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I got out Friday, 5/10 as part of a threesome with single joining us. I hadn't been out to SA since last June according to my score tracker. I think this was mainly because it had gotten bit dried out last summer and then seemed to be suffering a bit through the winter — at least according to reviews. In fact, the latest review from a little less than a month ago was pretty negative. For whatever reason, I had stayed away more than usual, so I was curious and game to take a look after all the course-improving weather we've had. Basically, I was not disappointed and pleasantly surprised. If I was to focus on the weak point first, I would say there are some scattered thin / scruffy patches to be found on many fairways. I mention it but it factored little into my round. They are scattered and not a dominant feature. The great majority of fairway is filled in with green and good lies to be had. I missed the bunkers but they looked OK. Otherwise, good stuff. Playing from the whites, tees here are pretty level with good coverage and I don't recall any distracing issues about any aspect of teeing it up. Of particular note were the greens, which have been slagged in reviews for their condition and speed. I found them as good as I've seen them in a while — clean with a medium quick speed that was very nice and probably about as speedy as they get there. There were a lot of pin locations conspicuously near the edges of the greens and I don't know why. That did not particularly bother me but I found it interesting. You have to put them somewhere, and sometimes that made it more challenging, but other times not so much.

As someone who comes here regularly if not overly frequently, I thought it was about as good as can be expected and really enjoyed getting back to it. One of our threesome had never played SA and came a away enthusiastic to return to it again soon. On top of everything, I got out walking (1:50-ish tee time) for $22 which was excellent value for this course right now. Recommended.
8 Likes.
I have reluctantly been taking a break from golf for a while due to tendinitis in the right elbow, but I was jonesing bad and on spur of the moment decided to hit Alhambra to test the waters and get my fix. I didn't check GK first so it was my fault when I got there and found all the greens recently punched and sanded. For my purposes it wasn't a deal breaker, although for the rest of you, give it time to rebound. Greens here are usually reasonably quick with subtle breaks while today they were slow and bumpy — totally uncharacteristic of their norm. That said, the rest of the conditions were fine. With a couple of exceptions, good teeing grounds, fairways with nice coverage and decent rollout, and the one bunker I was in was a bit damp but not overly firm and thus playable. They got me out right away with a two other singles so customer service was on point as always. Behind a five some for the front nine, it was a bit slow, but they disappeared for the back nine and we down to a twosome, so the back went quicker and we netted just over 4 hours. Nice little course that needs a few weeks for the greens to recover. I made some progress rediscovering my swing, so having low expectations, I had an enjoyable round in the end.
6 Likes.
This is late, but I wanted to back up and point you to Caligolfer1031's 3/10 review of the course from our match play there vs. Greg and Alex on Sunday. I generally agree with all his observations with only a couple of minor additions. He mentioned minor issues with unlevel tees. The 14th definitely required you to find the peak of the hump to tee your ball but, otherwise I wasn't conscious of any issues with the other teeing grounds, so that may be different levels of discrimination. Maybe I was preoccupied with how badly I was driving the ball, but that was all me. He also mentioned the bunkers and he was completely accurate. I would only add as someone who has played there numerous times before, that the lack of soft sand is, unfortunately, normal and expected at OQ once you've been there. I actually made decent or better shots out of a couple of firm fairway bunkers and a good green side bunker shot on the 14th hole, which did have adequate sand in it. I seem to have a knack for picking the ball in the firmer ones so, again, a subjective response and not a contradiction to Gregs review, which I thought was excellent.

Overall, I always love getting out to OQ and thought the conditions were very good with no surprises based on my previous experience there. Really stunk up the place with my game, but truly enjoyed the company of the the two Gregs and Alex. Everyone was fun to play with and on an even keel regardless of how their game was going, including the luckiest drive I've ever seen in my life. After the expectation of a rainy day didn't come to fruition, it turned out to be a gorgeous day. Good times.
9 Likes.
Went out Friday 1/25 just before 11:00 as a threesome with a buddy and his son — foursome if you count my dog — collecting my birthday round. Much to my chagrin, I arrived in a rush right before tee time so no warmup. I hate starting out that way. That was on me because nothing about River Ridge disappoints me. Service was on point and friendly, The course was in its usual winter state, which is pretty nice. Tee boxes were all level and with good coverage. Fairways were well covered and on the tight side, but there is a nice underlying cushion to the dormant grass so it doesn't feel thin or hard pan firm, and you get some good rollout. Rough was generally not punitive at all and pretty easy to play from. Missed the bunkers, but they looked clean. Greens were in good shape, running at a nice speed, somewhere around 10/11. It was a beautiful, warm day with a consistent, moderate breeze. Just really nice.

As someone who takes my small dog out when possible, I feel obliged to mention that the roving marshal told me there have been incidents of coyotes snatching small dogs on the course. Late in the round I had close encounter with one taking a run at my dog. It ended well, but actually seeing them in action for the first time after numerous rounds, it is obvious the coyote was smart, opportunistic, and familiar with the concept of players' dogs on the course. The course welcomes dogs, but keep the dog close and your head on a swivel if yours is a smaller breed.
8 Likes.
Took advantage of the birthday deal and paid $10 cart fee to play on Sunday before the Rams / Saints game. Got out around 8:15-ish and got 12 holes in before leaving @ 11:30. The greens were in good shape — reasonably clean and quick. As far as the rest of the course: same as it ever was.

Specifically, the fairways were about 10% bare or hardpan. While there were stretches of green grass and normal, if tight lies, there were also areas of extensive areas with tighter, white/blond dormant grass lies. The recent rains gave the surface an underlying softness and I'd say the net result on those surfaces was about like a driving range matt. I don't take a lot of divot, so I found it decent to play, but the tight lies and soft underneath could lead to fat shots if your swing path is steeper. Clean shots meant a good amount of rollout. The rest was business as usual: generally OK tee boxes, funky and variable rough, and firm but playable bunkers.

I don't come here much, but I have check at least once a year or so. I don't recommend going out of your way, but I still enjoy myself here because it's golf, I have reasonable expectations and an idea of the challenges of this course. It's well down the regular list but I don't want to see another course go away. If we get a few more significant episodes of winter rain to bring the fairways along, I would be curious to see what the place looks like in late Spring when grass has passed dormancy and started to fill in.

With the prices and deals they usually offer, it could make it a very nice bargain round.
6 Likes.
Played mid-morning Saturday, 1/12 paired up with a high school girl accompanied by her father who was overseeing her round but not playing himself. After a night of rain and the potential for more during the day, I decided to grab the umbrella, go for it and hope for the best.

As could be expected, conditions were moist in general but pretty well drained, considering. There were exceptions where there were small ponds of standing water including on a couple of greens and in some bunkers. Puddles aside, I found the ball sat up well and the playing surface through the course generally acceptable with decent rollout and a reasonable minimum of mud balls. It actually rained on us for a hole and a half starting at the 5th tee box. The fifth green was wet enough to take about 10% off the putting speed, but by the 6th green the rain had pretty much stopped and the green speed was normalizing already. After the rain it turned into a pretty nice day. I missed the bunkers so I can't comment other than they were obviously very wet sand. The pace on the greens was a pretty good medium fast, they were were on the firm side and the surface was pretty clean — made a couple of birdies on putts of about 15' and 30' respectively and they tracked well.

Per kviser's comment about the tees in an earlier post, they have moved them around. As he mentioned the yellow and white tees on some holes have been moved well forward. In at least one case I noticed a yardage monument at the new white location to suggest that move was permanent. It seems on those holes, the blues approximated where the whites used to be and the blacks more like the blues. In many cases the monuments haven't been changed and the tees were in something like their "normal" spots. In some cases, it's possible the tees were cheated up due to the weather conditions. They will definitely need to update their card.

In summary, I enjoyed the round and thought the course held up pretty well to the rainy conditions. For the record, the high school girl was a freshman and #2 on her team, probably soon to be #1 according to her dad, and was blowing her drives about 30 yards past my better ones with us both playing the whites. Given that it would be a fool's errand for me to be playing golf to boost my ego in the first place, I simply appreciated her talent.
8 Likes.
Out @12:00 as a single, hooking up with a father/son twosome on the 5th tee as things slowed down in front of me. Conditions have wintery feel but are good. Fairways are a little tighter with more rollout, but generally green with playable coverage — some few, random bare or hard areas to be found, but not bad. Rough can be anything from occasional hardpan to lush, but mostly green and not much longer than fairways on average. Bunkers I experienced were very firm to hard. Greens were in good shape and definitely on the quick side. Clean surfaces with the usual subtle, tricky breaks.

Blew through the first three holes before hitting the main herd — steady after that and got around in under 4.5 hours. The course was in good shape for this time of year, my game was not, but it was too nice a day out to not have a good time.
7 Likes.
I went over to Altadena for super twilight yesterday for the first time in a while and started out as a single around 3:40. Caught up with a friend in the group ahead to finish as a five-some. The most noteworthy aspect of the course is that they have changed the sequence, which I will come back to after a quick recap of conditions. Due to timing, I only played 7 holes total, skipping the current 7th and 8th holes. Overall I'd say conditions are a little wintery but fair. Tee boxes are generally good with coverage. Fairways are predominantly green with good coverage, but the grass can tend to be uneven/lumpy up close, so there will be some variance in the quality of your lie — sitting a little up or just a little down. Things have an underlying moisture so sometimes I got pitch marks where my drives landed rather than rollout. Rough is generally green, reasonably consistent, and not overly long or punitive. I was in one bunker and it was OK to play out of, leaning a little closer to firm than fluffy. The greens were a little mixed — generally quicker than expected with surface quality varying. Most were in decent shape, but a few had distressed surfaces in areas. Overall, the course is serviceable for a casual round at less than full price.

The old routing started out with the inner loop holes one through five (a par five) and finished with the perimeter holes, six through nine (the other par five) . They have flipped this so that what used to be the sixth hole is now the first hole and you play the perimeter first, finishing with the inner loop and the former fifth hole par five. I'm not sure what motivated the change, but it makes sense and plays better. The previous first hole (now fifth) is a 453 yd par four that is the #1 rated hole and was a bit of a bear to start with. The current first hole is a 300 yd par four, made somewhat strategic by a well placed fairway bunker — very gettable as a par four and drivable for some. You now generally get a better opportunity to build up some confidence and rhythm before you get to the #1 rated par 4 hole at five position. The par five finishing hole (shorter than the par four rated #1) is a nice opportunity on which to end.

While I have only known the routing that was just abandoned, I believe this new routing was used in the past and may have been the original for this iteration of the course. If you go far enough back into the history of the course, it was 18 holes once upon a time.

I think the current sequence will provide the opportunity for a better score without any actual change in the holes themselves, and so improves the experience.

I may still be the only one from this site out there, but at least now you know if you ever go.
7 Likes.
Played a bit after 11:00 on Black Friday as part of a couple of foursomes put together by a friend. I don't get out here often but I enjoy the changes they've made to the place when I do. The course overall just looks sharper and is better kept.

A minor issue I had with some of the tee boxes was a bit of subtle right to left slope. I just don't like teeing grounds that put the ball above one's feet (as a right hander), so I tend to notice it even if it's subtle. More often they were fine and the overall quality and coverage was good. Fairways were consistently green, occasionally a little tight, but in nice shape. Rough was frequently hard areas or wood chips, with the greener rough areas generally playable and not long. Bunkers are visually striking and in good shape, although their configuration could make them a bear to escape from. Area around the greens ranged from good chipping to some tighter lies. The greens themselves were in nice shape, receptive and running medium quick, which on some of the slopier greens, was more than fast enough.

I expected any golf on Black Friday was going to be slow golf, so I was mentally prepared for the five and a half hours it took. The waiting was generally well distributed so it didn't seem quite that bad. It was a beautiful day, breezy at times and cooling into the late afternoon. Twilight rates started at 11:00 so I paid $38 to walk, which I thought a good deal on a holiday weekend.

An interesting mix of straight forward and more challenging holes as well as topography, the course is worth a look and I'd recommend it's current condition as pretty good.
5 Likes.
A rare occurrence these days, I found myself over on the West side yesterday and was inspired by roarksown1's recent review to revisit The Shire down in Venice. I used to live nearby and play it a lot, so there is a nice, comforting — maybe even nostalgic— familiarity for me to play there. Not much different to add to roarksown1's review. I was a single added to two pairs to form a five-some. The course is in nice shape overall. It historically seems to hold up well, especially given the steady amount of traffic it gets. I would differ from the previous review only in his appraisal of the greens and maybe that is the difference a few days makes. The remnant pattern of aeration was still visible but I actually felt they putted smoother than they looked with no noticeable hops and at a decent medium/quick-ish pace.

The good news was that there were some open holes out ahead of us. The bad news was the one group ahead between us and those holes was slow, even by Penmar standards, and we couldn't take advantage of it to have an uncharacteristically quick round. That said, one never plays Penmar with the expectation of anything more than a languid pace, at best. Our group gelled well, accepted the pace as a non-issue, and a very sociable and enjoyable round was had by all. I was glad I stopped by.

Honestly, the place never seems to change and I hope it never goes away.
10 Likes.
Went out around noon today paired up with another single who turned out to be very pleasant company. I've reviewed this course in detail in the past so this will be short. Solid all around conditions. Tees flat and well covered, a few isolated, damp, thin spots on otherwise nice fairways, recoverable rough, firm bunkers, and reasonably clean, medium quick greens that were fun to putt on with some subtle and challenging contours.

Made it around in about 4.25 hrs with some intermittent waiting. Nicely maintained, shorter course with two pretty different nines. A very relaxed and enjoyable day of golf.
9 Likes.
Went to the course solo this morning and got out a little after 9:00 AM paired with a pleasant couple. I had gotten there just late enough to miss my 8:48 reservation but they got me out pretty shortly thereafter.

Overall conditions were pretty good. The black and blue monuments were combined, which I played and generally had no issues in the tees boxes with finding levels lies and enough grass of appropriate length. The fairways were in overall good shape, usually offering good lies. There were only occasional browned spots on the fairways, but not only were they generally few and far between, they weren't particularly thin and still gave one's ball some cushion. One exception that comes to mind was the 18th fairway, which was lumpier and less clean overall than most of the other fairways. Rough was generally green, playable, and sometimes punitive. I was in a few bunkers and they were clean, firm-ish but not hard, and quite playable — my efforts no withstanding. The greens were in good shape and medium quick. There was some underlying moisture in the course so pitch marks on the greens were more pronounced, but the surface quality was generally fairly clean and true.

A nice, warm day without being overly hot, and vey little wind to factor in for most of the round. I didn't note the exact times, but I think the round came in a little under five hours. While there was some occasional waiting and the pace was not exactly brisk, it generally moved along steadily enough that it really didn't feel that long.

As munis go, I'd say it's in better shape overall than most and recommend it. I like the layout, had no real complaints and really enjoyed my round.
8 Likes.
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