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Started round at 2:20 today - finished at 6:00 - very nice POP. Greens had been punched about 10 days ago - not very sandy but punch marks still pretty predominant. Course in pretty much the usual shape although most bunkers had good amount of sand allowing for normal type of bunker shots. Recent rains appeared to help fairways a bit in terms of grass covering and there were even some patches of high rough in certain locations on the course where drainage collects. As always staff was friendly and exercised Covid practices at the clubhouse and starter areas.
Played 7/21 at 4PM. Greens were in good shape albeit a bit bumpy (as one might expect late in the day). Fairways were very nice; bunkers hardpan without much sand; tees were variable with some bare and hard and others fluffy. Pace of play was very good at just under 4 hours allowing for round to be completed before dark even with the late start. El Prado does a good job with following social distancing guidelines as regards carts and gathering around starter's box. Winds from the west kept course temperature in the mid-80's making for pleasant playing conditions.
Played Tuesday 7/14. At 3:00PM was going to play Chino but since Butterfield was so empty played there instead - 18 holes in 2:45 without running into anybody else until #16. Greens were a bit slow but relatively smooth - collars were long and sticky making Texas wedge approach difficult. Fairways were sticky and spongy so roll on the tee shots on a good number of holes was minimal. Tees were variable between being bare or being very deep in grass. Bunkers were hardpan. Temperature was in the high 80's but since El Prado courses get afternoon winds from Orange County it was quite comfortable.
Played Eagle Glen on 7/8. Greens: fast and smooth; Fairways: holes from recent punching still showing and overall were very firm to the point in that on several holes drive hit into center of a sloping fairway could run off that fairway into lateral hazard area; Tees: very inconsistent with roughly half of them in very marginal condition; Bunkers: fairway bunkers very firm and greenside bunkers had some sand in them which is rare for courses in IE these day. Pace of play was 4.5 hours. A bit of strangeness in getting round started as starter was putting new outgoing groups to the 10th tee with explanation of a tournament being underway. There was plenty of wind which helped cool things down on the course even though the temperature was in the low 90's at 3PM.
Played course on Monday 6/8 at 3PM. Santa Ana winds were up making things a bit more challenging than usual - course was pretty empty with a lot of open holes out there. Greens were a bit slower than normal but pretty smooth otherwise. Rough was mostly playable but still had a few spots where it was pretty deep. Chino course is a great traditional design which makes you use a lot of clubs and lets you hit an offline shot every now and then that you can find (as opposed to a number of the newer IE courses that have "environmentally sensitive" areas that you can't play from). Overall a nice place for a relaxing round. One other note: driving range is now open.
Played at 4 hr 15 min round at El Prado Chino Creek on 5/1 with start time at 3pm. Greens were slow and a bit bumpy; fairways were decent; bunkers were hard and unkempt; rough (as others have reported) was very deep and difficult to play out of. Wind from the west kept the course very comfortable on a day that what supposed to be pretty hot. Kudos to El Prado staff for really embracing the concept of social distancing: line for starters window, location of carts, signage leading to the tees all emphasized proper distancing. Pro shop and snack bar/restaurant closed but water and gatorade were available from starter. Nice job guys!
Played Dos Lagos on Monday 4/27. Greens did have some signs of prior maintenance but were very playable. Fairways were good; not much rough to speak of; tees on most holes were good but woolly on a few; bunkers were dry and inconsistent. Pace of play was decent given that course was very full with round taking 4.5 hours. Checkin was done in pro shop with one-way entry and exit. Two players allowed in cart if they agreed otherwise one player per cart.
Played course on 8/28. Temperature at course was some 15 degrees cooler than IE area with steady breeze from noon to 4PM. Pace of play was good with little waiting until hole 13 with round starting at 11:30. Course was is great shape with good fairway lies and smooth greens. Greens are very large on this course so you need to make sure of your club choice on each hole.
Lots of water but a lot of it is not really in play. Have funny policy of not taking any cash so bring a credit or debit card.
Started at 11 - finished at 4
Greens in pretty good shape - tees were a bit sparse - fairways of dormant bermuda gave good lies
4th hole shortened due to work being done on pipes in fairway - suspect will be back to normal in a week or so
Bunkers were in good shape as well
Good value for the money - $45
Played Chino course last week - more quality turf on this course than I have seen in many years of playing this course. Rough was particularly deep and lush - fairways were perhaps as good as I have ever seen in some 30 years of playing this course. As most players in the IE know, this course was for many years in the midst of a large number of dairies which left the course "olfactory challenged" and "insect adundant" - however, most of those dairies have departed, the area around the course has become developed for warehouses and storage facilities and thus the the above challenges have been removed or at worst severely subdued. With the removal of the challenges mentioned, what you have in the Chino Creek course is a very nice traditional routing with a number of moderate elevation changes, water hazards and afternoon winds - on top of those facts, the cost to play this course is significantly below that of the upscale courses in the IE/OC area and frankly is a great bargain in the afternoon with early twilight rates in effect. Ordinarily one might not even want to have other golfers know about a bargain course like this, but given the current situation with a number of courses of the past couple of years in the IE closing, one wants to see this course survive and provide enjoyment to those of us who just appreciate a good decent place to play golf for the cash in our pocket on a weekend afternoon without having to drag out the credit card for a $75 green fee.
Played Pacific Grove on recent trip to Northern California. While of course the back nine is more famous for its holes in the dunes hard by the Pacific Ocean, the front nine has a couple of interesting and challenging holes mixed in with some fairly short par fours. The back to back par 5 fifth and sixth holes have a huge grove of cypress trees running between the two holes for almost their entire length and when the afternoon wind is usually blowing in from the ocean the 6th plays very tough. There are a number of deer that inhabit the course and they just seem to ignore the golfers for the most part and meander about as you play the course. But of course the real draw of this course is the back nine where holes 11-16 are true links on the exposed Point Pinos complete with historic lighthouse and natural dunes. The 12th is a shortish par 5 in the dunes just across the small two-lane coastal road hard by the shoreline, holes 13 and 14 provide fairly tight passageways between tees and greens through the dunes and holes 15 and 16 are fairly wide open but with wide but blind landing areas. Often called the Poor Man's Pebble Beach, I would label the dunes holes more accurately the Poor Man's Spanish Bay as the dunes holes more closely rival some of the dunes holes found on that course compared to the cliffside holes at Pebble. Also worth noting is that the restaurant at the Pacific Grove course, the Point Pinos Grill, offers a much better bill of fare than you might expect in such modest surroundings with such items as fruit-filled pancakes and pepper bacon that would be the envy of many restaurants that might label themselves as gourmet breakfast establishments. Given that the green fees for the Pacific Grove course are in the $60 range, it truly is a great alternative to the very expensive Pebble Beach resort courses as either a warmup or a place to play a couple of inexpensive rounds mixed in with a round or two at its more famous neighbors just a couple miles up the road off 17 Mile Drive.
Played the course on 9/23/13 - course had just been opened after punching tees and greens during prior week - greens were very bumpy and tees sparse in terms of grass which was to be expected - what was not expected was very poor condition of fairways with many bare spots and muddy lies. Course gave a very generous discount on the green fees ($30 at prime time) but this fact was not announced until one actually paid their fees - only reason for mentioning this was the fact the other course (the Lakes) did not have punched greens but did have overseeding which relegated carts to "paths only" - as a consumer, would have appreciated a bit more candor about course conditions being so different between the two courses before making the choice about which one to play.
Have played both courses many times before and service is usually outstanding so would simply say at this time to wait for 3-4 weeks before playing the Desert Course and make sure to check about course conditions before playing either course right now. Note: course rating submitted is for current conditions - normally these courses are in great shape
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