Golf Course Reviews
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Rode the Blacks (6560/71.1/123) in 2H, 40M as a single mid day on a GN "Hot Deal". 108, hazy and fairly calm.

The layout features mostly generous fairways with a decent amount of large water hazards to navigate over on several approach shots. One double green, and numerous greens have runoff areas mowed down like a links style course, while others have deep rough just off the green.

Bermuda tees were good in the areas they placed the markers. Many had brown/dead spots that they were staying away from.

Bermuda fairways were lush and nice to play from.

Bermuda rough was semi lush and mostly mowed down, good POP rough.

Sand traps were decently maintained for COVID. Good quality fine sand the ones I was in.

Bermuda greens were firm and putted medium speed. The middle 95% of the greens were good, many of the outer edges had scalped/bare spots.

Very good customer service, they got me out ahead of my tee time. Drink cart out making the rounds. No water available on the course and pro shop closed to the public, all check in done outside. All grass range closed today. Redesigned by Amy Alcott/Casey O'Callaghan in 2004, the South is shorter and a more picturesque layout that it's sister North course. This would be a challenging layout to walk, the hole 13-16 loop goes away from the rest of the course. Fun layout to play, recommended.
Rode the Blues (6130/71.0/130) in 3H, 50M twilight. Overcast, muggy, breezy and around 95. $30 with cart weekday twilight through the course website.

Really enjoyed the Pete Dye design, the former Moreno Valley Ranch is a tough track. Not just a good layout, this is an excellent layout. The holes down in the valley are typical Dye with water barely off greens/fairways, railroad ties, mounds etc. The holes up/down the hills are more straight forward designs where he had to make tough golf holes w/o water features and railroad ties. The overall design ties together really well. One of my favorite Dye layouts because of the elevation changes and where roughly half the holes are NOT typical Dye. In other words, this is not overdone Dye.

Course conditions mixed, but very playable.

Bermuda tees, especially the par 3's are already getting chewed up. More thin than lush but good coverage.

Bermuda fairways had good coverage, semi lush and decent to play from. Parts were soft from over watering, other parts firm with tight lies, especially on downhill shots. Consistency will always be a challenge on the severely up/down hill holes.

Rough was a mixture of grasses. Mostly mowed down and your lie could range from sitting up to terrible in a small area.

Traps had decent sand but were not well maintained even considering COVID protocols. They definitely were not raked today.

Greens were excellent. Spongy and soft, which leads to alot of ball marks when people won't take the time to fix them. But once the ball marks were repaired, they putted smooth and medium fast. Loved the way these greens rolled! These rolled the best of any course I have played in So Cal in a good while.

Very courteous maintenance staff that stopped activities when golfers were close by more than once. Quick efficient check in, and the starter was doing what he could to keep things moving. Basic carts do not have GPS, which is a detriment on a hilly Dye layout. There were a bunch of people having lunch outdoors when I arrived. Nice putting green that was very comparable to the on course greens.

Nice to see 18 of the 27 holes of Moreno Valley Ranch come back from the dead and be reincarnated as Rancho del Sol. Definitely recommended.
Rode the Purple tees (6507/71.2/128) in 4H, 15M as part of the GK Plays. Thanks to John for setting this up and to Desert Willow for having us out. Very well organized by both parties. Played with Daniel, Keith and Kevin, fun group to play with! We all played better on the front and then kinda wilted on the back. Overcast, muggy and calm in the low 100's.

Bermuda tees were lush, level and decently maintained for divots.

Bermuda fairways were lush and firm, good to play from.

Bermuda rough was nice and uniform with good coverage. Semi lush, mowed low and not overly penal.

Sand traps were decently maintained considering COVID protocols with good quality sand.

Bermuda greens were okay for late summer. Some bare spots around the edges. Medium speed, firm with almost no ball marks. Our group left alot more putts short than long. Chips were the opposite, as the firmness produced more run out.

Excellent customer service on every visit here, especially Assistant Pro Cody. Nice GPS on the upgraded carts that have ports for electronics. Excellent all grass driving range with a good chipping area & practice green. With COVID, no on course services, but plenty of ice/water stations on the course. Busy restaurant on site. Fun course, recommended.
Rode the Golds (6642/71.9/127) on a GN Hot Deal in slightly over 3H mid day. Played with Temeculalowshooter in hazy, muggy conditions around 95.

Bermuda tees were lush, level and well maintained with few divots.

Bermuda fairways were lush and nice to play from.

Bermuda rough was mostly lush, mowed down and not overly penal. Good to chip out of.

Sand traps were mediocre COVID maintained. Mostly firm with medium texture brown sand.

Bermuda greens putted medium speed and were firm, so even well struck irons would release. Few ball marks because of their firmness. Reasonably smooth for late summer Bermuda.

Fairly wide open course with a good mixture of holes. Few forced carries other than several holes with lakes. The carts are equipped with Shark Experience GPS. This would be a challenging course to walk because numerous tees are a hike from the last green because the course is split up between multiple different residential complexes. All grass driving range is in the wash beside hole 9, where they also have a practice chipping green. They could use more water stations on the course period, but all were closed with COVID. The customer service was limited, but excellent from everyone encountered. Almost never an on course drink cart here. Nice layout in good condition with 18 solid holes of golf. Fun course, recommended.
Rode the Blues (6522/72.2/134) in slightly over 4H twilight on a GN Hot Deal. Played with Temeculalowshooter, thanks for the round Daniel! First day in well over 100 days (since May) the high was under 100 out here. 95 with low humidity and a slight breeze felt downright comfortable. Air quality improved from a few days ago, no problem today. Decent late summer conditions, a little scruffy around the edges. But a huge step down from pristine over seeded prime playing conditions.

There was a 60 man tournament getting ready to go off #1 an hour before our scheduled tee time. Daniel/I were both there early, preparing to hit the range when the starter approached us about teeing off early on #10. We played a quick back 9 unimpeded. Then waited almost every shot on the front after making the turn. Around 1.5H for the first 9 holes, then around 2.5H when we caught all the backed up groups the last 9 holes. It would have been a 5+ hour round had we played as a 2some behind those fifteen 4somes for all 18 holes. So Kudos to the starter for thinking outside the box.

Bermuda tees had decent coverage and were okay to play from.

Bermuda fairways were semi lush but all had some bare areas.

Bermuda primary rough was mowed low but still thick with good coverage.

Plentiful sand traps had decent sand but were not very well maintained. No way all those foot prints were from just today.

Bermuda greens putted medium speed with few ball marks. Very firm and consistent from green to green.

Very good customer service from everyone. Plenty of water stations on the course and bottled water provided. Good GPS on the carts. The cart gal was out making the rounds numerous times. Nice all grass range that was busy today.

Nicklaus Tournament features mounds along the sides of fairways, large/deep bunkers, several split fairways and expansive sand waste bunkers. Raised greens where irons barely off line or short can be in collection areas where the green is well above the golfer. Recommended.
Rode the Blues (6739/73.1/140) mid day in 3H, 15M on a GN Hot Deal. Matched up with Brandon, nice guy and really good player. The weather was uncomfortable. Muggy, calm and 109 with not great air quality.

Bermuda tees mostly flat, more thin than lush but good coverage.

Bermuda fairways had many brownish areas but were still nice to play from.

Bermuda rough was thick even though mowed down low. Usually okay to play out of, not overly penal.

Plentiful sand traps were very well maintained with good quality sand.

Bermuda greens putted medium speed. Firm and somewhat bumpy with no ball marks.

Today was about as dead as I have ever seen PGA West. There were probably less than 40 cars total for both the Nicklaus Tournament and Stadium courses. Counting employees, that is not many players for 2 courses of this caliber on a holiday. We had several holes in front and behind us with no one most of the round.

@ Stadium you face more than usual amounts of water plus huge, deep sand traps as tougher than customary obstacles. Throw in the typical Pete Dye moguls and you have a layout that is among the toughest I play. Always enjoy this layout. Excellent customer service as usual here. Complementary bottled water was a +. Cart gal around several times. Numerous water stations on the course. Good GPS on the carts. Nice all grass range that was not very busy. Highly recommended.
Walked the Blues (6550/71.8/131) in 3H, 45M early afternoon on a GN "Hot Deal". Played about 6 holes as a 3some, the rest as a single. Weather was around 65, sunny and fairly calm.

Tees all over the place. Some were terrible, others pretty good but many were unlevel.

Fairways had decent coverage but were more thin than lush.

Rough was mostly mowed down and not overly penal other than it is kikuyu.

Traps were the worst I have seen on any course in awhile. About half were unplayable mud holes that looked like they had not been maintained in weeks. The others were thin and had not been raked in so long I could not detect a rake mark anywhere.

Greens putted nicely. Soft and medium fast, they rolled well, I was leaving large ball marks on approaches.

Plenty of trees and hazards to avoid. Decent amount of doglegs, plus you need to know where to aim off a hill to get your ball to end up where you want on several holes. Layout is tree lined up/down rolling hills and sits down in a valley. No ocean views even though you are close to the ocean. Small warm-up range with mats that would accommodate short irons only beside the first tee. Overall, average layout in mediocre playing condition, but it's usually a fun layout to play. Could only recommend if you are getting a real deal.
Rode the 3 Poppy tees (6400/71.2/135) in slightly under 4H twilight as a single on a GN Hot Deal. Played through one 4some then was stuck behind a walking 4some until they quit. POP was NOT an issue, as I was taking pictures and enjoying every minute of this place! 60 and overcast with a 0-2 club breeze throughout made for a nice experience.

WOW is the best one word descriptor I can come up with. I play alot of golf at courses all over California. Other than Rams Hill when it first opened and Pebble Beach a few months ago, I have never experienced conditions like this... and in my opinion, these were slightly better than those. So what I am saying is that in 45+ years of golfing, this was the best conditioned course I have ever played.

Lush and green throughout. They had a 2 man team fixing divots on the tee boxes. There were probably less than 2 dozen fresh tee divots on the entire course. They had a man out fixing divots in the fairways. Cuts around the greens, tees and sand traps were finely manicured.

Tees were immaculate. Thick poa cut down, I putted on many tees to pass the time after I took my pictures. How good were they? They putted better than some courses greens I have played this year.

Fairways also immaculate, mowed down and firm. They played really well with thick, brown sand/dirt underneath if you took a large divot.

Rough was lush/thick. If you missed the fairway by 1', it was the difference in going for the green and just advancing a shorter club for a player of my skill level. The ball almost always sat down, you often could not see your ball from 10 yards away.

Traps were large and plentiful. Exceptionally well maintained with thick lighter sand over darker sand underneath. Large, expansive waste areas on many holes were natural but cleaned up and added to the beauty of many holes IMO.

Greens I loved! You could make large ball marks and back up balls in places, but they were mostly firm. These were beyond medium fast, they were quick. Downhill putts would creep and creep. If not careful that putt you thought you nestled up for a tap in would be 6-8' coming back. Had three 3 putts and still had an excellent putting day overall. They rolled great.

Loved the RTJ, Jr. layout. Fairways much wider than I expected going in, this is not a tight course, but I say that on a day I was hitting it better than average. If you get off line, huge, thick trees await. First time in a good while I played multiple shots off pine needles. That, coupled with the outlying sandy areas and mostly playing around no homes surrounded by thick trees actually reminded me of Pinehurst. Areas around the greens were mowed down close, I used a putter several times from 10+ yards off the green up over raised mounds to tight pins. Speaking of pins, not sure if they had a tournament that morning, but these were tournament pins. There was about 1 pin set in the middle, most others were just a few paces on the green. Up/down rolling hills, large greens that were fair with moderate amounts of undulation. Very peaceful, no ocean views and some nice homes closeby, but most of the time you were away from everything just playing in the forest with lots of wildlife joining you.

Customer Service outstanding. I was running late because of the fog and called ahead. Kudos to Benjamin, he had me rearranged and everything set up to go out later. Very friendly cart attendant and maintenance staff, saw the drink gal a couple of times. Highly recommended, really look forward to my next round here.
Rode the Blues (6641/72.2/134) in 4H, 20M with Sam and Adrian on a GN Hot Deal. 2 local brothers and really fun guys to play with! Started out so foggy you could barely see 100 yards, settled into a thick, moist overcast around 60.

Really enjoyed this layout. Some nice ocean views in the distance. Up/down rolling hills, lots of large traps, huge undulating greens framed by thick, mature trees. Easily one of the 25 best courses I have ever played from a layout perspective and if anything, the slope and rating is understated. Courses conditions were good overall but mixed.

Tees and fairways were the weak links. Not bad, semi lush with some poor spots on both. To their credit, the poor spots were being watered and addressed. However, not nearly as good as the rest of the course. Or as good as you would expect for a course of this caliber in this $$$ range.

However, the rest of the course exceeded expectations.

Rough was uniformly lush and thick. Really punitive when wet early in the day.

Traps were excellent. Thick, moist sand and exceptionally well maintained.

Greens were the highlight of the course. Loved these greens. Firm, medium fast and smooth. Irons would release and there were few ball marks because of their firmness.

Nice carts but they do not have GPS, which would be helpful on an up/down course with doglegs. Nice all grass practice area. Friendly clubhouse staff, starter and cart attendants. Running a tight ship and right on time with their tee sheet. Saw the drink gal a couple of times. Excellent layout, tough course that is well maintained. Highly recommended.
Walked the Blacks (6360/70.8/119) in slightly over 4H super twilight for $15. Played part of the round as a 4some, part as a 3some and part as a single. Foggy, 65 and calm. So foggy I could often not see my playing partners the last few holes, much less the green.

Kikuyu tees were the weak link. A couple were closed for reseeding, which is needed. Okay overall, but most of the par 3's were chewed up with divots.

Kikuyu fairways were lush and nice to play from.

Mostly kikuyu rough was fairly lush, not high but thick. It would quickly kill your shots, very little roll, one bounce and stop.

Only a few sand traps on this layout. Was not in any, but they were well maintained.

Smallish poa annua greens putted medium fast and were smooth. You could make irons stop with large ball marks on these greens.

Usually no drink cart here. No GPS on the basic carts, small driving range that is shorter clubs only. Customer service was excellent, quick efficient check in, friendly starter. Recommended.
Rode the Blues (6751/72.7/138) in 3H, 15M mid day on a GN "Hot Deal" as a single. Smokey, breezy and in the high 80's made for challenging golfing conditions. Fires 100 miles north have the whole area looking like it is fogged in the haze is so bad. Challenging course in nice condition.

Tees were semi lush and most were well maintained for divots. Some could use leveling.

Fairways lush, nice to play from.

Rough was fairly lush close to the fairway. Mostly mowed down, not overly penal. Thinner the farther you got from the fairway.

Sand traps had good quality sand. Very well maintained.

Large, undulating greens were smooth, medium fast and firm. Held irons with some run out.

Both the layout and the greens are outstanding. Customer service was very good. Basic carts do not have GPS, and the course is not well marked for yardages if you do not have a measuring device of some kind. Definitely recommended.
Rode the Blues (6013/69.6/129) in 3H, 45M early afternoon. Played as a 2some on the front, then as a 3some on the back. Breezy, sunny and around 70 made for great golfing conditions.

RTJ Jr/Sr. design. For those of you in So Cal familiar with Elkins Ranch, this is the Monterey version of Elkins. Par 71, not very long with plenty of holes that curve surrounded by large, mature trees. Constantly up/down hills. You either started with an elevated tee shot or ended with an approach shot up to a very raised green on almost every hole.

Tees mediocre, but they were doing a good job of filling in divots.

Fairways and rough a mixture of grasses. Much more thin than lush, but decent coverage throughout. Rough not much higher than the fairways.

Sand traps were poor. Not well maintained and did not look like they were regularly raked.

Greens were excellent. They were recently top dressed, which did not affect play. Smooth, medium fast and very receptive to full irons shots.

Basic carts did not have GPS. No on course services. Round was prepaid, so quick efficient check-in. GN Hot Deal price was $56 + fees, I used a 30% off voucher that made it more reasonable. Not worth full rack rate with just okay playing conditions IMO. However, this is a very fun course to play. Recommended, but not at full price.
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