Golf Course Reviews
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Out with GK Gurus yesterday on the Mountain View course. Played the FireCliff course last week on Thursday… how quick the weather can change in SoCal in January… 86 that day with sunshine and no wind to low 60’s yesterday, cloudy, a little rain and windy. Still a great time although! Even got some good photos to post here on GK … check them out.

Had a nice talk with the superintendent about the challenges with overseeding the Mountain View course this Fall, but let me say before I go on, the Mountain View course was still in excellent shape. With 36 holes at Desert Willow Golf Resort, each 18 holes is overseeded approximately 2 months apart. Mountain View happened to be overseeded first beginning in September through October. This Fall we had extreme heat making it very challenging to grow seasonal cool temperature rye grass. Chris the superintendent however managed to do a great job overcoming those challenges. In some areas the bermunda turf in the rough and around the edges of bunkers overtook the rye grass but those are only minor blemishes.

The greens are immaculate. Medium fast, smooth and firm. As good as the greens on the FireCliff course were Thursday these were even better. Besides the first few holes which were in great not immaculate shape, which was explained to me get more play due to the 6 hole loop conducive for late afternoon play, the fairways on the rest of the golf course were immaculate. Firm, lush and green. Tee boxes where in excellent condition, lush, green and well groomed. Bunkers excellent, little firm, quality sand and well groomed. Rough predominately rye, cut just above fairway height, great shape.

Comparing the conditions of FireCliff Course vs. Mountain View Course, the FireCliff Course is currently in better shape due to its late overseeding avoiding the extreme heat challenges mentioned earlier in this review plus it has not had as many round played on it yet. However you can’t go wrong playing one or the other because they are both fabulous layouts. The Mountain View course is not as difficult as the FireCliff Course with less bunkers, more forgiving off the tee and a little less demanding with approach shots. I personally like the FireCliff Course more than the Mountain View Course but I always play better on the Mountain View Course which feels good. A perfect day for me at Desert Willow Golf Resort would be to play 36 since each course compliments the other well with a different golf experience.

Every year we have a summer GK Plays outing at Desert Willow Golf Resort so can’t wait to get back out there. Highly Recommended.
Out with GK Gurus yesterday on a picture perfect day at a picture perfect conditioned golf course. They have 36 holes at Desert Willow Golf Resort. We played the Firecliff Course. Driving in I saw a couple holes of their other course Mountain View, look immaculate as well.

Desert Willow Golf Resort is a Top-10 golf experience for me. It never disappoints. Before the round I had great conversation with their Superintendent Chris filling me in about how they overseed. Chris came over from PGA WEST where he was responsible for the private courses there. Unlike other courses in Palm Springs region, Desert Willow Golf Resort does not cut down their bermunda before wall-to-wall overseeding. With the greens they are overseeded with a combo of rye/poa. So unlike some courses in the area that overseed the greens with only rye grass producing a slower putting service, Desert Willow Golf Resorts greens are running medium/fast right out of overseeding. I loved them. A Perfect 10 in my book yesterday.

As incredible the golf courses are, the entire facilities/services are too. Gorgeous clubhouse and massive patio dining. Delicious food. Fantastic practice range, practice chipping and putting. It’s a must play. Highly Recommended. Check out the photos I just posted!
Great time enjoying a holiday season round with KevBig, John_T and rob1563 from Vegas on Sunday 12/27.

It was fun to circle back here to play the golf course in winter shape compared to summer shape. I picked the hottest time of year in July and the coldest time of the year in December – LOL. The golf course plays different with exception to the fairways being in very good shape both times of year. In the summer we had brutal lush bermuda rough, in the winter the rough is all dormant. Take a look at my photos as the contrast between the fairways and rough is gorgeous out there. KevBig mentioned in his review the contrast creates optical illusions as far as distances at times and I agree. The tee boxes were lush. We played the gold tees which were being renovated in the summer (I enjoyed the course more from the gold tees instead white tees). The highlight of the round were the greens. I liked them much better this around being faster than in the summer. Those are some tricky greens with multiple tiers at times. The only negative are the bunkers having poor sand quality. I attribute some of that to COVID-19 protocol. Also in the summer they were removing some of them so my guess is the bunkers are a work in progress.

As far as the layout, I liked it even better this time than in the summer. It’s a very fun layout to play with great views of the desert, forced carries over water, risk/reward par 5’s and some par 4’s, mostly flat and a fantastic one-two punch finishing holes (Hole 17 & Hole 18).

They have nice grass range and short game practice area. Service in the proshop and on the golf course was excellent. Highly Recommended.
Following Indian Wells Golf Resort was the second round of GK Guru Monday at Classic Club. As magnificent as Indian Wells Golf Resort is, Classic Club stands on equal ground with its own unique experience. BTW – both golf courses are managed by Troon Golf so as you can guess there are very high standards in place.

Pulling up the place looked immaculate and at check-in we found out they just got a new fleet of carts in that morning. Everyone playing that day would be the very first to experience the new carts. How cool! Man they are gorgeous and LOL, they had that new car smell plus the stickers still on the tires. In addition they were equipped with the shark experience. Paired up with cbubaseball9 in cart 25. If you play Classic Club and get cart 25, that's Johnny and Kevin's cart - LOL.

Having played Classic Club just prior to overseeding in September as a bermunda turf course and now after overseed as a rye grass course it was fun to compare. Enjoyed them both times however playing an overseeded Classic Club is simply a stunning golf experience. Just take a look at the photos I posted and book a tee time there.

The greens were running fast, firm and smooth. Just the way I like them. Fairways lush with excellent lies all day. Rough lush about two to three inches. Bunkers simply immaculate as they recently renovated all of them earlier this year. Tee boxes, lush, level and perfect.

Classic Club is a very challenging golf course. I stepped back with my group to play the blue tees but probably should have played the white tees. Classic Club used to be a host course of the PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic and you can quickly see why. If I had a 5 course rotation to play out in the desert Classic Club gets an automatic bid.

Fantastic practice facilities, service and clubhouse (beautiful decorated for Christmas I might add).

Highly Recommended!
Following our GK Plays Rams Hill outing is now our traditional GK Guru Monday. It started off early in the morning at Indian Wells Golf Resort Celebrity Course. What a treat as always. We had a 20 minute frost delay turning into what shaped up to be a postcard December day in Palm Springs. Prior to teeing off and even after your round I can’t recommend more strongly their food truck. The food is fantastic and appropriately prices. I had the breakfast burrito to start the day that came with coffee or water. Delicious. Its open at dawn, before anything in town is open. Makes planning a morning round there very easy.

We were the first out and finished in under 4 hours. The place was of course immaculate. Beautifully overseeded and lush everywhere. Smooth medium pace firm greens. Lush well-groomed fairways and rough. Excellent well-kept beautiful high quality sand bunkers. Level lush well-groomed tee boxes. An incredible golf course. One of my very favorites. Add to that exceptional service and outstanding modern clubhouse … it does not get much better than Indian Wells Golf Resort in the desert.

I snapped a bunch of photos just posted that do more than I can to describe the experience. Don’t ever second guess playing here. Highly Recommended!
Really appreciate all the reviews being posted here about our GK Plays Rams Hill Golf Club. What a fun day that was. I never had to put so much preparation into an outing given the unique circumstances of COVID-19 and recent CA state orders. Yet once again GKers came out to play and Rams Hill Golf Club went above and beyond to make us happy. Thank You!

I did not get to play a full round due to added tasks because we could not gather afterwards. I did however have a blast playing many holes alongside of GKers to give me enough experience to write a review.

First off from an organizer perspective Rams Hill Golf Club has an incredible golf course, facility and staff which why, without fail for years now, they host our year-end outing. You can bet we’ll be back next year.

From a playing perspective, it was hard to see what are normally immaculate rye grass fairways/rough in only decent shape due to out of the norm scorching October heat that not only impacted Rams Hill Golf Club but most desert golf courses that overseeded September/October. However the reminder of the golf course was in excellent condition and given the outstanding layout, scenery and overall ambiance of the place it, don’t the fairways/rough condition stop you from playing it. Greens are rolling smooth, bunkers immaculate and tee boxes in great shape.

I posted a recap of the outing in the forums and will be making social media posts on Instagram and Facebook. Again, thanks so much to all that played and our awesome sponsors Linksoul (golf apparel), Golf Moose (golf discounts), Royal Links (Vegas) and Kleen Kaddy (ball washer).
Out with GK Gurus at Goose Creek Golf Club yesterday. Always fun to play with GKers. It’s been over a year since playing the Goose and I was glad to be back. Such a consistently well maintained golf course year around. I always make sure to get to the Goose well before my tee time to take advantage of the excellent practice facilities. This place is pure golf.

Yesterday was a picture perfect December day. High 60’s, sunny, with only a light breeze. I still have not after all these years solved my challenges with the greens and green complexes. I see why the golf course is often referred to as a layout that yields easy bogeys but tough pars. You really need command of the flat stick and especially touch around the greens if you are not getting on them in regulation. So many false fronts and areas of the greens you simply want to avoid. Then of course there is hole 18 which can transform any good round into train wreck – lol – I managed to bogey it yesterday and did not complain. Check out the photos I just posted.

Conditions are great at Goose Creek right now especially for December. The golf course did some overseeding in October and its help to keep it mostly green despite the cool weather forcing all the warm weather turf into dormancy. The greens are in great shape, mostly smooth with only a little bumpiness. I thought the front nine greens ran faster than the back nine. They hold your full irons shots well but get ready for pitch shots to release. Fairways in great shape with a few dormant thin spots here and there but overall excellent lies all day. Rough, not much to speak of in terms of length, a little longer than the fairways, mostly lush. Bunkers, just OK. Good sand quality but more firm and thin than I remember from past visits. Tee boxes in great shape, level and lush. On the golf carts they have premium mix with rye seed. I used up both the bottles fixing my fairway divots and others.

This is the time of year where golf courses in the Inland Empire really start feeling the effects of cold winter nights forcing turf to go dormant, become blonde, thin and firm. Not at Goose Creek. They spent extra time and money to do some overseeding and its paid off.

Excellent service all day long from the moment I arrived in the clubhouse, to seeing the on-course food/beverage service 4 times to leaving.

Highly Recommended
It’s been probably 20 years since I played Glen Annie Golf Club. Before launching GK in 2002. So jumped on the chance to play Monday with GKers. Teed it up with mpisarski01 and wbuchler on beautiful day in Santa Barbara. I had totally forgot the layout so it was like playing a golf course for the first time. I really enjoyed it. Hilly, challenging track that demands accuracy and a solid short game. Beautiful views of ocean, surrounding mountains and the UCSB campus. We teed it up at 12:20pm and finished around 4:45pm. Check out the photos I just posted.

Conditions wise despite the previous reviews in October/September I knew given the dry weather we’ve been having this year and cooler overnight lows in November it was going to be a dormant golf course. Also given they aerated the greens in late October there was chance they would not be fully healed to perfection yet. I got what expected which was fine. The golf course still played well.

The greens still had visible evidence of aeration and a little bumpy but rolled mostly smooth. I’d say this time next week and moving forward they will be better only getting better. They held shot well, had good speed and man there are tricky pin placement out there.

The fairways despite going dormant had mostly full coverage and a good amount of turf pad to hit shots from. I expect the fairways to become more dormant and firm over the next couple months.

The rough was not really rough. It was only about an inch higher than the fairways. It’s also bermunda turf like the fairways with some poa greenside. Those of you the fear kikuyu turf that typically accompanies bermunda turf in SoCal I saw very little of it.

The bunkers were COVID style. No rakes, a little thin with decent sand quality. Its brown sand, not the pretty white stuff.

Tee boxes, we played the white tees, certainly the most popular tees out there, we’re mostly thin, had some divot damage on the par 3’s yet level. They are small tee boxes which hilly golf courses typically have so with all the high amount of play there are not many options where to place the tees. The tees behind the white tees looked to be in much better shape.

Service was excellent in the proshop and starter. Did not see an on course food/beverage service. I did not hit range balls before playing so can’t comment on that.

Fun track I recommend.
Great time yesterday out at Moorpark Country Club with GK Gurus. It’s been a couple years since I’ve been out there. This is my favorite golf course in Ventura County open to the public. They have 3 fantastic challenging 9’s, exceptional practice facilities, clubhouse, staff and views. The playing conditions are always great and variety of holes outstanding.

Yesterday was no exception. A beautiful Fall day teeing it up at 12:15 and finishing in just over 4 ½ hours. We played Creekside to Ridgeline, the original 18 holes, my favorite combo. Creekside IMO is by far the most difficult 9 and a tough 9 to start on. Our group struggled to find our game early. My apologies to our group behind us for the slow pace of play. We started playing much better on the back nine completing it in 2 hours.

As far as the conditions, excellent. Greens as good as I’ve seen them here and close to the best greens I’ve played all year. Smooth, fast and holding shots. Fairways mostly dormant bermuda turf but with full coverage providing nice lies and roll out. Rough mostly bermuda turf as well, mostly dormant, lush and not too penalizing. Around the greens there is some rye grass rough that can be challenging. Bunkers in good shape with quality sand. Tee boxes level and well kept.

I can’t wait to get back out here again. Thank you to all the GK Gurus that came out to play on a Monday afternoon. Check out the photos I just posted.
Played Omni La Costa Champions Course yesterday 11/9 in Carlsbad as part of GK Guru and GK Cup Match. Good times with fellow GKers. POP 4 ½ hours.

This is my favorite of the two golf courses at Omni La Costa Resort. I was impressed how green the golf course still was this late in the year given its predominantly bermunda turf. Granted light green and likely turning blonde dormant color over the next 4 weeks but right now the golf course is looking beautiful. I’ll have photos to post later today.

Super fun layout with doglegs in both directions, water hazards, tricky greens, mature trees, some risk reward par 5’s and tough par 3. You can certainly see why the golf course hosted PGA and LPGA tour events in the day.

Overall conditions great with exception to the greenside bunkers that were thin of sand, firm and at times muddy. That makes for some tough escapes given how deep the bunkers are. The fairways bunkers were in better shape than the greenside bunkers with a little more sand. Bunkers are a big part of the design and challenge of this golf course so be prepared to consider pitching out of the bunkers instead of trying to splash your shots out.

Greens holding shots, running medium fast and smooth. Fairways excellent coverage and surprisingly not that wet considering all the rain the day before. Rough was essentially the same as the fairways but a little longer with a blend of mainly bermunda, some kikuyu and at times I think poa around the greens. It was sticky, grabbing my club which resulted in quite a few fat shots. Tee boxes level and lush.

Service at Omni La Costa was excellent start to finish. Easy check in, friendly attitudes and nice to see the on course service many times for a Monday afternoon.

Highly Recommended
Second round of the day was at Del Monte Golf Course and what a treat. It’s not every day you play a golf course for the first time that was designed in 1897 (not a typo!). On top of that it’s very fun.

Again teed it up with Alex326, Deepsea14 and rgm2525 this time not a GK Cup Match but a battle for the BCB birdie chain.

Outside of the large areas of dried out turf due to water conservation about 150 to 200 yards in front of the fairways and adjacent to the rough on the majority of holes, the playing conditions were great. Small pure medium/fast rolling greens. Lush fairways and rough. Bunkers had nice white sand and well groomed. Tee boxes were level and lush. Mature layout with big trees and strategic bunkering. Greenside rough was longer than the fairway rough and it made a difference because of the small greens with tricky pitch shots. I hope you have a lob wedge you’re very comfortable with because there's no bump and run going on here.

We teed off at 2:40 and finished just in time before dark around 6:25. I thoroughly enjoyed the new experience especially the 6-12 stretch of holes. Absolutely love hole #9 par 5 that doglegs right around some mutual trees. This golf course is a great option to play especially if you know someone that is a member of their Dukes Club ;)

I only wish they had a driving range but understand how primo that real-estate is.

Check out the photos I posted – Recommended!
Played Quail Lodge & Golf Club yesterday 10/26 for a GK Cup Match with Alex326, Deepsea14 and rgm2525. Always a blast teeing it up those guys. Love Quail Lodge & Golf Club.

It was a cold morning start 48 degrees at 8:06m for this SoCal golfer bundled up for the first time in 8 months. By the end of the round it was in the low 70’s. Kind of odd for Carmel as normally given its close proximity to the ocean temps don’t vary that much. The golf course was in great condition as always but not as attractive looking in the fairways due to very recent dethatching. Basically that’s when they verticut the fairways and when they come across thatch that needs removed those areas have noticeable blemishes of removed turf. What??? Blemishes at Quail Lodge??? Was a shocker for me as in all the times playing Quail Lodge the fairways have been a 10. Anyway we simply played those sections as a free drop no closer to the hole (mutually agreed upon in our group so GK Cup rules stickers relax! – LOL)

Conditions breakdown. Greens were smooth, medium speed and holding shots very well. Fairways in great shape, beautiful lies except where the thatch removal blemishes were. Rough not very long except around the greens and especially around the bunkers. Bunkers were perfect as always. Beautiful white sand and exceptionally groomed (they had rakes). Tee boxes excellent shape lush and level.

This is a short golf course that you can score very well on if you are avoiding the fairway bunkers and hitting the greens on approach. The greens are not that tricky to putt and roll pure. You don’t have to be laser accurate off the tee or on approach but miss the greens and you will surely have a difficult up and down from the rough and bunkers. So you either score very well or have a long day. I had a long day Monday.

Best way to get a feel for the layout is to check out the photos I just posted.

We finished our round in 4 hours and never waited. After the round we normally grab a bite at their restaurant Edgars but unfortunately we found out its closed Mondays. I highly recommend Edgars if you get an opportunity.

Also in the past I’ve stayed at Quail Lodge when playing golf there. I missed doing that this time around. The place is beautiful, right next to the 14th hole of the golf course with a super fun 9 hole putting course (included in the photos I posted).

Highly recommended.
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