Golf Course Reviews
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Sunday, played Laguna Seca GR for the first time. Went out as a foursome at 1:00pm with cart. Alex326, rgm2525, me and a single named Jeff that joined us. It’s a hilly course but certainly walkable however my knee was sore and did not want to chance messing it up before our Quail Lodge & Golf Club round the next day. We finished in under 4 hours with no waiting.

I thought it was a great layout. Tons of fun shots to try there. Good views and challenging. I would play it again based almost completely on how much I enjoyed the layout. It came to my attention on hole #8 that hole #9 here at Laguna Seca GR is considered the second toughest Par 4 on the peninsula by Alex326. I escaped it with bogey. Check out the photos.

But the conditions are nowhere near Monterey expectations. Mixed bag but mostly significantly blemished turf irregularities on the putting surfaces. It was very difficult to figure out the speed and lines given the bumps. Some greens smooth and beautiful which gave a glimpse of the potential golf experience the course could provide. Fairways with mixed conditions from lush to thin. Overall good shape and decent roll out. Rough, basically the fairways but an inch or two longer. Easy to escape from. Bunkers, awesome designs and placements but sand quality lacking. Mostly thin lies with just enough sand to play your shots from. Tee boxes were mostly level, some divot damage and cut fairway height. No problem playing from them.

Fortunately had time to explore the driving range which thankfully we had a golf cart to reach. I did see the golf course bringing golfers back and forth which is appreciated. The range is very dry, rough around the edges but man I loved it. It’s a big grass range secluded up in the hill. Practice bunkers, terrible sand but that’s expected in the context. Check out my pics.

Overall, Laguna Seca GR as worth checking out for the first time, would be back soon if the greens were nice, super fun track.
11 Likes.
Up at Quail Lodge & Golf Club for my annual trip to Monterey Monday 11/14. Really fun day with GKers, rgm2525, alex326 and deepsea14. Golf course was immaculate as expected. Even better shape than last year. Greens were pure. Running medium fast, very smooth and holding shots. Fairways were like carpet with only a few blemishes. The primary rough was paona turf as are the greens, tees and fairways. It was cut 2-3 inches but the secondary rough, the nasty dense fescue lining the bunkers and hazards was up to foot deep and very penalizing. As challenging as the bunkers are to play from you are much better being in the sand than on the edges of those traps. The bunkers, perfect, excellent sand, well groomed and beautiful. The bunkers are the center piece of Quail Lodge & Golf Club’s design. Take a look at the photos I posted and you will soon see. Tee boxes in excellent shape, level, lush and groomed.

Service was fantastic all day. Friendly and professional.

We did not have an opportunity to eat at Edgars but from all past experiences it’s superb.

Anytime you see a Play and Stay deal to experience Quail Lodge & Golf Club its worth considering. If you’re in town for a few rounds, put Quail Lodge on your list.

Highly Recommended
13 Likes.
Second round of the Birdie Chain Battle + GK Guru Round on Monday 11/7 at the always exceptional Indian Wells Golf Resort. Both courses already open from Fall overseeding. We chose the Players Course because it was further along having reopened 3 weeks ago and no longer requiring cart path only restrictions. The Celebrity Course had just reopened from overseeding a few days prior, looked fantastic as well, but still cart path only.

We had 7 of us. Great time! I was joined by rgm2525, alex326, mpisarski01, gary00, nutnbutcup and sr129. Unfortunately mark_6m had an emergency and could not make it. Thanks guys for coming out!

IWGR is already IMO the Disneyland-ish facility of golf in the desert. Even the clubhouse has a “Space Mountain” kind of look. Clean modern design with many attractions like the best well stocked clothing proshop I’ve ever seen, a laser show/putting course “Shots In The Night”, new large covered driving range nearing completion (range is still open but on grass), fantastic food truck, excellent dining, cascading water fall bag drop/valet parking and now for the winter season an ice rink!

OK but what about the Players Course? It’s a fantastic layout as expected but what impressed me more was what wonderful condition it was already in this early in the season. Greens were smooth, medium fast and mostly firm. Fairways overseeded rye on an excellent bermunda base, almost perfect. Rough was in the process of going dormant but still had some color and played mostly lush/short. Bunkers all in great shape, quality sand and well groomed. Tee boxes lush but on the shaggy side in some cases. Outstanding overall conditions for November and should only get better.

Check out the photos I just posted. What a fun day with beautiful weather and GKer company :)

Also look for my Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok posts about the round. Thanks!

Highly Recommended!
12 Likes.
Visited Rams Hill Golf Club for a Birdie Chain Battle Sunday, they’re opening weekend of the 2022-2023 season.

Teed it up with GKers rgm2525, alex326 and mpisarski01 around 12:00pm with no waiting finishing in 4 1/2 hours. Could have finished in under 4 hours had it not been cart path only and we were having too much fun. Birdie Chain Battle info posted in the forums!

As far as the golf experience, its Rams Hill, it was fantastic. Regarding the facilities and service, top notch. Add the beautiful views and landscaping, this place is a desert oasis. The only downside, and more so for us that have played Rams Hill Golf Club year after year is that despite large efforts being put into improving the turf conditions there is only minimal improvements. Still in very good shape which will elevate into great shape come December but right now not close to Rams Hill Golf Club standards. I had a conversation with management prior to playing and they are experimenting with a new bermunda turf called tiftuf for the fairways and tees which looked/played amazing on the 16th tee box. There are also plans to add another 18 holes championship golf course in the next few years. They have 6 wells on the property however the water has high salt content which presents lots of challenges. However no question the owners and management are going to do whatever it takes to bring Rams Hill Golf Club back to its immaculate conditioned self. In general the greens, fairways and rough could all use a couple more weeks of growth and cutting. Greens were medium speed, mostly smooth and softer than I’ve previously experienced. Fairways have mostly full coverage with some small clusters of thin to bare areas. Rough is in the same category as the fairways. Tee Boxes in very good shape, lush, a little shaggy but only because the turf needs a few more cycles of cutting this early in the season. The bunkers were in excellent condition with quality sand and well groomed.

Prior to playing had a delicious breakfast buritto on the outside patio with the guys. See photos of the view. Highly recommend making the time to have a bite to eat before or after your round.

Check out the photos of just posted!

Also look for some of my Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok posts about the round :)

Recommended.
14 Likes.
Desk locked for weeks GKer mark_6m invites me to a late afternoon round at Sandpiper on Thursday (10/27). Not the time of the year I normally play Sandpiper knowing conditions are at its driest there before Fall rains and winter grasses start filling in. No matter to me. I’ve always felt 75% of enjoyment I get from playing Sandpiper is the ambiance of playing golf on the high cliffs of the Santa Barbara coast. But mostly it means a lot to me when I can take up a GKer on an offer to play golf. Thanks Mark!

Under gorgeous weather with a light breeze and the good company of two UCSB professors who joined the day was fantastic. Greens true, fast and firm. Very challenging and a blast. Fairways, dry with thin coverage, awesome for big tee shots but bring a good iron game for tight firm lies. As far as the rough other than some shin high patches of fescue, mostly thin, with some bare areas on the most outer areas … LOL … give it three months once the rain comes with cooler weather and that rough will be Jekyll/Hyde-thick-nasty. Bunkers are well groomed and consistent but thin and very firm so be careful on your first sand shot. Tee boxes all in good shape, lush, firm and cut.

My suggestion is if you see a beautiful afternoon in the forecast for Goleta, CA consider teeing it up at Sandpiper then hang out on their patio for a spectacular ocean sunset. Then if you’re lucky enough you might get a front row seat of a rocket launch over the ocean. I videoed all my Ace Cams, the Sunset and SpaceX Launch and posted them on to my @greenskeeperorg - Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok accounts. Really cool stuff. Check it out. Thanks :)
17 Likes.
Ran a Golf Moose/GK Private Course event Monday at the exclusive Bakersfield CC 9/19. It lived up to its hype as a traditional timeless Billy Bell Sr. design classic. Exceptional grand clubhouse and facilities. Solid parkland style track with many mature trees and hills. It was perfectly suited for our large 100+ players outing. Greens were in fantastic shape, medium/fast, smooth and holding shots. Fairways mostly lush, light green/brown, firm, they did not look pretty but played well. Rough was a mix of berumuda/kikuyu/other grasses. Thicker than it looked and difficult to play from. Bunkers mostly firm, well maintained, well groomed. Tee boxes in the same condition as the fairways but more green. I grew up playing parkland golf that requires a solid rescue game from the trees and boy did this place deliver. This track gives you an opportunity to save a par or bogey, or play in the trees for a while and post a big number. I thoroughly enjoyed it with my fellow GKer playing partner’s rgm2525, Alex326, kviser and Deepsea14. We played as five due to combining our 1A & 1B groups. All fast players, we were on the group in front of us all day. Finished in 5 hours. See PHOTOS POSTED.

Good Times! Played it if you get a chance.
10 Likes.
With an outing scheduled in Bakersfield for Monday, no way I could pass up an opportunity to play one my favorite tracks Sunday Ridge Creek Dinuba which is only an hour away. Got together with 4 GKers on a 2:00pm tee time and had a blast. The golf course was looking as beautiful and lush as I’ve seen it since it opened years ago. Man, just CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS I posted. Place was so green and they are almost finished refurbishing their bunkers (100+ traps). It’s a unique challenging track with a grossly underrated rating/slope that allows you to grip & rip yet pay a heavy price should your shots miss the target. It’s a course you can walk and has outstanding large practice facilities. After play, not many better places to eat in town than 3 Finger Jacks on the property that features a beautiful patio/view of the course. It’s worth a trip from SoCal or NorCal to grab a room in area and play it once or twice.

Highly Recommended
11 Likes.
Teed it up with GDR23, ag2000 and kmersola during a Golf Moose / GK Private Event I organized on Monday. Awesome day of golf with GKers and others that joined in.

I’ve lived in Westlake/Thousand Oak area since 2002 and have driven by Sunset Hills CC more times than I can count. I’ve heard stories of how tight and quirky the layout is … this was my first time playing it Monday and like kassper7 I too was pleasantly surprised to experience a fun layout that was not too tight nor quirky for this golfer. In fact I really enjoyed it. It’s a challenging golf course in very good shape despite drought and water restrictions taking place in Ventura County. The greens are near perfect. Fairways had some brown areas but not much with full coverage good berumuda/kikuyu surface to play from. But oh that kikuyu rough greenside really put a premium on good iron play, which if you saw my forum post, has been severely lacking lately for me. The greens are small and well protected not only by the nasty rough but bunkers too. Want to play someone with a good short game … bet the members here have one because you got to have mad pitch game skills to handle this place. On the greens are no picnic either. While small they were very challenging with some severe slopes and undulations. Tee boxes are small as there’s not much space to fit them. With irons off the tee a strong possibility due to the how short and tight the track is some tees showed the wear and tear of summer play. Bunkers on the other hand all had excellent sand, groomed and a pleasure to play from. I’m so glad I finally got to play here!

Regarding facilities, nothing special but adequate. You got your clubhouse, bar/restaurant, tennis courts … unfortunately due to limited space they do NOT have a full size driving range. Instead they have a very small 160 yards irons only range and a nice hitting net where you can take bigger swings. They also got a small practice putting green and chipping green plus practice bunker (bunker was closed).

From an organizer’s perspective, so appreciative they had a full outside services helping out and their head pro, F & B director and staff to make sure we were well cared for. The staging area was small and simple. I enjoyed the whole experience and I’m looking forward to returning to put on more outings there. CHECK OUT the photos I just posted and THANK YOU to everyone that came! Recommened!
12 Likes.
Thank you everyone that came out to our GK Plays!
(I just posted the recap in the forums)

When I decided on the date for Sterling Hills Golf Club GK Plays I knew with the most strict water restrictions having been in effect for 2 months prior and Ventura Country getting very little of the monsoon rain other parts of SoCal have received, their playing conditions were not going to be their best, but IMO they were still - Very Good! But lets be honest, besides Sterling Hills Golf Club being a great supporter of our GK Community, the weather in Camarillo in August is about as good as it gets in SoCal and that factored as well. Low 80's light ocean breeze. At least 10 to 15 degrees cooler than nearby San Fernando Valley.

I loved all the improvements to the facilities since my last round their months ago. New more conveinent practice putting green near the driving range/first tee, refurbished 19th Hole Pub/Grill/Patio and new paint. Being a local to Ventura County it's been awesome seeing Sterling Hills Golf Club continue to improve the entire experience over the last few years. They've come a LONG way in that time period and continue to progress.

Our outing ran smoothly with excellent friendly services at all levels.

The facilities are superb for hosting groups large or small.

Highly Recommended.
8 Likes.
Such a blast teeing it up at Dove Canyon Golf Club on Monday with rgm2525, mark_6m and kmersola. This was the second time the club hosted a Golf Moose / GK Private Club event and I so appreciate their support. Its a fantastic experience top to bottom. The golf course is a signature Jack Nicklaus design that was in great shape in the heat of the summer. Healthy lush bermunda fairways and bermunda/kikuya rough. Greens suprisingly soft yet smooth and medium fast. Definately a different experience from the smooth, fast and firm greens we played in January. Bunkers all in good shape with quality sand. Some tee boxes were being worked on with some closed and others a little rough around the edges for country club standards but just fine to play from. Check out the updated photos I posted.

I want to give a big thanks to everyone that came out. Its so great to see GKers at these.

Of all the new courses I've experienced this year, Dove Canyon Golf Club is my favorite. Highly recommended!
10 Likes.
Second time playing Bear Creek GC (7/25) and running a Golf Moose / Greenskeeper.org outing here. Great job by their staff having everything prepared and organized for us.

Played with rgm2525, mark_6m and sparky14. Golf course was in great shape and much better than when we played it in February. This is a summer turf course for sure as they don’t overseed. Greens in super shape, not as fast and smooth as our February outing but holding shots much better and still rolling well which enhanced their playability/enjoyment. Fairways lush, mostly green bermunda turf which was a pleasure to hit off. Bunkers all had quality sand and well groomed. Tee boxes lush, groomed and played real nice.

I’m a big fan of this layout. Check out the photos. Excellent challenging tee shots with attractive sight lines. Most tee shot and approach shots, as with all Nicklaus designs favor a left to right ball slight. However they can still be played with a draw which I love. Greens are all very well guarded by bunkers and lateral hazards. Once on the greens most have multiple tiers and severe undulations. Excellent green complex designs that reward strong approach shot play, short game and putting skills. Never a boring or dull moment playing this course.

Don’t miss an opportunity to play this exclusive club. Highly Recommended.
7 Likes.
I’m in the process of putting together our GK Plays outing recap to be posted in the forums tomorrow. Thank you so much to everyone that attended. Just posted some new photos of the golf course here so please check them out. San Vicente Golf Resort has only got prettier from my last round there back in August 2021.

First off, please read Mark’s review posted just below mine, great work and his description of the layout really nails it.

From a player’s standpoint, I love this track. Especially the 18 new green complexes which came out so good they helped San Vicente Golf Resort win the Renovation of the Year Award 2021 from industry media Golf Inc (New gorgeous large undulating greens well protected by beautiful bunkers and grass knolls). They can tuck pins in many spots on those greens making every approach, pitch and putt fun/interesting.

Conditions of the golf course are excellent. Smooth, medium speed, mostly firm greens. Speaking of the greens, they are much more receptive to golf shots now than 12 months ago. Mostly lush bermunda turf fairways that were established just prior to COVID and now have filled in beautifully. Rough was mostly lush, well groomed/defined and penal at times. Bunkers all in excellent shape with quality sand. Tee boxes in the same shape as the fairways, mostly lush and well groomed. San Vicente Golf Resort is a course with warm weather turf in June – October you can expect its best conditions.

From an organizer's perspective, even though our outing was small they delivered on all accounts especially with their BBQ, Drinks and Tent. Mark the head pro was out there talking it up with our guests and serving burgers, hot dogs, beers and drinks. They made us feel very comfortable and appreciated.

I highly recommend playing San Vicente Golf Resort this Summer or Fall. It’s worth the drive. Enjoy!
11 Likes.
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* Bali Hai Golf Club, Las Vegas, NV
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Bear Creek Golf Club, Murrieta, CA
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Los Coyotes CC, Buena Park, CA
Porter Valley CC, Northridge, CA
Sunset Hills CC, Thousand Oaks, CA
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Wood Ranch Golf Club, Simi Valley, CA

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