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Played here yesterday (7/10) with GK member Nat and his two friends Bert and Jason on a previously purchased GN tee time for 1pm. Riverwalk holds a special place in my heart as it was the home course for the high school golf team that I could never make and for the previously nice conditions and proximity to my residence, however it has slowly slipped into half oblivion and half potential residential property. The conditions here are nowhere near what they once were and although the prices here are always fair, soon even that may not save Riverwalk.

Tee boxes: Decent shape as we played the blues today for some extra challenge. Ground was fairly even and consistency of turf varied from rock hard to melted butter. Overall there were no major issues as just moving a few inches presented new turf conditions.

Fairways: Varied from total GUR to decent lie depending on the hole. I distinctly remember hole 1 on Presidio having about 50% of the hole be ground under repair and the turf that wasn't all that great. Other holes like 6 on Mission being much better. It really depended on what hole but overall mediocre.

Rough: Penal at times, though it varied as much as the fairways. Some areas had stagnant water and we nearly ran our cart straight into it. Other rough areas were fairly deadpan. The penal rough was challenging to lift the ball from, the dead areas didn't offer much in the way of clean shot-shaping.

Sand: I was in only one bunker today but it had decent sand to hit from; more dirt-like sand than beach sand, but my litmus test has always been if I can get out and try for a sand save, then it can't be that bad of condition. Sand was raked in most cases.

Greens: The highlight of the round and it saved the day. Good and fair roll and rarely an unfixed divot. Burnout spots here and there and some greens were clearly better conditioned than others but never found one unplayable.

ETC: Service was friendly though the cart attendant probably had a bad day. Got out in time and made it around in a little less than 4 hours so I will take that any day on a course like this. Carts were serviceable but our GPS didn't work and our cooler had been taken off the cart. Know for a fact the food here (in the clubhouse) is actually quite tasty but the "grill" at the turn has been flip-flopping between a trailer near the driving range and the window near the cart return and it still isn't very clear. Again, for a price less than $35 it is still more than playable, but at this rate either Riverwalk in its totality will probably close and become condos (that WILL flood mind you) or the course will simply fall into disrepair in the vain of Cottonwood before they re-did things.
Played here today (6/9/18) with fellow GK member Bill visiting from Michigan on a discounted tee time (8am) for roughly $55. I normally don't announce the green fee but I felt that for a prime time Sunday morning tee time, the price was more than fair. Today was a story of bad play but great greens. Overall, it was an enjoyable time with good playing partners and warm weather.

Tee boxes: Probably the worst part of the course today; only mediocre condition. Tee boxes varied from rock hard turf to melted butter when driving in the tee. Blue tees were more than chewed up and some of the marker placements were just unfair.

Fairways: Good condition overall. They offered more than adequate turf conditions, visually pleasing to the eye, and a fair amount of roll. A few divots but those are from people stupidly not filling them.

Rough: Not overly penal, though what was really killer as always is the ESA. It's prevalent and it bites back on bad shots.

Bunkers: Was only in one today and it was in good shape. More beach sand than pearl white grains, but enough sand present in order to try for sand saves. Sand condition was good.

Greens: The absolute highlight of the round. The greens were fabulous; a wonderful forest green area of fine carpet. Varied in size but all rolled true and slow all day. Some of the best played all year.

ETC: Carts lacked in GPS and ice in the coolers, which on a 92 degree day, they really needed. Cart girl (the same one as from my very first GK cup match nearly 7 years ago!) seemed to be overwhelmed going around the course and barely made eye contact as she asked "you guys good?." Check-in was good but there was a huge tournament today that caused us to tee off a bit delayed. Pace was still good at just under 4.5 hours but we waited on the entire front 9, with the back 9 speeding up. A good deal warrants a visit for those less than 30 mins away.
Played here today (6/3) as part of a Balboa Park Men's Club outing on a cool and misty day with a scheduled 8:15, actual 8:30 AM shotgun start. This was only my second event with the club and the first outside the home course and it was an enjoyable time, even if one particular group member was a bit anal about everything. I had low expectations for the course and conditions, but was really surprised in just about every way. Even with abnormal San Diego weather, this was a good private track.

Tee boxes: This may have been one of the weaker features of the course today and saying that, they were still more than playable. Everyone today played the whites so that had something to do with it, but a few were uneven and a few were chewed up. Again, nothing that ruined the round, just something of note.

Fairways: Excellent condition. They popped with forest green color and they offered very generous lies. Today's weathers conditions did not allow any significant roll, but the natural contours of the landscape on any given day would really let good drives roll.

Rough: Thick and penal (and wet). It was not fun to hit out of and really made you prioritize good aim. Even more penal than the rough is the absurd amount of OB present all over the course. There wasn't one hole in which OB stakes didn't line the outer limits of the rough.

Bunkers: Great condition. The sand is more beach than Pebble, but the condition and consistence of the grains was ideal. I don't remember the amount of sand being a problem and every one was raked well.

Greens: The highlight of the course; some of the best conditioned greens I have played on in years, even comparable to the San Diego Country Club though slower. The morning dew played tricks with the speed all day, but the green complexes were still quick and tricky; not one straight putt all day.

ETC: Everyone at the course treated the Balboa club like members. Carts had good haul speed and good but sensitive breaks and no GPS sadly. Facilities were modest and what you would expect from a country club from the 1960's. Nice restroom facilities throughout the course. No cart attendant today, but a food stand at the halfway point and Balboa was nice enough to provide vouchers. If you get the chance to come out and can finagle a good price under $75, make the easy trip out.
Played here 5/4 with fellow GK member Jon (jpeairs85) on a Golf Moose deal ($100 with free replay) and my GM $50 voucher. Weather was absolutely beautiful with some slight wind at times. We had a 1:12pm tee time and finished in almost exactly 4 hours, thanks in part to a dreadfully slow foursome we ran into before the turn who let us pass after hole 12, otherwise it would have easily been a 5 hour round. Conditions were rather poor considering what the rack rate is so use a deal right now.

Tee boxes: Okay to good shape. Black-blue-white for males with blue tees getting most of the play today. I do distinctly remember hole 16 having rock hard ground that nearly snapped my tee when I tried to drive it into the ground. By the time we made our way through the course, the tee boxes were a bit chewed up. Ground seemed level.

Fairways: Probably the best part of the course; green and in good shape. Turf conditions weren't great, but they were good enough to allow for adequate roll (I'm sure the rain earlier in the week helped). No real divots I saw as members/guests filled them.

Rough: Thick in many areas. This course is riddled with OB/hazard areas that are equally tough, but the thick was indeed thick. Plenty of time I had to club up and take my medicine just to try and save bogey, which I promptly didn't do.

Sand: I thought the sand was possibly the worst of all aspects. Many greenside bunkers didn't have enough sand to be able to shape shots the way you're supposed to. More than a handful of them had pebbles and small rocks that are unacceptable.

Greens: In all fairness, I knew (thank you GK) that Legends had aerated almost three weeks ago so I knew it would be sandy all day, but they were about 70-80% healed and rolled well. Pin placements could have been better given how the greens were healing, but I guess you can't have it all.

ETC: Staff was very friendly, though this is to be expected at a place like this. Love the complimentary valet and I will always take it with the regular lot being a trek in. Cart was a mixed bag as the GPS never turned on, cooler had no ice, but battery lasted the whole round, good breaks, and turn radius. Layout here is fun but routing can get a bit confusing in spots. Recommend you wait another week or so and find a good deal.
Played here yesterday (4/27) for the first time ever with some of my girlfriend's family on a very cool and overcast day with the first available twilight tee-time (2pm). I had only ever passed by the property, but was lucky enough to get invited to play on this iconic and historic course on a very fair $89 rate. I didn't stay here but from the looks of it, this place is first-class all the way. The course itself was very interesting in the types of holes it has to offer, the layout and how it is worked into the natural Ojai landscape, as well as the staff and condition.

Tee-boxes: Nothing wrong with the tee-boxes other than they were a bit chewed up by the time we teed off. Most everyone was playing blues as even from the tips, this course is very short (with serious teeth). Ground was fairly level all day.

Fairways. Good to great condition. Visually pleasing to the eye, offered a fair amount of roll even with some mist all day, and the lies for shots were never bad.

Rough: The stickiest of the icky. Grabbed your club, swallowed up balls, and overall kept everyone humble all day long. Various type of natural long grass made for a difficult day for those not in the fairway today.

Bunkers: Was in more than a few today and conditions were good, not great. This sand is more the brown dirt style than the August pearl white stuff you'd like to have. I wish the bunkers had more sand in them, but most of the bad shots today were all on me.

Greens: Very good condition. Started off slow and finished closer to the medium-fast level. They were running smooth, even as visually they left something to be desired aesthetically. The breaks were wicked at times and these greens for the most part are tiny (especially in the front). Didn't hold shots well at all but putted true.

ETC: Wonderful carts with Shark Experience integrated and good color GPS. Pace today was just under 4.5 hours but felt very slow at times with a single we had to let pass after hole 3 (even as we waited for him between us and the group ahead who refused to let him pass) and other groups on the back 9 that popped out of nowhere. Routing can get a bit confusing but the property is so beautiful, you almost don't mind. Carts equipped with coolers, ice, and water. Fruit and ice stations at least 2 that I saw. Cart attendant came around at least 3 times; food was very good. Parts of the course felt completely isolated and the front plays very different than the back. Highly recommended!
Played here alongside fellow GK members Jim (ratpatrol), Tim (rudyclub), and Brady on what turned out to be a perfect day weather-wise after some morning showers. We used an UnderPar deal that turned out to be extra beneficial with some bounce back certificates on top of a good rate. This is my fifth time playing here and I enjoy it more and more each time. Amazingly enough, I believe that I played my best round of all previous times yesterday and the course was in really good shape. I won't add much to weber's review as it still applies in large part, but suffice to say if you can afford to get out, you should!

Tee boxes: There were a few uneven lies on certain holes and we were playing the whites, I can imagine blues must have been worse since they got more play today.

Fairways: Still offering good lies and a fair amount of run. I know aesthetics are overrated, but how can you complain about having lime green fairways out there.

Rough: Even shortened since the KIA, the thick stuff was grabby and penal. I don't remember ever having a ball disappear in it, but it easily could have.

Bunkers: Was in three today and they were all exceptional. When I make good sand shots, the sand is perfect.

Greens: A bit disappointing in that there is always a group of greens that are sanded (which is the way they do it). Even those ran okay, but there were a few shots I know were affected by this on approach.

ETC: Staff is always first-class. Carts are equipped with excellent color GPS, ice and water in the chests, and plenty of juice to get around the course. Starters here seem better than just about anywhere else sans perhaps Troon properties. Clubhouse and facilities about what you would expect for a place that hosts an LPGA tournament; even things like lotion, sunscreen, hair gel, and everything you'd expect at a hotel present in the locker room. The layout here is fantastic and don't let the yardage fool you, this place has teeth. Highly recommend on a good deal.
Played here today along with Johnny and Nick on a very generous invite and a nice easy drive over the mountains for a 4 hour round with great company. This is my second time playing Indian Wells (Players) and I was reminded why it is ranked as one of the top 30 public golf courses in California; great layout, interesting hole designs, challenging green complexes, and a great property overall. Nick's review is pretty spot on to what I was going to detail so I will just add a note here and there where he and I may slightly (and I do mean slightly) disagree.

Tee boxes: I do love the fact they offer so many different tee box options and the orange tees we played today were sometimes paired with the blues, other times with the yellows. As noted, no issues today.

Fairways: Never a bad lie that wasn't the result of someone not filling a divot or a man-made gutter cover. I felt the roll today was more than fair.

Rough: As Nick noted, it was cut down in certain places. However, I managed to find the few areas where it wasn't (as a bad shot may do from time to time) and let me tell you, it will still bite back.

Sand: Was in my share of bunkers today and when I am hitting great sand shots and getting sand saves, you know the sand was in excellent condition!

Greens: Everyone agreed they were quicker than they looked and played better than their aesthetic value. I wasn't putting well at all, but it was nice to see Nick and Johnny make them.

ETC: Staff was friendly and I love the fact they have good color GPS, it turned out to save me a few times. The facilities are nice and as mentioned, the layout is a good mix of short par 4's and some really long par 5's. The company is what made this outing though, thanks guys!
Played here for my first ever visit on 3/30 on a 10AM tee-time. Seeing Johnny's review from the week before and knowing I would be in the area to visit my partner, I made a tee-time online and invited my partner's father to join for what turned out to be an amazing day. The course was just as Johnny described and I thoroughly enjoyed it in almost every way. On top of it being a Chamber of Commerce day with weather, every aspect of the course and property was as expected.

Tee boxes: Good condition. Never really noticed any issues with the following: level ground, turf firmness, irregular turf conditions between the markers. Markers here aren't vastly variant in distances as this course is not overly long.

Fairways: Great condition. They were sparkling green and the ground for the most part offered fair to good lies for shots. There were a few areas that were wetter than normal and a couple of scalped turf, but overall I was impressed. A fair amount of roll when the sun really started shinning.

Rough: Pretty penal the further away from the fairway you ended up (of course). There were areas in the holes closest to the mountains in the front 9 where the ball easily disappeared. The entire course has rough of varying lengths that kept one humble.

Sand: I was only in one bunker (fairway) and it was in good shape with nice compact sand. The ones I looked at all had good sand and were raked.

Greens: Good condition. The color and condition wasn't quite what I expected but the roll seemed true enough on correctly read putts (of which I had one all day I felt proud of). The speed varied but ran in the fast-range all day. There were a fair amount of unfixed divots, but more importantly the greens on 10, 16, and 18 were already sanded, even though the alert said they wouldn't until 4/1 (guess they wanted to get a quicker start).

ETC: Basic carts with no GPS and not always a marker close for a shot determination. Course could certainly stand to pave a few more miles of cart path to help riders (though I understand a vast amount of people walk here too). Staff was very easygoing and friendly. Rates here seem more than fair. Restaurant was very good and staff here was also friendly. Ample parking lot and facilities had everything you needed without the extra frills. Pace today was only about 4 hours on a peak hour weekend so that should tell you everything you need to know about how things run here! Not a must-play but such a solid track in the shadow of Ojai Valley Inn that more than holds its own.
Played this course for the first time ever (3/17 - 7A.M. tee time) on a quick weekend getaway to Palm Springs with fellow GK member molebio (Nat). As with the Desert Willow review, this choice came about in much the same way. It's hard to decide if I like Shadow Ridge more than Desert Willow, but they were almost identical in terms of conditions. Not sure if every high-end course in Palm Springs looks like this right now, but conditions may have been just a shade below perfect. What really helped today was getting off as the third group today behind a threesome with good pace, allowing us to enjoy a very casual 3.75 hour pace and feel like the course was all ours.

Tee boxes: Nearly perfect in just about every way. As with Desert Willow, the amount of tee boxes really helps and the conditions were everything you look for in a place like this.

Fairways: Also near perfection. Beautiful green carpets that were lush and offered very good roll, especially as the sun came out. Never once had a bad lie.

Rough: Not sure you want rough to be perfect, but the grass used in the rough was thick and long. It was penal but not overly so in that you could easily take your medicine if you chose to do so.

Bunkers: A dream to hit from. The amount of sand was just right and just enough to be able to hit behind the ball and not fear it shooting out. Not even a pebble in these bunkers.

Greens: Absolutely perfect sans maybe two or three divots from the group in front that never came into play. The roll on these greens, which themselves were devilishly difficult at times, was like putting on glass. No bumps in the road anywhere. A joy to test your skills on.

ETC: Another resort/property that does everything right. From the moment you park, all of Shadow Ridge is class. Starters, cart attendants, beverage attendant, cashiers, all treated us like we were members at a country club. The carts didn't have the best GPS but they were passable. The layout is fun but probably not as challenging as I would have expected (without sounding cocky). Had lots of fun out there and as mentioned, being alone on a Sunday is a real welcomed change from everywhere else. The rates here are a bit steep because of the resort, but if you can find a good price, I highly recommend!
Played this course for the first time ever (3/16 - 1 P.M. tee time) on a quick weekend getaway to Palm Springs with fellow GK member molebio (Nat). I won't go into the logic of choosing the particular courses played on this trip, but I had moderately high expectations for Desert Willow between Keith's blog, Nick's numerous PS area reviews, and their appearance on the Top 30 Public Golf Courses list. I have to say, not only did this place meet my expectations, it blew them away in just about every aspect. The ETC section will go more into general notes, but as far as conditions go, know the ratings are really no joke, especially when every other course I have played this year has been in the 6-7 range.

Tee boxes: Nearly perfect. I couldn't have been happier to see a generous amount of tee set options so no particular tee box was chewed up, even on a 1PM tee time. The grass was finely manicured and level. The ground was firm enough for great footing, but soft enough to drive tees nicely into the turf.

Fairways: Perfection. They were forest green carpet with a fair amount of roll, excellent lies all day, and visually stunning. No real other way to describe how amazing it was to see the green pop in contrast to the desert setting.

Rough: Penal but somehow because the conditions were so amazing, it felt like it wasn't as bad (if that even makes sense). It wasn't Torrey-long, but between the waste bunkers, desert terrain, the rough was almost a welcome relief on bad shots.

Bunkers: Was only in one green-side bunker, but as you would expect, beach-like sand in generous amounts that allowed for sand-save opportunities. Was also in one waste bunker and even there, the sand was better than most mediocre courses have in their green-side bunkers.

Greens: Just like everything else, they were perfect. A delightful combination of undulated and tricky slopes with glass-like roll at times. They weren't insanely fast, but they putted so smooth and had I been able to aim correctly that day, would have enjoyed them even more.

ETC: Everything about this property is first-rate. The attendants were on it as soon as we pulled up (even if we did miss the free valet parking). The carts had good color GPS and ice in the cooler. The clubhouse was wonderful and staff was very friendly. I was impressed with the grass driving range and practice green. The pace today was about 4.5 hours, but it seems that they do a very good job of sending people off on the dot. Course layout was fun with the right amount of challenge and the weather today cooperated perfectly with almost no wind. Highly recommend.
Played my GK Cup match today with Jon (jpeairs85) vs. Andrew Z. and Gary 0. at "The Goat" with an 11am tee-time on a sunny, but cool day. I'll let Andrew or Gary tell you about the match, but it was a great time had by all. I hadn't seen the new Goat Hill since my first visit nearly 7 years ago, but my how the times have transformed this once dump into a legit and memorable track. Today conditions were good after some rains during the week and it only stands to get better.

Tee-boxes: Probably the worst aspect of the course. The black tees, where most people played to try and max out the shorter yardage of the Goat, were small and placed in odd areas of the box. The ground consistency varied and some holes were very difficult to drive the tee into. The ground was also pretty chewed up and uneven.

Fairways: As anyone who has played here before will tell you, fairways here are at a premium, however the fairway that did exist seemed to be in good shape given the recent rains. The turf offered good shot-making opportunities and plenty of roll. No real divot damage and we did play LCR to ensure no major issues.

Rough: Varying degrees of penal rough everywhere on this course and it got seriously thick in certain places. As the course and its layout doesn't really play in the traditional sense, bad shots are more penalized by balls running around everywhere in dirt areas and by massive sloping of holes.

Sand: Wasn't in any but there isn't much sand on the course. I don't remember anyone being in any bunkers today but I am sure they were probably a bit wet from the previous night.

Greens: The highlight of the round. They were both fast and slow (depending on what hole), but they always rolled true. These greens were both small and had some nasty slopes. A pleasure and and a real test for us today.

ETC: New carts that had good handling. Updated clubhouse with the essentials. An employee was manning the grill today and had some links cooking; tasty. More than adequate chipping, putting, and driving range areas. Staff was very friendly and a big thanks to Andrew for using his pull to get our round here. This place deserves a visit if you are in town.
Played here for the very first time yesterday (2/28) with my girlfriend's family on a 7:45AM tee-time on a misty but playable morning. I must say that I loved this course from beginning to end. The layout was interesting and challenging. There was a very secluded feeling at times and the fact we were able to get around in 3.5 hours really helped the play today. Conditions today were nowhere near what some of the older photos on GK show (I do believe this place is under different management now), but it was better than I expected given the amount of rain in the last month.

Tee boxes: Good condition. I don't distinctly remember struggling to find level ground nor did I have trouble driving tees into the ground. The boxes were a bit chewed up and it did seem a lot of people were playing the blue tees today.

Fairways: Good to great condition. Given how misty the morning was, the fairways started with little roll and got progressively drier and better for roll. Lies varied from excellent to decent, however that was more on golfers who do not fill in divots. There is some serious undulation everywhere here and the fairways could be punishing if you aimed incorrectly.

Rough: Good condition. It was more penal early on because it was covered in dew and like many target golf courses, the real challenge isn't the rough, it's the OB/hazard areas and they abound here. The front 9 plays very different than the back in this regard.

Bunkers: Okay condition. Thankfully was only in one however it was pretty wet with the weather adding to its consistency of wet oatmeal. Shot shaping was at a premium today.

Greens: Good to great condition. The highlight of the round; greens were a nice lime green color and the putting surfaces were excellent. Minimal divot damage and the contours on some greens were crazy fast and difficult. A fun challenge.

ETC: Carts were basic with no GPS and sub-par breaking system. This place could benefit from investing in GPS as there are plenty of blind shots. No starter today but golf shop attendant was very nice and on top of it. Plenty of parking though if you pass on the road and aren't paying attention, you could miss entrance. Food at the restaurant was actually very delicious. Pace of play was not an issue today as we breezed at our own so much so we had a twosome behind us all day that couldn't even catch up after hole 2. As mentioned, course has banner saying under new management and there are some subtle to moderate changes in the layout/look from what the earliest photos show on GK. It does not look like the emerald city anymore and some of the course contours are no longer there (i.e. look at photo for 17th and if you play, you will notice it does NOT look this way anymore). I highly recommend and welcome a forum post about thoughts.
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