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A quick addition to kviser's thorough review. The GK deal, especially since most of us would classify as non residents of Burbank, would be a nice little package discount with the cart and warmup bucket. The $15 food credit takes it to another level. That amount more than covers most meals on the menu and there seemed to be no limitation as to what you applied it to — food or bar. Not your usual hot dog and a soft drink add-on. The renovated clubhouse is nice, but the upstairs bar/restaurant with outside deck and views of three fairways (and golf on the big screens) is a great place to hang after a round. I usually play and leave, but having the incentive to eat and unwind after the round enhanced the experience.

Course-wise, Kevin was right on. In addition to his comments about certain greens, the fifth fairway was particularly barren with tight, dry lies, but that was an exception.

The course always beats me up, but I'll eventually be back for more abuse. I hope this deal gets extended.

A friend of a friend won a round for a foursome for Friendly Hills, and when someone couldn't make it on Friday, 11/9, I was available as a last minute replacement. I had never seen the course before and I can only remember ever playing private courses on three other occasions in the 40+ years I've been in Cali.

Generally, I was impressed with the facility and course. Landscaping was attractive and well kept. The edge of the driving range had a built-in strip of artificial hitting surface for when the grass was out of service, as it was that day. There is a nice, separate chipping area and a large practice putting green on the back side of the clubhouse and at least one other in the front. I used the large green to warm up and it was quick and smooth.

Everything on the course was in very good shape. Level tees with good coverage, nice fairways also with good coverage, well maintained rough, and clean, medium-soft bunkers. Greens were running about 10 on the stimp, which is a good speed in most cases. Add the amount of wave and slope on many of the greens, and they were an enjoyable challenge.

The course is hilly and visually interesting. Frequently tight for driving, if a serviceable tee shot can't be managed, there will be some kind of penalty. But if you are in reasonable control of your ball, there is nothing particularly unfair or overly quirky about the layout. The consistent challenge is probably the altitude changes. A player will definitely be hitting a number of uphill and downhill lies. While I think those are reasonable shots to have in one's bag, I didn't find myself with too many sidehill lies (vs. up or downhill). The ones I did were not overly severe and I was happy about that. I find sidehill shots in general more problematic and when I've played a course with a lot of them, I find it exhausting and frustrating. There are definitely a few holes where local knowledge is helpful, but it's a good target golf course in that if you can hit the target areas, you won't be unduly stressed. Of course, conversely, any course is going to stress you out if you're having trouble controlling your shots.

We didn't tee off until well after 1:00pm, were slow as a group, and so didn't get the full 18 in. More like 15 holes and then skipping forward to finish on #18 before dark. Given the opportunity to play here again, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
For reference, the most recent review for Alhambra was only three days ago, and I posted for the front nine a week ago, so not much has changed and this will be brief. The difference since I was last there is that the greens are now fully recovered. They are generally clean, receptive, run a brisk medium quick and have some subtle, and not so subtle breaks that can make them challenging— really pretty nice. The alert can definitely be removed from the course listings.

I did hit one bunker which was firm (not hard) under a thin, looser, top layer of sand. From past experience, that seems typical here. The bunker surfaces are generally kept up and raked.

As before, the course wasn't overly busy on a Sunday and I walked up and got right out as a single with a twosome @10:45. Finished in about over 4.5 hours. Slower on the front nine with numerous but relatively brief waits, it opened up on the back nine. Pleasant little course that is well kept up.
Played as a twosome Sunday, 10/15, around noon. Due to my buddy nursing a tweaky back, we only went out for the front nine by design. It's not usually a problem to get out here and we had just walked up and were put right out. It's a little unusual that an 18 hole course gives you a nine hole option during the main part of the day, and that definitely contributed to our choice to play here.

I would generally describe the course as good, late summer conditions, particularly with respect to the fairways. While generally pretty decent coverage, there were dryer, thinner patches scattered about that one would probably expect at the end of summer and well past rain season. The grounds crew had marked off many of the more severe spots around the course as GUR, so that helped. I had a layup shot in the fairway that would have been on hardpan had it not been marked as GUR and allowed me a nice, adjacent lie. Tee boxes here are generally flat and covered, although some of the par 3s were a bit more chewed up and required a quick survey to find a good tee spot. On average, rough here tends towards less severe and playable. The greens exhibited the ghost of the aeration pattern visually, but for practical purposes, they are healed. They generally ran true and medium slowish with a couple running a touch firmer and quicker. They were all soft and receptive to incoming shots, leaving deep pitch marks. I don't think my ball was more than a foot from it's pitch mark on any green I hit. I avoided the bunkers, so no comment there.

A foursome of one adult and three kids had us play through on the second fairway and we played in a bubble from then on, with the forward group a couple of holes ahead, and no-one pressing from behind. In the past, even as a single on a weekend, I have sometimes found myself in these pockets. The course was active, but not crowded. The front nine is generally short and flatter than the back nine, so on a warm, low energy day, it fit the bill for an enjoyable, low stress round.
This report is going to assume you read a little deeper into this thread for the background provided by earlier reviews as reference. It had been about a year since my last visit here, and my buddy and I went out as a twosome Friday, 10.7, a bit after 1:00pm, taking advantage of an email deal that included a small warm-up bucket, cart, hot dog and soft drink, for $19.95. I can't think of a course that throws out as many specials as Azusa Greens, so in that respect they are regular source of bargain rounds while trying to get your business. With AG, the question is always whether it's worth it. In particular, after seeing the results of the wet winter on numerous other courses, and not having been here in a while, the special made the decision to revisit the place easy enough.

I think the course conditions, overall, are a bit improved. The tee boxes were generally either level or reasonably close to it. The coverage was good I don't recall ever having to hunt for a green patch. The fundamental contours of the fairways haven't changed. As far as coverage, you will see a regular distribution of some brown patches, but excluding the those patches, the fairways were green and I thought the lies were tight but in a good way. There was some cushion, the ball the ball usually presented well, and you got a good amount of rollout. I observed most of the browned fairway patches were similarly playable, vs. being hardpan or dirt. With some lusher exceptions, the rough here tends towards random grasses, dry, scrubby areas, and dirt. This is a non factor for me since I figure the rough is, well… rough. And, while far from landscaped, I noticed that they have cleared out a lot of the piles of dead fronds and plant material in the rough that had previously given the course a bit of a trashy edge in spots. There is a definite, if subtle, overall improvement to the general look of the course as a result. As an aside, I noticed the same improvement on the driving range, which used to look like a humped landfill site. You are still hitting out to predominantly dirt and dry grass, but it has been leveled out and cleaned up — and you are hitting from grass range that matches the fairways.

Bunkers varied from a bit crusty to beach sandy and the grooming was similarly inconsistent, but mostly OK. The greens are the highlight. Remembering the 17th as an exception, (it had some significant fungus-like patches) they were generally clean, had a minimum of ball marks and ran at nice medium quick pace or better. As good or better than most of the munis I've been on lately. The surrounds provided good chipping opportunities, with the fairways being tighter and more challenging in that regard.

Grading on the curve that "it is what it is", I wasn't disappointed. The people who work here are pleasant and they were flexible about when we actually started. The server at the turn was nice and the hot dog was good sized and tasty. There has been some cleanup and the course is playing well. This course is like the sibling who didn't get the looks — has to work harder to get your attention and develop a more interesting personality. If Jimmy McGill was a golf course, he might be this place. While I still won't get over here too often, it was a good deal, I had a good time, and I like to think it won't be a year before the next visit.
Hit Hanson Dam yesterday afternoon, Saturday, 9/23, paired with another single. Really a beautiful day to get out and play. Getting right to the point, the course is in overall pretty nice condition with the critical exception of the greens. Many are currently multi-colored, blighted and not smooth, running a slowish medium. Dramatically different and unexpected since my last visit here about four months back. This condition was more prevalent on the front than back nine — the latter having some greens in good shape that putted correspondingly quicker. While less than ideal, the "bad" greens are ugly but playable and the main adjustment was the speed. As mentioned previously, the rest of the course is good shape. If you know what to expect, get a twilight or reduced price, it will serve in a pinch for casual play. But greens are of primary importance to a lot of golfers, and if you are looking for more optimal conditions, I'd give it a miss until they get the greens sorted out. No idea when that will be, or if aeration would improve it (whenever that happens), but a fix is needed. I like this course and will be keeping an eye out for reports of improvement further down the line.
Went over to Griffith Park Sunday, 9/10, to see what was available. Wilson was restricted to some tournament play, so about 40 minutes after arrival I was actually teeing off @10:00 on Harding in a foursome composed of singles.

The conditions overall were really pretty good. Coverage on everything from tee boxes to fairways and greens reflect the effects of the wet winter — well established, thick grass, with the usual, occasional brown or worn area — nothing to complain about or detract from the overall conditions. The rough was worth an extra mention. As uniform as anyplace I've played lately, it was usually not long enough to lose a ball, (although I did in one thick stretch,) but it was grabby and would cost you. Relentless in its consistency, I never seem to catch a favorable, fairway-like patch when I ended up there. The greens were pretty clean on the whole, and ran at a reasonable, medium pace. Bunkers were generally groomed and only slightly firm.

I expect a slow round here on a Sunday, but it was worse than usual approaching a 5.5 hr round — more waiting on the early holes followed by a slow but steady remainder. I'm usually happy to spend more time at golf, but I admit that walking on a warm, slightly humid day, it started feel like a grind towards the end and I was losing focus. That said, the group was pleasant and the conditions make it worth a recommendation.
I went out Saturday, 8/27, @11:15 as a single using the GK coupon. Regular price, sans cart is $40, and the coupon was $40 but includes a cart. I actually ended up walking the full 18, but wanted to have the option to pick up a cart at the turn.

The course was relatively quiet with a foursome several holes ahead and the group trailing me about three holes back. Conditions were enjoyable and pretty decent overall, with the expected wear of a muni in later summer. Tee boxes were mostly level with some wear, a few a bit less level but usually a flat(ter) and suitably grassy spot could be found. The fairways are predominantly green with good lies, but there are browned and thinner spots scattered around — to be expected at this time of year. Where there was legitimate rough (vs. some of the adjacent hard ground and underbrush areas and hazards) it was frequently thick kikuyu. Even though the ball usually sat up, it could still be problematic and grabby. Let's just say it would cost you a shot. The consistency of the grass in the vicinity of the greens could vary from kikuyu to more regular grasses and required some adaptability. The bunkers were generally clean with relatively soft sand in them and I was in several — fried egg lies in at least two cases with high lips in front of me that were score killers. The greens were mostly in good shape although a couple had some limited scarred or burned out patches. They ran true enough at a medium quick pace.

I had a couple of good scores on other courses recently, came by DeBell for a wake-up call and it didn't disappoint. I lost more balls in three holes than I usually lose in four rounds. I didn't strike it too poorly but this course is the definition of target golf and punishes any sloppiness. Self abuse not withstanding, I enjoy the course as a unique challenge and change of pace. It had been a while since I'd been up here and it was fun to get back. There was nothing in the conditions that would keep me from playing here again or recommending it. It helps to know the nature of the layout and walking the course is definitely a serious proposition.
My buddy got an 11:30 GolfNow tee time for today, 8/20, at $40 per with cart and we went out as a twosome. It was was surprisingly wide open. The foursome ahead had a few holes lead and we saw no one behind us until the 16th tee when a twosome came up the 15th, seemingly out of nowhere.

The conditions continue to be pretty good and much the same as recent reports by myself and others. There are some occasional brown and thinner areas on the fairways but even those provide a good hitting surface in most cases. Actual hardpan is hard to find and most of the fairway areas are green and fairly lush with good lies. There are some good sized patches on a number of fairway marked as GUR and newly sodded. It's nice to see the effort to maintain and/or improve the conditions. The rough, more often than not, was not overly punitive, and the bunkers I visited were clean but a bit firm under an inch or two of softer top sand. The greens were receptive, reasonably clean, and ran pretty true at a medium speed.

I don't know why the course was so open, but I'm not complaining. We got around in about 4.25 hours. This is the third time I've been here in a little over a month, so I'll probably give it a rest for a while, but I still recommend it.
Got over to Santa Anita today, Sunday, a little before 11:00 and was sent out immediately as a single for $40 walking. Preceding group was about two holes ahead.

There have been more reviews for S.A. lately and consistent with those, I found the conditions are still good. Generally well covered and level tee boxes. The fairways were lush overall with the occasional brown area —usually still a good hitting surface. Where there were actual hardpan areas, (not many and usually on the edge of the fairway or bordering rough,) they were usually painted as GUR, so the crew was paying attention. The rough was more often than not lush, offering varying degrees of recovery potential. There were good pitching and chipping opportunities presented by the area around the greens. Bunkers were firm-ish, generally clean, and nicely playable. The greens were pretty clean with a minimum of unfixed ball marks, and running at a medium speed. They never get too quick here, but they are often a bit quicker than today. Not a complaint, just an observation, and nothing to detract from the round.

After breezing along, I caught up with the pack around the eighth hole. After that, there were a few minor holdups, but it generally moved steadily and the final running time was a little over four hours. Good course, good conditions, and a good all-around playing experience.

When I reviewed S.A. last month, for the first time in over a year, my one complaint was the lack of yardage markers and the visibility of the monuments. I have no idea if that comment was noticed or if it is just coincidence, but they have added vertical, colored yardage sticks at the 100 and 150yd points in the fairway centers, with blue 200yd stakes in a couple of instances such as the par-5 third hole. For anyone over there who might actually see this, it's a simple but greatly appreciated improvement. Thanks.
Went over to Harding as a single @ 10:30 this morning and was sent to the lineup at the first tee to join a twosome, third up, and teed off about 15 minutes later.

It has to be the result of the rainy winter, because I'm generally finding better than typical conditions at the courses I've hit lately, and Harding was no exception. Tee boxes generally pretty level with good grass coverage. Fairways were pretty consistently green and lush with only a few isolated dry patches and a couple soggy spots. Nice hitting surface with decent rollout. The rough was generally lush. There were some spots where the ball would sink down and be hard to find, although in most cases it wasn't that deep. It was deep enough to be penalizing more often than not, with only the occasional opportunity for a clean recovery. Green side rough could similarly vary from nice chipping grass to a little bit longer and juicier, but generally nicely playable. Greens were receptive and generally clean, rolling fairly true at a medium speed. A few had the suggestion of a bumpier texture than the majority, but seemed to be more often a visual phenomenon than of real consequence on putting lines.

It was a pretty warm day, but there was a nice breeze (up to one club) to cool the sweat, so it was really more pleasant and less oppressive than I feared it might be. I was in hydration mode and draining my water bottle all day. Glad they have enough fountains spread around to refill. The pace was slow but generally steady for something short of a five hour round. The guys I was paired with were more into keep to themselves and not overly sociable, nor were they in any way unpleasant so, being prepared for anything, I was fine with that.

Generally speaking, a fine example of muni golf under better than average course conditions.
I decided to head over to Santa Anita this afternoon to check it out. The latest reviews were positive but almost a month and half old, and I wanted to see the conditions for myself. I knew it had been a while, but according to my Score Tracker record I was surprised to find out after the fact it had been over a year since I played there. I was sent out immediately as a single around 4:15, a bit ahead of the men's club, never waited and was never closer than a full hole to anyone in front of me.

I don't recall ever seeing the conditions as nice all around as I did today. The teeing grounds here are pretty consistently very level with a few slight exceptions, and the grass coverage was good and mowed to a tight length. The fairways in particular struck me as being more consistently lush than I ever remember seeing them. There were very few brown spots and the ball set up nicely but still provide good rollout. The rough was pretty consistent and green, and generally just long enough to cost a shot, but would occasionally allow recovery with a good lie. Bunker sand was good and playable, with not too many unraked footprints. The areas around the green set up well for chipping and the greens themselves were pretty clean, rolling a brisk medium pace.

Really, I was a little surprised in a good way and I will definitely have to get the course back into my rotation to play more often, especially in it's current state.

With all the positives, I did have one gripe: lack of yardage markers. With the lush grass, the in-ground markers were a little overgrown and frequently hard to spot. Often I just couldn't find a 200 yd marker, there are no stakes for any of the yardages either in the fairway or rough, and I never found a yardage on a sprinkler head. As someone who prefers to pace off yardage old school style, it made it tricky at times to select a club. The 100, 150, and 200 yd locations are enough, but I have to be able to find them, preferably without having to stand over them.

That said, if you are a fan of Santa Anita, (and I know there are a few), now is the time to visit. Otherwise, it was a beautiful warm, late afternoon with a declining breeze and I got around in under 3.5 hours. Did I mention it was $13 to walk? Good times.
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