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I played Sunday, August 4th, at the member rate of $98. It’s been awhile since I’ve visited Arroyo Trabuco but I really enjoy playing here. The price is a bit steep IMO but I guess I should expect high greens fees because this is OC golf after all. I dig the layout of this course and appreciate the lack of homes lining every fairway like many other courses in the area. There are lots of forced carries and plenty of hazards that can get you in trouble but I find the course to be a fair challenge. We played the blue tees and found them to be lush and level. The fairways were pretty good but I found too many divots that weren’t replaced. In the past, the greens here were consistently bad and almost unplayable at times. However, I’m happy to report lush greens with no signs of disease that I remember being an issue in the past. I will say the greens were a little too grown out for my liking and made for very slow putts. I saw the cart girl a couple of times and had a tasty burger at their restaurant after the round. I will note that the service here was excellent. I’d recommend paying Arroyo a visit.
I played on Saturday 5/2 at 11:34am for $55 which was an absolute steal for this course. We were fairly concerned at how the pace of play would be considering how crowded the facility was but our fears were for not as we finished in just a smidge over 4 hours. Despite this, we were hassled by the marshals numerous times to speed up. At one point, the hassling became practically comedic. After putting out on a hole, a marshal said we needed to speed up. We looked back and pointed out that there wasn't a soul in sight on the par 5 behind us! Oh well. Other than that, the service was good. As for the golf course, I really enjoy the layout. It's quite a contrast between the 2-9 hole layouts. The front 9 consists mostly of generous fairways and possesses 2 par 3s with forced carries over water. The back 9 is a much different animal with a number of holes that demand course management with narrow tee shots (The tee shot on hole 12 can we quite intimidating with canyon on both sides of the hole). The entire course was lush and green. The tee boxes were level and good. The fairways were in great condition. The bunkers were well covered and raked and filled with crusty and firm sand in the fairway bunkers and softer sand in the greenside bunkers. As for the greens, I noticed a number of them being quite bumpy and some had a little damage which forced one to putt through small barren patches. The rough was lush but inconsistent. I look forward to coming back and would definitely recommend playing here.
After doing a lot of research to find a solid, economical option for golf in Maui, I decided to try out the Kahili track. I received many recommendations from frequent Maui travelers to play this course so when I found a $59 rate, it was a no brainer. I wanted to avoid the winds so I booked a 6:46am tee time on 04/24. The course sits alongside the west Maui mountains and offers numerous spectacular ocean and mountain views. It's a very nice facility equipped with a driving range, practice putting greens, and a nice restaurant. The course sits below the private King Kamehameha course which is located up the mountain a ways. I imagine the views from that course to be even more outstanding but I suppose that's for another time. The layout of Kahili is fun. There were some straight forward holes but plenty of doglegs and a couple of elevation changes. It's a short course and fairly forgiving as the fairways are generous enough to pull out big dawg regularly. As for the course conditions, all parts of the course were well maintained. The tee boxes were level and good sized. The difference between the white and blue tees were substantial on many holes. The one thing I noticed about this course was how significant the grain affected putts. I played with a former Q school pro who helped me a lot with reading the greens. They didn't have a cart girl coming around since we were off so early and there was some needless confusion to start the round but all in all, I had a fun experience and would definitely recommend playing this course.
I played the Plantation Course last Wednesday, 04/22 for $225. It's really hard for me to justify shelling out that kind of dough for greens fees but I'm certainly glad I did it! Were the winds howling? Were the greens hard to two-putt? Did the course kick my rear? Would I do it again? Yes, yes, yes, and YES! The grounds were truly spectacular. The ocean views were breathtaking. The service was top notch. It was a first rate experience. My one gripe was that I thought the driving range was a bit on the small side. The course conditions were well maintained. Everything from tee to green was excellent. The course layout was fun but there were several blind shots where previous experience would've helped with on course decisions. I'm undecided at how difficult the course would be sans wind but on this day, it was blowing! It seemed as if we were hitting straight into the wind on most holes. On a couple of occasions, a ball resting on the putting green was blown completely off with a mighty gust. This made for a major challenge and it certainly makes one appreciate how good those pros can play in windy conditions. My advice would be to definitely play the course but try and get a really early morning time to avoid the strong winds that typically come in the afternoon. Make sure to get the complimentary personalized bag tag from the guys at the end of the round. It makes for a nice commemorative keepsake.
I got a chance to get out to Monarch last week a day after the greens were aerated. They told us playing the day right after aeration is always better than the weeks to follow and they were right. Although the holes were clearly visible, the balls rolled true....just slightly slower than if they weren't punched. I wasn't complaining. Any day that I get to play Monarch is a treat. And on this day, it was especially fun because we got in 54 holes! That's right....5-4. It was the longest day I've had on a golf course and I was amazed that we were able to get in all 54. Other than the greens, the course was in great condition. Tee boxes were level, the entire course was lush, green, and well maintained and the bunkers had good coverage. The service was top it always seems to be whenever I come to play here. The ocean views from holes 3 and 4 are truly exceptional and are must photo ops. I can't wait until I get to play here again.
I played the Cholla course last Sunday, Mar. 1st, to wrap up my Arizona golf trip. I paid $200. Although the entire facility was top notch, it's hard for me to tell someone it was well worth the greens fees. However, I must admit that I am not sure what I'd expect at this rate. Anyway, the course was in very good condition but the greens weren't consistently as good as the Saguaro course that I played 2 days earlier. Some greens weren't as smooth but to be honest, I'm probably nitpicking since they were rolling well. I'll also add that the greens on this course didn't seem as fast as the ones on Saguaro. This course also seemed to have more holes that demanded course management. There were a couple of holes that snaked in shape so it was imperative to not overclub. Tee boxes and bunkers were very well kept. In the end, I really enjoyed my experience at We-Ko-Pa and I would like to comeback but I'll probably return during the non-peak season.
After playing We-Ko-Pa in the morning, Friday Feb. 27, we made our way down the road to SunRidge. We were greeted by a very friendly cart attendant who provided the best service I've ever received at a golf course. He drove us over to the range, gave us a breakdown of the facility, and gave us an overview of the course on the first tee. Upon completing our round, the same guy walked us over to the lounge and then went to lock our clubs in our car. He actually got our keys, took our golf bags, secured them into the car, and brought back the keys to us while we enjoyed drinks at the bar. Unbelievable. :) Anyway, the clubhouse is really nice and lots of people were enjoying the beauty of the facilities after their round. As for the golf course, it was pretty dry which made for big bounces, barely any divots, and lightning fast puts. The greens should've been called yellows but they rolled true and were the slickest I've putted on in ages! Overall, the conditions weren't immaculate but solid all around. It was somewhat odd that certain parts of the course were really lush and some of the rough was really thick while other parts were dry and tight. Tee boxes were level and good. Bunkers were filled with sand that was almost clay like and heavy but they played well. The wicked six finishing holes were pretty challenging especially with the strong wind blowing directly into us. I found the layout of the entire course to be interesting and for the most part, each hole had its own unique character. Upon finishing, the club house was poppin with live music. I'd definitely come back. Oh yeah, the cart girl was on it and she was around numerous times.
After quite a bit of research, we decided that we were going to play both We_Ko_Pa tracks as our big splurge courses while on our Arizona golf getaway. We played the Saguaro layout on Friday, Feb. 27 and were the first group going out in the morning. Upon arriving to the expansive 36 hole golf facility located on an indian reservation, I first noticed how isolated the course was from any homes. Initially, there wasn't anyone at the bag drop but eventually an attendant showed up and loaded our gear on a golf cart. We paid the "special" 2 course discounted rate of $200/course. After telling the pro shop guy that it was our first time at the course, we received very little instruction of where to go and when we would tee off. We found our way to the giant driving range and practice facility and didn't see anyone except for a pack of coyotes who were crossing the range. After hitting for quite sometime, we made our way to the 1st tee. There wasn't a soul in sight so we decided to tee off anyways. After arriving at our tee shots in the fairway, we were confronted by a players assistant. He rudely scolded us and said that we had to wait 5 more minutes before teeing off. Whatever! They should've provided some instruction to us if they were going to be such sticklers. Anyway, as far as the course went, the conditions were spectacular and the layout was very challenging, yet still fun. There were a few tee shots that seemed as if the landing area was a tiny sliver but they turned out to be slightly more forgiving than expected. On certain holes, previous course experience would've definitely helped and course management would've been the better play rather than gripping and ripping. I would say that the course conditions were just short of immaculate and probably deserved a better rating than what I gave. The greens were slick on this day and if you were above the hole, fahghettaboutit. This is fantastic desert golf. The greens fees could be knocked down a bit but I'm happy we played it. They provided a poster of the signature hole upon leaving the course....a very nice added bonus.
I played last Thursday, Feb. 26. This was the first course that we played on my first Arizona golf trip. We paid close to $100 which was the twilight rate. I'll add that we went during the peak season so greens fees were maxed out and it's a difficult task finding reasonably priced courses in the Scottsdale area. Apparently, the Ambiente track is fairly new after a remodel of the previous course. The golf club has two 18 hole tracks on the grounds. We arrived too late to really check out the facilities but I noticed great service from the bag attendant and a nice looking clubhouse. The entire course was really well maintained. The grass was lush throughout and conditions were up to the standards of a high end facility. The greens rolled true and were fairly quick. The bunkers were soft with good coverage. The layout was fairly straight forward with some landing areas being much more forgiving than what the view from the tee box lets on. While writing this, I can't really say there was one hole that knocked my socks off but it was a fun layout. It's a forgiving course but if you got really wayward and landed in the long ground cover, your ball was as good as lost. It was a nice way to kickoff my Arizona golf trip and I'll be back.
I played Arroyo for the first time yesterday, Monday, February 16th. I got to play for the member rate of $50 and I'd gladly play here anytime for that price. The condition of the course was pretty good and it was as lush as any course I've seen in awhile. The facilities were great. The large grass driving range and practice chipping and putting area were nice and the 19th hole was particularly noteworthy. For me though, I found the layout of the course to be the most appealing. It was fun yet quite challenging. On many of the holes, there were no homes or other things that could distract from the visual beauty of the course. I also found a good variety of holes that varied in length and design. The tee boxes and fairways were probably the most well maintained aspects of the course. There were a couple of greens that needed some love but as a whole, they were lush and well maintained. The one bunker I was in had good, consistent coverage. I wouldn't hesitate recommending this course and I'm looking forward to playing it again.
I played Friday, February 13th in the late morning and paid $40. I've only visited here a few times over the last several years due to poor course conditions and I have to admit that my expectations were set pretty low prior to my visit. Well, the conditions weren't great but they did exceed my expectations. For the most part, the greens were well kept and rolled true. They were definitely the best part of the course in terms of maintenance. There were lots of waste areas that just looked as if they didn't want to maintain those areas of the course. The course was very dry overall but I did find a few bunkers that resembled small ponds.....seemed odd, perhaps excessive watering in the wrong areas? There were parts of the course where the fairways were pretty good. The rough was similar in this regard. However, there were many parts of the course where these areas had thin to barren lies. Tee boxes were level but were just as variable as the rest of the course when it came to lushness. They varied from dirt to lush and green grass. In the end, I enjoyed my visit. I like the layout and find a number of the holes to be well designed and challenging. I think this course could be a true gem if someone put more money into maintaining it. I'll be back if I find a deal and everywhere else is it might be awhile. Oh yeah, the cart girl did a good job at getting around many times. Lastly, the grounds offer stay and play deals but the accommodations look quite dated. There is also a grass driving range and practice green.
I played on Friday, January 2nd and paid $58. Due to a frost delay, we played a shotgun start through the Creek/Oak layouts. Kudos to the staff for putting together the shotgun to minimize the frost delay. BTW, when I say frost, I should say snow delay! There were large patches of snow and snowmen found throughout the course. It made me wonder if I was in Socal still. Despite the weather, the course conditions were good! From tee to green, the grass was lush and well kept. The only issue for me were the bunkers. Every one of them turned into small ponds and they were unplayable. The greens rolled true but the were very deceptive. I seemed to be facing subtle to large breaking putts which demanded a combo of read and speed to make them and unfortunately for me, I could never dial them in. The Creek layout is fairly straight forward and lacks memorable holes. If possible, I'd recommend doing the Stonehouse/Oaks layouts. The cart girl came around several times. If you have a chance to grab a bite and/or drink after the round, it's worth doing so at the restaurant onsite. It offers a nice environment overlooking the golf course to of the better 19th holes IMO. Recommended.
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