Golf Course Reviews
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Played with my monthly club EARLY, 6:26am on Saturday, 8/8/20, on a clear day that warmed up quickly. The course was pretty wet to start with but dried out on the back nine. COVID protections in place with masks near clubhouse, outside food service only, limited people in the shop at one time, and the starter gives you a cleaned pen to sign in!

Course is in good summer shape right now – greens are pretty lush, held shots and rolled well at medium+ speed. Tees were level and fine. Sand had been machine groomed and it looked like it was adequate to play from, although pretty damp. Fairways/rough were a little less consistent – most fairways were fine and lies were good, but there are many scattered areas of differing grasses or pretty much bare. Some rough areas are mushy wet and/or have some tall grass scattered about.

Didn’t get there in time to hit balls. Putting green open but no pins in the cups. No ranger; snack bar on #7 tee open. No water available on the course. Single carts were available for no additional fee if you wanted one.

Our club plays here every August and conditions now are good compared to many previous years. I see the course is managed by JC Golf now. Almost no wind today, which really makes for a different feel than many years in the past – makes a big difference in club selection and strategy. That darn kikuyu will get you, though. Groomed tight it can be very playable (see Black Gold GC), but in many places here the course lets it grow lush and deep and it just feather-pillows the ball when you hit into it.

Played with an internet golf club on Saturday afternoon, 8/1/2020, on a warm breezy day. Both CMCC tees were busy but we went off pretty much on time, and played at a steady pace in just over 4 hours.

I hadn’t played Mesa Linda in almost 40 years and only vaguely remembered anything about it. I knew it was short, but what I didn’t expect were the tiny, oddly-shaped greens, many with a LOT of slopes and movement. Some of the greens made little sense – one was #1, the 1-hcp hole (440 yards, DL-right with trees right, into the wind) with a small pedestal green, false front, and awkward slopes. The most ridiculous green was #14, a straight par-5 – the green was about 8 paces wide and 40 yards deep, and rolling like ocean waves. All kikuyu everywhere, but it was fairly short and playable, unless you got into a bare area or a bushy area near a sprinkler head. We did see what we thought were a couple of areas spray-painted green – maybe a fertilizer mixture. Sand traps had plenty of sand, although they weren’t recently groomed so the sand was fairly compacted. Greens were pretty receptive and rolled well at medium+ speed. We saw a few scattered bare spots on the greens and MANY MANY old ballmarks. Tees are sent up wide so it’s never hard to find a good spot.

Saw the cart girl a couple times, but no ranger. Snack bar was closed by the time we finished. Pay for golf at the shop window but you could also go in and look at merchandise. Single carts were available. OK for a casual round.
Played just after noon on Saturday, 7/18/20, in the GK Cup 15 final match with kassper7, JohnnyGK, and HmtGolfGuy. Hot, breezy, and sunny weather and the course was in very good condition. I hadn’t played here since a GK event in May 2016, so I didn’t remember many details of the course. There are many opportunities here to lose balls or play from hazards/rough ground if you are offline here, especially but not exclusively on the back nine. The terrain here, again mostly on the back nine, is difficult for my limited mobility with many steep sideslopes and walks up and down slopes to get to tees, greens, and errant shots.

Greens were the best part of the course, with very god coverage and rolling smoothly at medium+ speeds. They were mostly pretty receptive, although I got a couple of hard ‘skip’ bounces when I came in a little low and hot. The 6-location pin wheel setup used for flag placements seems to result in the pins frequently being pushed well toward the edges of the green, rather than more centered. This was especially problematic when approaching elevated plateau greens with left- or right-front pin positions!

Fairways generally had good coverage and gave good lies. Rough could be very short and playable or deeper and soft. The course in some rough areas has allowed the kikuyu to grow deep and soft - hitting into these areas, whether along fairways or around greenside slopes, quickly kills any roll and can result in soft, awkward stances. I wasn’t in any of the bunkers but other players appeared to have adequate conditions. Tees were mostly level – I remember only #15 (White) sloping to the rear of a right-handed golfer; par-3 tees, however, were pretty torn up.

I enjoyed the course but it’s a long drive from South OC, and the terrain makes it difficult for me. I saw a couple of younger players walking the course and I just had to shake my head. I do recommend the course for others to play, however.
Wanted to get some swings in before the GK Cup final this weekend, so I met a high-school classmate at Talega on Wednesday, 7/15/20, at 2:48pm on a sunny, warm breezy afternoon. Joined by a local twosome of buddies. Check-in was at arm’s length – masks worn, use the bag drop, putting green closed, pay at a table outside the pro shop, and get your cart 10 minutes before your time. But we went off on time, playing from the White tees (6,187/69.2/123). We cruised through the front nine with no one in front or behind, but backed up behind a slow foursome after #13, finishing in about 4.5 hr.

The course was in pretty good condition, although it looks scruffy around the edges. Greens had good coverage but were only medium speed and bumpy and grainy at the end of the day, really showing footprints. Most still showed aftereffects of recent verticutting. They were receptive to shots, and we saw many unfixed ballmarks. Fairway lies were generally good, some thinner than others. Rough was more variable, ranging from lush to dry, bare to clumpy, carpet to doormat. Sand was adequate but usually hard-packed with footprints – however, this was a vast improvement from some of the bunker horrors I’ve seen here over the past few years. Tees were OK with only a couple sloping. There are quite a few newly-sodded areas around the course, indicating that the course is working on improving conditions.

I like the layout here and we had a pleasant round. Recommended, although $60 on a weekday afternoon just before 3pm is a little steep. The single cart was appreciated, though.
Played GKer rat-patrol at Enagic GC in our GK Cup 15 semifinal match on Wednesday, 7/8/20, at 1:45 pm. Joined by GKer rudyclub on a sunny warm day with a steady breeze – great golf weather.

I agree with all the points Johnny makes in his detailed review. My first time here, and most of the things I had heard about Enagic (nee Eastlake CC) were not very good, but apparently 18 months ago the course changed hands and the new owner is determined to make it a sought-after tee time. I found the course to be pretty standard Ted Robinson, in good condition, with fairly generous hitting areas within the development and smallish greens with a lot of bunkers and mounding. The upgrade is adding length and expanding some of the smaller greens. The main interest for me was the lay of the land, on the Otay Mesa with homes on the ridgetops and the course playing through the intervening arroyos, so there’s some interesting elevation changes and angles.

Carts are new, the GPS is solid, and we saw the cart person several times on a Wedneday afternoon. Friendly staff and a good value for SD County residents – it’s a long hump and a steep price for OCers so I wouldn’t normally make that drive, but was happy to do it so I could get with other GKers and play a well-conditioned and fun layout.

Well, I’m pretty sure I’m about done with Hidden Valley. When I played here on New Year’s Day with caligolfer1031 I commented on the severe slopes around the course and my concern about my mobility being able to deal with them. None of those things have changed – I was drawn back because I had a Costco certificate for HV (that I couldn’t use on NYD) and I certainly couldn’t let that get away (dummy!). I was joined by GKer sr714 for my final GK Cup 15 match, and GKer DeepSea14 joined us for a match with sr714. We had a sunny, warm and blustery afternoon at 12pm on Saturday, 6/27/20.

My unhappiness started early when HV told us that we could not take single carts, unlike every other course I’ve played over the past 2 months during this pandemic and with the rising COVID caseload in CA. I’m in a high-risk age group, but it was $20 extra for a single cart – VERY disappointing! No starter at the tee but we got off pretty much on time.

The first hole is brutal to start the round and sets the pace for the rest of the day. A couple years ago I was in a group that lost 8 balls on the hole – the group behind us must have been dreading the rest of the day. Starting with the first hole and continuing, fairway lies were spotty and inconsistent, and rough could be bare, bushy, or almost non-existent. I wasn’t in any traps, but playing partners complained and most traps looked like lightly groomed dirt. Sr714 had to drop from casual water in a greenside bunker on #16. Tees were very poor – almost all were torn up (we played White) and some were severely sloping to the rear of a right-handed golfer.

Greens for the most part were OK and the best part of the course. Generally good coverage and they held shots and rolled well. With the recent changes due to the pandemic it appears the course has slowed the greens down from what historically has been terrifying speed when going downhill – the green were much more puttable today, although downhill putts still required care.

The carts were pretty basic but did have a good GPS unit, which is useful with many of the blind shots encountered. But my cart had a problem with brakes – the emergency brake was hard to set, and even when set the cart would inch forward/backward on the steeper parking slopes, to the point where I just had to let it roll up against a curb before exiting.

As I said, the extreme slopes here all over the course are hard on my legs, and the resulting overall mode for me is stressful. I think I’ll pass on HV in the future – hopefully the course can address the conditioning and other issues going forward.
Back to one of my favorite courses in the OC for a Guru round with Johnny and others. Played a GK Cup match with Johnny and were joined by gary00 and aakes90278 – thanks to Gary and Michael for an enjoyable round. Based on other GK reviews, we might have been holding up the GK group behind us with our pace – sorry about that, guys! Sunny, warm weather with a little bit of breeze made for a pleasant afternoon.

As others noted, course conditions were good – greens were slowed down just a touch from some other previous visits where downhill putts could be terrifying. But I thought they rolled great and held shots well. Fairway lies were good and rough was not too deep to lose balls or be impossible to recover from. I was in 3 bunkers and sand was a little damp but easily playable, with problems only in areas that had a lot of earlier play (footprints).Tees were no problem.

We played White and tee markers were pushed to the front of many boxes, so it’s likely we came in under the 6.000+ yards listed on the card. A couple of strategic bunkers have been removed, including the fairway bunker in the middle of #14. GPS was good – an earlier review said they had been removed, but cart guy told me only some units had been removed to repair wiring. New carts scheduled to be delivered in July – we’ll see if the GPS units remain – they are very useful here.

Always a great day with other GKers, and BG is a favored stop. Recommended.
After multiple and ongoing tries to arrange a GK Cup match (various frustrations with weekend only; I’m out of town that weekend; I already committed to my Men’s Club) I went out to Goose Creek as a solo on Friday, 6/5 at 1:27pm for $60. The weather lately is so strange – Wednesday 6/3 was in the low 90s here, but by Friday afternoon it was high 60s, scattered rain (IN JUNE!!) and blustery winds in the 1-2 club range. I was matched with a walking single and we were caught on the 7th tee (#16 – they started everyone on #10) by an amiable 2-some, and we enjoyed a casual round in 4+ hours.

I don’t think I’ve ever encountered bad conditions at Goose in 20 years playing here, and today was no exception. Greens looked great, held shots, and rolled at medium+ speed. Fairway lies were great. Rough around fairways was pretty short and playable. Only one tee was obviously sloped – we played IV (Blue). [Don't get me started on tee 'numbering'!] I wasn’t in a bunker.

No water on-course but we saw the cart girl 2-3 times. Bathrooms are open. Marshall was monitoring play and filling divots (HOMBRE!). Pro shop open. Range and putting green now open, but chipping green was closed today. You can remove the flag from the inverted cup, but the big center post/flag ring will repel your ball if you come in too hot. Does that count as 'in'?

Goose is always recommended.
Met GKer gary00 at one of my favorite SoCal venues for a Cup 15 match, joined by GKer rat-patrol also playing Gary. Other reviews spot on with good course conditions coming out of the lockdown. Good lies in fairways, greens receptive and rolling well, but wish we could do something about the traps. Often wet, or ungroomed, or devastated by footprints. We played ‘smooth and place’ in the traps (course also suggested GUR), so no problem, but golf is hazards and hopefully this will be addressed soon. Fun round in great weather with great company; $40 at noon weekday incl. cart is a great deal for this course.
First time back out since the virus shutdown. I wanted to play local and Tijeras Creek was the only course I could find that would let you book a single online. For singles, Arroyo Trabuco wants you to just show up and wait in the lot to see if a spot opens, and Talega makes you call. TC was crazy expensive ($88) at 3:42pm on Monday, 5/18/20, but I wanted to get out. The game was pretty ugly after 11 weeks off, but at least the front nine here gives you a chance to work out some of the kinks without too much damage.

I was paired with a family group of father and 2 sons, one of whom is a member of the golf team at St. Margaret’s in SJC. They were pleasant to play with but not talkative and all very deliberate, so we were pushed hard the entire round by the quicker foursome behind us, but for the most part we were in position, and finished in just under 4 hours.

All the virus protections were evident – golf shop closed with check-in at the entry door, calls to carts 10 minutes ahead of your tee time, well-spaced times, range open with distancing [range NOT!! included with green fee!), foam ring in the cups, no water/sand refills/rakes. At least they had the bathrooms open, and we saw a cart girl a couple times.

Greens were in good shape with complete coverage, soft and a little bumpy and rolling at medium speed. I was disappointed to see quite a few unrepaired ballmarks on most greens. Fairways had good coverage and were mostly fine, but some areas are drier/thinner. Rough was maintained but we’d had some showers the previous night and that morning and it was wet and ate the ball up quickly. Sand was pretty wet but adequate to play from. Tees were generally in good shape.

Course uses entry and exit gate areas for carts to manage damage to turf. No GPS but plates in the COF at 100/150/200 and some sprinkler heads are marked. Overall well-maintained conditions but I seemed to find every overly bushy/bad spot – poor shots result in poor lies, I guess! Only one hole was path only – hole #6, which always seems to be in that condition. The Blue and White tees were pushed forward one box on most holes – I wound up playing the White plates, which most often corresponded to placement of the Blue markers.

Recommended, but hopefully you can get a better rate.
I waited a couple days to post this – I’m trying to get over my thought that I may be through with SDCGC after last Saturday, 3/7/20. Played with my monthly club at 9am on a cloudy, breezy day that surprisingly cleared up and was mildly warm by noon. Since almost every course in SoCal is dealing with the realities of a dry winter (firm dormant turf, dry conditions), you can virtually count on dry turf and firm greens. The rub (for me, at least) with advancing age and various inconvenient medical issues, the more slopey courses built against the foothills become problematic in terms of my being able to navigate the physical challenges and stay focused on the shot execution.

Many holes at SDCGC offer narrow aspects off the tee and make the golfer really think about where to place the ball. With the course being not overly long and with current turf conditions driver is not always required, and good placement of shots is often preferable to sheer length. That said, there are factors here at SDCGC that really impact playability – many holes have significant tree issues in terms of narrowing landing areas and restricting lines off the tee; and, MOST of the teeboxes (we played White) are BADLY sloped or domed. Boxes had been punched but that really didn’t present a problem – the main issue was the severe sloping, behind a right-handed golfer, that affected my ability to shape the required shots (as much of the trouble here is along the left side of many holes) and avoid tree trouble. And this wasn’t just minor sloping, but severe sloping. Even across the box and within 2 club lengths from the markers a good spot could not be found.

Greens were very firm and showed only small ballmarks. They had very good coverage and rolled mostly smoothly at medium-fast speeds, and you had to be aware of where the foothills were and watch the downhill rollouts. Many pin positions had some serious breaks right around the hole locations, frustrating our entire group. Fairways and rough were thin and dry, and frequently patchy/clumpy/bare. Rough was dry and bumpy - travelling over many rough areas in the cart was teeth-rattling. We played lift/clean/place so I didn’t rate the course. Sand was in great shape in all bunkers I was in or saw partners in. Tees – see above.

Carts have a ProLink Solutions GPS but the screen was too dark to be very useful; two of the carts parked together showed a 9-yard difference to the same pin position. GPS has 10 buttons but only 3 are labelled for use, so who knows what features we might have missed (approach view; menu to report problems; etc.). Hole 14 is so stupid (layup off tee short of the pond, then long iron/hybrid into the wind) that players were bombing drives into 15th fairway and then playing back to the 14th green– it reminds me of Hidden Valley #12 (tee a 5-iron short of the ravine, then hit 5-iron to the green).

Many distractions today, which is likely a combination of course conditions and lack of concentration due to my advancing age – harder to focus. It was windy and we had a mix of people in our group who preferred the flag in or flag out while putting, so there was a lot of moving the flag back and forth while we all missed short putts. Directly behind us we had the noisiest group on the course, who also hit into us, drove next to greens, and was yelling at us to hurry on #16 (we were in position). Public golf!

I’m trying to decide if SDCGC is just too slopey and quirky for my taste, aside from fighting the poor conditions. We’ll see.
Joined the GK Gurus at Eagle Glen at 11am on a warm, sunny, breezy Wednesday, 2/26/20. Also played a GK Cup 15 match with Nickesquire. Overall conditions are pretty good right now, although everything is pretty dry. Greens are very firm and barely show ballmarks, although we saw occasional old unrepaired marks. Greens on the front looked like they had been cut closer than those on the back, but all rolled well at medium-fast speeds, and you really had to be careful on the downhill, downcanyon putts. Fairways were patchy and all lies were pretty tight on the dormant grasses. Rough was either cut very short, was bare/sandy, or lush and wild. Tees were firm but level. I was in one greenside bunker (#15) with very good sand.

Check-in was easy and starter was on top of things. Saw a marshal several times and the cart girl at least 3 times. Carts include GPS and an ice chest. GPS is nice and interactive, and gives hole location, but after hole 2 the hole locations on the GPS were wrong. Also, our unit froze on hole 12 and would not reset. Maintenance staff was out working but very courteous in terms of pausing for players to get through. Very good club sandwich in the grille.

As an older golfer with a bad left knee, I was disappointed in that quite a few holes or fairway areas were roped off and played as Path-Only, when conditions did not seem to warrant that approach. The hilly terrain at EG can make for some tiring walking under these marking conditions.

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