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Played Goat for the 1st time on 3/20. I'll echo Weber in stating this course is much tougher than you'd expect given the length. Small greens, and very difficult chipping when you miss those small greens.

Example, I hit a nice 7 iron right into the middle of a par 3 green. Landed soft about 15 feet right of the pin, back up a bit, and then picked up speed to go 20 feet into the front fringe. I tried a putter from there, ball immediately popped a foot in the air, caught a big break on the green and headed left fast..... back off the green and 20 yards down the hill. A good flop shot and lag putt saved a 5. Next hole, a good drive left a 9 iron uphill. Took it right at the pin. Landed on a slope 10 feet in front of the pin, where it proceed to backspin rocket off the green and 30 yards down the hill. One skulled chip, and my two good iron shots were both doubles. This place will do that to you.

That being said, it is a fun place to play. Play it up, you'll get bad lies off the fairway. Save your clubs and have some fun. Greens are great. Fast and treacherous.
1 Like.
Played with the GK Guru's on 2/13. I will say, after playing at La Costa 10 or so times, this time was by far the best time I have had there. Course conditions were really nice.

Greens were smooth and consistently well covered. Quick, but not too fast, but deadly if you were above the hole. Fairways were green, a bit tight, but good grass coverage and soft enough to not feel like hitting on cement.

Rough is thick, but not too punishing. Sand was soft and well manicured.

Still a big fan of the Legends layout. It has some tough holes, but generally lots of room to miss. That being said, I was still able to lose a ball into water on 4 straight holes. My fun stat of the day: Front nine - hit all fairways, and only hit 1 green (and that was on a Par 5 in two). That's quality golfing there.

My biggest complaint out here has been pace of play, but today was amazingly good. Our foursome zipped around in 3:40 staying right behind the twosome ahead.
Played Oak Valley on 2/6/18 (after I played Oak Quarry). Arrived at the course to find out that a pre-qualifier for the Genesis Open was on the course. I figured we were in for a tough test that afternoon.

The greens and tees were excellent. Greens were smooth and quick. My playing partners were commenting how fast they were, but I expected faster given the pre-qualifier tournament. Fairways were generally nice, but there are some weeds encroaching which can give some spotty lies. Rough was varied. Sand was good. The wind was wacky, sometimes no wind, sometimes a 3 club wind.

They only had tee markers out for the tournament, so we got to play the same tees. 65 won the pre-qualifier. If I would have had only 19 putts, I could have tied him. I didn't.
Played Oak Quarry on 2/6/18. Still my favorite course in SoCal.

Greens are quite bumpy right now. Lots of grass, just in need of some rolling and cutting. Fairways are excellent. Rough is playable, and there are a few thick parts that will give you issues. Sand is fine. The tees however, are quite shaggy.

Still a great course at the asking price.
Got out for a quick AM round on 1/30/18. Having played a lot at SC Muni over the last 20 years, I am continually impressed by the conditions for a muni course here - and this time it was as good as I have ever seen here.

Everything is in good shape here, plenty of grass in the fairways. Rough is not penal out here, lots of grass with a rare bad spot here and there. Sand is fine. I normally play sunrise golf out here, and so the greens are usually a bit damp and slower than later in the day. Today, even early in the AM, the greens were fantastic. Plush, but cut short enough to give it a bit of danger. Thumbs up SC!
Played Coyote - Valley on 1/26. A very solid track, parkland setting. Nothing amazing in the design, but a very enjoyable course.

Conditions were outstanding. Greens were firm, smooth, medium fast. Fairways were very good. Rough was some of the thickest stuff I've seen in a while. Bunkers had a good amount of soft sand.

I've heard the other 18 here is more of a challenging course. To me, that would make Coyote Creek a perfect home course. One challenging track, one track easier but still a good test. Thumbs up.
My company's HQ is in San Jose. I haven't played up here before, so this time I was able to add in time for a round of golf before and after work meetings. First up was the highly regarded Pasatiempo on 1/23.


Admittedly, I probably got Pasatiempo on the most benign day possible - low 60s, sunny, light wind, coming off a couple of days of rain the course was soft and slow. The course is just as amazing as promised. Elevation changes, views, dangers around every corner, ravines, and bunkers after bunkers to die for, and die in.

Greens were in great shape, although much slower due to the rain than is normal. I didn't have much difficulty on the greens due to the speed - but I can imagine these things can be brutal when cut to speed. Today, my biggest problem was the softness of the greens and fairways. No roll at all on drives (although my high fade never gets a lot anyway), I was lucky to get five yards after the divot. That meant I was hitting lots of 4 and 5 irons into greens, and even those were coming down soft and jumping back. The general slope of greens here is back to front, sometimes severe, and to see long irons land on greens 10 feet in front of pins, only to end up 60 feet in front of pins was depressing.

Fairways - plush and soft.
Rough - very plush. I only had to hit out of it once, no problem.
Bunkers - perfect

Yep, Pasatiempo is all that is promised. A definite must play.
Played Talega on 1/17/18. Although Talega is my "home" course, I haven't been playing much locally, and it has been 3 years since I've been here. Surprised to see a bunker reduction program in the works. Several bunkers have been removed, and several others have been reduced. A bit sad for me, as I loved the original design with beautiful white bunkers everywhere. I hope you had a chance to play Talega in it's first 5 years, it was magical.

On to the changes - some of the bunker removals make sense, especially the one where the blind tee shot on 15 tells you to hit at the aiming pole which sits right behind a bunker. Nice drive....SURPRISE! That one is now grass - good change. Some obvious fairway bunker removals & reductions will help players quite a bit.

On to conditions - good winter conditions. Greens are nice, soft, a bit slower than usual which is good. Fairways are good, generally green with better than average grass coverage. Rough is decent, but choppy in places. Bunkers are decent, play better than they look.

Still an excellent layout in good condition, and a recommended play.
Even after I swore I'd never go back except for daybreak due to slow POP, as fate would have it I ended up back at RSJ with an 11:30 tee off. 3 holes in, 1:05 had passed, what was I thinking. Fortunately, things loosened up after that, and we completed the round in 4:30.

Greens are nice. Everything else is a pasture. It's a toss up on what you'll get more of in the fairways - grass or goose droppings. Dang they have a sheetload of geese and mudhens.

Still, for $30-$40 in SoCal, RSJ is almost as good as you can get. Decent place to go out and work on your game.
Played SJH on 12/28/17. In all, a decent public course at a good price.

First off, the greens were amazingly fast. Very good grass coverage and soft. Every putt felt like it was downhill. I've played here 20-30 times and never remember greens near this fast. The rest of the course is average condition, fairways have grass in most places. Rough is heading towards bare dirt for the most part. Tee boxes are decent enough.

A good local course to get out and beat around some golf balls.
Played Oak Creek on 12/20. This used to be my home course, although that was 15-20 years ago, and this is probably my favorite layout in OC.

Man, I was pretty disappointed this time. Greens are in great shape, thumbs up there. Fairways are generally good, although some spots appear to be shaved down to almost bare dirt. Let the grass grow please. The rough is definitely rough. Sometimes thick, sometimes nothing.

Sand traps - the first two I was in were great. Soft sand and smooth. Then the last two I was in were unplayable. Hard as a rock, no sand at all. Try hitting a sand shot that needs to go 20 feet up and 20 feet long out of a hard pan bunker.

Tee boxes - maybe it was my new prescription sunglasses, but I felt like there were many tee boxes unlevel today. Lots of rounded tee boxes, it was hard to get comfortable on them.

Some of the pin placements bordered on stupid today. On one hole, after our foursome took 14 putts, I went right next to the hole, and dropped a ball right next to the hole from a height of maybe 3 inches. The ball ended up nearly 25 feet away.

Still a fantastic layout, but the conditions here were subpar considering the price. Maybe I am jaded as my last two reviews got 9.9 and 9.7, Oak Creek costs more and wasn't nearly as nice.
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.
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