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After walking 36 at the Blue earlier in the week, I was so blown away at Streamsonng's property that I extended the back end of this business trip a few days so I could play both the Red & newly opened Black(September 2017). Also, pretty cool to be the first review for the Black on GK.

First of all, the Black was designed by non other than Rustic Canyon's Gil Hanse. Given that Rustic is my favorite public track in Los Angeles I was excited to give the Black a run. The Black course does not share facilities with the Blue/Red and has its own clubhouse and range. The first thing you notice is that the clubhouse is second to none. Maybe the coolest (and most modern) club house I've ever been to. It's not massive & over the top but a very minimal "glass box" where you can actually see straight through to the other side. The range was perfect, as expected.

The course was in terrific condition & had the best/firmest greens of all 3 courses. The fairways were the least mature given that the course is less than a year old this is expected as they will fill out in the first 2 years. Even so, they were great to hit off & had no issues there. From a conditioning standpoint, the black as well as the other 2 courses are top notch & there isn't much I will add there.

The layout is stunning on the Black. Think Rustic Canyon on steroids. Massive landing areas, bunkers so deep you need stairs, a few blind shots, a punch bowl green, 5 par fives, & green undulation that make even a three putt an accomplishment if you are on the wrong side of the hole. I have heard from many people around the resort that the Black is the most polarizing course of the 3 and I can see why. For the average golfer who may not be on their game, it can be a tough test, but i think course knowledge goes a long way here and the more someone can get out and play the Black the more they would learn to love it. One thing all 3 courses have in common are the drivebale par 4's & reachable 5's for the longer hitters which allow for some low scoring opportunity. That being said, there are holes where par feels like a birdie. The layout (all 3 courses) is a great combination of playability and difficulty that make them fun to play.

All in all, the Black is a first class course & facility which I could play over and over again and never get bored. It is a second shot golf course that places a premium on course knowledge and the ability to put the ball on the right side of the hole. I can't wait to return and play them in their firm and fast winter season.
You don't typically just stumble into a top 15 public course in the US but that is kind of what happened yesterday. I had a business trip to Florida and decided I would bring my clubs along as I had an off day on Monday. I searched around for courses in the Orlando area and most were undergoing maintenance. Without many solid options nearby and having heard of Streamsong's greatness I decided to rent a car and make the drive (1.5 hours) south on Sunday evening. Given the timing they had plenty of (cheap) availability at the lodge, which i found out later was only at 19% capacity. The only course open for play Monday's is the Blue course. I ended up paying 36 Monday with a $55 replay rate.

The Blue course was phenomenal. The front 9 stacks up with any 9 holes I've played. Dramatic bunkering, nice elevation changes, huge greens, big fairways & lots of scoring opportunities. Although i thought the front was the better 9, the back is still quite strong. The course is very forgiving off the tee it certainly has greens that will keep your short game in check. The course conditions were fantastic. I was shocked that the greens were as quick/true as they were given the heat/humidity/rain but I would say the were 10.5+ on the stimp rolling even quicker down grain. The fairways were near perfect and I can't fault the course, service, or facilities.

I can't wait to return to play both the red and newly opened black course! A couple things to note, the course is walking only UNLESS you get a caddie. Although the course was plenty walkable, in the summer heat/humidity, walking 36 was tough but definitely worth it.
Played Saturday and Sunday, 6/2 & 6/3. Was first tee time out 6am Saturday and walked in 3.5 hours (foursome) and played a 5+ hour slow round at 12:40pm sunday. It was a picture perfect weekend in Moorpark with light winds and low 80's. The greens were perfect. Standard rustic, firm and fast. Maybe some of the best I've seen them out there ? I think the speed they were at this weekend were perfect. They still held you accountable on down hill down grain (towards the entrance of the course) but also allowed you to get aggressive if you were in the right position on the green.

I've reviewed this course plenty & not much to add other than its a fantastic collection of golf holes. Played from the Blacks Saturday and Blues Sunday and thought it was much more gettable from the blues. Holes 3 - 7 are a great stretch that require decision making but can also reward you with birdies if you execute. Once you get past hole 14 (maybe the easiest birdie besides hole 1 for a long hitter) you better be on your game. Holes 15-18, to me, are the hardest stretch of holes on the course! Will prob head back out this weekend.
Review #2, Pacific Dunes:

Pac Dunes is the pinnacle of public golf in the US. After playing 36 at Bandon Dunes and Old Mac, I decided to head over to the only course on the property I had yet to play. Also, for anyone wondering the 3rd round is always free at any Bandon course. Instead of heading over to the Punch Bowl putting course or to the Pub I decided I would play until sunset at Pacific. I was quickly blown away and immediately vaulted Pacific to my favorite track on the property. Hole 1, a short par 4 has a great tucked green which, although nothing special, was my favorite opener on the property. Once you hike up to the second tee box, you know this is a special place. Holes 2 & 3 eventually route you adjacent to the ocean, with 3 being a monster Par 5 playing straight into the teeth which was my favorite par 5 on the property. All 3 times I played it it was playing close to 580 yards and offers absolutely 0 room for error for the long hitter trying to get home in two. Once you finished hole 3 you turn the corner to what many regard as their favorite hole on the property, a cliff side par 4. Holes 5 - 9 take you off the ocean, including hole 7 which is a terrific long par 4 (#1 handicap). Holes 10 - 13 prove to be the most scenic & difficult ocean holes you will ever find. This stretch will test you as they play directly north into the summer prevailing wind. If you can manage those holes at even par you've done well. Holes 14/15/16 a par 3, 5, and 4, respectively, give you your last real chance at birdie as 17/18 prove to be a difficult closing stretch.

It's amazing how people rank the courses at Bandon. You can talk to people all weekend long on what courses they thought were the best and you will get a different answer from everyone. This is what makes Bandon such a special place. For me, Pacific and Trails were the clear cut winners and I would go with 1a) Pacific, 1b) Trails, 2) Old Mac, 3) Bandon Dunes. I heard many people rank Old Mac dead last and others had it number 1. Pretty awesome if you ask me. Quick note on the conditions at Pacific Dunes. They were perfect.
Finished up a 3 night/4 day golf trip to the Bandon property for Memorial Day weekend. I have a lot to review and many pictures to post. Bandon Dunes (the property inclusive of all courses) is a world class golf destination that may not have many rivals in terms of number of top 100 courses all within a stones throw from each other. Places that come to mind that can compete include maybe Pinehurst & Pebble Beach. I will go into detail on each course on the property but I will say this, what makes Bandon perhaps the best golf destination in the world is the variety of golf they offer. From Bandon Trails to Old Mac & everything in between.

Bandon Trails was the first course we played on our weekend trip & I was blown away at the layout. Many visitors overlook Trails when coming to Bandon as it is not a true links golf course. But the demanding layout sits far away from any of the other golf courses on the property and has a very remote feel to it. I would argue Trails to be the toughest course on site or at the very least tied with Old Mac. Once you get past the 1st hole, the course slowly switch backs up to the highest point on the property, hole 14 tee box, which is also said to be the location for which Mike Kieser decided he would purchase the property some 25 years ago. Trails is well protected by massive pine trees which make it a great option for the 2nd round of the day when the wind is picking up. There are a handful of driveable 4's (8, 14) reachable 5's (2 & 9) which can provide some chances at birdie/eagle. What makes Trails truly exceptional is Coore/Crenshaw's ability to blend three distinct settings Ocean/Forrest/meadow and create what I think is a course without a single "bad" hole. Once you get into the forest section there is a stretch of 6-7 holes where you feel like you are the only people on the property.

I wont dive much into course conditions at Bandon in my reviews but I will just say that all courses were in superb conditioning. This is links golf so the conditions vary significantly throughout the year. But one thing to note, the greens at Trails are getting heavily spotted with Poa and late in the day they do get bumpy. I heard from multiple people the Greenskeeper is planning to stop fighting the Poa and slowly let it take over. In no way did this impact my enjoyment of my second favorite course on site.
Made it out to one of my favorite So Cal tracks on Saturday, 5/12. We had some crappy weather (drizzling rain) the entire round, but it was still a terrific day on the course.

The course is not long, actually it's short (6,200) from the tips. However, the course still plays a stroke over par (Course rating 71, Par 70). From what it lacks in length, it makes up for with great green complexes, massive oak trees, and strategically placed bunkers.

The conditions right now are excellent from tee to green, with the greens being the highlight (as always with Ojai). Fairways & tees were always spot on. The course played longer with the cold wet weather and the rough was thick and heavy all day. You can't beat the views out here and it's about as peaceful of a course as you can find in So Cal. Worth the drive from LA and I'll hopefully make it back up soon.
Played Yocha on 5/5/18 and the course was in excellent condition. This has been on my list for a few years and I'm happy we finally made the trip up there. They are hosting a US Open Qualifier on 5/8 so as you can expect the course was set up accordingly. The service from bag drop to tee off was top notch and the driving range & short game area were also great. Oh yeah and we had a HOLE IN ONE on hole 7! The whole course probably heard us erupt!

The course conditions varied from very good to excellent. The fairways/rough/sand were near perfect (see pictures posted). The Greens were solid, medium pace & smooth. I thought they would be rolling them 11-12 on the stimp given the Qualifier but I think they were waiting until Monday to cut/roll them. I would say a solid 7/10 and rolling about a 10-10.5. However, the course was well protected with the thick rough and it was a challenging day. Also noted, we played 36 and each round was less than 4.5 hours on a Saturday.

The layout in my opinion is great. The course is fair but challenging. A good combination of tough and "gettable" holes and if you are striking it well a low score can be had. I would rank this as a must play if you are visiting Sac Town and we will definitely be back. Also, the manager got my buddy a sweet hole in one package including a flag with the yardage, hole #, and iron used!
Played my favorite track in the desert for maybe the 5-6th time in the last 12 months Sunday, 4/15. We were the 5th group out and played in 3.5 hours (2some) and the course was in fantastic conditioning. The dormat rough is starting to green up a bit so the contrast from the fairways to rough was nothing like back in Dec-Feb but I want to say the course was in about as good of shape as I've ever seen it. The fairways were excellent and great to hit from. Tee boxes were great. Sand was a mixed bag but most green side bunkers were solid. The greens were superb. Firm & med/fast. You had to be careful when above the hole as they were rolling out fairly quick. I though the greens were in perfect condition considering you could see that summer bermuda starting to creep in. All in all, I expected maybe a slight drop off from when I played on the heels of the career builders event but not in any way was there a drop off in conditions. Can't wait to get back!
Rams Hill: 1/27/2017

I've been reading GK reviews for RH for the last few years. I've been dying to get down there but haven't found the time. Well, the girlfriend was out of town this weekend so I decided to solo trip down to Borrego and see what all the hype was about.

The customer service was top notch, the starter was great and the guy in the clubhouse was friendly and accommodating. Being a single I figured I would be paired up on a Saturday with another group. Well apparently I was wrong and this course doesn't fill their tee sheet like the Palm Springs courses. I played solo in 3.5 hours, getting stuck occasionally behind a 4 ball here and there.

Conditions: Excellent from tee to green. Greens were posted in clubhouse at 11.6 on the stimp which to me is excellent speed for rolling some putts in! Smooth, pure, medium firmness, and quick (9/10). The fairways were pure as can be, I would say a solid 8/10. Easy to take nice divots and the ball still rolled out on well struck drives. Tees were lush and perfect (9/10) but I wish they would have cut them a little tighter. Sand was excellent and I found myself a lot of sand so I can attest to them!

All in all, I will be back this season. Just blown away at the whole facility/property. Prov1 Range balls, endless views, lush striped fairways and pure putting surfaces. Oh yeah, and its also a fantastic Fazio design! Forgiving off the tee but hazards lurk and the greens are very undulating and difficult to navigate. I ended up squeezing in a second round and given the lateness in the day he only charged me 20$ and i was able to loop through all 18 in 1 hour and 45 minutes!! Record for me perhaps. Get out there and enjoy Rams Hill, its a true hidden gem and worth the drive.
Played the Norman course on Thursday, 12/28, at 7:21 AM. As the nick/stadium are prepping for the Career Builders challenge they tend to keep the greens a bit slower to protect the surfaces so I decided to check out the Norman course hoping for quicker greens. As expected the course & greens were in excellent shape. Greens ran a true and quick pace and putted nicely all day, leading to my best putting round in recent memory. The fairways are 8/10 and were also playing nicely, although, maybe a bit soft. There is no rough on this course and in the morning cold and with the wet fairways it played very long. The course has many memorable holes and I really enjoyed our round. I will be back in January/February!
We played PGA West Stadium as our 3rd and final round of our trip. We had previously played 36 on Nicklaus the day before and we expected stadium to be in very similar shape. While the course was in very good shape (approaching excellent) it was not as far along as the nick. I guess this is expected as the stadium came out of overseedimg about 10-12 days after the Nicklaus. They had not yet “sprayed” the dormant rough on stadium which meant there were no dramatic visuals of the dark green fairways against the light gold rough (see pictures from Nicklaus review on how awesome it looked). The greens were not quite as true and the fairways just a bit hair more wet/furry. Again, I’m being extremely picky and comparing it to the current condition of the Nicklaus course. My guess is in about 2 weeks the 2 courses will be in identical condition as the career builders challenge is coming up in January. The course it’s self is extremely hard. We played from the pro tees, playing about 7,450. My buddy and I are both low single digit and we decided to give it a whirl...We got our butts kicked! I do really enjoy the track and will definitely return.
Played 18 holes at the Nick Sunday & Monday (12/17 & 12/18). From a pure golf standpoint this is my favorite course in Palm Springs. Although, visually the homes can detract from the experience. The course was in spectacular shape. From tee to green everything was perfectly manicured. The dormant rough was a light "gold" color and created very dramatic visuals from the tee boxes. Kudos to the maintenance crew at PGA West. The greens were pure, rolling a medium speed, nothing too crazy and I know I would have liked them quicker. This course is the perfect combo of challenging and "easy". In my opinion, there are several scoring holes (2, 4, 11, 12) and many demanding holes (8, 9, 16, ,18). All in all, i highly recommend checking this place out in the next couple months to get some of the great conditioning as they prep for the Career Builders Challenge!
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