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Staying about an hour away used Golf Moose for two with wife driving clean cart for a couple dollars above single rate but included range so worth the extra to warm up. Well stocked pro shop open with mask use considered a personal choice, bar available as was restaurant with food brought out to waiting carts (was told that Siskiyou County has a very low Covid rate). Small elevated range had a dozen matt stalls on Thursday 8/27 while the grass area recovered. Smoke from fires restricted views of Mount Shasta but was high enough not to smell. This Robert Trent Jones Sr & Jr resort design was well laid out and the housing set back from play. Many must be year round residences with the huge wood piles stacked alongside the golf view homes. Entire course was very well maintained with lush wide fairways, flat tees, ample rough 1- 1 1/2" to keep most wayward shots on course vs lost to OB thick forest scrub and smooth fast 11.5-12 greens with hidden breaks. Lots of crushed volcanic red granular sand bunkers protecting greens that looked opposing but made easy out of two steep greensides. Heavy red sand which blended visually with the surroundings held up well from play without rakes and pins had pool noodle foam in them. Several lakes to maneuver around or over also a couple narrow tree lined fairways and dogleg corners had large pine trees or trap protection. Mainly flatter course with a few elevated tee boxes, some rolling fairways with lifted or tilting greens. Grass was well watered green but firm having a bit of rollout, divots filled (sand bottles on carts) and the greens were void of marks. Played through three twosome couples that were having a fun time hitting balls around finally catching a local five some on the 17th green. Pace was fine teeing off at 11:20 finishing at 2:40 with temperature in the mid 90's. Slim to no cell service throughout the entire area had to wait to post until home today.
First time out in a long time wanted something easily accessible on a very hot mid morning. Played front 9 twice as last single cart out at 9:40. Like Webers review tees and fairways fine, greens smooth if a little slow and one greenside bunker heavy wet dirt. Caught solid 4somes about 7th which slowed quite a bit through front 9 just went back through real quick to finish at 12:20. 88 at start 105 at finish and very humid. Always have a fun round here either course.
Tuesday about noon 67 with 20-30 mph winds friendly starter Jarrod sent me right out. First at Avi Resort where staying but full slate and 3x rates looked at Los Lagos stacked up there too no problem at El Rio another nice area course. Lush emerald green fairways outlined by dormant rough which was cut tight to thin hardpan in places. Good lies and rollout on fairways quick to trouble if offline and running through rough. Winds made for some awesome drives and on one long par 5 into stiff breeze was chipping fourth shot with my third 3 wood from 130 yards! Was fun trying to judge how wide to aim for compensating side winds with no parallel holes just looking out over desert, thick scrub or water. Only lost one ball by hitting green with too much draw that wind took and quickly rolled off into lake. Tee boxes mostly level good coverage with divot mix being used on each par 3. Firm medium to fast greens held lofted shots while low runners kept a rollin. No pitch marks just a light smudge at most. Wind aided breaks and speeds even holding quick downhills short when into wind. In one trap felt hard and was but sank putt from opposite collar so no harm with long blade out. Fun round hitting two balls at times and finishing in 3 hours only catching a foresome on 17 with another single staying at least one hole back. Always like playing here when staying in the area.
Thursday 8:10 start 54 degrees warmed up to 73 at 10:50 finish. Skipped around a couple holes to pass member groups then easy return to complete full 18. Tight cut fairways appeared dormant and dry still areas without coverage. I just play to land in grassy locations and hit approach shots from them instead of bounding through barren areas. Makes for some interesting shots. Found white tee boxes okay as was #13 greenside bunker. Greens medium speed and from previous review a few seem to be shrinking. Backhoe reworking drainages and one fairway had been aerated. Always a friendly atmosphere and a fun play when disregarding imperfect conditions which should be rated mid fours not threes.
Got out Friday at 2 after a day of fishing in perfect weather with temperature of 74. Asked if wet or cart path restrictions but told conditions should be good after a week of drying out. Marshal wanted me to return by 4:30 so he could lock up as only a couple groups were out. Was feeling good at start and hustled around finally catching a twosome just leaving tee box on 14 so I skipped that one and continued through 18 at 3:50. Decided to head back out to finish play on 14 the furthest hole from clubhouse and ended round at cart barn at 4:15. As Roarksown1 said weather here changes everything and a beautiful day made conditions great for me! No rollout, LCP a few drives but nothing plugged, two fairways with heavy leaves being blown off, only had to repair my pitch marks, 18 left trap dry heavy sand easy out to 18" for par, white tee boxes were level and had good coverage, fairways had both thin and lush areas and back nine greens showed punch marks still rolled true if only a bit slow. Saw a hawk grab a ground squirrel, a flock of about 70 turkeys, a coyote tracking something and a roadrunner. Such a quick round didn't notice anything detrimental especially when shooting straight and on target. Had a nice dinner at grill and stayed in resort cottage across street to end a full day.
Played Wednesday noon twilight in building breeze mid 80s between a several hole gap in players. Full overseeded fairways having a distinct green from dormant rough that vividly outlined best play lines on a relatively flat course. Was able to adjust ball flights with wind from the sides and when going with but was very long going into. Rough was cut low and tight to thin in some areas. In two greenside bunkers both fine brown sand having few pebbles. One hole looked to have had a waterline break from large muddy waste areas and dry mud on cart path. No damage to playing surfaces but noticed a nearby fairway bunker flooded. Greens rolled true at medium fast speeds holding shots and leaving only a small smudge or dent. They were good sized some steep back to front but mostly flatter with mild undulations. Moved along quickly until catching a couple fours at 16 still finishing in 3 hours. Course located in under developed housing tract with each hole secluded by chaparral and having long mountain views all around. Prominent Oatman Boundary Cone landmark was an apparent aiming point on several holes. Played here about 4 times over last six years and this is the best conditions I've had though not necessarily during the same season. The Avi Resort and Los Lagos looked similar but that was just from minimal views while driving by them.
In the area decided to try The Refuge just coming out of overseed on Tuesday 11:00. Nice staff got me out quickly with starter recommending open back nine since front was busy. Worked out good with no one seen on front when I came around finishing in 3 hours.
Overseed made for cart path only on back and 90 degree rule for front. A few long jonts up and down hills on backside glad I did that first as temperature rose into upper 80s later on. Greens 9-18 very woolly uncut made a one putt effort on each then picked up and moved on. Front nine okay cut medium speed firm with few marks. Dark green fairways mostly full with a few spotty areas still filling in. Dormant rough along fairways cut to 1" held ball up easy to play from with some thick sponge like tufts around greens made for tough chipping if ball settled down in. Tee boxes were flat with grass neatly trimmed and course had several elevation changes some with lake views. Sparse dead grass/dirt along cart paths appeared unsightly but not immediately in play and wayward shots here could be lost in thick native vegetation or uneven desert waste areas. Country Club should pave the long dusty dirt trail skirting an RV campground from first green to 2nd tee. Front nine felt choppy after back nine start with three par 3s in first five holes and 7,8,9 all par 5s. Other than the hairy backside greens conditions were fine and should improve in the next couple weeks.
Ending a fishing trip to Kern River stopped at Rio Bravo CC at mouth of canyon Wednesday late morning. The private gated community allows some public play and friendly staff got me off quickly with yardage book, range balls and cart at 10:40. All grass range had several levels with six stalls on each not busy and well maintained. The two practice putting greens showed what starter assured were near perfect surfaces following mid September punching. Teed off after warmup finding the tee boxes level with good coverage and all divots filled. There were no unrepaired ball marks or divots seen supporting that members care about their course. Wide fairways cut tight mostly green with some dormant areas starting to show. Rough about an inch long with some mixed grasses becoming thin to ragged out along edges but those are far enough away to be mainly outside of play. In two greenside bunkers both light fluffy tan sand flopped 60 wedge to slow rollouts on green. The greens were some of best I've played rolling true lines very smoothly and fast. Glad I'd tried both practice greens to get speed down before hitting the course. Fringe around greens cut low enough to putt from 15'-20' off. Found the white tees quite long at 6521 with one par 5 just under 600 yards. Terrain varied more than area looked with up, down and side hill fairways along with flats. Needed driver into light breeze on two longish uphill par 3s and four or five lakes came into play. A nice cart/walker couple waited to let me pass on a backside par 3 allowing finish just before 2:00. Had fun playing especially putting but sure was a long drive home from there.
Planned to be nearby so purchased a Golf Guide certificate for Wednesday. Death Valley was quite busy with visitors but the golf course was not. Hit a few old balls on 6 lane grass range and putted on undulating practice green then headed out at 11:00 with temperature at 88. Surprisingly green and well maintained the fairways are with only a few yellowish spots here and there. Ball sat up nicely unless offline then settled down into 1 1/2" rough. Rough became thin and dry out at edges and overwatering there left some muddy puddles. Rough thick and tricky around mostly elevated greens. Not in any bunkers but the few noticed had ample fine grey sand and were neatly trimmed. Greens similar to practice one for medium slow speeds with downhills quicker looked uneven but putted smoothly. They were firm but held shots. Three had large dry sections but still putted the same. Will probably improve as the temperatures are beginning to cool from the summer highs. Remarkable conditions when considering the elements and time of year. Plenty of cold water jugs every few holes and a soda machine stationed randomly between some trees along cart path. Large tamarisk trees provided lots of much needed shade, palms tightened fairways and several lakes were in play. Finished at 1:45 in mid 90s after enjoying course and long scenic views.
Took an $11 hot deal to sparsely crowded course and found the Cruiser hadn't been aerated yet. Greens were smooth and medium speed with mostly repaired marks. Fairways neatly trimmed with minimal rough. Traps appeared damp-wet wasn't in any to confirm but by lack of rake marks nobody else was either. White tee boxes found level enough spots on most but some were quite beaten. Highlight of the round were several flyovers by Canadian Snowbirds out practicing for the HB air show. Seven planes flying formations and trailing smoke made for a loud fun outing.
Wanting to swing my clubs called El Prado Tuesday told Butterfield Stage had been punched the 16th & 17th with 1/4" holes and most were playing Chino Hills side (aeration 30th & 1st). Arrived Wednesday morning putted a few minutes on nice practice green then headed out on Butterfield at 7:30. Playing two balls off tees and fairways while putting quickly through aerated greens finished at 10:00. Caught a foursome finishing on nine so I just went straight to 12 and played 10 & 11 after the 18th. Conditions wise the greens had been sanded were still bumpy but looked to be healing. Flat tee boxes well covered and very few divots while the fairways were fully covered, trimmed evenly and green. Only dirt areas seen were cart paths trying to grow over or outlying waste areas with lush rough 2"-3" along fairways. Even had longer grasses filling in between trees. Traps have been turned but looked like wet sandy dirt. Course has been receiving heavy watering first thought there may have been thunderstorms from the long range of the sprinklers. I was able to accomplish my intended purpose and was surprised by the overall conditions sans the greens maintenance. Crews rebuilding the creek crossing at bottom of the 10th fairway. Always friendly staff work to get everyone off quickly and noticed carts were newer than last visit.
Stayed a couple nights at San Vicente Inn playing the course Wednesday morning at 10:30. Usually lighter turnouts that day but steady member play seemingly women early then men's groups following along with public mixing in leaving few open times till afternoon. After a good breakfast at onsite Oaks Grille chipped and putted around practice green then called to tee behind a local twosome. Played a couple balls following along after 2 twosomes and a five. Back nine affords little opportunity to skip around therefore stayed in pattern to finish at 4 1/4 hours. Course has a fun mix of holes none alike and well separated from each other. There were several lakes, a creek and water drainages crossing the mostly tree lined fairways with a few large boulders lurking about. The white boxes 6228 were in good shape par 3s showed wear but easily playable. Fairways were green and ball sat up for woods and clean divots with irons. In two greenside bunkers one very damp one dry with the first an easier play out of than the dry one. Greens were much slower than the previous day at Barona and the front nine much smoother than the back when the poa annua began blooming with footprints taking hold. Really liked the course, surrounding mountain scenery, serenity and lots of turkeys moving about. Staff was friendly even made sure I got a yardage book and explained routing. Thursday morning greens were sprayed as part of regular maintenance to extend current conditions as they have detrimental pH, salts and nutrient problems which will require an entire course closure to completely rebuild them along with bunker renovations in the near future.
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