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Joined JohnnyGK for the VIP grand opening event here on Wednesday before the course officially reopens to the public this weekend. Course designer Rees Jones came out to hit the ceremonial opening shot and meet and greet afterwards. We started on the 13th hole of the 1:00 shotgun and it was a decent pace around 5 hours.

As Johnny mentioned, the course is in great shape as it has barely been played yet. I personally wouldn't say "immaculate" as some areas need some maturing. Tee boxes were great. I thought the fairways closest to the clubhouse were more dry and a tad thin while the majority as you got further out on the course were much more lush and nice. Everything meant to play tight here for roll-out and ground play options. Plenty of bunkering with brand new sand. I like how they use the Aussie style with the sides being packed flatter/firmer and the soft sand fluffed up in the middle/bottom. The primary cut of rough was fantastic and then you have the outer "native" fescue/bent areas that are currently super knee-to-waist deep in some areas. Looks fantastic and I'm glad they had it this way for our first impression grand opening, but it could be a challenge for slow play once the muni crowd gets out here. It's basically a lost ball or impossible to hit out of if you do find it, but it sounds like they will be monitoring stuff like that very closely over these first few weeks of public play and making adjustments as needed.

The greens were great and ballmarks were tough to make on the new surfaces. They kind of have a gray-ish look at the moment because of the agronomy treatment they are doing to the new turf that is mostly meant to keep the poa from invading. Ultimately, they said they will look more normal light green like typical bent greens. Either way, they played very nicely rolling super smooth at medium speeds.

I had never played the original South/Clark Course and it looks like I won't get to play the North/Fry Course before it closes 9 holes for its own renovation on Monday 6/25. From what I know, the old South was pretty basic and by all accounts the new one is something much more special. One of the guys in our group was a local who has been playing Corica all his life and also spent many years working here. His eyes were lit up all round as he saw the new course for the first time. He just kept murmuring "this is awesome" on every tee box. It is an excellent course that offers a good balance between challenge and forgiveness. Flat and open for the most part with big greens, strategically placed bunkers and the aforementioned native grass areas to provide some obstacles. Olivas, Rustic and Dinuba would all be good comps. I will be curious to see how the course stands up to high amounts of public play. Hopefully the locals take care of their new great course.
Prior to the grand opening event for the new South Course, I ran over to the Albright par-3 course (which has gone through its own renovations in recent years) to squeeze in a quick nine. Hardly anyone over there, so I was able to zip through, only catching one older couple on the final two holes.

The course was in okay shape, highlighted by the good greens that were actually comparable with bent grass similar to the new South greens. Just a bit more beat up on this course since they've actually been played. Still pretty nice surfaces rolling at medium speeds. The tee boxes could use some TLC. There are some areas you can tee it up, but they are pretty chewed up. Then, there are tiny mats that they encourage you to use. I just opted to use those. Not the most level, but I was playing so quickly I didn't have time to care. Between the tees and greens is decent grass that is pretty inconsistent in terms of lies. Around the edges are mounds covered with the tufts of bent/fescue similar to the new South Course. Over here, they are cut down much more so you can actually find and play a ball without much delay.

Pretty basic little pitch and putt course with the longest hole being around 140 and most around 100 or less. Some of the mounding and elements they added help it feel like a mini version of the new South. Not a bad way to get some short game practice in.
This was our late twilight round on Tuesday. Special thanks to Alex326 for setting up the tee time and getting us a good deal with his Duke's Club membership ($100!) Even though I kind of consider it sacrilegious to take a cart on any Pebble course, there was no way I could walk and carry Spyglass after what I put my body through in Tahoe. The $40 per rider cart fee here is ridiculous, plus it's cart path only, so I ended up walking just as much as a solo rider (though it was still quite nice to have a place to sit down between shots and also not lug my clubs around). Otherwise, I highly recommend walking if you can to properly immerse yourself in this special experience.

As Alex noted, the course was in great shape. It's not the lush deep green look like Quail because they just don't get as much sun and you have more salt in the air, but it plays perfectly from tee to green. Tee boxes, fairways and rough all great. Bunkers fantastic with the white sand. Greens firm-ish and rolling well at medium-fast speeds, just a tick faster than Quail (though the natural slopes here affect a lot if you are putting uphill vs. downhill).

Other than the insane cart fee, this was a long-awaited redemption round for me at Spyglass. My only other visit was back in 2007 and I had kind of a bad service experience despite paying the full rack rate ($350 at the time). To play it again at a great price and experience the course as it is supposed to be experienced was a real treat. Didn't hurt that I was putting lights out on these greens! Obviously, this is a bucket list level course along with the rest of Pebble Beach, and you'll be glad you made the effort to play it. I still personally rank Pebble and Spanish higher based on personal experiences. However, this visit helped remind me why Spyglass is considered by most as one of the best courses in the world.
After my whirlwind Tahoe weekend, I joined JohnnyGK for a bonus 2-day detour along the coast. We started at Quail Lodge, which is always a treat because it's a good course with spectacular conditioning. We were joined by GK'er Alex326 and another single and we played behind a visiting ladies' group from MPCC. However, they played at a good clip and we finished in just over 4 hours.

As expected, the course was nearly perfect all the way around with the deep green poa turf throughout. Tee boxes, fairways and rough all excellent and nicely manicured. Bunkers with great white sand. Greens rolling pure at medium-fast speeds. About as good as a course can look and play!

Thank you to for the Quail Lodge staff for having GK out and we had a good time as always. Definitely worth adding to your list as another great option to consider while visiting the Monterey Peninsula, especially this time of year when the Pebble courses are socked in by fog/overcast skies. Out in the Carmel Valley, it was clear skies and perfect temps for us.
On a trip loaded with incredible golf, we still had just enough time to squeeze in one more gem before hitting the road on Monday night. Schaffer's Mill is private 6 days of the week and then they offer some Monday public play. We were expecting to pay $175, but they ended up charging us a $145 guest twilight rate. They warned us about a member "horse race" taking place on the first 3 holes. I think there were like 15-20 dudes in the group and they were all loaded. The girl in the pro shop let us know they started 40 minutes before we arrived, but we could skip around them as needed. They were still on the 1st green by the time we were ready to go! No worries as we started on Hole 3. We played through one family foursome on the front nine and then basically had the rest of the place to ourselves for a perfectly quick final round.

The course was in nice shape. It's kind of a lighter green/yellow grass they have here (at least this time of year), so it's not a deep green appearance. However, it plays beautifully with plenty of roll-out and a nice pad of turf underneath your fairway approach shots. The rough wasn't super deep, but it's pretty tangly and the ball would sit down just enough to make you work. Bunkers fantastic and greens very nice, rolling at medium speeds.

Schaffer's Mill was definitely one of my favorite courses on the trip (top 3 for sure, but not sure how my final rankings all work out just yet). It's a very secluded setting with some homes on the front nine. Back nine hasn't been developed out too much, so more natural surroundings. Of course, moderatly hilly with plenty of big trees, boulder outcroppings and a few nicely done water hazards to provide challenge and scenery. Rustic kind of feel here and very pure golf. Course layout by Johnny Miller and John Harbottle III. Cool bunkering (Harbottle) and fun design that's not quite as target-style or tricked out as most Miller courses I've played. Just a nice course that offers the right amount of challenge in a beautiful natural setting. Highly recommended!
This was one of the main excuses for this trip as we signed up for the NCGA outing at Montreux on Monday 6/18. 10:30 shotgun start, cart path only and a full field of 124 players, so we expected a slow round. That's what we got at over 5 hours with long waits between each shot. To be expected in an outing like this, but still brutal after all the quick and easy rounds we'd had (plus how worn out I was physically by this point on the trip). Otherwise, the event was run well by the NCGA and the staff at Montreux was excellent. Incredible facility with kind of a French castle clubhouse and all the amenities you would expect at a top-shelf private club.

Also as expected, the course was in great shape all the way around. Very lush and nice with everything manicured as you would hope. Incredible bunkers. Nearly perfect greens that were rolling super fast. With the hilly terrain here, putts can be difficult to read and it's hard to be aggressive with any chips or putts. Great conditions all the way around.

This is a very challenging layout. It's a Nicklaus Signature course and the natural terrain gave Jack plenty to work with. Many uphill semi-blind approaches to diabolical green complexes surrounded by deep bunkers and collection areas. Rather hilly at the base of Mt. Rose and of course a lot of trees to contend with. Highly recommended if you ever get an opportunity to play here.
This was the first round on Monday morning, our last day in the Tahoe area. Mainly a warm-up round before the NCGA outing at nearby Montreux. No deals for this one, though, so we payed the morning rack rate of $50. We went off first just before 6:00am. Had to play around/through/with maintenance, but they were nice and no problems getting around efficiently at our normal pace.

The course was in good condition. Very lush, green and nicely manicured. However, first thing in the morning it was sopping wet and everything was very squishy/soggy from tee to green. Hard to rate the fairways because they would be great later in the day when dried out, but in the morning they were a bit hard to play with no roll-out and wet lies to hit from. Bunkers just okay with a more coarse kind of sand that was also tougher with the wetness. The greens were a little squishy underfoot, but they still were very firm on approaches. And man, these greens were lightning fast with everything sloping away from Mt. Rose. Super quick and smooth. Was really impressed with the greens and I can only imagine how crazy they are when dried out (and in the normal afternoon Reno winds).

This turned out to be one of the more pleasant surprises of the trips. It's not on the level of the mountain resort courses in terms of layout or scenery, but it's an enjoyable and just-challenging-enough desert style course with a few forced carries, minor changes in elevation and a number of risk/reward options. Many holes have a little creek that runs across anywhere from 30-100 yards short of the green. Otherwise, fairly forgiving off the tee and around the greens.

The other thing that will stand out about Wolf Run for me is the marmot invasion. If you don't know what a marmot is (pretty sure that's what they are after extensive Google research), it's kind of like a cross between a beaver and a squirrel. Chubby and cute. Though native to the Sierras, this is the only place we saw these critters and they were everywhere on this course just eating the grass along the edges. However, they don't make holes in the ground (at least not noticeably on the course) like gophers, I didn't notice much poop and the grass did not seem to be suffering too much from their presence. I am sure the superintendent loathes them and they are probably a nuisance from a management standpoint. However, they do provide kind of a fun added wildlife element when playing the course. Clearly no major predators around here because they are fat and happy.
Played here 6/17 as our 5th course of the day with ppark81 thanks to the weather forecasts that kept everyone away. We got there just as the pro shop was about to close around 5:00, but they were super nice and also allowed us to rent a cart past their usual time. $35 for nine holes with cart. There were a few groups finishing up as we played, but we never really caught up and enjoyed our own quick pace.

The course was in solid shape. Tee boxes, fairways and rough were all reasonably lush for a low-end course with some patchy areas here and there. Greens firm-ish and rolling pretty well at medium speeds. Bunkers good.

This was really just a convenient 9-hole course to tack on at the end of a long day and check off our Northern California lists. Turned out to be a pretty decent little locals' track. Par-35 with a mostly back-and-forth routing after the first 3 holes run through some houses. Nothing to go out of your way for, but an okay enough little option for a quick and affordable nine while in Truckee. Very walkable course.
After such quick rounds earlier because of the gloomy weather, we had a ton of daylight left and of course we played more golf! Off to Old Brockway we went and it was wide open out there. We saw a couple other players finishing up as we were just getting started, but otherwise it was only us out there. $40 with a cart. We only played 9 holes, but I believe we could have looped around again for 18 if we wanted to for that rate.

The course was in nice overall shape. Very lush here. Tee boxes, fairways and rough had good nice coverage with soft turf. Then, there is this outer green rough that lines the holes and pops up around the greens in interesting ways, kind of like knee-deep native grass bunkers in some places. Only a few sand bunkers on the course and they are very unique wide (but skinny) trench-like cuts that run in front of their respective greens. I wasn't in any of them, but they looked to have good sand. The greens were firm-ish and hard to hold, mainly because they are rather small and domed on all sides. A bit shaggy and rolling decently at medium/slow speeds.

I was hoping we might squeeze this course as it is an old course with a ton of history. It was the original site of the annual Crosby Clam Bake tournament back in 1934-1935 and it definitely retains a very old school feel. The first couple holes are pretty basic and then you turn back into the woods, where the course offers a ton of simple/classic character. It is such a neat little grove of mature pine trees. Not a course that will blow you away and a little overpriced as just a 9-holer (regulation length par-36), but a little slice of local golf history and just an wonderful experience for me.
We had a 12:10 tee time originally and were somehow able to still make that time despite squeezing in the Mountain Course first. Again, hardly any players out here with the threat of rain and thunderstorms that never really materialized. Just cloudy and gloomy with the sun peeking through every once in a while. We played through a couple groups on the front nine and then had the back nine to ourselves for a surprisingly quick round. This was also a great GolfMoose deal that saves big $$ over their normal weekend rack rates. 2 players for $199 (plus a GK cert to knock even more off the price) was well worth it for this course!

The course was in nice condition as they are still kind of in transition into the summer season. The tee boxes were nice. The fairways had lush coverage and were just a bit shaggy. Rough not deep, but the grass in the rough and fairways is very grabby and sticky (especially on a wet day). Bunkers were beautiful. Fairway bunkers have a more firm tan sand while the greenside bunkers have the ultra-white super-soft stuff that looks great. It was a bit damp and compacted with the moisture today, but still looked and played nicely. The greens were very firm and fast. The grass is kind of dappled in color (multiple grasses?) which made it hard to read breaks sometimes, but consistently cut and rolled for smooth/quick surfaces.

This is one of the rounds I was looking forward to most on this trip and it didn't disappoint. Fun mountain course that is fairly forgiving off the tee and then get's really tough around the greens with big RTJ Sr. bunkers and false fronts guarding them. A few nice views of Lake Tahoe in the distance that I am sure look even better on a clear day. Just a fantastic and fun golf course that encapsulates the Tahoe spirit.
We were slated to play both Incline Village courses today, and originally the plan was to play Championship first. However, the weird weather (that really didn't turn out bad at all) scared all the resort players away and both courses were really empty. We ended up going to Mountain first. We played through one group and then caught another twosome on the final few holes. Total pace only about 1:20 as we zipped around in the gas cart! Also a GolfMoose deal we used here ($99 for 2 players, which is a bit much for an executive course, even one as fun as this).

The course was in decent shape, but not as nice as I would expect with the Incline Village name attached. Tee boxes and fairways mostly fine with some weak spots throughout. Rough a little inconsistent, but okay. Greens firm-ish, but still kind of thin and bumpy this time of year. Bunkers pretty good from what I recall.

This is the sister course to the main Championship Course at Incline Village (with a separate facility a couple miles up the road), also designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. It's an executive 18 holes with 14 par-3s and 4 par-4s. Wide variety of distances and you will use most clubs in your bag. Hilly and often tight with small-ish greens and lots of trees, native rough areas, etc. to keep you on your toes. Fun short mountain course and recommended if you get the right price.
This was our first round this morning. We had a 7:30 tee time, which is first off as they build in a slight frost delay still this time of year. The staff here was fantastic and made sure we got off first and around fast. The weather forecast was bleak all day today and it rained on us a little bit, but not bad at all and it freed everything up for us on all the courses we played. We used a GolfMoose deal ($99 for 2 players) along with a $25 GK prize gift card to make it a great deal.

The course was in decent condition as it rounds into summer form. Playing better than it looked with kind of a dappled brown/green spongy grass throughout. Tee boxes good. Fairways generally provided nice fluffy lies with some mushy sections thanks to the rain. Rough not super deep, but the grass is tangly and the ball can easily sit down to make for a tough recovery. Bunkers good. Greens spongy, but still kind of playing firm with big bounces and roll-outs, rolling fairly well at medium speeds.

The gloomy skies and dappled colors didn't really showcase the course's best visual presentation, but the playability was good and the layout is enjoyable. The front nine is more out in a fairly open meadow section to get you warmed up before you make the turn and into the mountain side of the course with all the trees and hills to provide a dramatic setting. Not quite top tier in this region, but a very good second-tier option and a nice value play compared to some other resort options.
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