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Played out here today with xazntigerx. Thanks to Rob for setting up this round through his Club Corp membership. Only $36 to play Mission Hills in season is quite a steal. It was very busy out here today, but they kept the tee times moving on all three courses. We were paired with another twosome and teed off a little after 11:00. We never pushed any groups ahead and were finished in less than 4 hours.

The course conditions were excellent as expected this time of year. Tee boxes, fairways and rough all beautifully lush and well-manicured. Rough not too deep, so the ball usually sat up nicely. A little trickier on chips around the greens if it settled in a bit. The greens were firm. Chips and approach shots would bounce and roll-out like crazy. However, putts rolled kind of slow. The surfaces were smooth, though, just a bit slower than they looked and sometimes hard to adjust after watching a chip skid way past the hole. Bunkers had nice sand that was raked consistently.

This was my second time at Mission Hills. Palmer is the least favorite of the three courses, but it is still a solid track enhanced by the private club atmosphere and excellent conditions. There is a really fun stretch of holes on the back nine and there are several sharp dogleg holes, but otherwise it's a pretty low-key layout that feels "familiar" if you've played a lot in the Coachella Valley. Pleasant overall experience, but I would still pick the Shore or Dye courses if I have a choice next time I play here.
5 Likes.
Played out here this afternoon with GK'er xazntigerx and his friend from Michigan. We had an 11:48 tee time and teed off right around then. Starter warned us there was a big group of resort guests out on the course ahead of us. Front nine went quicker than expected without much waiting until we hit the 9th hole. Then, things slowed down as we caught the group ahead on almost every tee box. Still not as bad as it seemed, though, and we finished in a little over 4 hours.

Course conditions were excellent as it rounds into peak season form. Tee boxes, fairways and rough were all lush and nicely maintained. A few soft-ish spots on fairways, especially in front of the greens. Not many run-up shots today and sometimes a delicate chip off of a tight, yet soft lie. Rough was lush and quite thick, at times punitive and at times not too bad depending on the lie. Sand traps had good sand. One I was in was kind of wet and compacted, though. Greens firm-ish, but reasonably receptive and rolling well at medium speeds. Kind of slick on downhillers, but not super fast this time of year.

This was actually only my second time here since my very first GK Event back in 2012. I've been eager to return and I'm glad I finally made it back. Worth the wait. This is a great course and I really enjoyed the round today, even if my score wasn't anything to get excited about. Worth a look among many of the top Coachella Valley public courses, though good deals can be hard to find unless you stay at the resort.
14 Likes.
Another great day yesterday at Rams Hill. What a fun back-to-back GK Plays weekend to finish out 2018. Thanks to everyone involved to make this outing happen. I always look forward to any visit to Rams Hill. As usual, the course and staff did not disappoint.

As Sal mentioned, the conditions were excellent and probably a slight step up from my last couple of visits. Rams Hill kind of sets its own standard for exceptional conditioning as it blows away just about anything else in SoCal, on par with the best Coachella Valley courses. Tee boxes and fairways were excellent. There were some mushy spots after the rain this week, but those were appropriately flagged off as GUR. The rough was lush and just deep enough to make you work, but a pleasant reprieve after the La Costa Legends rough the day before. Bunkers were fantastic with plenty of soft sand. Greens receptive and rolling well at medium speeds.

Rams Hill continues to uphold its reputation as one of the best courses in SoCal and it's always worth the trek out to Borrego Springs. If you haven't been out there, it's a must-play.
9 Likes.
Another fun GK Plays outing yesterday. Thanks to JohnnyGK, the sponsors and the staff at La Costa for providing a great venue for the shotgun outing. I was in group 1B with dconnally and kassper7. Pace of play slowed down quite a bit in the middle of the round, but otherwise a very good overall PoP.

The course was in very nice condition all around. It was still pretty soft after the rain this week, so not much roll-out on drives and they probably haven't been able to mow on a normal schedule. Tee boxes were great. Fairways were generally great with some mushy spots here and there, some marked off as GUR. The rough was brutal. It was very deep, lush and thick, so you wanted to avoid it as much as you could. Greens soft and rolling well at medium speeds, just getting a bit scruffy by the end of the round as expected. I was only in one bunker and it was well maintained with adequate sand.

I don't know if I am in the minority, but I've always preferred the Legends Course over the Champions Course. I feel it has more character, nicer aesthetics and a solid layout. Either way, it was a great day out there with the GK crew. Now looking forward to today at Rams Hill!
12 Likes.
Had fun out here yesterday with JohnnyGK, kevbig and rob1563. We teed off at 7:50. It was a great clear day for pictures, but it was rather chilly and extremely windy. That made a demanding course even more difficult and it eventually wiped all of us out. Nobody in front of us or behind us, so we enjoyed a nice relaxed pace of a little over 4 hours.

As Kevin described, the conditions overall were very nice. The tee boxes were generally great. There were a few of the whites where the overseed didn't seem to come in as well, but never had a problem finding a fine spot to tee it up. The fairways were excellent. Deep green with perfectly fluffy lies all day. The rough is kept dormant and it was shaved down to almost nothing in most places. Some rough sections provided reasonable lies while others were just way too firm and thin. Bunkers were excellent. Greens were also great. They were firm, yet receptive enough and rolling well at fairly quick speeds (especially wind-assisted putts).

I always enjoy any visit to Rio Secco and this one was no exception, especially when playing with a fun GK Guru group. The cold wind gusts certainly made things interesting, but the course is so enjoyable. As always, the staff was fantastic and the facilities are great, so it's definitely worth a high recommendation.
14 Likes.
Played here on Wednesday 11/7. Took the detour out this way to play this course because it was the last one I hadn't played in the Mesquite/St. George area and also because they just happened to put out a reasonable DealCaddy voucher just before my trip. It was $65 any day after 11. Not super cheap, but Oasis always seems to be overly expensive and deals aren't easily found. I took what I could get and booked an 11:20 tee time. I was paired with another single and a twosome. We teed off closer to 11:10. We never pushed the group ahead much until the very end, and we were never pushed much from behind. Total pace of just under 4.5 hours on a really nice afternoon in Mesquite.

The course was in very good overall condition out of overseed. Pretty similar to what we experienced here last year on The Canyons course. Tee boxes nice. Fairways generally very good with just a few thin spots here and there where the overseed didn't come in as consistently. The rough was not overseeded, so it is semi-dormant bermuda this shoulder season. Cut down, but just long and tangly enough to make you work a little. The bunkers were in great shape. The greens seemed firm, but they were actually quite receptive and they were rolling well at medium speeds. Pretty grainy, so that and the slopes really made some putts slicker than they looked and vice versa.

I really enjoyed the layout of The Palmer Course. Both courses here are very fun and interesting, but I'd probably give a slight edge to this one if I had to choose. It has some good changes in elevation and a few great stretches of holes carved out of the canyons. Then, there are some more residential holes that are still designed to be intriguing. A few semi-blind tee shots and quirks, but nothing that will beat you up too much because the course isn't super long. The greens don't feature too much undulation. Some awkward and spread out routing with numerous criss-crosses and switchbacks, so pay close attention to signage on cart paths. Of course, some beautiful scenery throughout and another really good second-tier Mesquite option behind Wolf Creek, especially if you can find a decent deal.
7 Likes.
Played here this morning with JohnnyGK and Nickesquire. We started around 7:20 and enjoyed a nice relax pace after letting a couple twosomes through. At the moment, both courses are open, though North is shutting down for its overseed after this weekend. South just came out of the overseed and that's why we opted to play it.

As Nick noted, the course was in pretty good overall condition and definitely better than when I was here last summer. It's still a bit rough around the edges and it may never be completely pristine like some courses out here, but the fun/challenging layout and unique desert setting help balance that out. The tee boxes were mostly quite good with just a few a little thin on the overseed coming through. Same with the fairways. There were a few small sandy/dead spots here and here, but mostly nice lies throughout. The rough mostly okay. There was some obvious storm/flood damage on the front nine where some mud and water washed through lower-lying parts of the course, but nothing too bad. The greens were good with the bermuda still holding strong as the rye starts to come in. A little slow, but should smooth out as the season progresses. I was only in one fairway bunker and it was fine. All bunkers seemed a bit hit or miss from what I observed, though.

Though this place is a little rougher around the edges than some courses in the valley, I would still recommend either TL course. I've always said that these are two of the more underrated designs. I also contend that South is way underrated compared to North, which typically gets more acclaim. Both offer a unique and mostly secluded setting with the rugged desert all around, and the layouts are very interesting, challenging and fun. Definitely far from your cookie-cutter "Palm Springs resort/community" courses, and I like that. Seems the management has this place headed back in the right direction and I'm excited to see it. Thanks to the staff for having us out today!
10 Likes.
To complete a great double-dip, our second round today (and my last for the trip--probably) was at Saddle Creek. We were originally going to play in the afternoon to save a little on the price, but we finished so quickly at Greenhorn that we headed right over. Plus, the late afternoon weather forecast was looking sketchy. They were able to slot us in and we teed off around 10:50. Price was $80. There was a little mens club tourney ahead of us (4 foursomes playing a shamble format), so we were stuck behind them. We did play through the fourth group on the 11th hole during a torrential 10-minute downpour when they decided to take a break in their carts. Otherwise, nothing more than a light rain and we finished in just under 4 hours.

The course looked a lot better than it played. I usually say the opposite at many courses, but Saddle was looking very green and lush. However, this course simply does not drain well at all and they've had some rain lately. Tees, fairways and rough were lush but very mushy! A lot of fat shots and muddy explosions. I'm glad I had waterproof shoes on. The bunkers were in pretty good shape, though I did notice the linings exposed in a few I looked at. The greens, however, were the highlight. They were nice and rolling smooth at medium speeds. Extra receptive with the wet surfaces.

Despite the wet conditions, I really loved the layout and setting here. It's a beautiful course that reminded me at times of The Preserve in Monterey and also Eagle Springs out in Friant. Scraggly old oak trees, hills, rock outcroppings and canyons lined with golden "native" grass. Many of the bunkers were lined with deep, tangled fescue. The greens are big, but not too crazy with undulation. At least I found that nothing broke nearly as much as I read. Highly recommended as one of the best courses in the eastern Sierra foothills. I've always wanted to play here, but it just never worked out on any previous trips. However, I think it worked out that I saved the best for last in this region!
11 Likes.
Morning round today with ppark81. 7:30 tee time and we were the first ones out. Front nine went quickly and then we caught the ladies club groups who started on the back nine. We had to get a little creative in our routing, but we were able to avoid them pretty easily and get the whole round done in a little over 2 hours. $75 rack rate a bit spicy, but this is considered one of the best courses in this neck of the woods and we paid what we had to in order to finally play here.

Conditions were pretty good for this time of year. Tee boxes good. Fairways mostly very good with just some bare/dead patches here and there and some mushy spots after rain last night. Rough mostly lush. Bunkers damp in the early morning, but good sand and freshly raked. Greens were super firm and very fast, so they were the highlight condition-wise. Big greens with plenty of undulation, so definitely some adventurous chips and putts around here.

I enjoyed this course a lot. Beautiful setting and nice clubhouse amenities. It offers plenty of challenge with trees, hills, doglegs and boulder outcroppings in play. Great overall track and easily recommended if you are out this way.
11 Likes.
Third and final round today was at Castle Oaks. Arrived around 4:20 and was teeing off a few minutes later. Pretty empty out here. Played through one single and a threesome on the front nine and otherwise cruised through as quickly as I wanted to. $29 twilight rate with cart.

The course was in pretty nice condition and I'd say more "lush" looking than just about every other course I've played so far on this trip. Tee boxes were good. Fairways had great coverage. A tad on the shaggy side. Not as much roll-out, but nice fluffy lies to hit from. Rough also pretty lush throughout. Bunkers on the firm side, but adequate enough for me. If they did aerate the greens last week, it was not a full-core punch. I could see some minor bumps, but it looked more like they were punched about a month ago or they just did something very non-invasive last week. They were a bit shaggy and slow, but will be nice when they can cut them down a bit more.

I was pleasantly surprised by this course. It's a solid layout. Front nine is more marshy and through the neighborhood, but solid. Back nine starts to get more interesting, especially in the finishing stretch. The last 2 holes are fantastic and unique. Ione is well out of the way and I don't know if Castle Oaks quite gets the "hidden gem" tag, but it is worth checking out and I'd recommend it right now with current tee-to-green conditions and reasonable rates.
10 Likes.
This was my main round today. I booked a 1:07 hot deal time and also used 2 GN rewards codes, so it ended up being only $32. I actually played with a guy that I played with last evening at Bartley Cavanaugh. He is a local and wanted to join up when I mentioned I was playing Rancho Murieta today. We teed off around 1:00 behind a member foursome. They let us through later and then we played through one fivesome (a fivesome containing Scott McCarron) at the turn. Otherwise a good pace of just under 3 hours.

The course was in good overall shape, but again I wouldn't say "great" for private club standards just like I said for Brookside and Woodbridge in previous reviews. They were closed all last week for aeration and maintenance (South is closed this week), so there are still some after-effects. Lots of sand on some of the tee boxes and in some of the fairways, too. Fairways mostly good with some thin spots scattered throughout. Rough mostly lush, but inconsistent throughout. The greens will need another couple weeks to recover from the punch. They were bumpy and a little slow, but not too bad. It's clear they are usually in good shape, though. Bunkers on the thin/firm side, as well.

The conditions weren't quite top-notch this soon after fall maintenance, but everything else here is pretty nice for a private club. Nice clubhouse and friendly staff. Really fun and challenging layout with a lot of elevated greens, hilly terrain, big oak trees and boulder outcroppings. Nice scenic setting amidst the gated community. It sounds like they are planning to offer public tee times most days after 11:30 through the end of this year as kind of a semi-private trial. Who knows what to expect after that, so it's worth taking advantage of while you can. In driving by the South course, it looked a little more browned out than North and North is generally considered the "premier" course here if you can only pick one.
9 Likes.
This was my first round today, using a $24 anytime voucher bought through GolfGuide.net. Wasn't worth that. They open at 8:00 through winter. I went off by myself and was the only one on the course until after I finished around 10:00. Total ghost town other than the little restaurant here, which was busy with regulars. I had breakfast there while I was waiting for the pro shop to open. I will say the people around here are super nice and I like the relaxed little mountain town vibe, so there are some positives before I get to the course itself...

This course is an absolute mess. I know they actually shut down at some point, but it does sound like they are starting to put some effort in and bring it back to decency. It doesn't show yet as this whole course should probably be roped off as GUR. Tee boxes all over the place. Fairways mostly just bare dirt with bumpy ground underneath and the occasional patch of clumpy grass. Not a good lie to be found. Rough more of the same, but perhaps a bit more grass than most fairways. Bunkers looked like war zones. Greens were okay in relation to everything else. At least they were green and reasonably lush, just shaggy, bumpy and slow.

I figured this place would be somewhat rough around the edges given its recent struggles, but wow! Too bad because the layout does have some rural mountain course charm with lots of old trees and some moderately hilly terrain. Could be something pretty good with a TON of work, but just trying to grow a little more grass on top of the lumpy mess that is there now will not really improve anything much. Best to avoid this place unless you have a "must play everything" checklist like me : )
8 Likes.
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