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Was out with the Gurus today for an absolutely great day golf. Thanks to Perry, Gary and Steve for making it so fun. Staff at Desert Willow are fantastic and seem to go out of their way to make golfing at Desert Willow a great experience. Normal COVID precautions are in place, but they do have you share carts but there is a divider between the passenger and rider. Carts have a very nice GPS and have very comfy seats. Now onto to conditions: ( you may notice a pattern here)

Tee Boxes - Played the Lavender tees and they were in perfect shape.
Fairways - Immaculate and a beautiful emerald green.
Rough - Immaculate and about 1-2 inches of perfect green grass.
Bunkers - Great sand and they do have rakes so it did feel a little odd raking a bunker again.
Greens - Immaculate with very very few unrepaired ball marks. Rolled true and were a blast to putt on, and tricky After our round a Desert Willow employee was out to greet us and ask what we thought about the course. He said the greens were a Rye/Poa Aunna mix. He also told us how they make sure the greens are kept firm enough to resist some ball marks by measuring the amount of water they put on them. He said they have a person go around and check each green in multiple places. The tool they use has bluetooth and sends information back to an app that shows them the places on the green that have too much water and the areas that are underwatered, even though us normal golfers could never tell by looking at them or putting on them. Was very interesting seeing the app.

As you can tell I loved the course, staff and the friends I golfed with today. I can't imagine how I would have felt about the day if I had even golfed halfway decent.

Thanks to Johnny putting this together, and thanks to Desert Willow for hosting us today.
Played on Thursday the 10th with the "gurus" and had a blast. Thanks Johnny, Mike and Steve for a great day. Not much to add that hasn't already been said. The bunkers may have been in the worst shape that I have seen here, but this is out of the norm for Goose Creek. I'm sure that the Goose won't let that be like that for long.
I have played here many times and my expectations are always met. You know that conditions are going to be great and the pace of play will be good. The par 3's here are fun and challenging and #16 is just a beast. You never feel like you are playing the same hole twice as every hole has a personality of it's own.
Customer service was great and everybody was very pleasant.
Can't wait until the next time I play here. This course is one of my favorites.
Played on Tuesday October 27 and all I can say is that the course is immaculate. The weather today was a perfect 72 with light winds, just enough to make you think about club selection. I love this course and it doesn't get the props it should.
Tees - in great shape and the grass has come in from recent punching.
Fairways - in great shape in fact nearly perfect. There has been turf reduction at the beginning of the fairway, and could come into play for shorter hitters like me.
Rough - nice and lush and does effect how the ball comes out. Almost guaranteed to add at least a stroke.
Bunkers - wasnt in any greenside bunkers but it looked nice and fluffy as you can see some foot prints because of covid rules.
Greens - Did not disappoint. In perfect shape, but did get a little bumpy in the late afternoon. Somebody must have made the greenskeeper mad because some of the pin locations were nasty. These greens are very undulating and can mess with you head. They did not break as much as they looked and the guys I played with were missing putts by fraction of a inch.
I havent had this much fun on a golf course in a long time. Normal Covid rules are in place.
The views on this course are amazing from deer on the forest holes to surfers on the ocean holes.
Played on Friday, Oct. 9 with sr129. This was my first time playing here and it ok. Not a course I have to get back to, but not a course I would avoid. I was late for our tee time because of a batterey problem, but they got me set-up with a cart very quickly to meet Steve out on the course. The staff I had encounters with were very friendly. Standard covid precautions were in place.
POP - 3:30 even though the te sheet was full of us old farts.
Fairways - Very green with a few bare spots, but the longest grass in a fairway I have ever seen. They were mowing towards the end of our round and the cut blades were about an inch and a half long and the grass was still shaggy. The aprons in front of the greens are cut nice and tight and in great shape. This is how the fairways should be.
Rough - A mixed bag of bare and very long grass. With the morning dew, it was difficult to hit from.
Bunkers - Thin to hard pack, just of.
Greens - Slow! not great with ball marks and some thin areas and bumps. The 18 greeen looks like they are having problems with crab grass growing in.
Course is not long with the tips playing 6400 yards and the white tees at 6000.
Had a fun day, just wish the fairways had a little run to them.
Tee'd it up on Tuesday, September 15 with Steve (sr129). Check in was smooth and easy and the usual Covid 19 precautions are in place. The guy behind the counter didn't mention that single cart rider costs more and we found out when we pulled up to the first tee and the starter told us we would have to share a cart. Really not that big of a deal for me and enjoyed Steve's company and the cool tunes he was playing.
The course is in the always fantastic shape that is Goose Creek.
Tee Boxes - Nice shape and playable. As we got further in the round the tee boxes and been mowed very tight making then look brown, but did not effect play at all. The only tee box that had anything to comment about was the white tee area on 17, the ground was very hard and it was difficult to get a tee in for a proper teeing height.
Fairways - as always very nice and ball sat up nicely. There were a few GUR's but very few and did not effect anything.
Rough - nice with very few thin area's and it just thick enough to make one think about club choice.
Bunkers - Thin and firm, but still playable.
Greens - Great shape with very few ball marks here and there. A couple of greens were a little bumpy but nothing to complain about. They were running Medium Fast.
Practice Area - Nice all grass driving range with nice Bridgestone balls. There were no signs stating distances to flags which would have been nice, but I was only using the range to loosen up my swing. Note: don't use up all your good shots on the range like I did. The putting green was unusable when we got there because of the amount of grass clippings on it, but they were gone when we finished our round.
POP - 4 hrs exactly. The spacing of groups here is really nice as they dont let you tee off untill the group in front of you is on the first green. We only waited on a few shots and the wait was not long at all. Never really saw the group behind us.
I can't wait to get back out there and highly recommend this course.
I was the young guy in the old guy group for the Guru outing. The group I was in was a great fun group to be in and thanks guys for all the laughs. I have only played the Legends course once before and I found the conditions much better than a few years ago. Not much to add from Steve and Gary's reveiws. The breaks on the greens really baffled me on a few holes and I missed more than my share of putts by just burning the edges of the cups.
The carts are very comfortable and have a nice GPS with distances to the flags not just the center of the greens.
I found all staff here to be very friendly and courteous.
Thanks to Johnny and the La Costa resort for a great day on a beautiful course.
Played Marshall Canyon Thursday June 30 and dont have too much more to add to roarksown1 review as he was spot on. I would like to add that the rough is very penal, ball sits down and takes a good strike to advance the ball a decent distance as the grass is thick bladed and long.
The staff here was very nice and very accommodating.
A fun course that I didn't like the first time I played it years ago, but liked the layout yesterday and will be back.
Sorry for the late review. Played on Thursday, July 2. Had a 7:30 tee time and went off right on time. Check in was easy and covid precations were in place. It first come first serve on the carts allowing singles to take carts it desired. Looked like most groups had 4 carts. The starter said that he was going to run out by noon. He was also upset that people that traveled to the course together were still taking seperate carts.
Tees - mostly good shape and not difficult to find a good teeing spot.
Fairways - wet from morning dew and were being mowed during the round which caused clumps of grass everywhere. by the time the ball came to rest, it looked like an old ladys slippers, big and fuzzy. There is a lot of bare spots in the fairways (like #3). Should be marked GUR but they are not. Majority of the fairways have nice coverage and grass.
Rough - thick and can be penal.
Bunkers - Too much fluffy sand. The ball was either plugged or a fried egg lie. Did not notice the one sign near the bathrooms saying that you can lift and place the balls in the bunkers. Feet prints was going to be a problem in the later rounds. The were raked nice for the earlier rounds.
Greens - Nice medium speed roll and only a few ball marks to be found. The breaks were odd and my group could not get used to it as they only broke about half of what it looked like. They also played slower than they looked.
I like the layout of this course and it very fun. I will be back and will look for deals. The only way to book online is on Golfnow.
Played on Tuesday 5/5. I have played here many times as it is near my son-in-law and I don't mind the drive. Last year I vowed to never play here again and the conditions seemed like nobody cared, but after seeing the lase review I thought I would give it a try and to my surprise this is by far the best condition I have ever seen this course. Check in was easy and COV19 precautions are in place in the clubhouse and on the course. They are still serving some food at the turn which was nice.

Tee boxes - a little chewed up ,but playable. A few are not level.
Fairways - Thick and lush, I have never seen them this green. #9 fairway is thin as they have always had problems getting grass to grow Last time I played here it was difficult to find good grass.
Rough - recently mowed and nice, some hard pan areas, but not as many as there used to be.
Greens - Nice with medium speed. A few bumps here and there, but nice to putt on. No damaged areas.
Bunkers - HORRIBLE, not a grain of sand to be found. Some with weeds and all are hardpan. There is a note on the carts thas bunkers should be played as non-hazards. I had a few balls actually take a big bounce out after hitting into the bunker on the fly and a few just roll out.
The course was busy but not overly crowded, but our POP was 5:45 and that was because of the pot smoking, beer drinking, lets all go to his ball and watch him hit Bros in front of us. We caught them on Hole 5 and then crawled the rest of the round. They would ony hit their tee shots when they saw us coming up. They must have been friends of somebody on the course as they stood on the 10th tee box BSing until they saw us come out of the snack area with our hot dogs. This is the my only big complaint.
I plan on going back next week as it was only $30 for a 12:45 tee time.
Played Hidden Valley for the first time on 1/1/20 and may be the last (but never say never). Joined dconnally and a single that joined us, for a mostly pleasent day. Even though the reviews were harsh, I came into the day with an open mind. Playing the first hole was a good representation of what the day would hold. We all played the white tees because I am not a very long hitter, but the other two in the group could have played from the blues. From the blues the course is a different kind of beast. Conditions left a lot to be desired.
Tees - Chewed up and not level. I know the course is in the hills, but the tees need to be redone so that flat areas can be found.
Fairways. Never know what your lie will be, any where from hardpan to sitting nicely on green grass. There are many areas of dormant grass to be found, but it is still a little thin, but not bad. Mud was a big factor in a lot of the fairways.
Rough - short grass and hardpan, mud here too.
Bunkers - Never have I seen such a bad collection of bunkers in my life. Most are filled with water and should be considered small ponds and not bunkers. Dave lost a ball on the first hole after his ball "splashed" into a bunker on his second shot. The ball was never found. On the back nine, I forget which hole, Dave was pulling something out of the fairway bunker, or pond, and it turned out to be a whole windshield from a golf cart. For all we know there could be a whole cart in their too with Jimmy Hoffa in the passenger seat. There are a couple of bunkers on the course with no water, but they are just dirt and not raked at all. Hidden Valley should be ashamed of these conditions.
Greens - Best part of the course. They rolled nice with a medium/fast speed. The felt soft as you could leave spike marks, but the greens did not hold shots very well. Ball marks were found on the greens. Downhill putts and chips just don't stop. I think it's number 17, the green is just not fair, cant stop a ball anywhere near the hole. Everything funnels to the bottom left portion and the flag was upper right. Also during the round I noticed odd 2 foot stripes across the greens and it looked like the mower may be having problems, until I looks at my right hand and noticed that my finger were turning a little moldy, but taking a closer look, it was the greens, they had been painted.
Only had interaction with tthree staff members all day, the guy in the shop, the starter and we saw the beverage cart girl one during the round.
I have to say that I came away a little disappointed and may never make the trek here again. I am thankful for Dave and Troy as they made this day enjoyable.
Played on Sunday the 8th and this was my first vist to Rams Hill and it wont be the last. As the other GKr's have mentioned, the course is in great shape. I haven't played a course this green in a long time. With the wind blowing and the elevation changes from fairway to green, choosing the correct club was at a premium.
As Dave mentioned it is a LONG drive to and from the course, but I have to say it is well worth it. Thanks to the staff (who are top notch) for having us and for help making this a very memorable day.
Note: When checking in ask for a scorecard with combo tees, the round played 6100 yards, instead 6300+ from the blues and under 6000 from the whites.
Played on Monday, September 2nd. Tee'd off at Noon and PoP was 4:45, not bad for a holiday, with 2 and 3's going out. Chevelle's review is spot on. The one thing I will add is that there are a few fairways that show signs of recent punching (does not effect play) and the rough is growing back from recent punching or cutting (can effect lie). Fixed 4-6 ball marks on every green, otherwise they are in very good shape. The fairways are firm and you do get extra rollout.
Can be a tough course if not hitting it straight off the tee. Hole 16 is a beast of a tee shot is not a longish hitter. Saw the cart girl several times. One downfall about this course is that if you are looking for a bite to eat at the turn, you are out of luck because there is no turn, the clubhouse is not near any tee except number one. So eat before you tee off. Staff is always nice here. I will be back after the greens are healed from the upcoming punching.
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