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Yesterday was my first time playing here. I read that Tecolote Canyon Golf Course is the only Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Sam Snead-designed golf course in San Diego. The photos on the website looked nice, I wanted to play an executive course and it was a beautiful day for a drive.

Arriving at the course, the first thing I encountered was about zero available parking. Much of the lot was taken over by construction trucks and large gravel piles. Cars were parked in every available inch in crazy angles. Vehicles then were parked along the entry road narrowing the way to one lane for 2-way traffic. I was conflicted at that point as to leaving right then due to inconvenience vs. thinking the place must be really great because it certainly seemed popular!

There is a decent driving range but half of it was closed. There were people lined up waiting for a hitting stall. Check in was fast and friendly and I headed to the putting green. I was surprised at how nice it was. I didn’t see a chipping area but later found it down the hill by the 18th green.

It was at this point that I changed my mind about walking the course. I had been looking forward to walking but my first look at a couple of holes made me reconsider and I was glad I did. Every bit of the course, with the exception of the greens was shaggy, rutty, bumpy, rocky- a sprained ankle just waiting to happen. I don’t believe the messy conditions were all rain related.

I was paired with 3 guys and played from the blues with them. I love short courses where I can score well from something other than the forward tees. The course is set in a very narrow canyon with steep hills on both sides and a creek down the middle. There are plenty of elevation changes and forced carries to make this short course fun and challenging. I didn’t land in any bunkers but they looked clean other than just a few little stones here and there. The greens were really great – smooth, fast, and plenty of crazy breaks.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I think if I hadn’t played with such fun people I would have a very different opinion. If American Golf can improve the conditions, I wouldn’t hesitate to return.
I played Saturday, 2-18-19. I had a Hot deal for 12:38 tee time. Check in was easy and friendly as always.I was paired with 2 friendly guys who have been playing only a year or so. It was really fun being the most consistent hitter in my group for a change lol.
I always enjoy this course as it's short enough for my game but still challenging with the many greenside bunkers and very undulating greens. I really like the par 3s here.
The tee boxes were good as were the bunkers which had plenty of soft clean sand. The fairways were really ugly- all brown speckled with small clumps of green sprouts- but overall not a problem to play from. The greens were excellent- smooth, medium fast and hardly a ball mark to be seen. There were only a few wet areas but it was CPO on the front 9. Carts were then allowed on the fairways when we got to the back.
The only bad part of the day was the weather. It was WINDY and COLD !!!
I know I'll be back but will wait for warmer weather and greener fairways.
I was so excited for the chance to get back to my favorite course in the area. Thanks, Tim, for sharing your birthday golf. The weather was perfect- 79, sunny and no wind.
It was the first time I’ve used the driving range there. It was sufficient with grass stalls and there is a small chipping area and bunker. There is a nice putting green next to the first tee.
The course was in good shape- not the very best I’ve seen but really pretty good. The fairways were green and had only a few thin spots. (Thanks to all the players before us who filled their divots.) The rough was very nicely trimmed down. Some other times I’ve played there it’s been deep, clumpy, and very frustrating. This was a very pleasant improvement. The bunkers varied. Some were damp and heavy but still easy to hit from. Others had some mud and water.
The greens are so challenging here. It’s hard to read some of the breaks and I had a tough time judging the speed at times which got me 3 (or was it 4?) 360 degree lip outs. The guys had a couple between them as well. Really crazy…
When out on the course, it feels completely isolated and so peaceful. There are no homes to be seen. There were sounds of coyotes and I always get a kick out of seeing the mutant-sized jack rabbits and roadrunners.
Once again, I didn’t break my course-best score, so I will be back very soon to try again. I never seem to tire of this very fun and challenging course. Definitely recommended.
I played The Dunes course on Christmas morning. This was my first time here. Check in was efficient but not overly friendly- it seemed pretty obvious the man at the desk wasn’t too happy to be working on a holiday.

The grass driving range was stocked with balls and the carts appeared fairly new with ice chest and good GPS. My tee time was 8:30 and I was paired with another single. The starter, was very friendly and gave us some handy hints about the course and warned us not to go in the long grass after a lost ball as it’s full of fire ants.

The fairways were great- lush and deep green. Tee boxes were small, but level with minimal damage, at least on the reds. There was adequate sand in the bunkers. Everything other than tees, fairways and greens was dormant brown, cut very short. The greens were really disappointing and more than a little frustrating. They were extremely firm with very thin coverage, causing many balls to run away. Some of the pin positions seemed a bit unfair where they were placed on the slopes.

I usually enjoy links-style courses and the challenge of Pete Dye designs. After seeing photos, I really, really wanted to love this course, but I just didn’t. The first 8 holes, I thought were ugly. It got a little wider between the houses from 9-13, then opened up away from houses for 14-18. My own photos make the course look much more appealing that it really was.

POP was good at 3.5 hours. Overall, I was just disappointed. There aren’t many courses that I have no desire to play a second time but, unfortunately, this is one of them.
I played Maderas for the first time yesterday, 12-23-18. I’d wanted to play here for quite a while. I got a great price of $56 with a TeeOff deal + promo code. I was joined for the round by Gk’r 1PLUS1 and we were paired with a very nice father and young son.

All the staff at bag drop and the pro shop were very friendly and welcoming. Check in was very easy. We spent a little time warming up on the range (balls were included with the deal) and the starter gave us some good info about the course, including the advice to be sure to roll a few putts before heading out as the greens were very fast (oh yeah, he wasn’t kidding!)

The course conditions were good. The fairways had good coverage and the bunkers had nice sand although it was quite thin in the few I was in. The rough and fringe were cut down extremely short so many balls went rolling off the fairways and greens. The only long rough I encountered was on a hole on the back (don’t remember what one). I was grateful for it as my shot up to a very elevated green came rolling back down and was stopped halfway down the hill. The forward tee boxes were in great shape but I did notice other ones were pretty chewed up. The greens were very challenging with all the undulations and fast speed. Needless to say it was not one of my better putting days.

Overall I really enjoyed the course layout and beautiful views. I absolutely want to play here again if I can get another great deal.
I played yesterday in GK’s year end gathering. I hadn’t played as much golf this year as usual so there was no way I would miss this chance to play at Ram’s Hill.
This was my fourth time playing here and, once again, the course conditions were great. The forward tee boxes were all level with hardly any divots. The fairways are the most beautiful shade of green with not a bad lie to be found, and the rough was very manageable. The greens had a lot of spike marks but they didn’t seem to affect the rolls. There were some very challenging pin placements on the par 3s. I ended up in a few bunkers. The sand was great but a bit deeper than I can easily hit out of.
Thanks to Rams Hill’s staff and Johnny for another memorable day. I’m looking forward to next year’s outing.
Played today, 7-29-18, Thank you, rudyclub for joining me. I wanted a course that plays short due to the current condition of my game, but not just a par 3 or executive course. We had a 9am tee time and check-in was fast and friendly as usual. I was really surprised at how good the course conditions were. Honestly, I was expecting summertime brown and dry, but everything was green and lush. The fairways were very cushy and easy to hit from. I was in two bunkers and both were clean and soft. The greens were in great shape- smooth and fast. They were somewhat soft, so the few ball marks we found were deep but repaired cleanly. Mt. Woodson is so much fun with all the elevation changes, bunkers hidden everywhere, beautiful scenery and of course, that bridge!! POP was 4 hours. Looking forward to next time.
I played today, 4-29-18. The weather was beautiful - 85 degrees with, at times, a 1-2 club wind. I got a last minute GN Hot deal for $17 at 1:30 pm. The price was great considering I wasn’t sure if my recently repaired knee would be ok walking this 2,000 yd, 18 hole, par-3 course. (happily, it was.)

I’ve wanted to play here again since my first experience in January. I was just as impressed this time as I was then. I was again greeted by Stuart in the pro-shop. He remembered me from last time and we chatted a bit before I teed off. The course was pretty much empty so there was no waiting at all.

The course conditions were very good. The Bermuda is beginning to sprout, making the fairways very thick and a little bit long. It didn’t affect play at all, but it definitely took more effort to push my cart up the hills. The bunkers were nice with clean, soft, white sand. There are many lakes on this course and the water is impressively clear. The tee boxes were level but had a good number of divots and could use a mow. The undulating greens were very firm, rolled medium speed and I saw only about 3 ball marks. The cups had the sharpest edges I’ve ever seen. Many putts dropped right in where they probably wouldn’t have had the edges been not so clean.

After I finished the round, I chatted a bit more with Stuart. He told me of the renovations/improvements that are planned for this summer. They will be enlarging the putting green to about double its current size. The patio will also be increased in size from a seating capacity of 60 to about 90. The ponds that are next to the patio are going to be redone to more of a river design. They are also going to be putting in full bathrooms and water stations at each end of the course, on holes 5 and 15. He let me know that from June to October, the pro shop is closed. All rounds are $10 on the honor system- just put your payment through the door. I will definitely take advantage of that!

This is such a fun course. It’s great short game practice and a perfect warmup to a later round. I highly recommend Palm Royale Country Club and look forward to getting back soon.
Played yesterday, 1-28-19, with wsbell57 and colmcd, using a Groupgolfer deal of $39 each. It was Bill and Kathy’s first time playing here. I’ve played a few times before and was very happy to get another opportunity. I really enjoy the course. It has all the things I like – sizable elevation changes, blind shots, forced carries over barranca, water and frog crossings. There are also some nice ocean views from the back 9.

Check in was easy and all the staff very friendly. We spent a few minutes warming up on the range. The grass stalls were available which I always prefer over the mats. The range is in pretty poor condition but suits the purpose just fine. There is a practice bunker also. The putting green was super nice. It’s very large and gave us a scarily good preview of how tricky the on-course greens are.

We were joined by a walking single who plays there regularly and we started on time at 9:02am. The course conditions were somewhat disappointing but more from a visual standpoint than of playability. The Bermuda fairways and rough were more brown than green but had complete coverage, thick cushioning and a surprising amount of roll out. Many tee boxes were chewed up but all seemed level. The only real disappointment was the bunkers. I was in a few and only one of them had good quality sand. The others were just thin dirt with lots of little stones. My “shot of the day” was from one of these bunkers though, so I won’t complain too much.

The greens… Wow! They are in excellent condition and they are tough! The guy in the pro shop had said they measured 10 but they seemed much, much faster. There are hard to read multiple breaks that are strongly affected by the ocean. Many putts stopped, reversed direction, picked up speed and ended up off the green. Not a great putting day for any of us lol.

After the round we enjoyed some tasty burgers out on the patio. Overall it was a very fun day. I still recommend the course and look forward to playing again when its greener.
I joined in the GK fun on 1-7-18. This was my fourth time to Rams Hill and it still surprises me to see this beautiful oasis out in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. From the lady who greeted me at the entrance gate, to the staff at bag drop, pro shop, restaurant and starter, everyone was very friendly and efficient. After a nice breakfast on the patio, we headed out for some warm up. The range is one of the best. It’s completely green, has plenty of targets and is stocked with ProV1 balls.

The course was in its usual fabulous condition. The fairways and rough are lush and emerald green, the bunker sand soft and deep, and the greens smooth and fast. The layout is a lot fun. I played from the red tees which is make the course pretty short at 4900+ yards but no less challenging with the many sloping fairways, bunkers and false fronts. The 18th is one of the toughest finishing holes I’ve played. A decent score still eludes me on that one so I will look forward to returning for another try.
Wanting to play a short course as a warm-up for my afternoon round, I found a GN hot deal for $16 for a 7:30 am tee time. Palm Royale is a walking-only, Ted Robinson Sr. design, 2000 yd, par 3 course in a private community. I was greeted by Stuart in the pro shop and then paired with some vacationers from Oklahoma and Sweden.

The course has a very fun layout with lot of hills, dips, undulating greens and several holes have carries over water. Other than the expected tee box divots and some ball marks on the greens, the conditions were amazing. The fairways and rough were completely lush, immaculate from edge to edge. There are lots of bunkers and every one was perfectly groomed. The sand was soft and fluffy, unlike any that I’ve seen in a long time. The greens had some challenging pin placements, were firm and rolled medium fast.

There are some areas of desert-scape that were put in recently. They did a really good job with it. On a couple of holes it’s integrated into the area around the lakes. Some larger areas between fairways were very unobtrusive and really don’t come into play unless you are seriously off line with your shot.

We finished in just about 2.5 hours. I had so much fun and was very impressed by the course. Because it wasn’t previously listed on GK, I wanted to try to get a bit more info. I stopped back in the shop to chat a bit with Stuart. He didn’t know much specific info but suggested I leave my email address and he’d find out what he could from the greenskeeper. I really appreciated that and mentioned I’d be writing a review on GK. About an hour later I received an email with this info about the course:

“Greens: 3 blend perennial rye grass and Poa trivialus. The greens are over-seeded on top of 328 hybrid Bermuda
Richard Jimenez. Superintendent, Timateo Gonzalez.Head greenskeeper, Phil Boyland. Head Professional
We received $15,000 per acre for turf reduction from Coachella Valley Water District. We transitioned 2 acres on golf course which represents a 15% saving on water.”

I thought it was so nice of him to do that. Kudos to Stuart, Mr. Jimenez and Mr, Gonzalez for making Palm Royale my new favorite short course! I highly recommend it and look forward to playing there again.
I played yesterday on Christmas Eve. I found a Hot Deal of $60 for an 11:42am tee time which was a good opportunity to finally get to this course. This was my second visit to PGA West and like last time, the customer service was top notch from bag drop, pro shop, cart guys, restaurant, starter and beverage cart. The expansive driving range was stocked with balls so I had a good warm up. I was paired with three other singles. One lives along the 2nd fairway so his course knowledge was extremely helpful. Another was distractingly talkative and the other was very pleasant with an enviable game.

Visually, the course was beautiful. The emerald green of the tee boxes, fairways, and rough were in stark contrast to the golden brown of everything else. All of the turf was lush and in great shape other than some divot damage on the par 3 tees. The greens were very firm and smooth but somewhat slow. All day long putts abruptly stopped a couple inches short. The water in the lakes was clean and clear.

After everything I’ve heard about this course, I went in with no expectations of a good score. Although it’s considerably less beastly from the red tees than the others, it is still a huge challenge, especially on a day when I just wasn’t hitting well. Other than the tee boxes, I don’t think there is a square foot of level on the whole course. I found myself in two of the bunker ‘canyons’ that are twice as deep as I am tall. I successfully hit out of those, but kept hitting poorly from the perfect lies in the middle of the fairways. Go figure…

The highlight of my round was making par on Alcatraz, the par 3 #17 with the island green. We all know there is the one shot or hole that keeps us going back. That one did it for me. I can’t wait to play the Stadium course again!
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