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5/12/19 early out on a sunny cool morning start. Golf Moose special rate for two plus the early weekend start time extra fee. Worth the rate. My kind of golf, set the brisk pace let a couple singles through. 3.5 or less POP
Course condition is in good to better than good right now. I read the older reviews here and didn't know what to expect as I have not been here for a couple years. Happy to report that course is playable and fun. "new" management in third year doing good job.
Greens good to better than that rolling med to slow holding lines not to undulating medium sized mostly. The cart paths are a little confusing at times (front going to 4th tee and to 7th) and the back (12th to 13th and sight line for tee shot on this par 5) Your eye sees the 14th green straight out but the hole doglegs over the right sand trap. Green keeper helped get us reacquainted. Good mix of shorter longer holes. Fairways good rough maintained and the bunkers OK with material but need TLC to fluff up imo for more consistency.
Friendly staff well stocked 19th Hole.
Out of the way course unless you live in the area. River levee, and surrounding walnut farms borders course nearby rice patties are seen driving in from east.
A fun easier track went here to build confidence to elevate my game for the more golf challenges to come this spring summer. Did that; Recommend.
9 Likes.
5/11/19 mid afternoon Saturday round in perfect weather. This is a older military course turned city or county muni and holds on to it's AF roots with tees named Bomber Navigator Mustang and water stations "hydration hangers" the tee makers shaped like bombs.

Older design good shape overall and a decent $35 rate with cart. Greens good to very good rolling medium slow a few unrepaired ball marks. Consistent and full no bare spots. Fairways good tight lies rough not overly penal, tee boxes a bit shaggy but playable.

Bunkers ok seems like a lot of courses are not maintaining bunkers as well as they have in years past. Played three days in a row and the public course bunkers seem average to less at best. Don't find many prepped with a machine drag or raking for consistency.

Good day beer cold service great. Course seemed busy but starter said it was a bit slow for the perfect weather and course conditions. We played as a twosome following many groups and were at that pace all day to the 4 1/2+ hr POP too slow for me but had to get a match in. You can score here with a decent game of which I didn't have this day.

Recommend and a follow-up review coming a 5/25 return planned.
9 Likes.
5/10/19 early afternoon round. Great deal $8 to walk found on-line. Rack rate $16. Overall course is in good to better shape. It is a challenging 9-holer with all skills needed to master this foothill track. In a valley and plenty of shade with the large valley oaks and redwoods. Greens medium to slower speed wise fully healed from aeriation. Ready for the summer.

Got around in two hours POP is usually ok as it was today. Simple functional facility great staff and three Buds for $10.50 (1 each for 3-some) doesn't break the budget and was refreshing on this sunny afternoon.

Recommend.
7 Likes.
Also part of the GK event 5/5 teeing it up for the first time here at this down under links style. Which I would say is architecturally accurate. Flat and fast fairways with tight lies the norm. Previous reviews of this day are accurate and telling. Conversed with the starter at the turn and she said it was typical for the wind to kick up in the afternoon. It's location on the east side of SF bay supports that and was what we experienced. Busy place and the slow play offset by the company and playing a course for the first time to keep it interesting during waiting. The large greens were immaculate and fair for the design. Where the play maybe to bump an approach in and roll to the pin instead of the high pitch and sticking it. Either skill necessary and productive depending on your angle in.

I will add that the large parking lot is necessary as there is another regulation course (North) here and a par 3 course and a nice driving range some stalls having shade coverings and automatic ball set. The facility was busy as mentioned and the pro shop well stocked. Service great with friendly staff. Beverage cart out seeing it many times.

Service was great. The beer cold, and the food was good. However my reuben sandwich was burnt on the plate side and delivered late as the after round gathering was mostly finished before it got to the table. It was busy in the restaurant all day but slow when we finished.

Great day and recommend as well as the GK event. Sign up for one. It's good FUN! Thanks JohnnyGK nice to have met you and the others and will do it again soon.
9 Likes.
Played 5/3 mid Am in mild sunny weather. POP 4.75hrs acceptable for a busy Friday but a little slow none the less. Greens in great shape rolling true poa annua medium speed too slow IMO, but in really good shape few ball marks or imperfections.
Fairways above average rough well kept. The bunkers however inconsistent at best. Some had brownish sand but many had red mud and impediments. Two fairway bunkers on same hole were marked GUR and should have been. I was in one.
Overall a good track that plays short and is not that challenging. It's location (many better courses I drive by or are closer than here to my house) so I don't get here often. Like other reviews big range smaller practice greens. Staff friendly the beer is cold.
Golf moose for two deal was 46% better than the rack rate of $46 each. I won 2.5 of 3 points playing a match play event hooray!
Not a hard course so opportunity to score from any angle. (ie abutting fairways)
11 Likes.
Played 5/1/19 Mid morning the last group (3-some) of a 30 person tournament so POP was the expected 4.5 hours. I think in less crowded conditions this course can be played much quicker. The conditions were excellent and overall attention to detail evident in the club house and proshop areas. No large and extravagant buildings but everything there that you'd expect and more.
Course conditions great. Greens poa annua smooth and medium fast. Smaller in size and consistent with the 1925 design, It's not a long course by today's standards and middle of the green shots will yield a birdie putt of reasonable distance most approaches. Shorter length manageable rough and tight lies in the fairways with valley oak and occasional cypress.
One par 3 on front has a 150 plus foot elevation drop (interesting) and on the back the par 3's share a tee box going in opposite directions which was in the process of being rebuild and the sod was being placed so it should be operational in a week or less. That made 160 and 180 yard holes 90 and 130 with temporary tees.
A course I was unaware of and happy to have discovered. Not as big or famous as the the courses nearby in Monterrey. And no ocean views, but a very enjoyable course and design playable for all levels. A country club feel for sure and I recommend. Happy I played here as it was perfect weather and I scored well.
7 Likes.
Played 4/24 mid Am and the POP was 4.5 which was decent for Empire. Course gets a lot of play and is in mid-season form (pretty good or great everywhere) Greens are fully healed from spring aeration. A bit slow but all they would need is a closer cut and roll. They are relatively flat so the pace sped up a bit would be excellent. Fairways good to excellent some recently fertilized should disappear with tonight's watering.
Customer service good. No beverage cart out but the 9's come back to the club house. So supply up then. Good weather Good scoring. Good time.
My last review was June 2018 read for more info. Recommend
6 Likes.
Played mid day 4/20 as the second round of the day (The Ridge Auburn Ca the 1st). Sad to report but the contrasts of the two courses stand out more significantly than I ever recall. Pace of play was slow we were the second twosome following 4-somes. So expected to be slow. The course marshall met us on the 7th and said he spoke to the group holding things up but the pace didn't improve and we were joined on the back by a single. POP withstanding.
The course is in ok shape and I agree with previous reviews the layout and design is great many interesting holes and lots of nature and natural vistas. The rough a bit thick and overall conditons should improve with drier weather upcoming. They had the fairway mowers out and working Saturday. Nice tight lies for the most part.
The greens had been aerated I'd say a week or so ago. The recovery not doing well. Punched holes were sanded but filled sand settled below the surface making putting bumpy lumpy and we invoked our own automatic two putt rule based on this. (try to hole first and second a gimme from 3 feet of less) Looks like they are going to take some time to heal.
The bunkers almost everyone are horrible and unplayable most down to the base red dirt. They have some large piles of sand in some as to maybe they will attempt to improve them but it has been this way for a LONG time.
Darkhorse (est 2002) has had a bumpy history too long to get into in this review. I believe now it is owned by a Chinese entity/business person. Rumor has it that they tried to get a zoning variance to build a golf resort / teaching school facility that was not approved by the local zoning people and therefore the course condition has not been improved as a result. Like I said RUMOR. But based on the long term lack of improvement to existing facility it is feasible. For example, the clubhouse is still a modular structure showing its age and in need of TLC paint, trim boards loose. Flower beds unkempt.
No knock on the staff in the shop, 19th hole, or maintenance. Bev cart was out and making the rounds. Beers are cold, hot dog at the turn tasty.
Overall I'd say other area courses are on the upswing and comparatively DH is not.
Good greens would change my rating until they then I'm playing elsewhere.
Probably my most critical review of a course I've ascribed for GK. But you want to know...
9 Likes.
Played 4/20 early out. Got out on time despite the call-out of the pro shop opener. The pro was quick to rectify and get the groups out in orderly fashion.
Pace of play great as we had only a single in front of us. We set our own brisk pace as this was the first of two rounds for the day. Weather was cool and breezy partly cloudy. Course conditions overall good to real good. The greens had been aerated I'd say 10 or more days ago with only slight evidence of that. All grown in with the holes almost invisible most places. Green speed a bit slower than the usual speed here. That made shots hold better. But you had to give it a rap rather than feather putts therefore less severe breaks.
They have done the winter maintenance on the edges of the holes and the wet areas. With the trees now leaving out and the native grasses lush the holes are framed with contrasting green hues and looking really nice.
Warm sunny weather this week should get the course in premier shape in short order. They have increased green fees and it can be justified I suppose by the course conditions. A pleasure to play and a contrast to Darkhorse GC (our second round) is really evident as my review of that venue will reveal.
11 Likes.
3/31/2019 Tournament play put POP at 5hrs on a terrific mild sunny Sunday. Course in good shape poised to green-up into great conditions when it rains less and more sunny days. That said a few wet spots and two holes cart path only. Fairways good lies with some dormant grass intermingled. Played ball down and had no issues. Rough fairly thick and deep in other areas. In the trees it's deeper green and must be watchful balls go astray in there. Whereas in summer it's brown and down but then it rolls in deeper.

Greens putted well a bit slower than usual and probably prepping for the aeration scheduled 4/1+2. Know B4 U GO!

After that process and healing it should be great conditions at TC. Bev cart around three times (maybe more) and customer service great as usual. My score? could always be betta!
Recommend
7 Likes.
Played 3/17/19 early out. Cool start with dew to a sunny warm finish in spring conditions. Previous review mentioned a few dry spots, which is accurate now.
But far more wet spots and the ground too wet to mow properly with the soil saturated. This made the rough thick in spots that were mown with left over grass clippings 4"+. You could find your ball after a search. Other areas up to and higher than 7"+ sometimes around the greens where you don't want to hit it anyway but if you do good luck taking a hack out.
These conditions are what maintenance has to deal with considering the rainfall this year. Not something they can do much about until sunny weather. Then when it come the grass explodes in growth with ground very wet underneath, too wet to cut without leaving a bigger mess sometimes.
That said the greens freshly cut and serviced and rolling true. The best part of the course. Fairways good with a few wet GUR areas. The bunkers not so good. mostly red dirt and mud with a few loose impediments. I found a quarter racking my way out of the front one on short par 3 16th. Nasty and borderline unplayable compared to the day before at Silverado in Napa a PGA level course.
I like the layout, facility and the service and will make the annual trip here for that. An hour drive that warrants a comeback play in the summer when things dry out.
Recommend if your not fussy about the bunkers.
10 Likes.
Played 3/16 Mid morning tournament tee time. Starting on 10th hole. Glorious sunny day (finally) and the course in good shape. Everything immaculate as you'd expect at this price. Very similar to my review from last year. (seems I do a few of these repeats) so it's
"know before you go"...
Rough was the real stuff 3"+ and a bit damp. Bunkers like sixpez described in 2018 white blinding sand which the ball would bounce out of the divot rather than fried egg lie. Greens rolling medium holding the high approach. Fairways good shape rolling out.
Having played the N and the S courses twice each now, the comparisons are; The slight different topography and bunker sand are the discerning differences of the two in my opinion.
Either course your doing ok. Have fun.
Customer service great as you'd expect. $$$
10 Likes.
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