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Played Lakewood CC on Saturday for the second time in the last two months and there is much improvement to report currently. The course is probably in the best shape I've seen it and it was really fun to play. We also avoided the dreaded six-hour round at LCC because we found that sweet spot between an early morning tournament and the afternoon crowd.

Put it this way - we got to the par 3 12th hole and there was no backup at all. If you play Lakewood regularly, you'll know that this is not a common occurrence.

As far as conditions go, the course was again in its best shape that I can recall. The greens were running very nicely and quite quick, and also had many very tough pin placements (probably for the earlier tournament). Held shots well despite and only a few greens that had a lot of ball marks to fix up. Not bad at all, actually. Very nice to play.

Fairways were mostly in good shape with the occasional thin section, but really playable overall. Rough was not penal, but a little dried out but still thick enough to be considered rough. Some areas of course well off the fairways were dried out entirely and there are a lot of mulch areas that you should avoid at all costs. Was only in one bunker all day but it was also playable but hardly the fluffy stuff. Tee boxes were all very serviceable and no big issues stand out in my memory.

Hot day and it would have been a good one to see some cart service, however none was around all day. There is however a very convenient snack shop between the second green and third tee box and again when you make the turn. When conditions are good at Lakewood, it enhances the layout without a doubt. I would definitely play here again soon if the conditions stay this good.
10 Likes.
Played our GK Cup matches at Rancho san Marcos on Sunday and, after having waited a year to finally come back to this super fun course, it did not disappoint at all. The staff was fantastic all day long and did us a solid by allowing us to play our replay match free after the initial $65 greens fee - what a steal. The drive up is beautiful and when you get the course, it just feels like you get even more of that.

We pretty much had the course to ourselves the entire day and all 36 holes, which was a bit crazy. However, it was over the 100 mark so that may have kept the crowds away. We were not complaining one bit. Kudos again to the staff for taking care of us and having water every four holes or so. It was necessary.

Layout at RsM is one of the most fun you'll likely ever play, and the setting is terrific. As for the conditions, really good all around for the most part, but there were a few spots that needed some attention, but totally understandable with the heat wave currently. The fairways definitely had plenty of lush, but you could certainly find a dry or thin spot here or there, especially around the greens. The rough is playable but anything just off the fairways is serious trouble. Tee boxes were in good shape for the most part, but the bunkers I found to be a little lacking overall. A lot of thin bunker shots that were played more like chips than sand shots.

Greens were very nice. The held shots well, had plenty of tricks to them (tough to read!), and rolled medium-fast (with a tiny bit of edge on the fast side) and stuck to their lines for the most part. There were a few areas that didn't have the best coverage though, but for the most part they were solid and fun to play.

Carts are nice but no GPS or USB ports. There are also some 4x4 areas on the course where the cart path just ends and you have to get squirrely, but nothing to worry about for the most part.

In summary, a great deal of thanks to Rancho san Marcos for styling us out and showing how much they appreciate the GK community. I'll play here any time I can. You should, too.
12 Likes.
Pre-4th of July twilight round with Kassper7 at El Dorado. Course is in good summer shape right now with the highlight being most likely the greens which were in nice shape. Not the greatest man has ever seen, but highly acceptable. They're running a little bit above medium speed, hold lines well, accept approach shots and the coverage is mostly consistent and firm.

Fairways have some thinner areas but you're also just as likely to land in a nice patch of the lush green stuff. With so many trees at El Dorado, there's always a chance that some lies stay thin due to the lack of sunlight all day, but again, they do a good job of keeping things in playing shape. Rough is not penal and often provides a better lie than some of those aforementioned thin patches. Sand was mostly okay - not terrible, but not great. And the tee boxes with the exception of a few were just fine.

Enjoyable layout with a few water features in play along the way. It's a pretty straight-forward design, but throws in a few wrinkles with length, water and of course the narrow alleys on some of the holes with the trees. I don't think the bunkers are too invasive at El Dorado at all so you don't have too many of those to worry about.

We walked for a $40 rate + push cart. Didn't see any cart service along the way either, but it wasn't a weekend so maybe that's why. Solid pro shop though where you can find anything else you may have left at home. All in all, good showing from El Do and it's recommended at this time.
10 Likes.
We got an unbelievable deal to play the great Black Gold for the GK Cup final so it was an opportunity not to be missed. And the course really delivered.

Black Gold is a very challenging course where inaccuracy will be punished with vigor. There are some very decent carries to intimidate you and some narrow fairways with OB hillside danger on either side to really get the pulse rate going. Not for the faint-hearted. We played the blue tees in our group with Mattias, Perry and Tony.

Course conditions were quite good all around, but there were a few thin lies to be found and I did not find the sand in the bunkers to be great, but manageable in most cases. What was fantastic were the greens that were running very tricky and medium-fast with some very interesting lines based on the pin positions (which could have been a lot worse). The tee boxes were all in very good shape as well. The rough was very playable.

We had the cart service come by two or three times on a hot day so that was great, and the carts at Black Gold are about as nice as they come. Very good GPS as well, but I tend to stick with my phone app and laser either way. Really fun day out though and congratulations to Andrew on the big win and Johnny for putting together this outing and us getting a great rate at a premium SoCal course. High fives all around.
10 Likes.
Played last Saturday at Los Amigos again and the conditions were pretty much the usual of late. Medium speed greens with varied surfaces from smooth to bumpy depending on the hole, mostly good fairways with some lush sections and some quite thin, non-existent rough in most areas that would cause any trouble, tee boxes in need of some love, and nice sand in the bunkers.

POP was actually quite good for a 9:25am tee time and we walked within four and a half hours while only doing a lot of waiting on the back nine. No cart service but a good snack shop at the turn. Customer service was good at all levels.

Haven't seen much change at Los Amigos for quite a while … it remains a decent option for a good round of golf but not one that's going to wow you for weeks after.
6 Likes.
Not much to add since my latest Rancho Park review as conditions generally haven't changed too much since then. Played as a single on Sunday from the blue tees and paired up with father/son duo and another single. Rode this time after that long drive back from Coyote Springs on Saturday.

Greens were mostly in good shape but medium speed at best. Ball marks here and there but nothing too bad. Probably the best part of the course. Fairways are a mixed bag of lush and not lush, green and brown, full and thin. The rough is varied throughout - no meter. I found a few bunkers and sand was okay. Tee boxes are less than stellar but functional.

Been playing here more of late as it's still a good test of golf but also the closest good course to my place in Playa del Rey. Still can't figure out why they haven't come up with a better solution on the 18th hole (and 9th for that matter) to keep more range balls out of that fairway. It's no fun looking for your ball when a hundred others are sitting right in the spot you think you hit it. Taller nets! Anything!
5 Likes.
Played in Saturday's GK Event at Coyote Springs and it was a pretty fun little round with Perry, Brad and Ron. I got there with very little sleep and little time to spare, but luckily felt pretty good throughout thanks to the cool, interesting course and the nice company.

Coyote Springs actually makes Rams Hill look accessible. It's quite out there, kids. An hour north of Vegas with absolutely nothing in between - pretty wild the whole story about how this place came to be and you have to respect whatever work it is they're doing to not only keep it up and running, but to also have it in pretty darn great shape all around.

Personally, while the course is by no means easy at all (Ron and I played from the blue tees), I find the rating and slope to be very high indeed. Not sure why that is but it could probably use a looking into in the future. But the course is indeed challenging, with no shortage of carries over water and waste areas, bunkers in the middle of just about every fairway, powerful winds that roll through the property, and fairly nutty green complexes that really make you think your way through your putts. There are even some decent elevations despite the flat desert around you, and many a fairway are wavy and undulating to test your shot-making from uneven lies.

Conditions were quite good all around and it was a very fun course to play, especially if you're having a good day finding fairways. If not, I can imagine it to be quite a bear. But the fairways had very good coverage mostly with just a few thinner areas here and there under that oppressive Nevada sun, and the rough was very nice - consistent but not too penal. The greens were in very nice shape as well but not crazy fast at all. They varied a decent bit in terms of speed throughout the day, but what you see is what you got. It's the lines and breaks that make putting tough here. With faster greens it may become a nightmare round. Tee boxes were in good shape and I was in a few bunkers and they seemed mostly very good.

Very nice surprise to have sandwiches and drinks brought out to us in the middle of the round, and I found the facilities overall to be very nice. Even the little café and pro shop were very well stocked and inviting. Also had cart service which was nice. But those gas-powered carts probably could use some changing out sometime soon. They're a bit loud when coming up on somebody about to swing the club!

So overall, if you're in the Vegas area and want to experience a very unique and fun experience, by all means check out Coyote Springs. Now, would I make a pilgrimage five hours away from LA again just to play here with absolutely nothing else around it? No, not likely, but that's not a knock on the place in any way other than the geography. However, if I was having a long Vegas weekend and had a few days to play golf wherever, I would absolutely come back up for the day. You would be nutty not to do it.
10 Likes.
Got to play the new Rolling Hills Country Club again for the second time yesterday and really enjoyed playing my best-ever round there - past or present. I'm sure that result had a lot to do with the fact that the greens were a lot slower than my first visit to the newly redesigned course, but I also hit plenty of fairways and greens so that really helped a lot.

In terms of conditions, once again RHCC is very raw still and will require a few years before it's in optimal shape, but of course the layout and terrain itself is top shelf. It's a true challenge to even the best golfer, but it's incredibly fun and fair. Only one rather 'bad' hole, and that's the par 4 2nd as it actually makes little sense to attack its primary fairway when you can use the same one from the 1st hole and risk less by using that angle. But apparently the members have also spoken and they're already planning a redesign for it.

As previously mentioned, the greens were much slower than my first visit, but that doesn't make the size of them, the undulations and the difficulty of reading putts any less severe. I was happy to get out of there with 34 putts this time around. This also meant that they held shots very well, but you have to play a lot of crazy angles at RHCC to find those greens and get close to the pins.

Fairway coverage is very good, but again, still very immature. It's green for sure, especially the rough, but it's not yet in its most pristine state. The bunkers, which are many, are in really nice shape though and that sand is easy to hit from. The worst part of the course? The tee boxes are generally hard as rock underneath still (why is that?), so it's very tough and sometimes impossible to place a longer driver tee in the ground, but they're fine for short tees if not using driver. But they're flat and well-spaced around the course.

Lots of fine amenities of course. The carts are brand new and fantastic with plush leather seats and a charging USB port for your cell phone. The GPS system has also been added to the carts and it’s simple but effective. I'm not sure what brand/type it is, but it's unlike any I've ever seen before.

I'm not sure if the guest rate that I got is the same for every member, but of course it's over $100 for this top-notch track. And of course it's worth every penny. Had a great time and was thrilled to not only finally break 100 at this always challenging track that's always tormented me, but even broke 90 in the process, so that was awesome.
8 Likes.
First time on the Vineyard course for a customer tournament and it was very enjoyable. Overall conditions were mostly very good with a few thin, burned out areas in the fairways but mostly on the fringes. Some holes were crazy lush and green, others (mostly on the front nine) were a little more dry or burned out, but nothing bad. Greens were in good shape with some tough pins. Medium fast speeds. Bunkers did not come into play as our team managed to not find any all day (finishing 8-under overall). Tee boxes fine.

I enjoyed the layout for the first time and don't see any hugely dramatic differences between the Vineyard course and its partner in crime Victoria Lakes. A little less water maybe to deal with but overall it bounces around from some hilly sections, to some parkland style (love the look of the par 5 15th) and even a bit linksy on the front nine. It's fun.

Always a good setup at River Ridge and they seem to take good care of their customers. And yes, the 18th hole is an island green, but it's like the biggest island you've ever seen.
9 Likes.
Played a nice twilight round for my first-ever visit to Los Robles on Friday afternoon ahead of a weekend tournament at River Ridge on Saturday. Called ahead and they got me a spot with a single, but he disappeared after the first hole, then I joined a group of four older Indian doctors who were quite a hoot. We had some slow going at times but the company was good and the course was in nice shape. The only gripe is that we had to start on the 10th hole and when we finished 18, they were putting new groups out on the first tee. We had words and they moved those players over after an apparent miscommunication.

Anyway, tricky little hilly and narrow course for my game. I found some of the holes quite quirky but enjoyed the round for the most part. A few bizarre tree placements here and there, and some really challenging downhill and long par 3s, but overall it's a pretty cool little track, topping out at just 6300 yards from the black tees. I walked the course and was not expecting it to be as hilly as it was.

Nice greens for sure. Very solid rolls and holding shots well. Coverage was nice. They weren't overly tricked out in any way but some tough pin positions. Fairways were mostly in good shape but there were some thin areas here or there. Rough not too penal but there are a lot of mulch areas around the fairways (assume it's the best way to avoid water bills) and they are not fun to hit from so keep it straight if you can (famous last words). Bunkers were mostly in good shape and don't remember having any issues with the tee boxes.

This course would certainly be more playable after a few visits to know exactly where you're trying to hit it towards. It's very convenient just off the 101 so I will try and come back to do better one day.
8 Likes.
Played Skylinks on Sunday with Kassper7 and bnr1986 with a teeoff.com deal and a 12:04 tee time. Weather was perfect and we got paired with a single who was a really good playing partner for our group. We played the blue tees with the exception of Ben who played the black tees.

Course is really in fine shape. They played some city championship earlier in the day so the greens were as fast and clean as I've ever seen them at Skylinks, and the pin positions were certainly not easy all day long. We basically played the course in its most defensive state and it was really good fun.

Again, the greens were really great - top shelf. Held shots pretty well, ran fast and there were tons of tricky breaks and undulations to contend with. It was a bad day for me not to be putting well. As for the rest of the course, the fairways were in mostly great shape with a very few thin areas, while the rough was not too penal unless you got well into the trees where you found some hardpan mayhem. Tee boxes were most very good and the bunkers were mostly okay, but I did bottom out surprisingly while hitting out of the greenside bunker on 15. But overall, course is in probably some of the best shape I've seen it in.

Cart service was around at the turn and they had a few water stations along the way. POP was great for the first five or six holes, but then we caught up to the groups in front of us and had a bit of a slog the rest of the round, but nothing too terrible.

Fun layout that can be challenging in spots, forgiving in others, but always fun and engaging. Recommended at this time without a doubt.
12 Likes.
Decided on an afternoon Sunday round at Rancho Park and got paired up with two singles and a twosome finishing a match play round in sudden death … if this story sounds familiar, it's because the last review for RP happened to be a fellow GKer and we had no idea we were playing together until this morning. Good to play with you Ben!

As for course conditions, I can agree with all that bnr1986 described in his last review. Greens were probably the best part of the course, but they're not yet fully recovered or in their best possible shape. Fairways mostly good and playable but definitely some thin areas to contend with. Sand was pretty okay and the tee boxes (played blues) also need some TLC.

Rancho Park remains an LA classic course that everyone should play at least once.
9 Likes.
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