy. I had a couple of putts knocked off line due to this. But mostly, the greens were fine. The course is in very nice shape right now. This is a good time to play a nice track.
7 Likes.
Came back to Soule Park two weeks after my last round. I thoroughly enjoy this track. Not much to add to my last review. The course is in excellent shape from tee to green. Played at 9am Monday, 5/13. The green fee of $27 to walk this course as a senior is a steal. If you get a chance to play this course, don't miss it. It is nestled in between two mountain ranges. The quiet and bountiful nature surrounding this course makes it serene. And you'll be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable and fair test of golf than Soule Park. I ordered one of their breakfast burritos to take with me on the course. It was delicious. Play Soule Park now, it is a joy.
9 Likes.
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