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Played Rio Secco this morning 3rd group out. My twosome was paired up with two members who played before we got to the tee box, starter said "the course is all yours". Did not see them after the 2nd hole. What a treat it was today. How often do you get Rio Secco to yourself on a Saturday morning in prime season? I honestly do not know since this was my first time. This place is great. The clubhouse and range top quality. The course conditions today were outstanding overall. The tee boxes were just about perfect 9/10. The fairways were perfect 10/10, and the rough same 10/10. The sand was very wet when we started but by the end of the morning it dried up, 7/10. The greens were great, 8/10. The reason they get dinged is because some fo them were still recovering from the winter burn. Very dry in spots and some sandy, yet they rolled perfect. I realize so many people who read this have played this course, so you already know how fun this place is. For those who have not played here, I think Rio Secco is a challenge that will test anyone, the blue tees are slope rated at 138 and the whites are a 134. At a rack rate of $179 on the weekend, it is worth it, especially when you consider we finished in under 4hrs on a Saturday morning. The cart lady found us 4 times. Highly recommended.
Played Sand Hollow this afternoon (round 3 of 4 of my B-day trip to the high desert;Mesquite, Hurricane, Las Vegas). Teed off at 12:18 as a two-some and finished just before 5. Rode the Blues(6893 yds par. 72), in some brand new leather cushioned carts, with GPS. I have really wanted to make the trek out here ever since I saw the pictures. I can tell you, if you read no further of this review, understand that Sand Hollow (championship) is one of the most scenic courses and should be on your bucket list if you enjoy spending time looking at the surroundings of a golf course while you play.

As the course goes, the front nine takes you through a series of typical golf holes you might find anywhere in America. The front reminds me of a typical resort style course, well maintained, fun, and sometimes challenging. By hole 5, I was starting to wonder what all the hype was about, thinking when does it get...spectacular? Once you get to hole 11, that is when Sand Hollow takes you on the majestic roller coaster of zen-like golf you were seeking. Hole 11-16 are worth the drive, the wait, and the cost. You weave around the side of mountain and if you go left, say good-bye to your ball. These holes also play long and create a challenge for many golfers.

The course right now, is in very good condition. The Tee boxes are level and have been moved around each couple days to get some fresh grass, 8/10. The fairways are in excellent shape, 9/10. The sand traps aren't really sand, but they dug into the ground here and found red clay and called those traps. They are much different from sand, they can be wet, soft, hard, full of pebbles, and steep. Very different from anything I have every played, 8/10. Rakes were back as well. The greens had pull-able flags, were rather large, and played pretty fast. I did not think they were all that great however, as there are some spots with sand and ball marks, 7/10. They did roll very true, and created some tough reads. The practice facility, clubhouse, clubhouse grille, and staff, all deserve a 10/10, very classy people who are just so nice and helpful. The food is really good as well. I cannot wait to comeback.
Played Copper Rock this morning, 2nd two-some out on a gorgeous day. Copper Rock had been on my bucket list for awhile, since I found out some extended family would be moving to the area. I hadn't heard much about this property except that everything is new and still being built. As we drove our car into the lot, a cart guy came over checked us in and helped us learn the course, literally hadn't even taken my cleats out of my bag. I went in and paid, to a small club house with a few tables for food and some gear being sold in the corner(everything is brand new). The rack rate at this time is $120 a pop, however I am firm believer that this course is worth every penny. The place is beyond stunning from a visual standpoint. At times when you are elevated you can peer to the north east and Zion is lurking in the background, takes your breath away. The course as a contrast to those mountains is stunning, plush, and well maintained. There must have been 12 guys working different parts of the course this morning, all as nice as can be, and aware we were hitting so they could move or turn off their machines. Heated bathrooms located in three areas around the course. Drinking water out of a cooler(old school style) on almost every hole. Newer propane carts with GPS and food ordering abilities. A great practice facility that would rival some private courses.
As far as this course layout goes we played from the Blues, a par 72 6270 yards with water on a few holes and traps strategically placed. The front nine is flat and long, with some wide fairways and large greens, while the back goes to some elevation changes and some scenic shots and even larger greens.

The tee boxes are in great shape, 8/10, maybe a few needed some regrowth but very level. The fairways are the best I have played in some time, 9/10. The greens for the most part are good, there were a few with some winter burn still recovering and some edges were being worked on, 7/10. The greens on some holes are very long and narrow. The starter told us to be 1 club short as the greens are tough to stop your ball on, this piece of advice was spot on, as these greens are hard but are not lighting fast. The sand traps are awesome, rakes are back, soft and fluffy white sand, 9/10. The rough is what you want rough to be, but not impossible, 8/10.

Copper Rock is setting up to host a Symetra LPGA event in a few weeks and I am sure that had a lot to do with the conditions and the maintenance. However, I was so impressed by how nice and receiving this place made me feel. Everyone is kind and helpful. There are homes being built all over, some on the course and some just outside the property. The future is very bright for Copper Rock, and I highly recommend this course if you are out this way.
As leg one of a four part golfing journey(Palms4/5, Copper Rock4/6, Sand Hollow4/7, Rio Secco4/10) to celebrate my 40th along with Spring Break, I logged round one at the Palms Resort GC after a night at the Casa Blanca just across the way in Mesquite. As many of you know, the Palms is probably the least attractive course in the area. That being said, I enjoyed the round at the Palms, and would play again. We were the first ones out matched up with a local single who showed us the way. Check-in was easy and smooth and we were told that masks were optional anywhere on the property. Since we were the first ones there, when we got to the 1st tee before the starter did, that has never happened to me before. The course is in very good condition overall. The greens are in good shape and held the ball well, they are not fast but also are well taken care of. The tee boxes and fairways are in excellent shape as of right now, 8/10. The rough is cut short but is in good shape. The sand is the real negative to this course, because there is no sand. Mostly dirt and some rocks, a few traps had standing water. This course is a tale of two nines, the front is mostly flat with a few challenging holes. The back is much more difficult but also much more scenic, as you have elevation changes on all but one hole.
One of the oddest experiences I have ever had happened while we played here. About 6 holes in we looked up and over the back 9 to see a few fires taking place and long straight smoke rising in the air. When we got closer, we came to realize that the Palms decided to control burn some brush... that morning. Not only were we breathing in ash, it had covered one of the greens almost completely. When teeing off on the 15th hole I hit my ball just left ravine, within 10 feet where the burn was still smokey and hot. While I played through the heat, I cannot explain how close I was to possibly melting my ball.
I believe this course is overpriced as we paid the peak rate of $105 even after the deal by staying at the Casa Blanca. I do recommend the Palms, despite the fires, and the cost.
Made it out to RR today, rode the whites on the Victoria Lakes course. POP was right around 4hrs, could have been a little faster but one group "accidentally" passed us and then their cart died. The course is in fair condition. The greens, which are about to be punched rolled true and smooth. Not very fast but they were very wet so that slowed them down a bit. The fairway is coming back from winter conditions, and were in good shape enough to hit whatever shot you were trying. The rough and sand have seen better days, both are non-existent. The sand was particularly hard today, and that made it so hard to get under the ball. The tee boxes are in good shape and there was no issue there. The range is nice and the mats are somewhat new. The staff is great. Note, they did make me ride with another single today to save on the carts the starter explained. First time I had done that in over a year, felt a little strange to be honest. However, I'm just thankful for life to return to some normalcy.Overall, I did enjoy this course, and will be coming back. It's challenging at times with some narrow fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and undulating greens. It's forgiving at times with few trees and lots of reachable shots. Some great views on the back nine as well. After the aeration this course should be in very good condition for the Spring and Summer.
I was able to get out today to Rancho Del Sol. A good buddy requested that we go here as it is one of his fav's. Pop was around 4 hrs maybe a little slow on the front but picked up on the back. Greens were in great shape today, very true roll and faster than I thought, yet they held nicely the approaches. The fairways are dried out from winter and the rough is chewed up. The tees were in good shape as they have moved them around lots in the last few days according to the starter. The sand was awesome, maybe the best part to the course aside from the greens today. I thoroughly enjoyed Rancho, its challenging and scenic while not overwhelming. I wish this course had a range, it was cold in the morning and I would have loved to warm it up a little. It feels like this course is going in the right direction and I look forward to playing it again. The starter might be one of the best guys out there, he had us dying with laughter before our round. Much appreciated the looseness. Recommended.
Made it out to Camarillo Springs (2/21/21) . A warm and very windy morning through to the afternoon. A slow day to say the least. First off, Camarillo Springs at one point was a place I used to love to play. I had not played it for some time and was eager to test it out. I had heard all sorts of stories about what was happening here. Is it going to 12 holes, will it be shut down permanently, or will it be restored? As I checked in, the clubhouse is basically empty, indicating that a change is coming soon. After checking in I putted on a recently punched practice green that seems to be much smaller than I remember. Before teeing off I spent some time talking with the starter. Who indicated that the plan was to develop the property into a 12 hole course, however recently a new investor has plans to restore the course and is even considering turning it into a private access course. He claimed that there is much optimism from this investor that a restore without becoming private is still on the table. This course needs help sooner than later. I am saddened by how far this course has fallen. The Tee boxes are completely with out grass and not level. The fairways at times are playable but are very thin. The sand is a mix of dirt and rocks with occasional mud. The rough is not rough, very thin grass and full of rocks. The greens are about the only thing on this course that is taken care of, I would rate them a 6/10. Just above average. The driving range is falling apart as well. The side netting has some holes and the back netting is now almost completely gone. Hole 13 sits well within range for you to get whacked while teeing off. The massive pole holding up one of the nets has fallen down and it seems like it has been there for some time. The saddest part of this story is that Camarillo Spring has so much potential, truly a great piece of land that with just a little bit of love and money could become gem, but it could also become just another housing complex.
Rode the Blues today on a GN hotdeal at $56. Which I took because it was about 100 dollars cheaper than usual. I got to the course right on time and was hurried to the 1st tee, there was no starter so I waited for my group. Except no one ever showed. Finally another person joined and off we went. We finished in exactly 4hrs after passing 2 groups that were taking their time. The tee boxes are in good shape, the fairways are in winter conditions and are very hard but playable. The sand was soft and the greens were fast, and tough to read. The greens are not forgiving here, very difficult to stop your ball. Angeles National is a very difficult golf course, it got me good today. I struggled to find the fairway and if that happens here you are in deep trouble. Overall, I would recommend playing here if you get the deals. $156 is a lot for what you get. There are some brand new nice carts with GPS but there is no cart lady. There is bathrooms on both sides of the course but the pace of play is typically slow. The range was packed with people. Looking for a challenge, Angeles National is it.
Made it to Sierra lakes today (1/31/21). Turned out to be a really nice day in terms of weather, no wind when we played but you could tell it was just about to start. Sierra Lakes is in pretty good conditions for the winter time. The fairways are exactly what you would expect from a course that deals with with frost and then wind. It had absolutely down poured here earlier in the week and there was some standing water in spots, not in play though. The tee boxes were in good shape, a little hard at times but level. The sand was still a little wet but had been dragged so it wasn't too bad to get out of. The best part of the course has to be the greens. They ran true today, held the ball nice, and hardly had any blemishes. I was generally happy with Sierra Lakes, and that was because I played one of my best rounds in a long time. However, there are some unfortunate aspects to this place. The first real problem I have with S.L. is the cost, $89 is a little steep for what you get. I think this course should be more around $50. The second is the pace of play. Even as the 3rd or 4th group out we waited on just about every shot, and finished in just under 5hrs. How could this be? The Marshall had no care in the world as he passed us 5 times to say "hi". The amount of people waiting to tee off when we made the turn was a little disturbing.
On another note, the drink lady found us on the 12th and she does make an incredible Bloody, I needed one today, not for my game but merely to pass the time while waiting to hit....should have made it a double. I recommend this course if you don't mind paying a price above its worth and you you don't mind playing slow, potentially.
I was able to play Alhambra today, walked the Blues. The course held up very well from the previous storm. Greens ran true, they were not fast though(it rained hard here last night). The fairway's are a little hard, and some of the lower spots are a little muddy, as expected. The tee boxes were about what you would expect this time of the year but I was happy with what was hitting from. The sand traps were not very soft but I played excellent from them today so I will not complain. Alhambra is a pretty good deal at $28 to walk, and an easy course to walk at that. I always struggle on the back nine here, but still a fun course. One of my playing partners travelled all the from Santa Monica, he said its totally worth the green fee, and the pace is great, he plays Alhambra all the time. I would say he is correct we finished in under 4 hrs and that was with our senior group member cart dying on the last hole so we had to push him up the hill. Recommended for the price.
A good friend and I met up to play Fullerton as the 2nd group out(a single went out before us and was running from hole to hole, strange), 1/18/21. Not many people around this morning and we had the course to ourselves. As of right now, Fullerton isn't in great shape, there is almost no level shots anywhere on the course. The fairways are chewed up, there is a mix of several types of grass and divots have never been fixed. There was no way to know what would happen when you hit the ball. I found it so hard to get the ball up in the air off of the fairway. The rough is pretty much non-excitant. The greens were painted earlier that day so my right hand was green after a few holes. The greens were very difficult to read today, each one was a different speed. We spent time after each hole trying different putts, after all there was no one behind us. We started to realize that each hole created a different green issue, some were hard and dry and others were wet and soft, and some were painted green so much it gave you a poor read. The tee boxes were without question the worst I have seen ever. There was no grass on a few holes, and some I could not get a tee into the ground. That actually was not as bad as the fact that they are not level, the biggest pet peeve I have with courses. If I can't get level footing then I struggle with my drives. A course like Fullerton has a lot of dog-legs, and some elevation changes, so the un-level tee boxes helped cause me to struggle even more than I needed (not good today). The sand traps were the best part of the course today, soft and very playable. While most of the course was wet in the morning, the sand somehow remained fluffy and easy to get the club under. The front office guys are always great at getting you on the course asap, kudos to them.

I know this seems harsh, but I will always review a course with honesty. I have played here a few times before and the conditions were much better. Overall, I like the course layout, it presents challenges without really being all that difficult. This course is my nemesis, which only makes me want to go after it again. The question of should you play here or not really depends on what you can get the green fees for. I believe we overpaid at 39 to walk and 14 more to ride, I think 20 to walk is about right. This course can get backed up later in the morning rounds on weekends as well. Til' we meet again Fullerton!
Made it to Sterling Hills for the first time today 1/9/21. A rather cold morning turned into a warm windy one. This course is both challenging and fun, it's also in very good condition overall for the time of year. The pace for a Saturday morning was fine, we could have moved faster but throughly enjoyed the round and did not rush. We finished in just under 4 hours, never caught the group ahead of us and the group behind us was walking so we never saw them either.

The greens are in very good condition and roll true, not super fast but a lot of undulations and different tiered greens. Some dicey putts to say the least.. There was some standing water on a few holes but the maintenance guys were working on it as we played. Come to think of it every where went we saw guys getting this course in shape. I appreciate a course that does this, it really pays off, makes you want to come back. The starter, the marshals, the maintenance guys, the clubhouse head, and the bartender/food servers were as good as it gets. The fairways and rough have seen better days but still provide great hitting conditions for the winter. The sand traps were good, and the tee boxes were in excellent shape.

Sterling Hills is a good deal for the weekend rate. 70$ gets you a small bucket, a cart, and a meal. They had two options for the early guys at the turn, sausage or bacon breakfast burrito. This was the perfect sized burrito to eat on the go. First time I have been served breakfast at the turn, and (not gonna lie) loved it.

Sterling Hills is highly recommended, and I will be back.
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