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Got out Sunday, 3/27, first twilight at 2:00 with two other singles. The course conditions were pretty good overall. Good coverage on the teeing grounds which are generally pretty level with little variance. The grass can be a bit mixed, but the fairways had good coverage that still allowed for some rollout. Rough varied from mostly green and playable with the ball sitting up, to occasionally punitive. Glad to say I can't report on the bunkers, but they looked in good shape. The greens and surrounds were in good shape. They were firm-ish, rolled a respectable medium quick, pretty true, with minimal ball marks. I made some long putts that tracked well, and the miss-reads were on the intended line.

The weather was comfortably cool with a 1+ breeze at times. The pace was somewhere between 4.5 – 4.75hrs. It moved reasonably well until the 13th hole, and the pace dropped off from there with backups especially on 13 and 15 (par 3's). I hadn't been out on Harding in a while and I was quite pleased with the current conditions and, for a Sunday, the overall pace.

One serious caveat: I approached the park from the N. Zoo Drive approach off the 134 transition where it wraps around the soccer fields, at around 12:30. I spent an hour in traffic crawling around that complex once was I committed to that exit ramp. Once in the loop, no way out and it truly sucked. I talked to one of the playing partners about it and it seems to be the result of an inherently bad approach system on a nice zoo day. Consequently I recommend avoiding N. Zoo Drive and instead approach the park from the south after mid-morning on weekends. I don't know what state Zoo Drive approaching from the west via Forest Lawn Dr. would be like at that time. I ended up ducking onto the first available freeway entrance and circling back through west Glendale and south on San Fernando Rd. No issues approaching from the south end of the park.
10 Likes.
Kviser put up a perfectly accurate and concise summary of the conditions at Hansen Dam yesterday, 3/17, where we played out GK Cup match. The only thing I can add is that the course was comfortably busy. It would have been easy to walk up and get out fairly quickly. We played an extra par-5 tie breaker hole and finished a bit under 4.5 hours. I'd say we did the 18 in something under 4.25. Probably peak condition or close to it for this course, it really is a bargain.
9 Likes.
Played super twilight as a single yesterday, 3/3. It was too nice of a day and I couldn't resist getting out for the ruined walk. It was either here or Altadena, and I'd played enough Altadena lately that I needed a change up. Well, this course needs the benefit of rain to flourish and the conditions here have suffered more than most due to the drought, but the impact of our wet season has finally shown up. The first fairway, as much as any on the course, is usually a mix of tight lies and almost hardpan. I was actually presented with a grassy lie, the predominant, current fairway condition — and so on through the course. In fact, some of the fairways were a bit shaggy and played like light rough, but in a good way. While a mowing might seem like a good idea, I can see leaving it go a bit to really let the grass reestablish itself. The extended areas that were previously bare, mostly out of the usual landing zones, are greening up, but primarily with weeds, so it's more of an aesthetic improvement there. Rough has thickened up proportionately. I missed the bunkers so no real comment there. Greens are medium quick, on the firm side, reasonably clean, and rolled consistent enough to be fair with no surprises. The surrounds presented good chipping and pitching opportunities.

This will always be a twilight or super twilight rate course for me, but the conditions are getting closer to making it more reasonable to pay full price if so inclined and your schedule is limited. There is a decent range, usually on grass, a separate bunker and pitching area, and a putting green. It's an interesting layout with views. There is a restaurant and bar. I've never eaten there and don't know the hours, but the small bar always seems to be busy when I finish playing those late-in-the-day rounds.

With a little more rain and grooming, this course should have a resurgence and go through a period of pretty decent conditions through the spring. How well it establishes itself and lasts into the summer heat remains to be seen. For now, I'm putting back in my rotation for impulse, nine-hole rounds.
12 Likes.
Teed off today, 2/23, some time after noon as a single within a five-some, after waiting two groups worth as a walkup.

Teeing grounds were generally pretty level with good coverage on par fours and good enough on the par threes. Fairways were lush with the length equivalent to light rough in many places, closer to fairway length in others. The rough was thick and impactful with a 50/50 chance you'd get a ball sitting up or an area where the ball sat down enough that you could walk right by it or have to punch out. I only saw one patch of actual standing water, and there were areas distributed around that were juicy/muddy under the grass, but these were mostly off the fairways and the exception. One exception was the ninth tee was moved up about 40 yards with the regular tee boxes roped off, probably because of over-saturation. I was in one bunker and the sand was OK, on the firm side, but the bunker could have used an overall grooming. The greens continue to surprise me with their medium quick pace, reasonably clean surface and tracking — nice, actually. There were indications of some kind of slit cuts that I assume were aeration, but they were subtle, with no impact on putting.

Pace was slow but so was our group, so not too much waiting. It was a brisk, breezy, beautiful, cloudless day and the group was pretty amiable. The course is very lush and will be pretty nice when it dries out a little more and gets a general mowing. It was occasionally moist and frequently shaggy today, but still quite enjoyable.
12 Likes.
Got a singles reservation for 9:10 on a fairly crowded Super Bowl Sunday, teeing off about @15 minutes late with a husband / wife couple and another single — a pleasant group. On a cool, grey day, it must have been akin to conditions in the home country. I enjoy golf in these conditions as a change of pace to the more common SoCal fair or warm weather.

Essentially I'd describe the conditions as wintery. Tee boxes were generally pretty level with a few minor exceptions, but covered with an equal distribution of tight short grass and dirt. It looked like the aftermath of some kind of aeration, but as teeing grounds, they worked just fine. The fairways generally had decent coverage, but it was winter coverage: frequently a bit on the tight side, sometimes a bit clumpy, with a light residual dampness and moist soil from the previous day's rain that also applied to the rough. The rough could be punitive, but more often offered recovery — call it a half shot penalty on average. I was in two bunkers and they were dry and playable with decent sand. I thought the greens were surprisingly quick, with a reasonably clean surface despite all the traffic, and contours that often made it more difficult for being above the hole — overall, challenging in a good way.

While I hoped for a better pace, I couldn't be too surprised with a 5.5 hr round on a Sunday there — the longest round I've played in a long time. The worst backup was on the first three holes. After that it was slow, but acceptably consistent and, my preference to have finished earlier notwithstanding, I was OK with it as something I don't have to experience regularly. With the understand that it's that time of year for conditions, I'd recommend it, particularly after a few days to dry out.
14 Likes.
Booked ahead Saturday night for a single, 9:20 tee-off at Wilson for Sunday morning, 1/29. Never got close as I tried various approaches and discovered all entry to the area was blocked until 12:00 due to a half marathon and 5K. Headed over to Santa Anita where a men's club tourney was going off until 11:00, and so ended up at a busy Alhambra, where I teed off with a threesome around 10:50. Whew!

I usually give this course points for consistently decent maintenance, conditions and good customer service — it's generally a nice shorter course — but today the conditions were more winter doldrums and probably the low point of the year. Tee boxes were fine, with good coverage and most nicely level. The main negative was short, frequently thinnish grass with a fair amount of exposed dirt patches distributed around the fairways. With all the rain, the soil was a bit sticky, resulting in the occasional heavy shot as well as frequent incidents of mud bits on one's ball. This is not to say there was complete absence of coverage or decent lies. The coverage was more often adequate with some better areas, but something of a mix. Rough could be anything from a bit grabby and sticky, to nicely playable, to hard pan, although it was OK more than not. I avoided the bunkers all day, but they seemed in good shape, a tad firm judging from my partners' results. The best aspect was the greens, which were generally clean, quick enough to get your attention and nuanced enough to keep it.

As mentioned, it was busy, a little over a five-hour round, and the threesome I played with were good company. The weather was gorgeous and there were frequently beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains to the east. Overall, it's not in terrible condition but, personally, I won't be back for a while. Some time to dry out will allow some offset to the winter thinness of the fairways by offering a fair amount of rollout and an absence of the tackiness in the underlying soil. While the rain has been a godsend, it's understandable that this is not the best time of year for conditions at many, otherwise solid, courses.
14 Likes.
I'll be brief. I traveled up to RR Lakes with my dog on Monday, 1/16 to take advantage of my free birthday round — busy because of the holiday, delayed start, and a slow but steady 4.5+ hour round. I was grouped with another single and a twosome, all pleasant company. Greens were clean and fast — 11 stimp according to the signage, Vineyard was listed at 10.5. Conditions were very good as usual and no apparent residual issues or obvious signs the recent rains. Good hitting surface on the fairways, generally low and forgiving rough, bunkers were dry and playable. A steady breeze was a factor through the round on what was a really beautiful day to be out. A vigorous walk for both me and the dog, we always love having a chance to play here.
10 Likes.
I knew I was going to be on the West Side on an errand today, so decided to utilize my LA City golf card last night to reserve a tee time. The options at my first choice, Rancho Park, were discouraging, so for simplicity and scheduling sake, I opted for a 10:00 at Penmar. I'm glad I made the reservation because it was about as busy as I've seen it. Everything was five-somes, as per usual, and the 10:00 slot actually teed off about 20 minutes late, but it was nice to know a time was secured when I lined up to a busy check in.

Anyone who played today knows what a perfectly gorgeous and surprisingly warm golf day it was, with minimal winds in Venice, mainly from the east. The course, pretty straight forward to begin with, was rendered just a tad more benign with most of the tee boxes moved up to the vicinity of the red zone while most of the regular teeing grounds are recovering. The active teeing areas were generally pretty level with good coverage. Except for the first hole (for some), driver could still be pulled out at the usual opportunities. If you are looking for the "big course" experience at Penmar, you're in the wrong place anyway. The fairways here normally tend towards lush with the marine air, and they fit that description today — amazing, given how much traffic the place gets. The rough could be punitive in places, but was generally green and more often offered a good shot at recovery if you weren't obstructed. I missed the bunkers, some of which need some clean up around the edges, but seemed to perform adequately from what I observed. The greens were the surprise of the day — tightly mowed, the surface was in as nice a shape and as quick as I've seen it here — probably a brisk medium quick. I used a lot of the same words back in June when I last reviewed the place, but I think the greens are even a bit cleaner now.

Pace was slow (always expected here) but generally steady and we got around in just about 2.5 hours. If it matters to you, call ahead to see if they have opened up the teeing grounds. Otherwise, and minus the holiday week crowds, the course is in as prime condition as one can reasonably expect from Penmar.
6 Likes.
Went out to Moorpark this morning for a GK Guru tee time, getting off a little after 10:00 with fellow GKers Ron and Kevin, and Johnny GK leading the foursome behind us. I think this is a scenic, interesting and challenging course and we really couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day for it. I don't get out here often, but always feel it's treat when I do. I hit into some interesting places over the course of the day, but a bunker wasn't one of them, so I can't address those. Otherwise, everything else was consistently good. Tee boxes were generally nice and flat with good coverage. Fairway grass was short but full, with a soft base offering a nice hitting surface. There were some stretches that were a bit soggy — presumably from irrigation since the rain wasn't too recently — but not a significant issue. The greens' surrounds were in very nice condition, allowing for up-and-down-opportunities. I thought the greens themselves were clean, ran a good quick pace and tracked nicely. Service was fine with the cart coming around at least a couple of times. pace was a little sluggish at times and it was probably about 4.5 hours. The views of the surrounding area and mountains from many points on the course give the whole experience an extra aesthetic boost. There is a really nice bar and patio area to grab a drink or bite after the round. Thanks to Johnny for securing us the tee times and the special price. Good company always enhances the experience, so thanks to Ron and Kevin. It will probably be a little while before my next round out here, but I will definitely be back.
9 Likes.
Going out for a Friday afternoon nine on 12/2 with a friend, we were considering where to go. Curiosity and the the hope that recent rains might have helped conditions led us to give Eaton Canyon a shot. We hadn't been there in a good while so maybe our curiosity was a shade on the morbid side. We knew better than to expect anything too fabulous but hoped it would be fairly open. Well, it's still in generally poor shape, but maybe not in all the ways some previous reviews mention.

The tee boxes are generally level with decent coverage. The fairways have long stretches of pretty much bare dirt, usually in areas you shouldn't be playing from — for example long stretches of fairway leading away from the tee boxes and many areas of the rough. The main areas of play generally had playable grass, albeit bumpy, with some greening coming in as a result of the rain. If there was the money and the will on the part of management, a lot of these already bare areas could be visually defined and perhaps given some kind of wood chip covering to classify them as modifications to the drought conditions, thereby making lemonade from lemons. It might actually look kind of cool if it seemed intentional, with my recent round at Los Robles sparking this particular line of thinking. But it would reflect a level of interest and investment that Eaton obviously hasn't seen in quite a while. Meanwhile, back at the course, the bunker I visited was OK and the greens were actually in decent shape and putted well on the quick side of medium.

Busier than we thought it would be, there were some slow groups ahead of us making the round drag a bit, but we got it in before we lost too much light. We got out a bit after 2:00 and were charged $7.50 super twilight rate. This and Altadena GC are two nine-holers that are nearby and convenient to me. I'd like to see them succeed but have to admit that, barring unusual circumstances, I would never pay full price on these courses — particularly weekend full price. But for $7.50 it was more than decent for a casual round — even for the twilight rate if you know what you are getting into. It will take a good winter rainy season to give this place a chance to recapture some of the charm it had in the past. I'll come back at some point at the late day rates. For a cheap nine on a spur-of-the-moment Friday afternoon I can't say I regret the choice, but any recommendations are conditional.
12 Likes.
Got a call on Thanksgiving from a friend who had an 11:30 Black Friday tee time. If he hadn't already had a time, i would not have ventured out as it's a notoriously slow play day. However, I used to play LRG more often back in the day but had not played there since long before all the latest renovations, so I jumped at the opportuiny to satisfy my curiosity.

Bottom line, they've done a nice job of tidying and sharpening up the course visually, while making the playing conditions more consistent. Playing the whites, tee boxes were in nice shape with plenty of coverage and level — although I occasionally felt that my ball was a hint above my feet (right hander) — a very subtle and minor quibble. The fairways here have always had a tendency to get thin, especially this time of year, and to a degree it's still true. The coverage was generally pretty consistently green, firm (vs. hard) and with a lot of roll out. There were consistently good, playable lies, but many places you could see earth under the grass if you looked. I would not describe it as lush, but seems to be well watered. They've replace large areas with wood-chip-style landscaping so if you went too far astray, you played off of that. Closer to the fairways, the rough was green and not really punitive. They've added some bunkers and seem to have redone most of the existing ones. There are definitely some deep, diabolical bunkers out there now, many of which have high lips topped with inwardly rolling turf. It helps that the sand was well above average (okay, so it didn't exactly help me.) The greens were in very good shape and rolling fast. A lot of slope to the greens and some tough pin placements make for some very challenging, but generally fair, putting.

Two young relatives (20's) of my friend filled out the foursome and it would be kind to say they visited a lot of the more obscure sections the course. The pace was around 5+ hours but was not unexpected and allowed our group to keep up. I don't like courses that charge a bump for non-residents and theirs is a healthy one, so I was a little taken aback by my weekend, non-resident, worst case scenario fee. I walk and carry, but with a cart it would have put me close to $70. When I eventually come back, I'll choose my time with that in mind.

In summary, they've done a nice job. I've always thought it's an interesting and challenging layout, and now the overall TLC shows. It's not a dramatically different layout but it looks sharper and plays cleaner. I enjoyed the round and the chance to revisit the place. It's a bit out of the way for me, but I definitely would welcome the opportunity to play here again, albeit at a time with a better price point.
13 Likes.
Played RR Lakes on my return trip from Santa Barbara on Sunday, 11/20, getting out solo around 1:00 for $30 walking. A male/female twosome went off ahead of me in a cart and generally stayed far enough ahead that there were no significant delays. This is one of my favorite courses and I'm always happy to get out here, seldom as it is. Tee boxes were fine — level and well covered. Fairways were on the tight side with generally good coverage and a lot of rollout. Even when the grass is tight here, the turf has a characteristic underlying sponginess to it that makes it a nice surface to hit from. Bunkers had nice sand and the rough was generally non-punitive and easy to play out of. The greens were pretty quick, as is typical here. Getting my putts to stop when putting from above the hole was a challenge that I never quite mastered all day. There was probably about a 1+ club wind most of the round that died off toward the end. When I got the the 16th tee box, which is the highest point in the round and almost a 360º view, the late afternoon sun was coloring the area, surrounding mountains, and scattered clouds. You could see the dark clouds and rain tracking through LA to the south while dark rain clouds moved through Santa Barbara to the north. It really was rather exquisite and since there was no one to push me, I lingered for a while taking it all in. I had debated whether or not to stop for golf on the way home, but that moment totally confirmed that I had made the right decision and I felt lucky to be there.
13 Likes.
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