Golf Course Reviews
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Joined the other GK’ers at Quail yesterday for a super fun round in the peninsula. Quail Lodge is part hotel resort and part country club. They do a great job at appeasing both sets of clients by keeping the pro shop and restaurant (now café) away from the main hotel. Edgars restaurant has now (for about a year or so) moved up to the hotel. Staff all around at Quail is excellent with bag check service at the drop off and a well stocked pro shop that has not only your typical golf apparel, but also some nice customized Quail lodge gifts like wine glasses and such.

As for the course it was excellent as usual. Greens were near a 10. Easily a 9.5. They rolled super smooth at a medium -fast pace. Had I not just played Tehama the other day which has the fastest greens anywhere, I probably would have said the greens at Quail rolled at a fast pace. Most greens at Quail are manageable with just a single tier that slopes front to back. There are a few thrown in with multiple breaks to keep things challenging. The greens easily held well struck approach shots, yet didn’t have any ugly pitch marks all over the place. Even the greens on the second half of the round which was in the late afternoon, still rolled very smooth.

Fairways had great coverage throughout and were lush. Some of the fairways had a light dusting of sand on them that was more noticeable when your tee shot landed than when standing over your ball preparing to hit your approach shot. Whereas the fairways this time around weren’t over the top excellent (I’ve seen them where a 10 isn’t a high enough rating), they were still above average and a 9.

I wasn’t in any bunkers but they looked like they had ample sand from the other players. Tee boxes were level will good coverage. POP was slow because of a Twosome (in our group) that kept holding us up! Even though we were the slow group out there, we only let a single then a twosome through. The rest of the course was quiet and had that country club feeling.

It's been a couple of years since I’ve stayed at the hotel, but it is worth doing a stay and play as the hotel is great and the golf course is excellent. Quail is also dog friendly and usually in the sun when other courses are fogged in.

Highly recommend it.
Last day of the So Cal trip was at the ever popular and scenic Indian Wells Players course for a fun GK outing and the birdie chain on the line. IW just came out of overseeding with yesterday being the first day of lifted cart path only restrictions. Course was in great shape as always. Greens rolled extremely smooth at a nice medium-fast pace. Green complexes aren’t overly complicated and are more on line with what you would expect at a “resort” course. Greens easily held well struck approach shots.

Fairways were excellent as well. Good solid coverage from side to side and I did not notice any thin or bare spots on the course. As good as the fairways were, I have seen them better and would expect them to improve in the next couple of weeks and move up from the 8 range into the 9-10 quality rating arena.

Bunkers are big and plentiful at Indian Wells. Luckily they have high quality sand in them making them predictable to escape from. Tee boxes were flat with ample coverage.

Customer service is top notch at Indian Wells and the pro shop is the BEST, bar none! My only complaint (other than my birdie putt on 18 stopping 3” short), is that we caught the course in between flower seasons and the flower beds were empty.

Indian Wells is my go to course whenever in Palm Springs. It is always a highly recommended course.
Day 2 of the short So Cal trip was at the ever popular and exciting Rams Hill. This remote track is always a crowd pleaser with a fantastic layout. It might be a bit of drive to get to the course, but it’s not short on amenities that’s for sure. We had breakfast on the outdoor terrace which overlooks the 18th green and valley below.

This was opening weekend for Rams Hill and being “shoulder season” the course wasn’t quite in its usual super high end condition. Not that conditions were bad mind you, but when you set standards as high as Rams Hill does, then that’s what you get compared to.

Greens were a little shaggy and rolled at a medium pace. A handful of the greens had some burnt edges. Most of the pins were kept away from those areas, so any relatively close 10-20 foot putts weren’t affected. Greens held well struck shots and have enough slope and undulations to make it challenging. Leave your ball on the right tier and you have an “easy” flat and straight putt.

Fairways were about the same. Most had good lush coverage throughout, but there were plenty of thin/ dead areas throughout the track. I would assume that this will all be grown in within the next few weeks.

The tee boxes were fine. I will say that I was surprised by how many divots were on the tee. Maybe it was just because we had the afternoon tee time and were behind the majority of players.

I was disappointed in the range. It was torn up. Plenty of grass behind the markers but the markers hadn’t been moved and there was more than just a weekend of activity on the range based on the divots and limited grass within the marked area.

Plenty of elevation changes and water hazards to make the track enjoyable. The layout alone make you forget about the minor imperfections of the course. For full rack rate, I would wait a few weeks until the course is in full mature state.
Started off my So Cal trip with a round at the scenic and always tough, Maderas. I was joined by my good buddy Roarksown1 for an extremely enjoyable afternoon. I’ve always played Maderas in mid summer so this was my first venture on the course during fall conditions.

I’m not sure if the fairways are starting to go dormant or if they were a little brown from the summer heat. Either way it was just an aesthetics issue as they still presented a great hitting surface off of lush grass.

Greens were smooth and wicked as ever. They rolled smooth at a respectable medium fast pace. The practice green seemed to roll faster than the actual greens which were on par with the last couple of greens (Dragonfly and Hunter Ranch) this week. Greens at Maderas have numerous breaks, but as tough as they are, the breaks are predictable.

Tee boxes were level with good coverage throughout. Bunkers had ample sand. Rough was moderate in that the ball would sit down somewhat, but you could generally get a club on it. The rough is needed to help keep stray balls from going into hazard areas. Almost all holes have some sort of danger zone on one or both sides of the fairway.

Layout is super fun with numerous elevation changes, water hazards and forced carries throughout the entire track. Carts have GPS and staff is very friendly. POP was slow due to a slow group in front of us. Hats off to the marshal who actually did his job and after warning them twice forced them to skip a hole. This helped the pace tremendously on the back nine.

Maderas is scenic and tough but definitely worth playing.
Played Spanish Bay on Tuesday with a 9:40 AM tee time. After having a picture perfect day weather wise at Poppy Hills the prior week, we were treated with wind and rain at Spanish. We did manage to get in 9 holes before the rain came in and it wasn’t too bad for a few holes but 14-18 were downright storm conditions. Two of us through in the towel and the other two were troopers and completed all 18.

Conditions wise the course is was in excellent condition. I say was because a few hours after our round they began Verti cutting and overseeding the fairways. Prior to that the fairways were in excellent shape. Easily a 9 all around with no thin or brown spots. Greens were also in great shape. Greens rolled very smooth. Due to the wind the speed was hard to judge as downwind they were ridiculously fast and upwind they were slow.

Bunkers were in great shape was well. I can’t say what they were like after the rain started, but prior to that the sand was nice and fluffy. POP was normal. Would have been a 4.5+ hour round but once the heavy rain came, people started clearing out so the pace was super quick for the last 4 holes.

Customer service is excellent all around. Very friendly staff.
After reading the last couple of reviews, I wanted to see just what type of condition Del Monte was actually in. And, it’s actually not that bad. First the greens. Yes, they are small. Very similar to the greens at Pacific Grove. However, the greens rolled extremely smooth and only one had a few unrepaired pitch marks. I thought the greens rolled a bit slower than average but everyone else thought they were normal speed. No issues with the greens whatsoever. I rated them an 8 just because I thought they were a bit slower than preferred. In reality, they could have been rated a 9.

Fairways, Think of it as a US Open set up (sans the tall rough). Fairways have been narrowed and shorted to conserve water. I get it. Again, the fairways themselves were excellent. Lush with great overage throughout. If you are a short hitter, it might take a good poke to reach the fairway as they don’t start until about 100-150 yards off the tee. In this drought era we are in, I’m good with that. Again, no issues with the fairways themselves. Outside of the fairway. Yep, it’s half hearted rough (most of which used to be the fairway that is now cut down) and then dirt. Easy to find a stray ball but no fun to hit out of. Moral of the story, hit it straight and you have a great hitting surface.

Bunkers were excellent. I was only in 1 which had nice fluffy sand. However, I raked a few for others and they all had similar sand.

Skirt area around the greens was also excellent. I had 4 par saves from 10-40 yards off the green, all due to perfect conditions.

There is no driving range but Monterey Pines is less than a mile away so you can buy a bucket of balls there or like MKo said, go use the Pebble/Spyglass range 10 minutes up the road.

POP was slow. But for prime time weekend, it is what it is. Price isn’t cheap but if you color between the lines, you are treated to great conditions.
DBlevs605 is back in Ca visiting so we got in an initial round at Poppy with an 11am tee time. Shirt version is the course is in pretty much the exact same condition as my last review. First off the weather was absolutely fantastic! I didn’t check the weather and wore pants. I roasted the entire day!

Fairways were excellent and rated at a 9.5. Nice and lush and green throughout. Same with the tee boxes. Level and lush. Very few divots. Greens rolled very smooth at a medium fast pace. Greens were still firm but not quite as bad as before.

Sand traps were decent. But like before, could use a go over with the tractor to smooth them out. POP was at about 4.5 hours which is normal.

An all around good time and good course
Played Coyote Creek with and early morning start time. With a meeting in San Jose smack in the middle of the day and wanting to get a round in we had to tee off at the crack of daylight. Course was in excellent condition tee to green. With the exception of the few areas the pigs had torn up during the night, the course was in fantastic shape.

Greens were pure. They rolled super smooth at a medium-fast + pace. Well struck wedge shots and short irons held well, but long irons tended to run out a bit. Most greens are two tier with only a couple being severe. The rest are manageable. In fact most are in that perfect balance of having enough slope to make the break predictable and easy to read but not wickedly ridiculous. Greens were almost a perfect 10. An easy 9.

Fairways were far behind. Again, the hogs had torn up some of the fairways during the night (only once did it effect my ball/shot). Outside of that the fairways were super lush and a nice emerald green. Rough was about 2” and predictable.

All tee boxes had lush coverage with only a couple having some minor unevenness. Bunkers had good high quality sand. Layout is fun with some holes up in the hills and the rest flat. 17 has and island green on the par 5 making it a blast. Restaurant setting is nice as well, with both indoor and outdoor dining area. Being first off, we easily finished in around 3 hours. It was cold for the first few holes but warmed up nicely.

For the conditions alone, I recommend this course.
Been a few months since I’ve been out to Laguna Seca and first thing you notice is the remodel is done. The large pro shop has now been converted into a beautiful bar/dining area (separate from the banquet room) and the pro shop is much smaller. The construction on the bar area is spectacular.

We tee’d off around noon and SDF and I practically had the course to ourselves. We choose Laguna Seca because we both had errands to take care of nearby so it was perfect. The weather was a scorcher (high 80’s).

Fairways were in great shape. Best I’ve seen here in a long time. Naturally there were some thin brown areas strewn about on the course but for the most part the fairways were lush and a nice emerald green. A very pleasant surprise.

Greens didn’t look all that great, but they actually rolled smooth at a nice medium pace. Greens were a bit on the firm side with most approach shots rolling out. Most greens at Laguna have enough slope to make the break pronounced and challenging but not overly complicated.

Tee boxes had good coverage but did have some uneven areas. I was only in one bunker and it had decent sand. SDF was in a handful and said some were thin while others had a plethora of fluffy sand.

I always enjoy the layout of Laguna Seca and if conditions remain high like they were today, then I see myself playing here more often.

Definitely recommended with the course in its current condition.
I couldn't get a tee time at Ridge Creek yesterday, so I called Eagle Springs and they were able to fit me in with a 10:50 tee time. Course conditions are almost identical to my last review with the exception the greens were in better shape. I didn't have any issues with diseased areas. the greens rolled absolutely butter smooth at a perfect medium fast pace. Greens easily held well struck shots.

Pace of play was on the slower side as there were a number of groups that were consistently 1/2-1 hole behind. We got around a few of the groups but still waited on just about every shot. I think POP was at 4:30 once we were done.

Eagle Springs is a very enjoyable layout and almost always in top condition. Highly recommend it.
I played Monday 9/26 at the Air Force Academy Eisenhower Silver course. We chose the Silver course as it has more elevation change than the Blue course. I played with a couple of retired military officers who live in the area and they say the fairways are wider on the blue course but I found the fairways on the Silver course to have plenty of room. I’m not sure if civilians can lay these courses or not without being accompanied by Military. Course layout on the Sliver course was fantastic. Set in the hillside with the huge mountains as a backdrop was just spectacular. Of course it also helped that we hit the absolute perfect sunny and 77 degree temperature with very little to no wind day. Most holes have some sort of elevation change even if its just a slight slope. There are a number of elevated greens making your carry distance crucial. There are also a couple of water hazards on the track. Course design was super fun. It had a great mixture of holes with both slight to severe doglegs in both direction. And even a par 5 with a Z (dogleg in both directions on the same hole). Plenty of grip it and rip it holes (maybe even driveable for long hitters) and strategic layup with a 4 iron off the tee.

Condition wise, the greens had been aerated about 8-10 days earlier so they were rolling slower than normal which helped the downhill putts for sure. Whereas the greens are mainly single tiered, they do have some serious slope to them. Fairways were excellent. I’m not sure if it was because I found the center of the fairway more often on the back nine, but the back nine fairways were fantastic! Tee boxes were level, with most have great coverage but a couple of the par 3 boxes had severe divot damage. I avoided the sand traps all day.

Customer service was excellent and prices were nice. I don’t know what the green fee price was as I did some (ok a lot) of shopping in the pro shop. I do know that the total was very acceptable. Also, I bought a beer and a Gatorade from the on course beverage cart and it was only $7.50 total. Very reasonable.

I can’t recommend this course enough. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
At the tail end of a busy week I found myself in Colorado Springs. Needing to stretch my legs a couple of us went out to Cherokee Ridge for an easy modest round. I was pleasantly surprised at the nice conditions of the modest course. Pro shop is very small with a couple of shirts and hats inside and just a customer service counter. Staff was friendly and course wasn’t too busy for a 10am start time (gotta love sunday golf during football season)

Greens were small in size but were in fantastic shape. I rated them an eight but they easily could have been a 9. Greens rolled super smooth at a medium fast pace. Fairways had good coverage throughout. Most fairways presented right lies but we’re green and consistent. Rough wasn’t too bad. Enough to get your attention

Tee boxes were level par 3 boxes were a bit chewed up but no complaints.
There’s no snow on the mountains yet but give it a few weeks and the aesthetics of this “little” place will sky rocket. A great place to stretch out the legs.
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