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Went out walking as a single yesterday, late Sunday afternoon around 4:45 to a pretty open course. I was last here in early September and conditions are very similar to my last visit — surprisingly. After my recent negative experience at Altadena, Eaton's sister course, I was wondering if Eaton had fallen into a similar level of disrepair. It hasn't. As before, Eaton was greener in the key areas than I thought it would be. While always rough around the edges, this course looked good by comparison. Many holes do have bare, hard areas from in front of the tee boxes leading out to the start of the fairway, usually 50 to 100 yards — generally not landing areas. Fairways can get lumpy in spots. The tee boxes generally had coverage and a level spot to tee it up. The rough is a mixed bag from hard pan to thicker grass. Avoided the bunkers so no comment. Greens were pretty decent — receptive and running at a medium pace. GK has an aeration alert for 10/5 and 10/6 and I saw no indications of any aeration having taken place. Whether that will happen, I have no idea.

This is a course that doesn't merit a special trip and is best for a discount casual or practice round. While the conditions are always far from pristine, it does have interesting layout, views, and enough green to get around. If you overlaid the conditions of a course like Roosevelt on to this layout, it would be a gem of a nine-holes.
Our threesome plus a single got out on time for a 10:20 tee off Friday, 10/9 on an overcast, but surprisingly humid morning. Overall conditions were pretty good as far as general playability, but several commented that the course could be in better shape overall. A bit of the wear and tear one probably expects from a heavily trafficked muni, I had no serious issues with it. Teeing grounds were generally level with appropriate coverage. Fairways served well, some had their share of browned, drier patches more than others, but I don't recall having issues with my fairway lies. Rough varied and there were thinner and dirt areas in the mix which is not uncommon, but in the extensive areas where it was grown in, the rough was usually not overly punitive and offered decent lies. I never hit a bunker so I can't comment there. The areas surrounding the greens were probably the most notable for inconsistencies in conditioning — mostly fine for chipping, less often thatchy, and occasionally problematical to the point of dirt. The greens were good — pretty clean, soft and receptive, and rolling at a medium quick pace that was surprising, relative to the softness.

This is the second time I've been to Rancho this year, the previous visit was the first time in well over 20 years. I think it is a pretty cool, tree-lined, classic course with a good amount of contour and visual interest to the layout. Having a congenial, easy going group certainly added to the experience. Consistently busy, and probably the most popular reservation in the city system, you have to be on top of your booking game to secure a tee time. That said, I got the benefit of a senior discount, and the current 10-minute spacing of tee times has done a world of good for the historically crappy pace here. We got around in about 4.25 hrs. It did not feel overcrowded out on the course. While a bit out of my way, I appreciate the course much more these days. Warts and all, it's a classic LA golf experience and I recommend it.
Went out Friday 9/18 as a two-some. I've written some full descriptions, as have others, that are still accurate so I will address the anomalies here. They are doing some maintenance in the form of green punching and letting some tee boxes grow out. The greens look to have been punched with tines leaving small holes I would guess to be about 1/16" with no sign of sanding. Their impact on putting is minimal, if at all, and the greens ran at a nice medium quick speed with a firm surface. The back tee boxes for holes six and eight were roped off so as to grow out and let the grass re-establish itself. Otherwise the conditions were very nice and as previously reported. It was surprisingly mellow for a Friday afternoon. We went off as a two-some following a two-some, who ended up joining the group in front of them and let us play through on the third hole. It was also the first time I've been there and no wait, much less the usual backup, on the sixth hole. While not currently available anyway, I observed the practice greens have been sanded. Nothing going on here that I would say impacts the overall experience and I enjoyed the round. Now you know before you go, but still definitely recommended.
Played in the outing on Sunday and another extended review would be coals to Newcastle at this point. So in summary:

Overall very nice course conditions on an attractively landscaped layout with lots of tee options to make it accessible. Fairways and rough were well groomed and very consistent. Without rakes, the bunkers were cleaner than expected, although my ball managed to find the footprints in one. I foot-smoothed it before replacing and playing my ball. I remember one green with some dirt issues along the edge but that was the exception. The rest were in nice shape and, while I would describe them as medium quick, that seemed slower than probably expected for many — not a difficult adjustment and I enjoyed putting on them.

Thanks to the well organized staff who were friendly and adjusted to traffic/scheduling issues well on the fly. I was lucky to play with Keith, Nick, and Daniel who are all good company. And of course big thanks to Johnny, without whom the community, much less the event, would not even exist.
Got out with a buddy as a twosome 2:00 on Friday in the post-apocalyptic atmosphere caused by the local back country fire — hazy red sun, grey and smokey air, but not quite as bad as up in Altadena, so we forged ahead. Apparently golfers as species aren't picky about oxygen availability because the course was pretty full.

In a nutshell the course is in good shape. Tees mostly level with good coverage, with a few rebuilt ones even nicer. You could occasionally find a thin patch out on the fairways but rarely, as the great majority of them had pretty healthy and well grown in grass. Rough was longer and thicker on average but not too tough. I missed all the bunkers but my buddy didn't and they were hard. After struggling with his first encounter, he thereafter took drops outside the bunkers and played on. Area around the greens was in good shape for short game and the greens themselves were in good shape. They were generally clean, ran a nice, playable, medium-quick pace, and were soft enough take deep pitch marks on incoming shots.

Course was pretty full but moved along at something under 4.5 hrs for the round. The customer service here is on point and friendly and they seem invested in their course. There was an outdoor bar set up near the first tee, food service to take away and outside patio seating. My lungs might disagree with me, but it was an enjoyable round on a well kept little muni.
I hadn't been out here in a while and for this course I don't always report on it, but it is time. I went out to grab some twilight holes a couple of days ago and got through six, which is plenty to accurately tell you that the course is currently a dog track. Some of the fairways may actually be more exposed dirt than playable grass. Really shocking — almost like an abandoned course except mown. I don't know what they are, or are not, doing, but I can't recall it ever being this bad. The area around the greens is generally OK and the greens ran medium to medium quick and were not as bad as the rest of the course but still a little frumpy.

Now I live close enough that I might pay twilight rate to practice— moving my ball onto grassy patches in the fairway. That's a "might" based totally on convenience. For The rest of you, stay away until someone makes a more positive report. Based on what I saw, it will take months to recover, assuming management makes the effort.
I found infrequent and dated reviews of the Tahoe area courses that made it frustrating for me to do the usual GK research in advance of my recent trip, so I'm going to be thorough here. We had a foursome on Tuesday 8/25 with a 10:50 tee time. Covid procedures at the clubhouse and check-in, but the chipping green, range with mats, and putting green sans flags were all open. Nice to have a proper warm up. Some issues with their credit card connection but they worked around it and comp'd my warmup bucket. In general, the service was fine and the employees we interacted with were smiling and in good spirits.

Onto the course conditions which were pretty nice overall. The best compliment I can give about tee boxes is that I mostly didn't think about them all day. There always seemed to be good coverage and the few unlevel were only very minimally so. The fairways were green, well grown in and cut with good rollout. No recall of any dry or thin stretches and the rough was similarly green and well grown in. Sometimes the rough allowed full recovery and sometimes it forced more of a compromise shot to get back to the fairway. The temps up there are not the brutalizing temps we've had around here, so the conditions don't show the accompanying signs of stress. While I managed to stay out of them, the bunkers were on the hard side to the point that the starter suggested taking a free drop out of them if so inclined. The areas around the green were consistently lush, and a bit thicker for pitching than I'm used to seeing, but not punitive and I seemed to have good results to confirm that. The greens were nice, running at a medium quick pace with a reasonably true surface. Most of the greens had contour to them that added challenge and visual interest.

The course is miles from the lake and has no lake views, but pine tree lined fairways and surrounding mountains make for a very scenic setting. I, atypically, had my wife with me and so was riding as opposed to my usual walk and carry mode. The $90 price included the carts and I didn't ask about whether walking was an option or if there was a walking price. I don't recall seeing walkers, so without knowing if it is even an option, the course is pretty flat and would be ideal for walking.

So much for the facts and conditions, which I can't fault. Now for my subjective spin. I can usually come back from a round of golf, visualize each hole and replay just about every shot in my head while I'm laying in bed. For this course, very not so much. The layout has a healthy dose of long straight, usually generous, back and forth fairways. Some soft doglegs thrown in on longer holes, a couple of sharper doglegged, short par fours and a creek that meanders through through the property and occasionally comes into play. I thought the par threes were pretty nice. But the conditions and surroundings are more interesting than the course itself, which is enjoyable enough, but also rather forgettable — in my case literally — in the lack of distinguishing characteristics between many holes. Compared to to-rich-for-my-blood Edgemont up the road at $250 per person, $90 at Lake Tahoe seemed a bargain. In the mid afternoon, the price here drops to about $60 and $50 for twilight. I think the layout value was closer to the $60 than almost a hundred. One of my buddies insisted on the earlier tee time, while I would have felt like I'd gotten a nice experience and a great deal for $60. That said you are in a resort area and there is the expected bump. So, a muni-level layout with very nice conditioning in an amazing setting. Personally, I'd do it again at the lower price. But it is a total experience, people are on holiday, and that scenery definitely counts. Also, because people sometimes don't get to play much golf until they are on a getaway, this layout will be more accommodating to them and more fun. I'm splitting a lot of first-world hairs here. It's a nice course. Because of the mixed abilities in our group, it was actually the perfect layout for us. If you can afford the price go play it and you will enjoy it. Play it for $60 and you'll enjoy it more. Based on my research (but not experience) I suspect there are some more interesting layouts in the greater area in a similar price window or even a little less (I'm looking at you, Toiyabe Golf Club!)
Tough these days to get a tee time on the weekends if you haven't reserved early. So having played 18 at Santa Anita on Friday 8/7 and wanting to get out and reinforce the positives, I opted for late 5:15 Sunday afternoon round at the Arroyo. I hit the range there periodically but hadn't played the course in some time. I wasn't actually up for another full regulation round and I knew I could get around this 18-hole, par-3 course in a couple of hours or so. The other, more practical consideration was that almost no place has short game areas or putting greens open and this was a rare opportunity to focus on those skills.

Reservations are required and they have been pretty busy. Put out as a single, on the first tee I invited the two guys behind me to join me. Yardages range from mid-80's to just under 150 yds. for the longest hole. The conditions hold up pretty well under the circumstances. Tee boxes are mats, so unless you find a little patch of grass off to the side from which to tee off, you get a consistent start since the mats are all level and in decent shape. Otherwise, the course is healthy and green. Even though it's par-3 and the fairways theoretically don't come in to play, for the average skill set out there, they usually do. They are lush and cut so as to be good for playing your approach shots. The rough is good and can be thick in places, and there is a little stream that runs through the middle of the course. There are no bunkers, so that is an area of short game you won't get to exercise, but the area around the greens is healthy and consistent for chipping. The greens are generally small, a little elevated, soft and receptive but surprisingly quick, most with some slope to them and they make for good practice and a nice little challenge.

With the lushness, many trees integrated into the layout, and inherent compactness of a par-3 course, the place really feels like a mini-oasis. The venue also has a miniature putting course and a mats-only regular range, both open. In non-Covid times, there is a putting green and short game green with bunkers and chipping area. While the pace was slow but steady at 2.75 hours, the end always seems to come quickly. It was the perfect, golf-lite, change of pace to finish my weekend.
At my buddy's instigation, went out as a twosome plus a single for a late Friday 4:10 tee time, walking for $23. The recent reviews seemed underwhelming so, while I like SA, I'd been inclined to stay away. Perhaps because I had negative expectations, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. Yes, there are flaws, but the overall experience was good.

Teeing grounds were consistently one of the better aspects, being level and with good, appropriately cut coverage. They are on the larger side, so they have room to move them around. The fairway and rough conditions were both mixed as to consistency. There are definitely some extended patches of dry, thin areas, sometimes to the point of hardpan — some in the fairway but more often not so much in your main target areas. The main areas of fairway I more often found to be in nice shape with a good hitting surface. I definitely had a few shots I had to play off thin coverage or hard ground, but I managed and was generally happy with the lies I was presented otherwise. Was in a couple of bunkers — one rather firm, the other reasonably playable, but I'd guess they are probably more on the firmer side overall. The greenside areas were generally in good shape for executing the short game. The basic condition of the greens was OK, but overlaid with a fair amount of pitch marks late in the day and they ran medium slow. They looked appropriately cut, but putts consistently seemed to put on the brakes in the last quarter off their run. Now, I like greens on the quick side and I know this is a deal breaker for some, but I found them pretty consistent and so think part of the game is calibrating yourself to the conditions. Wouldn't want to play that speed regularly, but for the round I was good with it and no excuses for missed putts. Similarly, the number of pitch marks is ultimately not relevant. Fix the ones in your line properly and get on with it if the greens are otherwise true.

Pace was a tad sluggish but steady and we were probably the second to last group to get off 18 with enough light to finish. Didn't know with our tee time if we would have a chance to finish so I was happy to and considered it a bonus. My report on the conditions might be influenced by me having one of my better rounds, but it also suggests that the conditions were good enough to let me execute a good round. Late in the day was nice and with the views of the mountains, it can be a surprisingly scenic venue. The course is reasonably challenging and with appropriate expectations, quite enjoyable. There is enough contour through the course to make it a good workout. The late day rate I got made it a very good value. Your call.
With a buddy and a single, we went out for a late Friday 4:50 start to see what we could get in. It helped that they let us go early, so actually more like 4:35. Overall conditions were nice. Tee boxes were generally flat with coverage but you had to pick your spots on the more sparsely covered par-3s. Fairways were pretty good overall with the occasional dry or thin patch you will find at this time of year. I had a couple of tight lies close to dirt, but I managed to play them well and was happy with the more general fairway conditions. Rough was mostly green and playable with some variance between more juicy and bare spots — pretty normal. Area around greens was good for chipping and all three of us had reasonable or better success playing out of the bunkers, so they were pretty decently firm, not hard and not overly disheveled. Greens were pretty clean, always with some subtle breaks, and running medium quick — nice to play on.

We had no one in front of us and a line up behind us after the second hole, moving along unhindered until we caught up to the herd at the the 7th. Thereafter it was slower but steady. I had to cut out after 13 and my guess is that the remains of out group would've made it through 16. Since we knew going out that 18 was not assured and probably far from likely, I was OK cutting out but had to leave on a 5-par streak. It was a nice time of day to be on the course and a really pleasant experience while it lasted. No short game or putting open, but the driving range is. Finally, a shout out to the customer service here. They are unfailingly pleasant, seem to care about what they are doing and that you enjoy your experience.
Two buddies and a single joined me for a 2:10 tee off on Saturday, 7.18. I had not been to Encino in many years and was curious to revisit it. The most recent review was positive but a bit dated so I was hoping it would hold up. I actually had my start time wrong and so arrived a couple hours early. Fortunately, the range was open, but every-other-stall. The matts were in good shape and there was grass covering the target area which surprised me because it was pretty much just hard dirt back in the day. I had time to kill, but because of the lack of spaces, there was waiting to get a station. Check-in was smooth and Covid-spaced with no congestion or delay on the first tee. Two of us walked, carts and hand trolleys were available. As to the course, I was not disappointed as conditions were better than any from my recollection. There seems to be a current effort keep this place greener and better maintained. Tees were generally level with good coverage. It is worth noting that the course has length, tees here include a black set and there is a real separation in the tee yardages between all the monuments — consistently more than I'm used to seeing. The fairways had the occasional drier, thinner patch, but these were minor exceptions to an overall nicely green surface that offered good lies and some runout. Rough was mostly green and cut to where it was not overly punitive. Bunkers were not groomed but not bad on average as to playability. The grass around the greens was healthy and appropriately cut, with wider than average fringes and the caveat that it is kikuyu. Greens were pretty clean, receptive and rolling about a medium pace. Quicker would have been nice, but they were consistent, pretty true, and enjoyable.

We were not the fastest group, losing touch with the group ahead, but only getting pressure from the following group middle of the front nine and the last few holes — finished in about 4.5 hrs. Senior discount walking, I got out for $26. The course is generally flat and good for walking, long but reasonably forgiving in it's wide, tree lined fairways. Strategically, mostly straight ahead muni golf, but a nice setting in good condition. Temps were warm but the breeze kept it reasonable, and by the time we sat down for a beer afterwards (yes, bar still open for patio drinking at 6:45!) the lowering temperature and sun made for a really nice, comfortable post round chat. Weird things were going on with my swing and I didn't play particularly well, but I still had a good time and no regrets for my choice — rather, a nice, fatigued sense of having had an afternoon well spent. Recommended.
Nick's review is pretty right on, so I will jump in here to save typing and offer my perspective. Walking the whites, I found the tee boxes the same and frequently they were pretty close to the blues. Nick played better greens that morning at Soule and his view of Elkin's greens were colored by that comparison. I probably rate them as medium speed and didn't notice much bumpiness, but Nick is the more discriminating golfer between us and a subtle difference at best. All else was as he reported. I think he and I agreed it is a fair and playable course that you need to hit well to score well, but it's not overly punitive generally allows room to recover and avoid big numbers. I hadn't played at Elkins in well over 20 years and so had forgotten a lot of the layout. Some interesting holes on the front nine but also a sameness to a lot of them. The back nine is the more varied and interesting set with a lot of altitude changes. I got word from a local today that he heard the land will be leased out and probably end up as avocado orchards. They are keeping it in good shape so, until it closes, it is definitely worth playing and it will be the loss of a solid course when it does.

Beautiful day, nice setting, got to play in good company.
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