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Played GC of California for a late birthday round with a neighbor. Short and sweet, it was awful. This course is one I have always highly regarded as being a quality, well maintained and manicured track that I thoroughly enjoyed, but it currently has the appearance of a course that is being 'let go', which is a shame. I hope that's not the case, but winter conditions can't be the only explanation for why it looked so ragged and trashy throughout.
The tee boxes were fading and disheveled, the fairways were tight and dormant/dying/dead, and the rough was just a bunch of trashy dead patchy mess. I literally had the feel all day like I'd been duped, given the 'ol bait and switch, because this course has never felt or played this way in my past experiences.

Unlike everything else about the course with the exception of the first green which was an absolute bumpy mess, the greens progressively got better with many in excellent condition. That and the good customer service were the lone saving grace for a course I used to love and now will not return to until it's restored.

So disappointed, GCofCa was a hidden gem for a long time, but it's just a messy looking muni now. Only paid $30 dollars on a GN discount and STILL felt robbed.
Played: Monday afternoon, 7/27 at 2:40 for GN rate of $65.

Observations from first time playing La Costa Legends Course! I ran on a bit with my previous Coronado review so will try to trim this down a touch. Similar to that review however, this course is an absolute must play, especially for anyone looking to experience championship level golf at its best.

Course Type: I'd read that there was a redesign at both La Costa courses some years back and that areas of habitat/natural preservation had been added throughout, which in my mind meant that perhaps the course had been squeezed in a bit and made more difficult to find fairways and stay in play. Could not have been more wrong. This course invites the big driver swing and, even on holes with lateral hazards on both sides (which aren't many) gives the average golfer more than ample room to stay in play. At just under 7000 yards from the tips, this place will give you all you are willing to bite off, but ultimately there's a tee for every level. Legends winds through a gorgeous villa/condo property and delivers one of the best layout/designs i've ever personally played, requiring length skill and precision to score but allowing for less than perfect shots throughout with its spacious lines. I can't think of a single way I'd want to improve this course. It's simply inspiring. Every blade of grass seems to have a specific purpose and be in near perfect condition. The hole layouts turn in every direction and offer every type of challenge and shot making skill. If there is such a thing as a perfect balance between a fun course for the beginner/intermediate golfer to enjoy and one where an advanced golfer will experience championship level difficulty and shotmaking, this course has struck it IMO. I was blown away at how great this course was. While I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever Coronado round in the morning, the afternoon round at La Costa Legends quenched that thirst for a challenge only a pro level course could deliver.

Summary: There's a reason the PGA made this a tour stop for many years, it's an absolutely fantastic design and the aesthetics are just as impressive. The long and short is this: From tee to green to bunkers to practice facilities and everything in between, this course is ELITE. Sure the greens fee's are high, but find the best possible GN rate and make it happen, because short of some kind of serious change in conditions, IMO this is one of the best courses you will likely ever play.
Played: Monday morning, 7/27 at 6:30 for $55.

Observations from first time playing Coronado! It's a 'must play' IMO, period. Absolutely beautiful course in an incredibly beautiful location on Coronado Island. This was my first time getting to Coronado Golf Course since moving to Northern SD County 2 years ago and I regret that I've waited this long. What an amazing overall experience. The 'feel' of this place is just so calm and relaxing and the surrounding views so beautiful, leaving here was really the only regret of the day (but the regret was short lived since my next stop was La Costa as my next review will detail). If somehow you've played this course and don't think it's an amazing GEM, you are either trying keep the secret to yourself or just haven't taken your happy pills lately. What a place to play golf!.

Course Type: A 6500'ish yard track from the blues squeezed onto what seems like a relatively small piece of propery, this course has a big punch packed into a small package. It allows for wayward drives off the tee (a majority of holes having parallel dogleg fairways throughout, a personal favorite of mine) but it punishes those shots accordingly with semi to thick rough and tree trouble everywhere. A solid drive will result in great lies all day and well hit irons will stick on these luscious and receptive greens.

Practice Facilities: Meh, nothing special for sure, but enough to get the job done. Smallish range hitting off some aged mats and an immaculate putting green near the first tee to balance it out. Did not notice any other practice areas.

Tee Boxes/Fairways: Both in near 'immaculate' condition. The Tee boxes on most holes seem to have blue/white tee's bunched for the most part and fairways have very mild undulation throughout. I would say almost conclusively there is no brown to be found anywhere on this course, and though that may be a possible stretch, if it is, it's not by much. This place is the very definition of 'green and luscious', from tee to green to tee again.

Greens: What a joy to hit to and put on. The greens at Coronado were nearly flawless, with minimal bumps/unrepaired marks, readable and rolling very true, and edges/fringes which were well defined.

Rough/Bunkers: The rough was penal enough, several inches throughout, but the consistent tree trouble is what caused most of the damage. I loved not being OB on errant tee shots and getting to create and shape shots (uh, not that I had to or anything) but I hated having to take my medicine and get blocked out from going after pins because of tree trouble. The bunkers were nice with quality sand if just a tick dry/compacted in places. Not 'elite' white sand beach stuff but not the gritty dirt you might expect to find at a muni course either. Playable for sure.

Service: Got a friendly response when asked about a tee time for the next morning, on a course that is often booked up days in advance, and received a recently cancelled tee time from a very friendly lady named Kathy. Didn't see a cart of any kind or stop by the snack shop after either nine, but I believe they had both.

Summary: Though this is NOT a 'championship' type design by any stretch, in my book it's the very next best thing; an IMMACULATELY conditioned course full of challenging doglegs with recovery opportunities and very few OB issues, laid out on an equally impressive and picturesque piece of property tucked away on the corner of Coronado Island. Anyone within driving distance who doesn't want to make this a regular on their circuit should seriously consider a mental examination IMO :)

One Note: Though the POP is said to be consistently brisk, and it was certainly the case this day, there are a TON of walkers here because of the very compact property and efficient course layout, so don't be surprised if you have a foursome pushing carts ahead of you, and ahead of them...and so on. In fact, next time around, I will probably join them now that I think about it!
Played: Saturday afternoon, 7/25 at 1:37 for GN rate of $42.

Observations from first time playing The Vineyard!

Course Type: Medium length at 6500+ from the blues with some rolling, uphill/downhill shots and many parallel fairways. Mostly standard, straight forward holes with scattered tree lined fairways you can be as passive/aggressive as you like with a small dose of target style/placement and water holes. Not a course you will be punished too terribly for misses of the tee on many holes but still a tough enough test to really enjoy. If you prefer being aggressive with driver, which is what I enjoy most, then this is a course you will love.

Practice Facilities: Didn't use them but looked to have a large quality practice range and nice tree shaded putting/chipping area.

Tee Boxes/Fairways: all in excellent condition with some minor brown areas but for the most part a very lush and green course.

Greens: Beautifully maintained greens which had minimal ball marks/repairs. They were lush and fair. I loved the balance of undulation and fairness. Nothing too crazy that I remember and lots of makeable puts. They were a bit on the slower side, likely due to afternoon conditions, but rolled very true and pure.

Rough/Bunkers: The rough was not too penal though thick in spots mostly on the back nine. The bunkers were the one big disappointment of the day. Considering that the course is semi-heavy with bunkers, and being that I was in several, I can say with confidence that they were far more dirt then they were sand. The kind you really don't even feel like you should have to rake after visiting.

Service: Not much to report; check in was friendly and offered a few quick tips; never saw a refreshment cart which was a bit disappointing as it was a hot afternoon; stop at the bar/snack area was not as friendly with a big Italian looking cat that seemed like he had just done a mob hit (i kid) and was not interested in service. Here, take it and go kinda attitude. No other cooked food was available after 3p, which again is a little disappointing when people are still playing until 8:30 in the evening with all the sunlight.

Summary: For the style of golf I enjoy most, which is aggressive off the tee, I really enjoyed the 'open' feel of this course. It did actually feel a 'bit' like playing two different courses, the front having a couple 'quirky' holes but playing more straight forward with little undulation and a few more opportunities to lose a ball while the back was more picturesque wide open with uphill/downhill shots and longer more impressive holes. In general, it starts a little slow, but picks up early in the round and is definitely an enjoyable track. Not a course I'd walk at my age but certainly will be in my regular rotation now that i've played it. Was well worth the $42 green fee but would be an absolute 'steal' at anything in the $30 and under range.
Played Castle Creek for the first time off early at 6:23 for $42 Golf Now rate on 7/18. Right from the start I was disappointed to learn they have no practice range and the practice putting green was very small and poorly kept. What they did have was a small dilapidated net/cage of some sort, like I have personally never seen, with a criminally poor mat/rubber tee and about two dozen of the saddest balls i've ever seen. No practice facilities is a BIG no no for me and a guaranteed no return, so obvious fail on my part for not checking this before playing there. The facilities in general have that 50+ year old feel where pathways and buildings feel run down and on their last legs.

The on course experience was definitely better than the initial appearance and facilities condition. This course in general is relatively straight forward with most holes offering a line of towering majestic trees and parallel fairway on one side and some kind of OB on the other, which I personally prefer as I love to bomb driver and hate courses that penalize you with OB and or lost ball on BOTH sides of a hole for a miss. The dogs don't really have many legs here as most holes are very straight but there are some creative holes that will force a carry or tempt you to drive a short par 4.

If, like me, driver is your favorite club, you can pull it on every par 4/5 without any silly restrictions or target limitations. The tee boxes were firm and greenish/brown, as was a lot of the course, but very well placed and cut. The fairways were nicely outlined throughout and the greens were subtly undulated and for the most part lush looking and receptive and rolling beautifully on chips and putts. The rough was not much of a penalty and the sand traps were placed well around holes and fairly playable, though it was a rainy day which caused a thin layer of muddy dirt. I enjoyed the challenge of pumping the big stick out all day while trying to keep it in the relatively tight/straight fairways. It's not a 'creative' course design by any stretch and no where near worth the $42 I paid, but for a 'very cheap' green fee it's worth a round just to check it off the list IMO.

The big turnoff for me was definitely the 'old run down' feel of the buildings/pathways themselves and the lack of a practice facility, which is absolutely a deal killer for me in the future. However, the conditions were definitely above average and the opportunity to miss fairways on one side is HUGE in my book, especially in this day of 'target' courses where you get no relief on either side for misses, just OB and lost balls.
Played Rancho Vista on 6/18 in a tournament and could not have enjoyed it more. The conditions, especially in light of the drought and being in the High Desert, were lush and green from edge to edge. From the tees to the greens and everything in between this course was in outstanding condition. I lived in Lancaster for 18 years playing Rancho, as it's really the only viable course to play in the entire High Desert, and it's probably the BEST condition I have ever seen it. Even the ENTIRE driving range landing areas were lush and green all the way to the back wall. This course plays VERY forgiving is spite of being one that runs east to west through a housing community. There are minimal trees (all slanted the same way because of the wind) to deal with and it invites aggressive play throughout. A few year back they replaced many of the unplayed areas with desert style waste bunkers which has really improved the overall appearance of the course without taking anything away from its enjoyment. For top players this is probably not a very difficult track, but for the average joe, it's a great day on the course and can still play tough. The ONLY drawback in my opinion, and the only reason we decided to go elsewhere after the tournament to play another 18, is the WIND that can kick up in the afternoon and become extremely difficult. Catch it on a good day, and it's calm and breezy, catch it on a bad day and HOLD ONTO YOUR HAT AND PRAY.

Having moved to Oceanside two years ago and not played Rancho since, I was delighted to see how incredible looked, and that's after adjusting to the consistently GORGEOUS conditions I see now in Northern San Diego. If you can play early in the morn or have a reliable wind condition site that can ensure you're not walking into a WINDY day in the High Desert, this place is playing AMAZING right now.
Played Robinson Ranch Valley course on Thursday and could not have come away more disappointed. The overall feel of the course for me was EXTREMELY DRY AND DYING. While the greens are in typical top condition, and the sand in the bunkers is still top quality, the tee up to green experience was awful. This has always been one of my favorite places to play, especially the Valley Course, as their service and facilities have consistently delivered a 'Club' experience. However, in my opinion most places on the course the green grass has been sucked dry, and in numerous areas that 'dry' has become a caked and dead waste like area. The tee boxes are level and well positioned for all levels of golfer, but they too seem to me to be very close to being lost. As this course has almost always delivered a 'Five Star' experience for me from a 'service and conditions standpoint, I was genuinely SHOCKED at the drop off in quality.

Personally, I wouldn't play this course again right now for free, literally, and anyone considering RR should research carefully the most current reviews to give them a reasonable expectation as to what they can expect. Having played this same morning at Rancho Vista GC up in Lancaster (the high desert 25 mins away) I was STUNNED at the drop off in conditions. Rancho Vista, in spite of being stuck in the High Desert climate and squeezed by water restrictions, could not have been more impressively GREEN AND LUSH, in spite of the drought, while RR gave my brother and I the 'feeling' that if a match was to fall the whole course would be instantly engulfed due to the extremely dry and parched conditions. The Robinson Ranch experience was extremely disappointing to say the least.
Played Oceanside for the third time in four days and, for the money, can't say enough good things about it. Paid a little more than the $15 with a cart I paid Friday, primarily because the Course's own website is down so the discounted rates are not reflected. Really, except for the rough which is definitely rough and sketchy, this course is playing beautifully right now. The starter mentioned that they are prepping for the local Amateur Championship, so that is likely the driving force behind the excellent conditions. I swore when I moved here I would not waste my money on this run down track, but no more. Each of the three rounds I played I enjoyed it even more, especially as I began to figure out the lines and spots to miss your shot in. I sincerely like this course right now and won't hesitate to keep supporting it as long as the conditions continue as they have been. There is no doubt this course has some 'character' to it, and there are more than enough quality holes and challenges for every level of golfer. Aside from the green on #1, which has some thin areas around the edge being repaired, and a few holes with fairway sand covering dead spots, this place is a steal right now for anything in the $20-$30 range. I played with my 11yr old at 4pm and paid $35 total with a cart, and we actually finished the 18 holes right in time as the sun faded. Perfect day on a course that is really improving.
Played all 18 holes at Oceanside muni for the first time since moving here nearly a year ago. My initial impression, seeing the course from the range when I first starting hitting balls here, was that it was a run down goat track that would NEVER get my money. I don't like spending big dollars golfing, but if I'm gonna play, I tend to lean towards playing higher end quality tracks. The range is grass and fairly decent to get some practice from, though the landing areas are poorly marked with mostly dirt areas. I broke down and took my 11yr old son around the front nine one time and was marginally surprised at the course. Today, took the course up on it's super twilight rate of ONLY $15 WITH CART by booking through the course's website. Figured that was a NO LOSE SITUATION so met a friend and gave it a go. What an INCREDIBLE DEAL. The service here is always very friendly, which I know from using the range many times as well as my boys taking lessons twice a month. As you can imagine, for only $15, I was willing to accept some imperfection from this muni, as long as the fairways were fair, and the greens weren't terrible. To my surprise though, the course was an absolute joy. The tee boxes were decent to fair, playing the blues, and presented none that were troubling. The fairways were more than fair, with ample lush grass, and they actually had a cut line distinguishing most rough areas. There were some spots on a couple fairways that were under repair, but they were well marked and seemed to be actually being improved. Most impressive though were the lush and receptive greens. We played so late in the day it would have been fair to expect the greens to be a little beat up, but amazingly they were gorgeous. Soft enough to get balls to check up but fast enough to roll a true line, even in the late afternoon. I could count the number of ball marks I encountered from my entire round that weren't repaired on one hand. Immaculate. If I remember correctly, there was only ONE green with thinning areas or edges. Now, as expected, the 'rough' was relatively rough, and there were many areas that had nothing more than large patches of dirt or weeds, but all in all, it was as expected from this level of course. As far as the overall course difficulty and creativity, it is STILL a muni. There were two holes that stood out as 'quirky' on the back nine, a short par 4 which plays up a STEEP hill, as well as the following hole, a short par 3 coming back down from the hillside. Other than those two holes, the course was laid out nicely with a fair mix of short and long par 4's/5's and several nice par 3's. Overall, I was either in the best mood of my life today, which after several forgettable holes is pretty much impossible, or this course was an ABSOLUTE JOY to play, especially FOR THE MONEY. To be fair, if I was paying upwards of the $35-$40 it can cost to play at earlier times of the day, I would likely take a pass, but if I'm only being asked to pony up less than $30, then I'm ALL IN with this course.
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