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6 June 2018
0730 tee time

First time of what I hope will be many more times playing at this very enjoyable venue. When making a good detailed review I feel the entire experience should be rated. First to mention, this is not my neighborhood track. It’s about a 60 mile drive but I have an good friend who lives in the community, like right on the 5th fairway, so I like to take turns and making the trip here and makes the round more enjoyable. We played as a weekday 2sum since he’s retired and I’m wishing I was, and the guys in our regular group are still grinding it out in the mines.

I arrived at about 0645 got checked in. Check in guy was very friendly and knew my buddy by name. $43 regular rate with complimentary use of the practice facility. All grass driving range with markers clearly defining the yardage. Large cups and ice machine available to load up with water. This is the Palm Springs area, it’s gonna get warmer as the day get longer. It was about 78* when we teed off and got up to 90* when we finished, POP was about 3:45. After a 20 minute warmup we were heading out to the first tee.

Right away you feel the comfort of the course. I’m not going to say the course was overly difficult. The tee boxes were very well maintained as was the entire course. Fairway a little wet from the morning soaking, rough for the most part was not overly penalizing, the back 9 did seem a little thicker. The greens were mostly flat with gental breaks, medium soft and with good roll. Pin placements allowed enough room to make good approach shots. The bunkers are large with good fill. The front was a little heavy but the back was fluffier and more accommodating. My one lost ball found one of the numerous water hazards. I think the statigic placement of the bunkers and water hazard is what made the course more enjoyable to play. The fairways are generous and my first thought was to just grip and rip but after a second look I made better choices with my club selection. I also liked the the overall design. Short, medium and long at all the pars.

We finished our round in time to see the breakfast menu in the 19th hole, but I still opted for a couple of pulled pork sliders with a side of fresh fruit. There was indoor and patio seating available. We opted for an indoor table by the window with a great view of holes 9 and 18. The selections were plentiful and reasonably priced.

In conclusion, I had a very enjoyable round at a new track and hope to return, weather permitting, real soon. Thanks to my buddy Duane for the invite and extending hospitality.
Played on 4/28 at 850am. Called the course late to make a next day tee time. Senior rate for $39 on a weekend, I must say that’s a good deal. The course is not as well maintained as most of the other courses in the area, it it’s a challenging layout with greens that will provide a good test of speed and reads. The tee boxes are in dire need of attention. Basically level but really chewed up. Fairways are thin with good coverage over approximately 75% mixed in with scattered brown spots. The rough is well overgrown, dense and clumpy with a mixture of several types of grass. Approach shot to the greens, most have moderate elevation changes and will need a club down. The greens were probably the only highlight of the course. Good roll, a little on the slow side and soft enough to hold most approaches. Pin placement was difficult. Many breaks, no gimmies here. Even 3 footers required a diligent effort. The cart gal caught up with us at #17, so refreshment were not readily available. It was an ok alternative from playing courses in my usual rotation but I don’t think I’ll be making any plans soon to return.
After reading a positive review I decided it was time to pay a long anticipated return to Oak Valley. Played on 8/24 at 840 am, getting a really nice discounted rate of $40. The course was nearly empty. There was a twosome that went out about 15 minutes before us so there was no delays at all playing right at 4 hrs. It was a very enjoyable round. Weather was good, a little wind came up while on the back nine but it posed no negatives to play. Nickesquire was spot on with his descriptions of the course. Not much of anything I can add but just wanted to throw out another comment to say how good the course is playing now. Hope you all get a chance to get a round in.
Played on 4/21 @ 0702 in an attempt to beat the heat. No worries. In the mid 80s during play, and it was near perfect. Not much more you can say about the course except, “Perfect”. From the moment you arrive you know you’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.

Upon arrival we were met by an associate from the cart barn to take our bags and set up our cart. Standard style carts, didn’t notice the presence of a USB charging port, luckily it wasent needed. No GPS, but not really a problem since everybody has a smart phone these days. Cart was stocked with ice and also 2 clear plastic cups for use at the water stations on the course.

Checked in using out $79 UnderPar greens ticket. What a deal. Online rates were set $139 a player. We got a two player special for $79. Love those discounts, especially when a course like this affords the casual player to come out and enjoy an occasional round on a highly rated facility.

Didn’t have enough time to warm up on the range, (my bad, I overslept) but free range balls were provided. We head out to number 1 and we knew this was going to be a good day. Tee box, level and lush green turf, almost spongy as you step on to spike your tee. Generous fairways lined by trees and the Rancho Mirage community it winds through. Beautiful homes that only add the scenery. The fairways looked like carpeting. Strategic bunkers and water hazards abound on the course, again just adding to the beauty of the course. The greens were mostly level and not very challenging, but very receptive you your approach shots. Good roll, I couldn’t state an accurate rating but they were consistent. The bunkers were filled with damp heavy sand but very playable. I found a few along the way. I’m sure as the day wears on the sand because dry and fluffy.

Finished the round right at 4 hrs, never having to wait at a tee box or on the fairway. The marshalls do a good job keeping the flow moving. The cart gal was seen about 3 times during the round, she was quick and efficient so as not to disrupt the flow. Good job!!

One other important bit of info. The facility has two courses. The Pete Dye is part of the main resort. The resort shows aa address on Dihna Shore Bl, however the Gary Player course is located “off property” a few blocks away. Closer to the intersection at Los Alamos and Ramon Rd. It saves a few minutes and in case you oversleep this might save you from being late at check in.
Leaving another review after seeing that Gary00 had left one also. The course was very busy today. The LPGA Symentra Tour was in attendance for their practice rounds, tuning up for competition this week end. They made for some nice scenery!! Ok enough of that.

I had a 1pm tee time at an outstanding rate of $27. Couldn't really pass that up. The course was in pretty good shape. 3.25 stars. The greens were firm and quick, as usual. Good coverage on the fairways, but the occasional shot from the rough was challenging. Advancing the ball was difficult. Luckily my driver was helping me look good today. The only negative I could comment on would be the tee boxes on the par 3s. Playing from the whites they were rather beat up, level but definitely in need of some attention.

I like the renovation moving the bar in the area where the pro shop was and check in was moved into another section but much smaller. In conclusion it was an enjoyable round and I'm sure I'll be back in the next few weeks.

PS. Johnny and I had a few comments about the green being punched. The Legends show no sign of this so I'm guessing it was the Champions side getting done in prep for the Lady Pros making their visit there. So Johnny, I'm guessing the Legends will get theirs done next month.
I was out at Oak Quarry yesterday. The greens have recovered about 90% and the rest of the course is in excellent condition. (Except the bunkers, but that’s old news). The lakes on 15-18 have gotten a facelift. Very scenic, which only adds to the beauty of the course. With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer The Rock is the place to play.
If you’re looking for a great course at a very affordable rate in the Palm Springs area, may I suggest Escena Golf Club. A total pleasure of a course. Everything 5 Star. The valet ready to help you carry in your bag, the fellow at the pro shop, the putting greens, not much of a driving range but they do have a pad with a net to get loose. The tee boxes, the fairways, the layout (Nicklaus design) the bunkers, the greens. Everything top shelf. Not much rough to speak, what’s there was clipped down and not too penalizing, in fact the few lies I had on the fairway rough, my ball seemed to sit up in it and a had no problem getting good contact on the ball. Th cart girl came around a few times to provide refreshments. At the break was a gee dong stand. Hot dogs and burgers, sodas, chips and water. A quick stop and right back out. No marshalls to be found but that wasent a problem. We had a 0830 tee time and we were off in 3 hours and 50 minutes. Oh yeah, the carts. Late models with a double USB port for charging. Always a good feature since the carts don’t have GPS.

In conclusion, a great round at a great venue. Will I be back? Oh yeah!!
Been holding off on posting an update until there was something to report or comment on

Played the home track twice this week. On Sunday the over growth from the seeding was running wild. The tee boxes and rough were way over grown with healthy green turf. Fast forward to Wednesday. The crews have been out making the first clippings on the overgrowth and the course is starting to take shape. Tee boxes have been framed and the rough is thick, but not real penalizing. It’s very dense but soft. The crews were everywhere yesterday. Mowing, watering and working on the green side bunkers. By this week end the course should be in absolute beautiful condition. I tried making a tee time but Friday, Saturday and Sunday are already pretty full.

It’s time to play The Rock!!
Played on Friday 10/27 at 10:20, a 3Sum playing from the whites.

Used a Under Par coupon for $45 that got us 18 holes, cart, warmup bucket and a free beverage, water or a soft drink. Good deal and the course was in very good condition. Tee boxes not overly beat up, the fairway had good coverage. The courses in the I.E. have been playing pretty good this season. With usual dormant turf leaving many brown area with Under Rpairs all over the place, but not this year. I guess last years rainfall really helped the golfing community. The rough was thick and long but the fairways were freshly cut and playing real well. The greens are soft and receptive. Good roll, divot marks being addressed, great job.

The course seems to be going through some upgrades. The check in has been relocated downstairs close to the cart barn. Looks very temporary but still stocked with the necessary equipment you'll need for your round. Ustomer service is cordial, the guy at the cart barn can be a little short, but the starter is a friendly chap.

POP was right at four hours with no real issues on any hole. Overall I'd give the course a B-. Good course and layout that is better than most in the area.
Played Friday 10/20 @ 0944. $44 POP 4.5 hrs

Hidden Valley has been going through some expansion to their pro shop and banquet rooms, thank you for not ignoring the golf course. I found the course to be in very very good condition. Practice facility, good, putting green, I guess you could say good start. Tee boxes, very good. Fairways, very good, many areas GUR. Which in it self is a good thing. At least the issues are being addressed. Greens, very good although I found holes 1-4 rather on the slow side at 5 they got quicker. Very few unrepaired divots. Thank you fellow players. The rough cut very short and not very penalizing. The starter, a real good guy. I always enjoy a good few words with the starter. Now for the bad. Bunkers! Why don't many courses actually put sand in them?? Dirt, hard packed. Not good.

There are many courses in the I.E. from which to choose. Hidden Valley is providing a good value on an enjoyable track at a very good rate.

4 Stars!!
Played 10/11 at 1025. Great weather.

I found the course to be in very good condition. A few tee boxes were closed, signs of getting needed repairs done. The tee boxes that were open I had no problem with. The course is a challenge. A few blind shots either hitting over a ridge in the fairway to an elevation change and a tucked away green. Speaking of elevation change. Everywhere! Club selection is very important. Fairways, rough and greens were just about where you'd exspect them to be at the end of summer. No real negative issues. The bunkers had enough sand fill to make them playable. The senior rate of $55 is a plus. Customer service gets a big high five. I got stuck in traffic, we called the course and they obliged me with a tee time which afforded me an extra 45 minutes to get there. That gave me time for some quick nutrition. Really came in handy. The round plus travel time from the I.E. was right at 10 hrs. POP was good at 4.25. Traffic is a real issue.
Been on the DL since GK La Costa, so I was totally ready to go out and get in some serious play. Hence I played the home track 3 times last week. From the time I arrived to the time I departed each day disappointment did not exsist in my vocabulary. I arrived in the parking lot and as I was gathering my phone and charging cable (carts have USB plugs) the baggage assist cart was already behind my car ready to take my bag to the cart area. Great start!

Walked up to the check in and either Curtis or Justin was there to accept my fees and set me up with a warm up buckets before hitting the course. Try the complimentary chocolate chip cookies. They go good with a cup of Starbucks. Since the management change rates have increased a few percent. I noticed when checking for tee times that Friday morning rates could be as much as $100. I have a senior membership which provides an excellent rates, especially for as much as I play there!!

Off to the warm up/practice area, which includes the driving range, chipping area and putting green all together where you will be greeted the starter, who keeps the flow of players on time up to tne first tee.

For late summer, early autumn conditions the course is in excellent condition. As always my only complaint is the lack of a well maintained bunker. They are pretty much non exsistent. I heard a couple of different reasons why they refuse to put a layer of sand in them with the one that makes the most sense is that the wind cleans them out too often and I guess they just settle to leave then hard pan or with some soft dirt to play out from. Tee boxes get and 8 except for the par 3s, those could use some attention. Fairways still green and provide a good surface to hit from. Never too hard to play from. The rough is long enough to penalize you, so keep it in the fairway. The greens are a little hit a miss right now. Most are very good with better than average roll but a few are showing some signs of wear. I'll bet they will be in very good shape after seasonal maintenance later this month. I heard the course will close for three weeks at the end of the month. So now is a good time to get a round in before the closure.

At the end if the round the cart guys are there to wipe down your clubs, bump them a couple of bucks. They do a good job. After your round the 19th hole is a great place for lunch. I suggest the Quarry Club sandwich with potatoe salad. Best sandwich I've had.
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