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Yet another business trip from SoCal to Phoenix, so this time I took the southern route and played Borrego Springs Resort and Rams Hill on 12/4/17. The drive through north San Diego, although long, is a beautiful and interesting drive. Left home at 4:30 am, 58*F. 6:00 in the mountains at 21*F, 6:45 at the course and it was 60*F.

Played Borrego Springs first - go see my review on that one. Rating: 9.99+.

Next up – Rams Hill. My 2nd time to Rams Hill, so I didn’t have the same “where have they been hiding this gem” reaction. Had I not been to BSR immediately before, I would be raving about the Rams Hill condition. Now this course has the shaved fairways and greens, but still in excellent condition. But there are a few, very rare, spots where the grass isn’t growing as well. The rough here is in excellent shape as well. Tee boxes are great, no issues there. The greens are what all courses seem to be striving for these days, green, plush, and darned fast.

The layout of RH, along with the elevation changes, really make this course stand out from BSR. It is an amazing course. Fantastic practice facilities and staff.

I am one of those that searches the internet to get a deal on a green fee. Rams Hill may be the only course that I don't even flinch at paying rack rate. Any day - sign me up.

This 36 hole day will go into my memory as something really special. Two great courses, but two really different courses, both in great condition. While I still think my day playing Bandon Dunes & Pacific Dunes was more memorable, my day at Borrego Springs Resort and Rams Hill was similarly amazing minus the ocean views and a heck of a lot more affordable.
Yet another business trip from SoCal to Phoenix, so this time I took the southern route and played Borrego Springs Resort and Rams Hill on 12/4/17. The drive through north San Diego, although long, is a beautiful and interesting drive. Left home at 4:30 am, 58*F. 6:00 in the mountains at 21*F, 6:45 at the course and it was 60*F.

This was my first time to play Borrego Springs Resort. It is a standard desert course. Flat. Some water hazards. Lots of bunkers. Best comparison I can think of – BSR is a Desert Willow course with a bit less fancy landscaping. Solid layout, not too tricked up. Note that there is no course map on the scorecard, and there are a few holes that aren’t obvious from the tee where they are going. Get a map before you play.

Conditions you ask? Perhaps the best conditioned golf course I have ever seen in 45 years of playing golf. All the grass is a carpet. Fairways are super plush. BSR – thank you for not shaving them to the point of killing the grass. This is the way fairways should be – the ball sits up nicely and rewards you for hitting it straight. Yes, you won’t get the 40-50 yard roll out that you see in many of the concrete fairways these days. The rough is a longer version of the fairways, just as consistent and beautiful. Not a single weed, not a single dead patch, in either the fairways or rough. Greens are also plush and smooth. Not fast - there is too much grass. It could be shaved closer - DON'T DO IT!

I’m going to give the sand traps a 9. They are perfect, but I need to save that extra point for those places that have the super white crushed marble sand bright enough to blind you. Otherwise, BSR might have 10s across the board.

The plush grass makes the course play much longer than the scorecard. The back tees at 6600 yards was a test. My 240-245 yard carry with my driver barely made it to a few fairways, and didn’t make it to the 255 yard Par 3.

Practice facilities are very nice. Good chipping area and putting greens, and a driving range just as nice as the course.

Next up - Rams Hill. This day is going to be something special.
Played in the 11/29 Guru outing with Bob, Gary & David. First off, don't let the first 4 greens scare you. They have obviously had some issues, and the sod replacement is not quite ready for prime time. Those first 4 greens putt pretty well though. Once you get into 5-9, and especially the back 9 the greens improve greatly. The back 9 greens are lush, smooth, and brutally fast.

Fairways are green and lush, rough is also lush but not to difficult. Tee boxes are good, with the occasional spot of overplay. Practice areas are very nice. The main range was hitting off mats today (boo), but if you go past the nice chipping area, there is another leg to the range hitting off grass.

This was my first time on the Legends track, having played Champions 5-6 times. I really like the Legends layout. Some room to miss, several trouble spots, tiny greens.

I have been critical of La Costa in the past for poor conditions and super slow play. This time, conditions were very good and the POP came in under 4 hours. This time, for the first time here, I felt like La Costa earned its lofty historical status.
Played Westridge on 11/13/17. Pleasantly surprised to see this course hanging on, still a fun track to play. Conditions are decent these days, greens pretty good for the most part. Sand traps were good. Fairways generally have decent coverage.

It looks like they have done a lot of seeding on tee boxes. Coverage is sparse, but growing in. So you'll see tee boxes with long thin grass coming out of sand. They do have the tees set on the very back or front edges of boxes - and they obviously haven't been moved in a while. So until they determine the new grass is ready, you will find challenging conditions on the tees. That being said, I didn't have any problems playing off of them with generous use of the two club length rule.

POP was fine. Started as a single at 7:15. Ran into a twosome at #5. They didn't bother to waive me through, not a big deal as I was enjoying watching their combination golf swings / karate kick follow through. Still, got done in just under 4 hrs.

Hang in there Westridge! A nice course at a decent price, rare for OC.
Played 11/7. I've played here a dozen times at least, but always as a sunrise round before going to work. Had a chance to get out for an 11:30 tee time.....HUGE MISTAKE! The pace of play was brutal. Sat in #1 fairway for 15 minutes waiting to hit approach shot. The Par 3 second hole had a group on the green, group on the tee, group on the path between 1 and 2, and the group in front of us that just sat in their carts beside #1 green waiting.

Finally quit after 11 holes and 3.5 hours, as it was becoming apparent that a 6 hour round was very possible.

Hard to understand. This is a very straightforward course, almost no rough to slow play, very few hazards - no reason for the brutally slow play other than an overload of slow golfers.

I like the course, nothing special, but a fun course to play at a good price that is in decent condition. But man, I am never coming back here except for those early morning rounds.
Played Eagle Glen on 10/11. Not visually appealing right now, as the color of the day is brown, brown, brown. That being said, the brown is at least the color of grass and not dirt. There is pretty good grass coverage where it matters. Stay near the fairways, and you'll get a pretty good lie, just on brown grass.

Greens are solid, firm and quick.

Still a great layout, good staff, and I hope it gets back some of its past beauty.
And my final round of my 2 day, 72 hole end of summer PS binge was at a new course for me, Eagle Falls.

You drive behind the Fantasy Springs casino. Around past the parking garage. So around the garbage bins. Turn right into the alley. Then into another parking lot that seems like one that is always empty. A row of palm trees leads you into a parking lot that actually has a few cars. Rumor has it, there's a golf course behind the trailers housing the pro shop and snack bar.

I check in, and off to the starter I go. Across the bridge.....into a fantastic golf course surprise! I was nervous, as the starter gave me at least three rattlesnake warnings, with the ominous "if you go into a bathroom, throw a golf ball in there first to scare off any snakes." I didn't go in any of them, uh-uh, no way.

Conditions here were better than the other 3 courses I had played (Shadow Ridge, Stadium, Nick Tourney). Greens were smoother and rolled a little better. Fairways not so spongy, you'd even get some roll here. Rough plush, but not difficult.

What a fun layout. Only 3 3-pars and 3 5-pars, but the 4-pars include a couple of short ones that tempt you to have a rip. Fairways are wider than you might think, but once you start to realize how wide they are, they throw a super tight hole at you to make you nervous.

Really glad I picked this on a whim for my final round of my binge. A great course hidden on the east side of town, don't miss it!
Day 2, Round 1 of my end of summer PS golf binge was at PGA Nicklaus Tournament course. I'm going to copy my Stadium review and edit it, as these courses are in the same condition except that Nick Tourney has sanded their greens not too long ago. Annoying, but they still rolled fine.

Conditions are fine for end of summer. Greens roll true, but are slow as is normal this time of year. Fairways and rough have good coverage with a dead spot here and there. Staff was nice and helpful.

Not as menacing as Stadium, but still more menacing than most courses, and more than anything else of Jack's that I've played. He must have been angry after playing Stadium when he designed this one?

I loved it.

Note to others, I went through a nine hole funk here. Perhaps I was tired after 36 the day before. Perhaps my swing was bad this morning. Age 53, time to lose strength? Maybe the early morning humidity was up, but the ball just wasn't travelling at all. The drives seemed to be rolling 1-2 yards max. Iron shots were 1-2 clubs short. I finally used the cart GPS to measure drives. My usual 260-265 was 220-230. After the second drive of 225, I realized all of this started when I switched balls to a old ProV1X that I grabbed out of my bag. Next hole, a 180 yard par 3. I pulled out a new ball, used my 180 club, and knocked it just over the green. Pulled out the old V1X and knocked it 20 yards short of the front bunker. #oldgolfballssuck.
Day 1 Round 2 of my end of summer PS golf binge was at PGA Stadium. Nickesquire was able to join me, always great to have a GK friend join in for a fun round.

It had been nearly 20 years since I'd played at Stadium, and man this place is a mind trip.

Conditions are fine for end of summer. Greens roll true, but are slow as is normal this time of year. Fairways and rough have good coverage with a dead spot here and there. Staff was nice and helpful.

I cannot imagine playing here on a regular basis, my confidence would be shot. You hit a bad shot here and you pay for it. You hit a decent shot here, you pay for it. You hit a good shot here, you may still pay for it. Ignore the score, and laugh at how many time Stadium punches you in the gut.

I loved it.
My end of summer PS golf binge began at Shadow Ridge on 9/18. No complaints at all, Shadow Ridge is in good end-of-summer condition.

Greens plush and healthy. As is normal for summer in PS, greens are SLOW. Fairways and rough in good condition, with a rare dead spot here and there.

SR is a really fun layout. Not easy, but not too punishing either. Staff is nice and helpful. Highly recommended.
Ah....the elevation changes, the sizzle of the high voltage lines, and 400,000's Anaheim Hills GC! First time back here in 15 years.

It's a quirky little course that doesn't play short. Greens were pretty good, although you can see a couple of different grasses battling it out on several greens which makes the speed vary. Fairways and greens are very hit and miss, with the misses quite a bit ahead. Tee boxes are acceptable.

Nice clubhouse, and range is being rebuilt. Not a bad neighborhood course to go knock it around, but I don't see myself coming back here for another 15 years at least.
Played RSJ on 8/29.

Again, a decent track to work on your game. The greens are very nice, although bordering on too soft as I was leaving ball marks with some of my chips. Greens are very green and smooth outside of the ball marks. Sand traps were another positive - lots of sand and good conditions.

Fairways and rough are hit and miss, some areas are bare or spotty. Fairways were 90% good though.
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