Golf Course Reviews
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This was the final leg of our weekend trifecta and S_Smith and I were joined by fellow GKer Kviser. True to its name, this course is a pure golfing experience and presents all the challenge you could want. It all starts with the friendly staff who provide a relaxed atmosphere. Right away you get a down-home vibe.

Usually the greens are very fast, so I felt prepared after playing TPC Valencia, but for some reason the greens were slow - at least by LP standards. We teed off at 9:40 and they did pick up some speed as the day wore on, but never approached their usual speed. The weather was fairly cool. The ninth hole sits low and had standing water in the bunker, so maybe it was just wet that morning.

There are some splotches in the fairways, but frankly they seemed perfectly in keeping with the location amid the oak-strewn hills and in no way affected play. Overall, this course is a great value. I would play there anytime.
10 Likes.
Played TPC Valencia with S_Smith as the second leg of a great golf weekend. He did a thorough review, so I will just add a few thoughts. We played in windy conditions, which was welcome as it made the heat bearable - and it was hot. Fortunately there was ample water provided on the course. According to some members the wind was about normal.

First, the greens were just about perfect: firm, quick and true. Second, maybe I don't hit it as far as others, but I didn't have any problems with blind shots (except 14 and 15 and the tee shots weren't the issue).

As noted in other reviews, the back-to-back par 5s are a bit baffling, but I have to think that if I played the course again they wouldn't be as big an issue. IMO the other 16 holes more than make up for any issues with these 2.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable and challenging course. The facilities were wonderful. I highly recommend it if you get a chance to play it.
6 Likes.
Played a trifecta last weekend with S_Smith: Sandpiper, TPC Valencia and La Purisima, a fabulous weekend. The first leg was Sandpiper in the afternoon and it set the tone. The weather had been overcast, but blue skies by the time we teed off. There was a bit of wind.

This is one of my favorite courses. The ocean holes starting with 10 thru 14 are as good as any. You start the back 9 with a short par 4 heading down to the ocean and then 11 is a downhill par 3 that drops down to beach level. No. 13 is a par 5 with a forced carry to an island green, is a great test. The course was in excellent shape with quick but true greens. Service and amenities were excellent. Twilight golf is a great value.
10 Likes.
Played Harding Park this weekend. Mark Twain said the coldest winter he spent was summer in San Francisco. With all the heat we've been getting in the East Bay, it was refreshing to play on a typically overcast day. But if you're not used to SF weather, make sure to bring pants and wind jacket to be safe.

We knew the course had been aerated a couple of weeks before, and while the greens were true and not at all bumpy, they were still noticeably slow. Maybe in another week or so. In any case, this is one of the top courses in NorCal. The back nine borders Lake Merced and is particularly memorable. The 18th is one of the best finishing holes you'll find anywhere.

Amenities and cart service were excellent. I have only two minor complaints: First, it was cart path only, and secondly, the only restrooms we saw are in the clubhouse. It's hard to find a non-offensive alternative out of view, particularly on the front nine. I may be getting old, but nine holes is a long time to wait.
12 Likes.
From the freeway this course looks like a typical muni course but it has a lot of positives. I played early morning on the weekend.

The ho-hum: The course gets a lot of players. The driving range needs new mats. The design is pedestrian: a very flat layout and most holes are basically straight.

The positives: This course is in great shape. It has its own water supply and the fairways haven't suffered as much as other courses. The greens are in excellent condition. They are firm but true and present the main challenge. The course seemed to me to play longer than it looks. The 7th and 17th holes are short par 3s that are fun to play because of the severe tiering. If the pin is up, you can hit wedge behind the pin and watch it roll back down to the hole. The Legends grill is excellent, but during football season it gets packed as it's home to fantasy leagues.

The course is easy to walk but it can get very hot here and when I play in the morning you can really feel the mugginess due to the watering.
10 Likes.
This course is a short drive from my home and I played it on a recent Sunday afternoon. It's a short executive type course, about 5,000 yds from the blues. It features 11 par threes and just 2 par 5s. That said don't expect a pushover. The course is fun and can be challenging. It gets windy in the afternoon and that adds to the difficulty. In this area you have to be concerned with the draught and generally it hasn't impacted playability given the number of par 3s, Some of the greens on the front nine were splotchy and bumpy and seemed slow. They seemed better on the back nine. We had no problem getting around at our own pace. Overall, this is a fun, fairly challenging course well suited if you want to get in a quick 18. My scores seem to be dictated by how I do on par 3s and I like playing here to get plenty of experience practicing those.
9 Likes.
I just played this course yesterday mid-morning with my buddy and fellow GK'er. The course was in great shape - much better than our golf game! Usually one of us is on, but I guess misery loves company. This course, meandering through vineyards in Napa is an excellent value and one of our favorite courses. Unfortunately, pace of play had become an issue and we put it out of our rotation. But coming back to it yesterday reminded me of what an excellent course it is. Playing as a two-some, pace wasn't an issue until the back nine. I will say that the pro-shop starter was clueless. He wanted us to wait for our appointed tee time, even though no one was there. Had we waited, there would have been a bunch of groups stacked up.
10 Likes.
OK. Catching up on my reviews. I played here last week and let me say that this is my favorite course in the area. The amenities are tip-top. In addition to the grill, the winery and excellent restaurant are across the parking lot. We played the blue tees, around 6,200 yds. The course is in great shape and unaffected by dry conditions. Most of the holes are located in the valley amid vineyards, then you climb up "Lombard St." to access holes 10 - 13 set in the hills. The view from the 10th tee is spectacular. To me the 12th hole is the most difficult - a long par 5 with a blind second shot and an oak tree guarding the approach. The only hole that seems contrived to fit the terrain is the 6th. You have a tee shot, then an uphill approach to the green that you better not miss. A bit pricey, but if you look around you can find good deals. I highly recommend it!
9 Likes.
I recently played this course twice. The course was in great shape and pace of play was great both times. The course is in the Carmel valley and there are lots of small wineries located nearby. The front nine is located in the valley you can see from the road and is fairly flat. For some reason I've played some of my best golf here. The back nine is another story. These holes are nestled in hills and feature some dramatic downhill tee shots and par 3s. To be fair the holes are unique and would be quite fun if it weren't for the wind. Both afternoons I played the weather was beautiful, but the wind in the hills made it very difficult and wore us out by the time we got back to the valley for the last few holes. We played this course for $95 on a special rate. For that price it was well worth it. Note: the Soberanes fire broke out nearby when we played. You may want to check on the impact, if any.
7 Likes.
Come on! It's SPYGLASS. From the understated clubhouse and grill to the ocean view holes this course exudes class. Simply magnificent. The course was in pristine condition. We chose to walk it, which turned out to be a great idea since it was cart path only. The guys who opted for a cart ended up walking twice as far. After the ocean holes you head into the Del Monte forest. Many holes are lot more uphill than they appear on television and the par 3s are extremely challenging. Getting to the green isn't enough, you have to put it on the correct part. Normally it's four bills plus cart fee to play, but we were able to play for $230 -a rare deal in July. For that price, I'd play it anytime.
13 Likes.
Played this course on a beautiful but windy afternoon. I'd played here once several years before. The first hole is fairly flat but holes 2 - 8 are in the oak lined hills on the east side of the freeway. We expected this to be the tough part, but frankly, we ended up scoring better here than on the back nine. Wind was a major factor, on the less protected back nine. The pace was somewhat slow after the first few holes. The course is in excellent shape and I would definitely like another crack at it. I haven't played the Valley course, but this seems like the more interesting of the two.
7 Likes.
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