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This is not a destination course in the region such as the likes of Hunter Ranch or Monarch Dunes. It has a municipal look and feel, and probably serves the locals just fine (especially those with a house bordering the course whose yard you will probably end up spraying at least once.) In terms of conditions and layout it is okay to decent. The fairways have a lot of brown spots with no rough to speak of. The greens were great, however. I could not tell what the speed was because of early morning dew. The layout is sometimes confusing with 2 pairs of parallel holes right next to each other (no. 8 & 13 and no. 9 & 18) with nothing separating them going in the same direction. Locals and persons with reasonable intelligence will know and figure out to where to hit. I had trouble, however, hitting to the wrong par 3 at #8 and driving into the wrong fairway at #9. There is no map on the card and no warning from the clubhouse and, most baffling and annoying, no signs or tee markers on the tee box. I guess they’re rugged individualists up here and if you can’t figure out what hole you’re on, it’s your own dang fault. See the ‘tips’ section of this page on where to aim.

Also let’s talk about blind hazards. This course is pretty flat and unless your have local knowledge or are exceptionally tall, you might miss the water hazard left of the green on the long par 3, #6, say, or the water hazard left of the green on the par 5, 1st. See ‘tips’ section for location of hazards. You are greeted at the turn with a monster par 4, 10th that is a blind tee shot with houses, of course, bordering left and right downhill to a small shallow green nicely tucked into surrounding hazard, houses and road. My approach shot went right (trying to avoid nasty looking hazard on the left) and ended up 5’ from the front porch of someone’s house. No exaggeration. No bordering fence, landscaping—nothing. Just my golf ball in the dirt, 5’ from the railing.

A note about the length of the course. Don’t be fooled by the 6165 yardage from the tips. There are 3 par 3’s on the front nine and only 1 par 5 on the back nine. If you like golf holes with big, honking trees in the middle of the fairway you won’t be disappointed with #3. I didn’t think until now to hit this tree with my laser finder for a distance. (Which I would’ve happily put in the ‘tips’ section!) I think I teed off with a 4-iron less than 200 yards and I was behind it and then hit a driver from the fairway to stay under it for my second shot. Luckily, it’s a par 5 so there are 2 shots to get past the tree and then the approach is up to you.

I think that unless you are an ACCURATE driver of the ball, you should approach this course with caution. All but three of the holes are bordered with houses. See the pictures for the par 4, 5th to get a sense of what you might be going up against. Seldom on this course did I feel I could relax and just let it fly. It was more like pucker up and make the most restrictive swing I could and still be able to hit the ball. I read one review online that referred to this course as a hidden gem. I wouldn’t go that far. It certainly was not a bad golfing experience ($36 on a weekday morning with a cart,) just one that I would not drive out of my way for. It looks like it serves the locals just fine, however—especially with the very good greens. If I lived nearby, knew many of the neighbors through whose windows I was going to be sending golf balls and didn’t have a lot of money, but a lot of time, I’d probably play this course a lot.

Paso Robles Golf Club Review
Central California Golf Course Reviews
Course is in distress. There are bare and patched areas on just about every fairway. Same with the greens. This diminishes from Wolf Creek’s high-end feel. I got my early August tee time several weeks in advance and paid $55. If I had to pay their peak season rack rate of $175-$195, I wouldn’t think it was worth it. This isn’t from neglect from the owners. An employee at another course in the area told me that a little while ago when it was really hot, (118 degrees is considered REALLY hot in Mesquite) Wolf Creek lost its water for a week. That was enough to cause the damage that I saw, and so it wouldn’t be fair to give this course a low rating. The course isn’t completely destroyed. It’s just that if and when you hit the precious landing areas and greens, you will look around and see these areas of destruction, and they did distract from the epic golf experience that Wolf Creek normally is.

According to this website, they plan to close the course and overseed next month. Hopefully that will help in returning this course back to its excellent condition. If it doesn’t, I don’t see how they will be able to charge their usual peak season rates. Golfers will still come as well they should. Wolf Creek even in this damaged condition is better than most other courses, and the layout and challenge are still the same. It is my hope that this course will recover.

Wolf Creek Golf Club Course Review
Mesquite Nevada Golf Course Reviews
This course winds through the housing development on the same property as the hotel. There are houses bordering all but the final 2 holes and thus is tighter than the Ocean course. It is also longer and more highly rated, 75.2 for back tees and 73.4 for the blues. Most of the holes have a more traditional, country club feel. I tended to forget I was near the ocean and felt I was playing an old William P. Bell layout here in Southern California. I also concentrated very hard on not spraying the nice houses with my shots.

The conditions were near pristine—no exaggeration. I think this course gets less play than the ocean course so there were less divot marks in the lush fairways. The sand was consistent and the rough was more punishing than that on the Ocean course but you could still find your ball and hit from it. The putting surfaces were unblemished with medium fast to fast greens on which the ball rolled true. The layout has a number of blind dog legs and tee shots that require you to work the ball more than the Ocean course. Despite this, I found that I didn’t end up in the trees (or houses) bordering the fairways often. I readily attribute this to the generosity of the width of the fairways rather to any skill on my part. Any reasonably hit drive will probably leave you with a viable approach. Pin placement then becomes the key which ranged from easy to difficult (but never ridiculously difficult, I thought.)

I’m sure other reviewers have mentioned the final 2 holes are a departure being right on the ocean and incredibly scenic. The par 4, 18th is as dramatic as any, I think, that you’ll find on the coast. From an elevated tee, the approach rises back up to an elevated green. Unless you’re a long, consistent hitter, consider leaving the driver in the bag because there is trouble at the end of the fairway, and you probably wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself in front of anyone watching from the patio.

At less than 40% the cost of Pebble Beach, I think these courses are a much better value.

Half Moon Bay Golf Links Course Review
Northern California Golf Course Reviews
Played as part of a golf package with the Ritz Carlton. Course conditions were nearly perfect. I really liked the layout, which was fun and fair and not difficult but did present a few challenges mainly in the form of the wind coming off the ocean, but that’s not unexpected and can be compensated for. There are several blind tee shots, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble with a decent hit. Small number of divots in the fairways, which were otherwise pristine. Greens as well—medium fast to fast with no ball marks. Very true but tricky breaks. I don’t know what species of grass they are but it’s a tough one, ball marks were hard to fix. Bunkers were somewhat inconsistent ranging from okay to a bit fluffy. Areas around the green are well-shaved giving you a lot of options for chipping. Stray too far though and you’re in the really thick stuff and it will be bad. Rough was cut mercifully low making it easy to find your ball and hit from. Maybe that helps compensate for the ocean winds (‘breeze’ is too kind a word.) This does not refer to the fescue. Land in that and kiss your ball goodbye. If you find it, it’s just about impossible to hit from.

The only major complaint is with the maintenance schedule. Had the first tee time on a weekday and I was directly behind the grounds crew for most of the round. These guys must keep bankers’ hours. I was waiting on some holes in the fairway to hit my approach for 5+ minutes while the guy was hand-watering the green. On a lot of courses this is not a problem; they send grounds crew out early. At one point, I was waiting in the 13th fairway for the guy to finish watering the green; it was 9 am! Really?

The “Legends” package offered by the Ritz Carlton got me 1 night at the hotel and unlimited golf for $575 + tax and fees. It came out to $671. The unlimited golf starts at 2 pm on the day of your arrival and ends at 7 pm the next day. I was able to comfortably get in 3 rounds of golf. Assuming the hotel room is $395, it works out to 60 bucks a round. If you time it right and have the fortitude to play 3 rounds in one day you could get in 4 rounds. The staff was excellent and accommodating. Staying at the hotel was a treat. I recommend the organic chicken in the hotel’s Conservatory Lounge and the spicy black bean chili at Mulligan’s.

Half Moon Bay Golf Links Review
San Jose California Golf Course Reviews
Course is in very good shape except for thin sand in some of the bunkers. Fairways are in excellent shape. Lush with virtually no damage. Greens are also in great shape--medium to fast and rolling true. Missed putts are on you. Tee boxes are in okay shape. Some damage from divot holes that needs to heal on most of them.

For those who haven’t played this course, I find it to be an unsung, challenging layout. The first 2 holes are like a warm up and then it’s a potentially very vexing round if your tee shot is not placed in the right position. It will take playing more than once to figure out where you should be hitting to; and then coming back again and again (for me, at least) there is that challenge of playing each of the holes the way it should be played. This is seen starting with the uphill 3rd hole with rough and sand to the right and trees to the left, which will block your approach if you end up too far on the left side of the fairway. There are 2 par 4’s on the front nine (5 & 7) that require blind tee shots over hills. There are 2 par 5’s (8 & 11) with severely right sloping fairways that even with the best non-drawn tee shot will most likely leave you in the “gathering place” at the bottom of the slope with a conveniently located trap (on the 8th). I saw the entire foursome in front of us in that area plus a couple of golfers playing the neighboring 1st hole joining them. It looked like a small convention. The par 3’s are all challenging, but especially the 213-yard 13th. I’m hard-pressed to think of a more difficult par-3. It moves to the right where from the back tees you’re hitting over a ravine to an elevated green with o.b. nearby the green to the left. Good luck. On this day (with little wind) I hit a solid, straight 3-metal and ended up on the back fringe of the green. I would say, put your ego away and hit whatever you need to make it.

This course is a very inexpensive and underrated challenge in very good condition right now. Enjoy.

Mountain Meadows Golf Course Review
Pomona California Golf Course Reviews
El Prado is the poor man’s Goose Creek. The Chino Creek layout is more distinctive than the Butterfield Stage course, which basically crisscrosses a gully over and over. It’s more challenging and the holes have a bit more character as evidenced by the signature 7th par 3. With a $23 weekday walking price it’s almost half Goose Creek’s rack rate and less than half on Fridays. (For the record, though, I am a great fan of Goose Creek.) For $23 I got a course in very good condition. The fairways were lush with nary a damaged area. Perhaps that is, sadly, because the course does not get that much play. All of the courses I have been playing in the past few weeks have had mostly brown dormant fairways. This is not the case with Chino Creek. The greens were in good shape playing medium (to slow in the dampened conditions.) The rough was short and in good shape but not that punishing. The tee boxes where in fair condition, nothing to complain about .The sand could not be evaluated—not because I didn’t end up in it, I did. It was because I played a day after heavy rains and they had not received any maintenance.

Speaking of rains, I found out that El Prado lies in a flood plain. As a result of the previous day’s rains, the courses were flooded to the point where I had to start on the back nine after arriving at 8:20 am because the front 9 had flooding issues. That should be kept in mind if you are planning to come out here during/after wet weather.

El Prado Golf Course Review
Chino California Golf Course Reviews
Aside from a few minor issues, there is nothing wrong with this course. Some of the reviews led me to believe that this was an overpriced goat tract. Far from it. Though I would rank other courses in the area higher (Redhawk & the SCGA course), the layout and conditions are okay for the money and I would play it again.

The greens were in very good condition, but slow. Two exceptions were #’s 5&10, which had a few bare spots. They were consistent (but SLOW) and rolled pretty true. The fairways were in good condition with areas of maintenance sprinkled throughout (which, along with the slushy areas just watered indicates to me that they are trying.) The layout is reasonably interesting and mostly fair with a few blind shots but no real unpleasant surprises.

The couple of issues I had were:

-Tee boxes were in bad shape. A lot of damage and uneveness. (Just a note for those who care about tee boxes)

- The facilities are pretty bare. The pro shop had only a few shirts and minimum accessories. Make sure you don’t need anything before coming here.

- No snack bar to speak of. The pro shop had a refrigerator with a few drinks. If you want something at the turn, you have to go into the restaurant and order it.

-Nonworking water fountains. Between the 15th and 16th holes, the fountain by the restrooms was inoperative as well as the one near the pro shop. There are adequate water stations on the course, but still, they should fix those.

Please note, the 18th green is quite tiered. You DEFENITELY want to be on the level where the pin is located or your putt will be of the circus variety.
Played this tract just after playing the Lakes and I found the conditions to be better and more consistent. The greens were very slow, however, which was a contrast to the surprisingly quick greens of the Lakes. Those 3 and 4 foot tap ins that required just a “tap” on the Lakes’ greens just died on Ivanhoe’s greens. The fairways and tee boxes were in better than average condition. The rough was still pretty much non existent.

As a bit of a warning, errant shots into the areas between holes seemed to disappear. Lost several balls that I kept a line on in these spaces. Well-placed trees will frustrate errant shots that you are able to find. Overall layout, interest and challenge are still muni standard. A couple of the holes have fairways that drop off severely so that a missed drive will leave you with a recovery shot that’s several meters below sea level

There is a turn after the front nine with access to the snack shop. Got a certificate for a free hot dog, which wasn’t bad. I think that these two courses are great for locals—probably pretty cheap and accessible for the area. Not a destination course, though. But not a bad day of golf either.
I really like playing this course. If you do as well, get ready for the rate increases. It’s really slick what the city is doing. It’s designating Rancho Park and Wilson “premium” courses (and I can’t stress the quotes enough) and those will be more expensive to play than the city’s other “non-premium” courses. Check the courses and city’s website for the complete breakdown. Rancho and Wilson will now be $33 for a weekday round while the rest of the city’s courses will only go up to $30. I guess if there’s a group that cash-strapped governments can conveniently exploit, it’s us golfers.

The course itself is in its very good muni condition—the greens especially. Though I noted 1 or 2 inconsistent greens they were all in fantastic shape and rolling medium fast to fast, but holding shots very well for the most part. Some of the fairways looked in well-maintained country club condition. You should expect a lot of unrepaired divots as there are a lot of walkers, but I found the fairways to be excellent to hit from all day. I can tell they’re trying with the rough; it wasn’t very high but it was punishing enough that if your ball is heading towards it, keep a good line on it because it might be hard to find. The traps were in pretty good condition. The tee boxes needed help however. Lots of damage, but since you can use tees, I’ve never cared that much about their condition.

With my 7:30 tee time, my round was about 4:40. From my and others’ experiences, that’s probably not too bad for this course. Very nice day except for one down note. Got to the snack shack after the 11th hole a little before 10:30 and the hot dogs were not ready yet. A lot of microwaving of the dog and the bun. Hastily ate a burning hot dog before the difficult par 3 (and ALL of the par 3’s on this course are difficult) and that is what I am blaming my poor tee shot and subsequent triple bogey on.
Played on a Wednesday morning. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) the course was pretty empty. This has always been my favorite course in the So Cal because of its affordability, interesting and challenging holes, usually very good conditions and accessibility. I miss the ‘old course’ layout, which is modified by the addition of 4 new holes and some re-routing. The new holes are still growing in as their fairways are thin. Their greens are in good shape, however, and I think they did a decent job integrating the four new holes with the old layout.

The conditions on the old holes was pretty good. The greens were in very good shape and rolling medium fast to fast. The sand was a bit inconsistent. I found 1 or 2 traps to be a tad thin, a couple of others nice and fluffy. The fairways were generally lush—they could use some mowing. Your drive will probably not roll. The tee boxes were in very good condition. No real rough to speak of. There are some areas of work being done on the course, but nothing that will detract from normal play.

The service in the pro shop was friendly and efficient. $31 to walk prime weekday, which makes this a bargain for me. Don’t mind the drive at all and the atmosphere once I’m there with a great practice range and grass seemingly everywhere added to a fair and excellent test of golf makes this well worth the trip.
Played on a Wednesday morning. Overall, place is in excellent condition. And very pleasantly, management and staff are on top of things. That may sound like a bit of a strange compliment, but I’ve been to a number of courses where after walking on as a single, I was basically handed a receipt and pointed to the first tee. These guys had a handle on things, I knew when and with whom I was going out and received audible and clear warnings over the p.a. system at the appointed times by someone with a reasonable and professional command of English who made an effort to annunciate everyone’s names (visit La Mirada to experience the antithesis of all of this.)

One bit of a sticking point (which will heal) was the greens. I don’t know how long ago they were punched, but traces were still present. It seems they punched the back nine first, because those were in the best condition—I got several really true rolls. My first few putts on the front, however, were a bit sketchy. They rolled okay without noticeable bumps, but the aeration holes are there and that may throw you off a bit.

Course is otherwise in excellent condition. Fairways are in country club (well-maintained)/high-end (well-maintained) shape. Very minor bare spots and dying grass on just a couple of holes. The rough is some of the best I have ever seen. It has a very defined border at about 1-3” thickness. Fortunately, I mostly avoided the traps, but they were in good condition. Not the fluffiest sand, but far from hardpan.

Very good outing especially as it wasn’t that hot and there were no cows visible in the nearby dairy operation. $37 to walk prime rate. Have fun on the long par 5 17th if the wind is blowing in your face and with the large tree in the right center of the fairway, which will attract your ball like flies to the above mentioned cows.
Played on a weekday afternoon at a vastly reduced rate. This has always been one of my favorite courses and I wanted to see how it has fared in the light of some recent bad reviews. Sorry to say that many nagging maintenance problems still persist. First I should mention that nearly all of the holes had ‘cart path only’ signs on them. This was neither mentioned in the clubhouse nor enforced on the course. Second, the greens still had sand on them. They were puttable, however, rolling medium to medium slow. On a couple of good notes: the teeboxes were in great shape as was the sand (as far as I could tell).

At least half of the fairways had damage/bare spots. This ranged from spotty damage to a couple of instances of large patches being bare or in the process of re-sodded. For instance, on #2 about 100 yards out there is a large area of damage near the sand trap. That being said, the fairways were, otherwise, in good condition. Although I didn’t encounter hardpan, they were firm, but reasonably lush and I never had a bad lie (avoiding the damaged areas).

The greens had a very similar story. There was damage on about 1/2 of them always around the perimeter. The damage varied from a spot or two to several areas of damage. Most notably on the 18th green there is very serious damage on the perimeter of most of the green especially in the back where my approach shot ended up. I wrote a review a year ago highlighting a lot of these same problems. I know nothing about grounds keeping, and I wonder how hard it is to fix bare spots on greens and fairways. Is it a question of money or fighting a battle (losing in this case) against nature?

The facility was pretty empty, which was kind of sad for a course of this caliber. It bills itself as “pristine golf”, but I would characterize it as a great tract with a lot of ugly little scars that refuse to heal. I no longer consider Cross Creek a destination course although it still has inherently more than enough interest and challenge for any level of golfer and an ‘away from it all’ feel in its location and atmosphere. If I were a local I would probably play it a lot, but I would characterize my enthusiasm for making the trip down from LA to play this course on anything other than a very occasional basis as subdued.
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