Golf Course Reviews
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ayed today as part of my journey to Philadelphia. Paired up with Ray, Nikki and Al - nice company and all three had played here before which helped a LOT. Local knowledge goes a long way here!

Greens were excellent, rolled true at a fast pace, lot more break than appears. Rough was dorman creating a great visual contrast and helping frame the holes. Bunkers were pretty “heavy” but with plenty of sand and consistent from start to finish.

The course is quite interesting with multiple options on several holes. Challenges your course management skills as on many holes the shortest route (or longest drive) may leave you worse off than playing shorter to the correct position. It’s easy to see why University of AZ picked this one as their “home” course and why they have such good teams, the back tees are beastly!

Best value in the area right now, HIGHLY recommended!
Played the 20th with the small group, paired up with Ron, Larry and Nick. Good company as always!

Conditions overall were excellent. Fairways were a little tight at times but always had a good lie. Rough was short, at times the only way to be sure you weren't in the fairway was the difference in color. Go past the rough and it's natural desert in most places - avoid if at all possible.

Tees were good, par 3's showed some divot wear but the tees are being moved regularly so not a problem finding a good spot.

Greens were great - hard to hold on touch shots but full struck short irons stopped quickly. Rolled beautifully at medium/fast speed. They're good-sized with lots of undulations/levels so bring your "A" game for chipping/pitching/lag putting.

Bunkers - given how much time I spend in them, I should have taken a lounge chair, shovel and bucket and planned on building sand castles. Coverage was good but I never got a feel for the heavy sand and they gave me fits all day. I'd grade them about a "B+" overall but my bunker game was an "D-" which may be affecting my ratings.

Course employees were all very pleasant, weather was fantastic for mid-December.

While this course is often overlooked amongst the bevy of quality desert courses, it should get a LOT more love based on the conditions and layout. Very nice mix of shorter/longer holes, enough elevation change to make you think and adjust, challenging greens & great conditions - what more can you ask for? Add in a price point that's better than a lot in the area and this becomes a "hidden gem". HIGHLY recommended!
Played 12/10/18 in the GK outing - it's been a year since I was here and the more things change the more they stay the same. In a word, outstanding!

The biggest problem Rams Hill has is the abnormally high bar they've set for themselves when compared to most courses. They have always managed to meet those expectations and this time was no exception. Not sure how they do it, but there's just this comfortable, welcoming, "hey, you're part of the family" vibe that I've rarely encountered elsewhere that is part and parcel of the facility.

The fairway conditions were near perfection and the tee boxes are superior to most courses fairways. The sand was a little heavy but playable (well, except for the canyon-like faces I kept next to!) rough was lush but not overly dense - just enough to make you think about your shot while still leaving options as to what shot you decided to play.

As noted by a couple others, the greens seemed a little slower and bumpier than prior rounds, but I'm guessing that is at least partially related to the recent rains. Still very consistent and rolled very well.

As the last group, I was concerned about finishing before it got dark. However, the generous spacing between tee times worked exactly as intended - it allowed some ebb-and-flow for each group without compromising the overall pace of play. Just one more reason I love this course!

Thank you Greenskeeper, JohnnyGK and Rams Hill for a great end-of-the-year send off!
Played the Blue tees last Friday, got out at 10:28, paired up with Dwayne and Ben. Check in was quick and easy - hit a few to warm up on the range, it's mats only - practice greens are very quick w/a lot of slope (actually a good preview).

Overall conditions were improved compared to my last couple visits a couple years ago. Tees were mostly level with decent or better coverage, par 3's didn't have a lot of divot damage. Fairways were also decent coverage with a few bare spots (only one affected play) and a couple squishy areas from over watering. Rough was generally thick enough to alter club/shot selection but not requiring a search party to find your ball - a few thin/thick spots but fairly consistent. Greens held shots and putted pretty true at medium/fast pace, speeding up as they dried out - not as many ball marks as I remember but still way too many.

Bunkers - where to start?!? Consistency was nearly cement and badly in need of a deep raking - but don't try it yourself, most of the rakes were damaged (probably from trying to get thru the sand!). Many didn't even show footprints. By far the weakest part of the course condition-wise.

POP was a little over 4 hours, could have been much better if not for the 5-some three groups ahead.

Biggest change - the inside corner of #18 has been completely reworked, what was a huge bunker/waste area has now been converted to grass. Still not an easy play to the green but probably cut a good 5-10 minutes of the overall POP.

Recommended at a good price but the bunkers prevent me from recommending without one.
Player 9/25 going out at 8:40 - was booked as a single but paired up with Brian on the tee, nice guy, good stick and good company.

First and most important - this is currently CART PATH ONLY. Those who know the course understand that can lead to some VERY long walks with 1/3 of your bag in hand to have the right club when you finally get there. Even so, POP was an easy 4 hours despite waiting on several holes due to a slower 4 some a couple holes ahead.

Tees and fairways ranged from a little shaggy to a lot shaggy, with the fairways being pretty soft w/little to no run-out. Greens are coming around nicely, first few hadn't been cut but when we reached the ones that had and the sun/wind dried them out they pick up quite a bit of pace. Back nine you could barely tell they'd been punched and all rolled true.

Bunkers leave a little to be desired, half & half sand/dirt mix that was quite "heavy" but at least they're consistent and reasonably playable.

Overall it was worth the price but with the cart path only I'd say just barely - once that limitation is gone I'd definitely recommend it.
Played 9/9 with Johnny, Matt and Robert for the GK semifinals. Conditions for this time of year with the heat we've had were excellent. Customer service was the usual - meaning it was outstanding! Helpful and encouraging without ever being "pushy", this place should host clinics on how to take care of golfers.

As noted by previous reviewers, almost everything is in great shape and well maintained, with one exception - the bunkers (I was in enough to know!). Thin layer of soft/dry sand but underneath it was damp and VERY firm, making a normal "blast" shot almost impossible. Only two options: 1) "muscle up" and take way more sand than you want just to insure you get out on your first shot, or 2) try and nip it off the sand with a lob wedge taking as little sand as possible. Sand quality itself is good, they just need one deep dig/rake and they'd be fine.

To me, the best way to describe the difference between the Celebrity and Player courses is this: If I was picking a course to play 3 or more days per week for pure enjoyment it's Celebrity hands down. Still a solid challenge, it's more visually pleasing and seems to have a more relaxed vibe. If I want to check the state of my game, I'm hitting up Players.

Big shout out to Johnny for getting this set up, other than the heat it was a great day. Get out here soon though, maintenance is starting on the 27th.

Definitely recommended (at least if it's below 105 degrees or so!)
4th and final vacation review.

Played 7/18 going out as a single at 8:30. Was waived through on the 2nd tee by a 5-some of members, they were actually happy to share “their” course with a non-member.

I played here once about 5 years ago, prior to the restoration/turf reduction work. Unlike many courses, the “turf reduction” actually seemed to accentuate the natural beauty of the setting and the restoration work made some holes more playable (recovered areas on green) but also sharpened the fangs on others (see #10, below).

The conditions were outstanding from start to finish (with only one exception). Nary a brown or thin spot in any fairway. The rough was a consistent 2” give or take throughout, fairly thick and a little moist due to the condensation/fog that is a steady presence in the area. Tees were level with little to no damage (even the par 3’s). The fairways had great coverage and thick enough to always leave a good lie.

The greens rolled smooth at a medium-fast pace (at least to me). I was told after I finished they were actually a little slow compared to normal - if that’s the case, I’m not sure I EVER want to attempt this course if they were running fast!

Bunkers were nicely maintained and has plenty of sand, though it was heavier than it looked. The fringe and collars around the greens were well defined and allowed basically any type of shots (including putts from several feet off the green).

The layout is magnificent - great variety of holes, gorgeous to look at and extremely demanding. Hit it where you’re supposed to and you can probably score close to your average. Start missing spots and it rears it’s angry head with great malice. Personally, I think any round here without a 2-putt should be considered “under par” - 3-putts are a common occurrence.

The greens are the most difficult I’ve seen - especially if you’re above the hole. The ultimate example of this is #16 - 3 very distinct levels (plus a amall plateau back right), be on the wrong level and your facing the very real possibility of putting completely off the green (or 4/5 putting, take your pick!)

#10 is simply evil. A par 4 playing mostly downhill, it features a huge fairway but the approach requires you to be on the right 1/4-1/3. Whatever you do, stay away from the restored “bunker canyon” in the left leading up to the green. Getting out of there (and staying on the green) is a major accomplishment- I was in there visiting the end closest to the green and ended up having to make 6’ putt to keep my score in single digits (that hole ate my lunch, my snack, part of my dinner and drank my after round cocktails!).

Should you become a member, your game would improve dramatically (it wouldn’t have a choice!). It’s the toughest course I’ve ever played with little to no room for error. Next year when you watch the Master’s and someone says “there’s only about a 5 foot square area I can land it in”? BELIEVE THEM!!

It’s expensive (though about $75 or more off if you stay at “The Inn at Pasatiempo (very nice place!). It’s also a “bucket list” course and it’s currently rated the #2 course you can play in California.

If you can afford it, make sure you experience it at least once. Do NOT expect to score well, anything even close to your average would be a bonus.

Highly recommended.
3rd vacation review, one more to follow.

If you haven’t yet heard of Wine Valley, you need to look it up. Ranked #5 “Modern” course is the country earlier this year by Golf Digest. If you already have heard of it, let me assure you - it’s at least as good as advertised.

This is a “links” style course in every sense of the word - wide fairways (but with bunkers in all the “wrong” spots), wispy long grass bordering the fairways, HUGE greens and the fairways play about the same speed as the greens (FAST!). Green side bunkers range from small pot-bunkers to massive, all slightly “rough” around the edges (OK, some are a lot more than “slightly”). Lots of variety, no two holes look or feel the same. It was designed with the consistent prevailing wind in mind - a 365+ yard par four into the wind played longer than a 440+ yard one with the wind. Probably more elevation change than most links courses due to the rolling hill topography of the area, it still feels like a true links style course and definitely plays like one (nearly every green can be played to both in the air and on the ground).

Conditions were excellent, even with the unusually hot weather in the area (high 90’s to low 100’s). There was one tee that showed a fair amount of divot damage and a couple of fairways had some small, minor areas of heat damage, but everything else was great. Bunkers had a somewhat course sand but always good coverage and very consistent. Greens were pretty firm and at times it was almost impossible to tell where the green ended and the fringe began. Everything out to about 10 yards was smooth enough to putt from and they rolled true at a medium-fast pace.

If played as designed, the course offers multiple options on nearly every hole (even par 3’s). Play it close to the ground and it’s not hard to score well (assuming you stay out of the green side bunkers, more on them to follow). Play it in the air like you would most courses and you’d better be spot-on with your distances or things can get ugly in a hurry. Most holes where your drive ends up is WAY more important than how far it went.

Now, about those greenside bunkers - STAY AWAY FROM THEM!! LOL. IF your ball stays in the middle they are great to play from but several are positioned so even a great shot still leaves you 15’ or more from the hole. If your ball runs up close to the edge - well, take a snack with you, it might be awhile before you get out.

The service was excellent, unfortunately I can’t speak to the food service - they had an issue with their sanitizing system and couldn’t serve anything except drinks (but they had a real nice selection of big brand and local brews!). Rates for non-residents are a little high but not out of line for a course like this (local rates are awesome!)

If you are ever in the area, make time to play here, you won’t regret it. HIGHLY recommended.
Second vacation review. Sorry for the delay, very limited internet access while I was gone.

Went out early on a Sunday, played the Canyon/Mountain combo. Was paired up with a couple locals who were helpful with their insight as we worked our way around. This course DEFINITELY requires that local knowledge or both your score and enjoyment will suffer.

Conditions were very good to excellent from tee to green. A handfull if brown spots in fairways and a couple tees were fairly worn but other than that very green with good lies. Rough was not real deep but sticky/thick so it was a challenge to recover from. Greens were firm but not hard, most shots would take 1 or 2 bounces before checking up. They were fairly fast but not as fast downhill as you’d think, had several putts come up short of what I’d figured. All rolled very true.

Bunkers had good sand and coverage, both greenside and fairways. The layout is very challenging and requires proper placement of tee shots to keep approach shots reasonable. LOTS of elevation changes! Customer service was very good and efficient.

Overall a very nice facility with great views. A little higher than most in the area but based on the conditions it’s probably worth the extra. Definitely recommended.
First vacation review. Played 7/26/18, the course doesn’t book singles but called a couple days ahead and was paired up with locals David, Charles & Jake, all very welcoming to an out-of-town stranger. Pro shop service was ok, check-in was quick and easy.

On to the course. It’s near Pendleton but pretty much out in BFE with nothing other than the casino and According to the website, this is one of the better casino courses in the country. While there’s nothing flashy about it and it doesn’t really have a signature hole (#18 is as close as it gets), the layout is solid, conditions are well above average (especially considering the recent high temps) and it’s a solid test.

Tees were level with good coverage and not much divot damage, even On the Par 3’s. Fairways were nice, a few thin spots here and there, and the rough was thick enough to alter club and shot choice. Greens were somewhat firm but would hold well-struck shorter irons, rolled smooth at a medium-fast pace, no crazy breaks but enough to present a challenge on anything longer that about 5’. Sand was consistent and medium/fine texture, nice to play from.

Price was quite good for the quality, $40 including cart for “senior” Tuesday/Thursday.

All-in-all it’s a solid course with good to very good prices. I probably wouldn’t drive a long way again to play it (other courses with similar pricing/conditions within a few miles of the Pasco, WA area). If you were to make it a “stay and play” package or are somewhat close by it’s a good choice.
Played last week, sorry for the late review. The renovations are finished so no more temp holes! Overall course is in very good to excellent shape. Couple spots on the new holes where the sod didn't take that will need work but for now just play it as GUR. Greens were very consistent between old vs new - new holes were slightly less receptive but still good, no real speed differences (pretty amazing, really). Sand on the new holes is thick and perfect to play from - points out the need to do a deep re-rake on all the old holes. Pace of play was good, under 3.5 hours (it was a weekday), rate was the same as prior to the renovation! (won't stay that way after the Casino/Hotel opens).

Get out and enjoy it while you can afford it - HIGHLY recommended at the current rates.
Played 36 holes June 5 w/Nick, Greg and Gus using Nick's coupon. First time here, not much staff interaction but generally pleasant.

Really enjoyed the layout - short/long/tight/wide-open/left/right - it's got pretty much everything. Tees were good, fairways were mostly good for this time of year (some bare spots) with signs of being punched on most holes. Sand was good, firm (not hard) and plenty of it (both in the bunkers and overall on the course) - top layer got a little crusty later in the day due to heat/wind.

Greens were ok at best. Note on here says small-tine punch - those are the biggest "small-tines" I've ever seen! Fairly consistent speed (medium slow) but didn't hold shots very well and putts were an adventure. Couple greens they have marked to reduce the putting surface which appears to be a good decision.

With the current heat it'll take at least 2 weeks for the greens to be decent - otherwise the course is in good shape for the summer season.
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