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Played Soboba this morning in my GK Cup match against HmtGolfGuy. We had a 7:12 GN hot deal time ($31 + booking) and were paired with another single. We went off second behind a fairly slow twosome with several member groups pushing behind us all round. We kept pace with that twosome and finished in just under 4 hours.

The course is in spectacular shape right now, and probably the best I've ever seen it from tee to green. It could pass for a Coachella Valley course because it is so lush, green and well-manicured beyond some minor coot-damaged areas near certain water hazards. The tee boxes were great. The fairways were fantastic with decent roll-out and perfectly fluffy lies to hit from. The rough was thick and beautifully kept. The front nine was more recently mowed, so it was shorter. The back nine rough was definitely more of a challenge in most places. The greens were soft and receptive. Few big ball marks were made, though, so it seems nobody bothers to fix their "dents." Quite a few little dimples and older pock marks, so you often had to clean up your line with the divot tool before putts. Otherwise, they were rolling well at medium speeds, getting quicker as they dried out. The bunkers were interesting. Most of the front nine bunkers had soft and excellent white sand. There were only a few like that on the back, with most have more compacted/thin/muddy sand that was difficult to play from. They either need to bring in some new sand for the back nine or at least give them a good fluffing.

I always enjoy myself at Soboba, which is a longtime favorite with plenty of sentimental value (even after the renovations and switched nines—some changes I like and some I still don't). It doesn't hurt that it was a gorgeous morning and the conditions were so fantastic other than the back nine bunkers and a few bumpy greens. They are doing major construction on the land adjacent to holes 11-15, where they will be building the new casino. That will be a distraction for awhile and we'll have to see how it is when the casino is complete there. It might look cool, but it may also detract from the peaceful setting we're used to at Soboba Springs.
Yesterday afternoon, the second GK Guru round was at another desert favorite: Classic Club. What a great day, even though it was rather warm out there for March. I played in the first group at 1:20 with JohnnyGK, larryq2001 and Itslikeimsayin. Slower pace as the course was rather busy, so we finished in just over 4.5 hours.

This course was also in tremendous shape. The tee boxes and fairways were cut tighter and had a little firmer base than Indian Wells, which some people will likely prefer. Definitely a little more roll-out on drives. The rough was cut low and the ball was almost teed up for you, so no punishment at all unless you found the occasional patch of chunky bermuda (and there are a number of places you'll see it used strategically). There are some outer "native" areas throughout this course that were shaved down throughout and a little browner/patchy looking. It detracts a little visually from the beautiful aesthetic presentation of this course, but really doesn't impact play much at all. The greens here were very firm and I had trouble keeping any approach shots on them. They were excellent to putt on, though, rolling a little quicker than Indian Wells and super pure because ball marks were few and far between because of the firmness. The bunkers were the only weak spot, playing rather thin and firm.

This is such a great course that has a unique feel compared to most other Coachella Valley courses because of the pine trees throughout. Especially with the snow-capped San Gorgonio in the background, it feels like you are in Central Oregon or the Sierras at times. Really good, interesting and challenging Palmer layout with a ton of water in play and some tough green complexes. Excellent facilities and friendly staff, plus huge coolers full of drinking water every third hole. Just a top-notch experience on all levels.
After over a month off of golf, it was a treat to come back to a course as gorgeous as Celebrity—one of my favorites in the desert. Took advantage of the GK Guru deal. I was in the first group off at 7:10 with Itslikeimsayin and sparky14, and we were finished by 10:30.

The course was pretty much immaculate from tee to green. Pure and pristine. Tee boxed and fairways perfectly manicured. Rough cut fairly low and also perfectly maintained. I was in a few bunkers and the sand was very soft. The greens were very receptive with some early morning moisture. Some looked a little pock-marked in places, but all my putts rolled smooth and true. At times, it seems the green speeds varied a little, though that was more likely the subtle breaks and slopes here that can be tricky to see/read.

Not much else to say other than an amazing golf experience on a stunningly maintained course, not to mention the great company of the GK Gurus. Thanks Johnny for getting these kinds of deals and to the folks at Indian Wells Golf Resort for having us out in peak season!
Played in the SCGA outing here today and just so happened to get paired with fellow GK'er kassper7 and his brother-in-law, so that made the day more enjoyable even if we all played crappy. 10:00 shotgun start, and we began on the 8th hole of the Masters nine. Then, US Open was the other in the preferred rotation for this outing. Decent pace of around 4.5 hours. I was really happy that they then allowed me to complete the circuit by playing the Western nine afterward. Thanks to the very nice guy in the pro shop. I zipped around that nine by myself, playing through one threesome along the way.

The course was in good overall condition. Greened up because of all the rain, but also a bit soft/muddy in many of the low areas throughout. In fact, it was cart-path-only for us today. Tee boxes were nice. Fairways in general were very good and will get better once the excess water recedes. I will say the fairways were noticeably weaker on the Western nine, though still pretty good. The rough was very nice and lush throughout. Balls tended to settle in and definitely made you work just enough for a good recovery. I was in two bunkers and they both had nice soft (beachy) sand. The greens were the highlight, receptive and rolling very quick. Downhill putts were very tough to stop anywhere near the hole, and there are really no level putts on this entire course. Stay below the hole!

I enjoyed this course more than I expected to, though I can easily understand why many won't like it. It definitely fits my target golf preference and the setting is very pretty in the hills. From everything I've ever heard about Braemar, it wasn't quite as funky as I expected. That said, it is a challenging layout relative to the short overall length. And, it does have some quirks that may add or subtract from its character (depending on your personal preferences), but that's true of many of the older LA area clubs. There were too many uphill approach shots that are semi-blind (or sometimes completely blind) and tough to judge. A bit of a guessing game at times for a first-time player. Western nine is definitely the funkiest of the bunch and it is well detached from the clubhouse geographically, so it feels like its own world that's a bit more of an adventure. I enjoyed it and the price was very good for a private club outing, but it is not a course everyone will enjoy.
Played here yesterday morning. They are offering limited tee times through StandByGolf in January, with 7:45 and 12:45 shotguns on Mondays ($75 a player). I signed up for the morning one as a single. A little disorganized from an outsider's perspective. Most people seemed to know the drill with getting paired up and heading out to their tees, but they didn't give me anything beyond my hole assignment (14). Luckily, the scorecards do have course maps, so I was able to find my way there and meet up with the rest of my group. Otherwise, it was a good overall pace of around 4:15.

The course is in very nice condition. Very lush, green and pretty throughout. Tee boxes were nice. Fairways and rough looked fantastic, yet the ball always seemed to sit down just a little into slightly chunky spots. So not quite perfect carpet-like turf as it appeared from afar, but still great by any standard. Bunkers had nice sand. The greens provided ideal putting surfaces, super smooth and quite fast. They were very firm, though, so approach shots did not hold at all. It was almost impossible to make ball marks (just a tiny dent at most), which explains why the surfaces were so pure.

Overall a very enjoyable course. It's a Ted Robinson course in the desert, so it has a very "familiar" look with the palm trees, tiered greens, water features, etc. In fact, water comes into play on almost every hole and the layout is both fun and moderately challenging. It's well worth playing if you have a chance. I was hoping they would let me replay the executive Challenge Course afterward, but they are oddly more protective of the little course than the big one when it comes to guest play. No luck there this time, though I heard it is quite fun with a ton of water in play.
I stopped and played here yesterday during my long drive home. Got there a little after 3:00 and the course was reasonably busy on a really nice winter afternoon. $12 to walk 9 holes. I teed off behind a couple of other walking singles. They ultimately joined up together, but kept a great pace and I never had to wait too much.

Conditions were not too good. It was nice to have some solid ground to walk on and hit from after the supreme squishiness of Oregon. However, it was very spotty here to say the least. Pretty much a lot of bare dirt/mud mixed with varying lumpy patches of mostly dormant brown grass. The greens were also mostly dormant and brown in appearance. They were soft, slow and bumpy. The one bunker I was in was actually okay, but they looked to be very hit or miss based on what I saw.

Pretty basic 9-hole regulation (par-36) layout. Flat and tree-lined. Nothing too memorable and the conditions weren't pretty, but the price was acceptable and the pace of play was good when I wanted to play quickly.
This was my second round yesterday. Thankfully, I called ahead before leaving Lincoln City. The lady in the pro shop was very nice and said she was probably going to shut down for the day around 2:00 because no other players were coming out. I let her know I was on my way and she was happy to wait. She had a cart waiting out front for me when I arrived. I paid my $32 (9 holes plus cart) and zipped around the course as quickly as I could.

No surprise that the course was very wet. Again, nice green grass throughout, but just mushy and sloppy in most areas. The big issue here was the greens. They do not take heavy rain well. A couple were closed off completely, playing to temp greens in the shaggy fairways. The rest had the flags pulled to prevent more damage around the cups, so that made it interesting. I put a few flags in myself just for pictures, but then took them back out when finished with each hole.

Though probably the worst green conditions of the trip, this may have been the prettiest setting I've played in. It's a regulation 9-holer (par-37 actually) and plays in a secluded valley. Very hilly with lots of trees. Very tricky layout with severe doglegs and some blind shots. A bit quirky at times, but also lots of character. If you play here, though, do it in the summer! I'm surprised they even keep the place open this time of year considering how little play they get and the difficulty of maintenance during the rainy season. Of course, it's coastal Oregon, so it's almost always the rainy season!!!
This was my second round on Monday. Again, I pretty much had the place to myself for a quick pace. $19 to walk nine holes with no carts allowed out there right now. They did offer me a free pull cart to use.

No surprise that it was very wet and shaggy out there like everywhere else I played. This course drains better than a lot of the others, though, because it is fescue turf and the course is built on natural sand dunes. The greens were very squishy and soft, but rolling fairly quick and smooth on putts. Much faster than they looked. Most of the bunkers were flooded and best avoided.

This is a decent course (par-34) that kind of reminded me of a poor man's Sandpines or a shorter Ocean Dunes, both of which are in nearby Florence. The 4th and 5th holes are pretty cool with water hazards. The rest of the layout is pretty ho-hum. It is reasonably hilly and it's kind of an open linksy style befitting the dunes terrain. Fine course, but nothing too exciting.
I was able to squeeze in 9 holes here on Tuesday in between the rain. $20 to walk 9 holes with no carts allowed out on the course.

It should come as no surprise that is was very wet, soggy and shaggy throughout the course. Again, lush and green grass coverage. Just really wet and tough to play in. The greens were very soft, but rolling decently.

In the winter, they close down the normal par-3 8th hole because it doesn't take the heavy rains too well. Instead, they convert what is now used as a pitching practice green by the clubhouse into a par-3. Apparently, the "winter 9th" green is one of the original complexes from when this course was built in the 1930s. It's cool they still get to use it during some parts of the year, though the regular 8th is a much nicer-looking hole that was added in at some point along the way.

The first half of this course is fairly flat, open and uninteresting. Then, it goes back into the woods a little and you get a few neat holes. Overall, a pretty simple old school course that is here for the locals to enjoy.
Thanks Johnny for adding a few of the courses I've played on this trip up the Oregon coast. I've been focusing on the local "short" courses, and Forest Hills is the first one I stopped an played on my drive up Monday. I encountered frost delays elsewhere and they were in one here when I arrived around 10:00. Ultimately, the guy volunteering in the pro shop saw that the first 5 greens were thawed and let me go ahead. I did have to avoid putting on the 6th and 7th greens because they were still frozen, but I was OK with that as long as I got to keep playing. Charged me just $10 to walk the 9 holes.

Conditions were of course very wet and soggy throughout. Everything here was beautifully lush and green, so you can see how well they manage the turf. It is just going to be very wet and soft this time of year, so you deal with it. The greens were fairly nice and rolled well enough. Speeds would differ based on how wet/thawed each particular green was, so you had to pay attention.

This is a very pretty 9-hole regulation course. It is a great setting and I very much enjoyed my quick round here. It's the only course in Reedsport, so if you happen to be in town it is worth checking out.
This was my main course today. With no rain in the forecast, I assumed there would be frost delays everywhere. Chinook Winds was extra cautious and wouldn't allow anyone out until 11:00. A number of people all checked in at once, but I got over to the 1st tee first and was able to get off ahead of anyone else. Total round took about 2 hours. Price was $35 ($20 for 18 holes + $15 for cart).

As I've gotten used to on this trip, the course was very soggy and cart-path-only. Overall, the appearance was very lush and green throughout the course, and it's clear they take care of it. It's just tough to maintain (as in mowing the grass) and play when it's so wet. It is what it is, though, so I set my expectations accordingly this time of year and just have fun chunking my way around. The greens were soft, but rolling faster than they looked. Some had recently been aerated, though that really didn't affect anything. I will say the bunkers were very nicely kept, which is hard to do in winter!

As for the course, it's a blast. I believe it used to be called Lakeside before the Chinook Winds casino bought it and did some renovations. It's an 18-hole executive (par-65) that offers plenty of challenge. Sometimes funky, often fun design. It is very hilly and there are plenty of trees in play. It felt at times like a shorter version of the nearby Salishan Resort course, and that's a course I really loved. Probably one of the better executive courses I've played in recent years.
This was my second round today. Course also known as Willow Creek G&CC, depending on where you look online. But come on, Bigfoot is such a better name, especially in the town where everything is named after the local legend! During the winter, the pro shop is not open. They just have an honor system. You put your money ($15 for nine holes/$20 for 18) in an envelope and then put it in the mail slot. There were actually some people out on the course on a chilly afternoon, but I still played quickly and walked the nine holes in a little over an hour.

Conditions were decent and the solid footing was very welcome after my squishy morning round in Eureka. Tee boxes fine. Fairways had pretty solid coverage, maybe a tad on the shaggy side. Rough kind of a mix of grass and different weeds, but cut consistently and green in appearance. In other words, it looked better from a distance. I will say there is probably not one square yard of turf on this entire course that is not littered with goose poop. It's amazing how prolific and thorough those birds are. That was a bit gross and unpleasant to walk through. I was in one bunker. The sand was decent, but there was no rake. The greens were firm-ish and rolling rather quickly, surprisingly nice.

For a 9-holer (par 35) in a remote location, I was pleasantly surprised by this course. It's certainly a nice setting. Pretty flat overall except for the elevated 2nd tee. First few holes are fairly open and then it starts to tighten up quite a bit. Not long, but some very narrow windows between tall rows of trees. The greens are very small and domed, so they are tough to hold. Definitely not worth going out of the way for (and Willow Creek is well out of the way wherever you are coming from). However, if you are rolling through town on vacation or out in Willow Creek doing some squatchin', it's not a bad little course to check out. Unfortunately, no bigfoot sightings for me today. Someday...
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