Golf Course Reviews
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Played Black Gold yesterday with fellow GK Gurus 6/25 as well as a GK Cup Match. Been about a year since playing this course. I normally don’t like to space it out that far apart given how much I like it. Felt great to be out there. My foursome was dconnally, gary00 and aakes90278.

From the onset this place was busy as you could tell the local community of Yorba Linda was happy to have the full facilities open again. Driving range was spaced for COVID-19 precautions and face masks were required while in the proshop.

As sparky14 noted in his review and I agree, the fairways were as lush as I’ve ever seen them and I have been playing Black Gold Golf Club since 2003. I have to applaud Black Gold once again for making the decision years ago to go through the painful long transition from a bermunda/rye grass fairway turf to an all kikuyu as it has certainly paid off in the long run.

Greens in very good shape as expected however not as firm and fast as I normally experience. Most golfers probably like that as these greens are very challenging and your short game has to be spot on to negotiate difficult bunkers and most of all tough lies out of the kikuyu rough. I was greenside in two on hole 4. Had a tough delicate in kikuyu downhill lie, thinned it a little, ran through the green, another difficult pitch, two putts, walked away with a 6.

Rough, lush and my comment above pretty much sums it up. Hit the greens in regulation to avoid the super tough kikuyu pitch shots is a premium.

Bunkers, greens side sand, fluffy white and beautiful. Fairways bunkers, little firm and in good shape. This is exactly how I like a golf course bunkers to be. I need the soft stuff around the greens and the more firm stuff in the fairways.

Tee boxes, we played the white tees, my first time playing the white tees there, they are certainly the most popular tees at Black Gold. They were in good shape, not great, mostly lush and level. However when I glanced at the blue tees while driving by they were more lush and level.

Final note: 18 is simply one of the best finishing holes around. Not just because of its risk/reward par 5 design and beauty but because you finish with a gallery from the clubhouse patio looking on. Gary00 got an applause when his shot from the fairway looked like it was going to roll into the hole. Loved that. Its not every day daily fee golfers can get that rush of hitting shots with onlookers cheering. Heck we got more fans watching us than the PGA Tour now! – LOL

Check out the photos I posted.

Highly Recommended.
This review is 10 years in the making. I’m serious. It’s been that long reading great review after great review on yet somehow never finding the right opportunity to play Arrowood. Well it did not get much better than yesterday Friday 6/12 teeing up with GKers gary00, mpisarski01 and AndrewZ28. Good times was an understatement.

Arrowood Golf Course actually exceeded my expectations from an overall golf experience. I knew the golf course would be in excellent shape and a blast to play. However the atmosphere there is all about FUN. The place does not miss a beat there. From the relaxing Sinatra tunes on the range/putting greens to the live band Friday afternoon community fair on the patio afterwards. Super friendly staff and good vibes from everyone. What is it with Oceanside? First Goat Hill with its cool unique vibe and now this place. Nailing it.

Conditions, outstanding. Greens smooth poa, holding shots and running medium speed. They used the pool noddle for COVID-19 precautions with ample room for the ball to drop. Fairways, practically perfect with only a few blemishes. Little firm (which I like), great lies and green. Rough, after playing Ridge Creek Dinuba Wednesday and then this place I was like “What Rough?” – LOL, but its there, lush, about 3 inches high and can be grabby at times. Tee boxes level lush and interesting as gary00 noted, the markers were set from edge to edge of the tee box providing a wide nice selection of spots to hit from. Really liked that. Bunkers, COVID-19 no rakes but still maintained well. You can see they are in the middle of replenishing sand beginning with the greenside bunkers.

I will be back here to play sooner than later. Loved this place.

Check out the photos I posted.
Catching up on this review from Wednesday 6/10. Good times out at Ridge Creek Dinuba with rgm2525, CenCalGolfer33 and Deepsea14. It’s a great location for a meet-in-the-middle for SoCal and NorCal golfers. It’s also a great course that has yet to ever disappoint me. Personally I think it’s vastly underrated as far as rating and slope, this golf course has some serous teeth. Fairways are generous for the most part but miss them and almost always pay a steep price in deep rough, hazard or a nasty bunker. Greens are large but no push over. And if the wind kicks up this already long golf course, 7482 from the tips, will have you for lunch.

We teed off at 11:30 and finished in just over 4 hours with no waiting. Greens in great shape, holding shots but a touch slower than times I’ve played them in past. Their COVID-19 precautions pins were the only negative as they hardly let the ball drop so you need to agree upon prior to the round with your group what a good or not good putt is just in case. Fairways played fantastic. Last year the fairways were more lush and green but were also soft. Aesthetically they looked better then but they play much better this time allowing release on golf shots you would expect from the links style course. Plus the lies were great all day. Love fairways like this. Rough was beastly if you found the second cut. Hit and miss, well mostly miss, at finding your ball. The first cut was about an inch above the fairways and easy to hit from. Greenside rough varied in length and let me give you a word of advice, take an unplayable drop if you are in it wherever you are on the golf course. I took an 8 on hole 4 because it took me 4 lob wedge hack shots to escape it. Tee boxes in good shape but a little dry. Bunkers, COVID-19 conditions with no rakes and I believe they allow you take a free drop from them. Sand is old, hard and compressed. My guess is this has a lot to do with COVID-19. Personally I think they should fill in some of the bunkers in that need extreme work. Would be a cool look on some of the holes.

Amenities at Ridge Creek Dinuba as well as service are excellent. It’s a must that you experience the massive decked out practice facilities when visiting and enjoy the food from Jack’s restaurant if you have time. They are doing take out for golfers making the turn or you can now dine in on the patio social distanced. Bummer I did not have time after the round to grab a bite there as I normally do.

Check out the photos I posted. We might be doing an outing there in November.

They punch the greens 6/22 & 6/23 so try to get up there before that but if you don’t once the greens heal the golf course will be in excellent shape in July. Highly Recommended.
My first round in 9 weeks and my first experience with golf COVID-19. Teeing off at 12:30pm Monday 5/10 joined by GDR23, Kviser and RGM2525 we had a super time.

Pulling in I’ve never seen so many cars in the Sterling Hills Golf Club parking lot on a Monday non-holiday weekday. Upon walking up to the clubhouse I noticed it was closed off the public entrance with open doors and check-in taking place at the cart staging area. We chose to walk but had someone in our group had a physical issue they could have opted for a cart. Range balls were available for players with mats and spacing on the range. At the first tee was a staff member with mask and gloves on giving us guidance. Out on the golf course mask was not required and pins had the foam pool noodle insert about halfway down the cups to allow the ball to drop. No rakes in the bunkers nor ball washers as expected. Personally I hardly felt COVID-19 disrupted all day as a walker plus I got great exercise on a golf course I almost always ride. Felt amazing to be playing with friends on a beautiful day on a fun track.

Conditions were overall very good. Greens mostly soft, rolling smooth at about medium speed. Fairways mostly lush with some minor dry areas and good coverage all around. The fairways were a blend of warm and cool temp turf so I would expect a minor transition period moving into the summer months. The rough is mostly kikuyu with mixtures of other grasses and mostly lush. There are many elevated greens and tight pin placements so be glad you spent all that time in COVID-19 backyard quarantine with your lob wedge! Bunkers had quality sand with some containing non-raked footprints (no rakes makes that understandable). Tee boxes (played the blues) had good coverage. Little inconsistent from box to box as far as levelness and turf height but overall in good shape.

4 ½ hour pace a play with a little bit of waiting.

I took a bunch of photos of the golf course I encourage you to check out here on GK.

Looking forward to my next round at Sterling Hills already.
Thank you everyone that came out to GK Plays Sun City West AZ. I brag about Sun City West Golf Courses always having great playing conditions and being an exceptional value … the Deer Valley course certainly lived up to it with our outing. Greens were firm yet pure, smooth and ran at good pace. Fairways provided perfect lies all day. Tee boxes in excellent shape as well. The bunkers all well kept with quality sand. The rough was left to be dormant in the winter but still had plenty of padding to hit shots from. We hardly waited during our outing while playing. Afterwards we hung out on the patio for some drinks/food while we gave out raffle prizes and had fun. I know for sure we’ll be doing another GK Plays Sun City West Golf again. Maybe even another this year. Big thanks to GKers SeveB who happens to Pat, the Operational Manager of the golf courses. How cool is that? Big supporters of our GK Community. Highly recommended. — Photos to be posted soon!
Out with fellow GK Gurus Wednesday 2/26 at Eagle Glen. I was in pants from a meeting prior and sure wished I was in shorts like the rest of the guys. Was hard to believe it was February. We teed off around 11:00am and finished in 4:30 hours. I was in the group consisting or TubeDude, rgm2525 and allan_grant. We played the Black/Blue Combo tees and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing some tee boxes never played as I normally play the Blue Tees only. Golf course was in very good shape considering it was February. I knew going in the fairways would be dormant and firm. I liked that they sprayed them with a very light green tint to create extra definition between the rough and fairways. They played very firm yet you needed to be careful with short pitch shots off them to pick them perfect otherwise the turf seemed to grab the club just enough to result in a fat shot. Bump and run is your best option. Greens were the best conditioned aspect of the golf course running moderately fast and smooth. They, like the rest of the golf course were very firm so you need to play shots factoring in a release. Love those putting surfaces as they are large and challenging enough without being unfair. Tee boxes as mentioned were mostly lush and firm and could use some leveling improvements on most. Greenside bunkers were in good shape, a little thin and firm which I enjoy. It’s important to note that despite the warm days it’s the cold nights in those hills that keep the bermunda turf dormant. I would not expect the fairways to be naturally green until sometime in late April or early May.

Check out the photos I just posted. My favorite part of Eagle Glen is the layout especially the par 3’s and par 5’s. All the par 3’s feature a forced carry and the par 5’s are risk/reward. The 18th hole is one of the best finishing holes in Southern California IMO. The views are fantastic throughout the golf course with many doglegs in different directions. I feel like it’s a layout that can appeal to just about any golfer. The only hole I don’t like is #2.

Eagle Glen has hosted our GK Cup Final and many GK Cup Matches. Certainly a favorite in the area that I looking forward to playing again and again. Recommended.
Played with 11 other GK Gurus (please contact me at or message here on GK to learn more) at Oak Quarry yesterday (2/12). Postcard weather day in Southern California.

The main purpose of a GK Guru visit with a golf course is to help spread the word of current very good/great playing conditions. Typically Oak Quarry being predominately a summer turf course plays its best in May, June and July. Well they have the golf course dialed in beautifully right now for February which is impressive. Come March they will aerate the greens and during Late March through April depending on how warm it is there will be a turf transition where the green rye grass gives way to the warm weather grasses. Long story short, get out there and play Oak Quarry this month!

Greens are as expected firm for this time of year, smooth and excellent speed. Fairways are dormant Bermuda with full coverage, firm for lots of roll and plenty of padding under the ball to compress shots. Rough mostly lush, not too penalizing and beautiful contrast to the fairways. Tee boxes are in good shape, mostly level, well cared for. Bunkers are a mixed bag. I was in a lot of them (which is not good if you want to score well there). The fairways bunkers are very firm, with some occasional scattered small rocks here in there you want to pick away from you ball, however I much prefer fairway bunkers like that than too much sand. Makes them easy to escape from. On the flip side the green side bunkers had decent sand and featured very steep faces. It took me a couple shots at times to escape them. They are well positioned so to avoid them during your round is quite an accomplishment. Bring your high lob sand game.

The layout at Oak Quarry can be best summed up as a bold statement. The unique visuals and setting set the golf course apart. It is a bucket list golf course for every golfer in Southern California. Extremely challenging, especially if the wind kicks up and loaded with scenic fun holes.

During the whole experience the customer services was excellent. Friendly professional staff.

Highly Recommend.

Btw – fresh photos coming soon.
Good times at Sterling Hills Golf Club Sunday for the GK Cup 14 Final. Please see the Results thread in the forums.

Overall the golf course was in good shape with the greens being in excellent condition. Fast, semi-firm and smooth. Challenging putting surfaces that can produce some very difficult pin positions. Loved them. I was also impressed with the fairways having hardly any bare spots and provided decent lies throughout. They were firm producing some nice roll out. If you know how bad the fairways were just over a year ago and where they are now, add to that this is January and not Spring/Summer when the fairways are at their best, you would be very impressed with the improvement. Rough had a mixture of grasses and cut just above fairway height. Bunkers had decent sand, not great, not bad, no complaints. Tee boxes mostly lush, sometimes thin, in decent shape.

It’s a fun challenging layout where hitting good approach shots and putting well is essential. Some fun reachable in two Par 5’s combined with challenging Par 3’s and some formidable Par 4’s.

Nice clubhouse that can host outings and weddings. Affordable small bar/grill with tasty food (I got the Philly Steak Sandwich). Good service all day with friendly clubhouse, marshals and on-course food & beverage. Worth the green fee for sure and even more so using the GK Coupon.

Was great fun being in the finals group with Mike, Mark and Nick. Looking forward to my next round here.

Best way to cap off some travel is golf with GKers at a great golf course! Good times with rob1563 and LarryTee in Vegas yesterday.

Caught some beautiful weather and Reflection Bay was in excellent shape as always. I say always because I’ve played the golf course in the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter and its always in great shape. Green roll smooth and medium/fast. Fairways whether overseeded or summer bermunda are lush. Bunkers always maintained excellent. Service, facility and pace of play excellent.

Yesterday the golf course had the classic beautiful dark green fairways framed by dormant bermunda rough (see photos I just posted) and played firm. Super fun with all the contours out there. Greens smooth and mostly fast. Fairways lush. Tee boxes lush. Bunkers contained quality sand and well maintained. We teed off the back nine first because of an earlier frost delay which I actually like how the golf course sets up that way better. As a threesome we hardly ever waited, in fact let some twosomes play through. Constantly saw the friendly on course food and beverage service. Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains throughout. I love this golf course.

Highly Recommended.
Final round of my dream Monterey trip was at Spyglass joined by rgm2525, Alex362 and Deepsea14. Awesome time with those guys. I had played Spyglass before for the first time two years ago in the summer and loved it. I loved it again but different experience this time as we had some gusty winds and rain to start off. Also the golf course was very saturated and unfortunately they had lightly sanded the greens recently (no punching). It was very strange leaving putts short most of the day at Spyglass due to saturated greens/wet sand layer. Unfortunately the combination did detract from the experience given the expectations. However we had a great forecaddie (Cody) that helped the best he could with the wet conditions. He helped us read the inconsistent green speeds well and was excellent at finding wayward shots that in some cases were plugged lies. Super guy with a fun personality.

Spyglass, despite the out of norm conditions we had, is still a bucketlist experience and one I am so happy I’ve got to experience a second time. The layout is now my second favorite only to Pebble Beach so you can guess where I will be playing someday a lot of golf after I win the lotto – LOL. It is sort of mystical if that makes sense playing among the beautiful peninsula forest and wildlife. So easy to get lost in thought and take it all in.

My rating for Spyglass from a playing conditions standpoint is lower than norm for sure but I always rate a golf course on how I experienced it that day. Can’t wait to return. Will be posting some photos soon.
I can’t even begin to tell how much this round meant to me coming as a gift from members. A life long dream to play Pebble Beach Golf Links now realized. I was 90% tourist and only 10% golfer and played as such but who cares, I would not have experienced my first round here any other way. Took over 200 photos on what turned out to be a post card weather day for January in Monterey. So blessed. I’m going to have a ton of photos posted here, on the GreensKeeper iPhone App and lots of posts on my JohnnyGK/ Facebook and Instagram accounts. This was a day I will always remember and savor. Thank You!

There are golf rounds and there is Pebble. The nostalgia and grandness of day is a right of passage in my mind for those that love the game. It’s very expensive but worth it is you have the coin to spend on yourself. I didn’t but again those GK’ers that pitched in saw to it I would. You’re all awesome. Thank You.

We teed off at 8:20am today. Alex326, rgm2525 and Alex’s friend Bob. We finished in 4 ½ hours. Conditions wise, the greens were in great shape, not immaculate but you know that will change in a month for now when they host the AT & T, mostly smooth, holding shots and moderately fast. Rest of the golf course was immaculate. Added fun was they are preparing for the AT & T so many of the platforms are already built for the bleachers to be placed.

Part of the Pebble Beach experience is having an great caddies. We had 2 for our group of 4. Chris tended to my bag and rgm2525’s and did a super job for me. Also found out he knows about GK and uses it often. He gave me good reads and club selections all day. Great guy to have conversations with and patient with me with all my picture taking! – LOL

Pebble Beach Golf Links, and not just from walking in the footsteps of the greats standpoint, is now my favorite golf course I have ever played. Loved every hole and was completely mesmerized by all the ocean holes. My favorite hole is #8 par 4. Wow that approach shot down to the green is special. Hole #18 is a close second which I almost birdied! Hole #7 I screwed up but still loved it. This course fits my eye all day. Challenging but fair. Exceptional variety of golf holes where strategy is needed to play well. I could play it every month (come on Powerball numbers! – LOL)

Highly Recommended!
I’ll have photos posted this weekend but have a window here on the trip to post my first review. Played with Alex326 and RGM2525 for a round at Carmel Valley Ranch Tuesday. Man the Clubcorp playaway is sure awesome as both those guys paid only $25 that included cart. I paid a $80 guest rate per their playaway membership and for the quality of golf experience provided that was a great rate!

Beautiful fun short challenging Pete Dye designed (only Pete Dye course on the peninsula) with a jaw dropping back nine carved into the surrounding Carmel hills. It was in excellent condition. Bent grass greens, bent/rye blend fairways, rough and tee boxes. Greens, especially the back nine that were rolled ran fast and smooth. Golf course played just over 6100 yards from the back tees but don’t let the length trick you into thinking its an easy track. The front nine is mostly level and is your opportunity to score well. Once on the back nine, get ready for a large host of dramatic golf holes featuring many elevated tees and views of the Carmel valley. The fairways were lush but with tight lies so it put a premium on crisp iron shots. The rough was lush, wet at times and with occasional thin spots. The bunkers in very good shape with quality sand. Tee boxes level, lush and in excellent shape.

The main defense are the putting greens. They are undulating and provide many very difficult pin locations which were on full display for our round. This is a resort course but make no mistake it’s a Pete Dye course ready to punish you for any poor play. Loved it.

Our Pace of Play was quick teeing off around 11:45 finishing in 4 hours. Service excellent all day. Beautiful clubhouse and surrounding. An absolutely incredible #11 golf hole. I highly recommend this golf course.
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