Golf Course Reviews
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Played with an OC Golfers Meetup group at 10am on Saturday, 7/2/22. Sunny, warm day with less wind than is usual for Meadowlark, and I found myself overdressed and warm. Conditions are unchanged from my review in April – very acceptable conditions for a casual weekend round. There are a few scattered wet areas (sprinkler issues) and scattered dry/bare areas. Tees on the par-3 (over water) 7th hole were moved well forward, perhaps to improve pace on a hole where 3- or 4- group backups are not uncommon. The one greenside trap I was in was hard-packed with a miniscule sand layer, resulting in a blade rocket.
9 Likes.
I joined my high school buddy here on a foggy, cool and breezy Monday, 6/27/22, teeing off a little late around 10:15 between several foursomes. My first time playing here despite living in SoCal for the past 40+ years – I generally avoid 9-holers and never had an invitation from friends. He invited me during the COVID period but they weren’t allowing carts out, which is a no-go for my bum knee. The setting was attractive and very quiet with the surrounding hills close by, very few homes in view, and the damping effect of the fog. We moved along with the other players ahead and behind, finishing in just under 2 hours.

Greens are the highlight of the course and are in very good condition, fairly firm and rolling nicely at medium+ speed. Speeds were consistent through the round, which is great. There’s no significant tiering and most greens are fairly flat. I consistently played too much break on most putts, which we found to be almost always pretty straight. Greens didn’t hold shots too well due to firmness. Many green surrounds were closely mown and shots running onto these slopes funneled down into collection areas or against rough collars. Tees were level – we played White, as the Blue card has some very long par-3s. Fairway lies were good and rough was generally very playable. Traps had apparently been recently refurbished and were visually appealing, had adequate sand quality and quantity, and played great.

Club facilities are nice and look to be recently refurbished. Small but attractive pro shop and snack bar/restaurant available. The accompanying resort was pretty busy during the breakfast/lunch hours with an international clientele. Valet parking is required and staff is efficient. No driving range, but a large netted hitting bay is available, and a tiny putting green about the size of a walk-in closet.

OK for a quick casual round.
9 Likes.
Played River View for the first time with an OC Meetup group at 8:21am on Sunday morning, 6/12/22. First time here for the two guys I played with, as well, so we all discovered the course together. I’ve lived in the OC for 45 years and never played here, and I have to say I won’t likely be rushing back. The course is pretty quirky and limited in design by playing up and back along the river and up and down off the riverside bluffs and down onto the banks. So there are a lot of holes that look and play very similar.

The course was crowded and, while we started on time, we waited on every shot after that. Seemed longer than the 2:20 on each side, I guess because of the waiting, but finished in around 4:40, which isn’t too bad on a weekend morning. There was a “lesson”-type thing going on in the group ahead of us, but it looked like they were waiting on the people in front of them, as well.

Conditions were pretty average. Greens had good coverage and rolled pretty well at medium+ speed. Not too many unrepaired ballmarks. Some greens have minor tiering at the back or some minor undulation, but most are fairly level. Some greens were pretty soft and receptive; others were much firmer and approaches took longer bounces. Fairway lies were pretty thin and we saw many large areas where turf was patchy or absent. Rough was variable, from mown areas to wildly-growing deep yikes, as well as areas that were bares and leaf-covered. Holes playing along the river had large stretches of river sand to be avoided. It’s hard to hit to these elevated greens off a bare/thin lie, and then the slope/runup to these perched greens is lush and difficult to play from. Traps were firm with thin layers of coarse sand. Tees were generally flat but many showed a lot of divot damages – partially-filled divot mix bottles on the carts, but no divot mix boxes on the par-3 tees, and no refill rack.

Some really visually-challenging holes. #3 is a longer very narrow par-3 flanked by large trees with a couple of intervening traps. Hole #11 is even more extreme – a shorter par-4 that basically a hallway between huge trees, with a ridge running down the fairway to funnel your ball into the bare dirt under the right trees, if you can hit straight enough to avoid the forest.

Shop is very basic, and so were carts with only a generic GPS to the MOG. No cart girl, but a snack bar in the clubhouse at the turn. Range on mats. Huge putting green with a putting “course” set up – conditions of that green were pretty lush and similar/nicer than the on-course greens. Course infrastructure conditions cry out for maintenance/improvement, but it doesn’t look like ownership is putting much back into the place.

We also had the new experience of seeing a homeless guy get arrested right next to us as we were playing the 4th green – cops had guns drawn and everything. Apparently he was following/harassing a woman golfer in the group ahead of us. So more of the local charm here.

Meat and potatoes golf and what would be a last option for me. Hilarious comment of the day by one of my playing partners: “seems like they packed 10 pounds of sh*t into a 5-pound bag!”
12 Likes.
Played Mile Square on Sunday, 5/29/22, joining a threesome of friends at 1:22pm on a sunny, breezy great day for golf. Walked on and was paired up within about 15 minutes. These guys were enthusiastic players and brought lots of beer and harder liquors. We moved slowly but steadily as the course was pretty crowded, finishing in about 4.75 hours, as things started jamming up on the back 9, especially the last 5 holes that were imported from the old Players Course.

Overall conditions are very good. Greens are pretty receptive, have good coverage, and roll smoothly at medium+ speeds. Too bad there are so many unrepaired ballmarks everywhere. Fairway lies are good and rough is generally pretty short. Tees are level and traps have good quality sand, but most had many unraked areas from earlier players, despite readily-available rakes.

No senior green fee rates on weekends. No cart girl today – there’s a snack bar at the turn. Didn’t see a course marshal. Looks like some construction work has started on the bones of the abandoned course. Future park facilities, I believe.

Recommended.
7 Likes.
Joined GKer lkmckin at 10am on Tuesday, 5/11/22, at a bargain weekday senior rate of $69 on a warm, sunny and breezy perfect day for golf – thanks to Lindsay for making the reservation. Course was probably the least busy that I’ve ever seen it, and even the driving range was pretty quiet, although as we were departing I think local golf teams were starting to show up for afternoon workouts. We went off behind two foursomes of ladies that were very deliberate – on hole #6, the affable marshal indicated they were already 3 (!) holes behind, and they had agreed to play the par-3 7th and skip the par-3 8th. By the time we got to tee on #7 they were gone, and we never waited on them again, so kudos to the course for handling the situation. We wound up finishing in about 4.5 hrs, taking into account some bunker and lost ball disasters by our group along the way.

We were told ahead of time that the greens had been verticut and sanded the day before, and were anxious about condition, but we saw no evidence of the verticutting, and only occasional light patches of sand that really did not affect roll. Greens were pretty typical BG – fairly firm, rolling at medium+ speed, and terrifying fast downhill and toward Disneyland. In that direction, there really was no stopping the ball near the hole, and I was fortunate to make most of the necessary comebackers.

Fairways were typically thin and the ball sat close, but coverage was good. Rough was spotty and could be lush, short and playable, or dry/bare. Tees were flat and OK (we played White). Sand was disappointing – most areas were damp/thin/packed, making controlled recoveries impossible. The face of the greenside bunker on #17 had soft, deep sand where I couldn’t get a secure footing and had trouble just climbing out of the bunker.

Pleasant, helpful staff. Cart girl came around a couple times. Divot mix refill rack on the 10th tee was empty. Carts have a nice interactive GPDS that shows pin position and the location of other carts on the hole – I like it. Recommended.
9 Likes.
Cinco de Mayo! But no celebrations for my continuing inability to consistently hit the ball! And … the course punched greens a couple days earlier! More fun! I was joining a high school buddy who made the tee time a couple weeks ago, and I didn’t bother to check conditions, so OOPS. The weather Thursday, 5/5/22, was San Clemente usual – clear, sunny and mild, and a steady breeze.

Greens had been punched 2-3 days before and were soft and medium-slow, with lots of wiggling by the ball running across the greens. We played automatic 2-putt, and I didn’t rate the course. Fairway conditions were good and rough was cut down. Several tees are sloping to the back of a right-handed golfer. Traps are pretty much groomed coarse dirt.

Easy-going staff. Basic carts with no GPS – most holes have basic yardage markers. Course wasn’t too busy and we finished in just over 4 hours. Always recommended.
8 Likes.
Played in the GK/Golf Moose outing at The Huntington Club with an 11am shotgun on Monday, 4/18/22. We caught a perfect golf day – sunny, warm, and a steady breeze off the ocean. Paired with GKers Lindsay, Perry, and first time meeting Marvin, and we had a fun round with everyone somewhat struggling with their games (but no one more than me!). Played in just under 5 hours, which I think is pretty standard for this type of event. No real stoppage points, just grinding hole to hole and waiting on shots about half the time.
This was my first time here and I enjoyed the layout. The entire course is very nicely landscaped and attractive – even the hazard areas and areas they let grow a little wild were attractive and adequately managed. I think this is one of the pricier areas in Huntington Beach and the homes surrounding the course were generally large and well-kept. My only “negative” thought of the day on the course visuals was back on #15 tee, looking out over the freakishly barren Bolsa Chica salt flats/oil field – just a single disconnect on an otherwise pleasant viewing day.

From the large modern clubhouse, the first hole sweeps uphill to an elevated green complex, while to the left the 18th hole sweeps downhill across a couple of ponds to a sloping mound of a target. The clubhouse looks out over a large water feature and you can see the grass driving range and practice putting green. The holes you can see give you a preview of holes to come – tree-lined, many bunkers lining fairways and fronting greens, scattered attractive water features, and fairly wide fairways and smallish greens.

Greens had been punched within the past couple weeks and the holes were still visible, but for the most part they didn’t affect the roll of the ball; greens rolled well at medium+ speed. Many of the greens are small, narrow, and are plateau-style with runoff on several sides. Only a couple of the greens had distinct tiering – most of our putts were straightforward with predictable breaks. Greens were very firm and we saw very few ballmarks. Fairway lies were generally good, and rough was mostly short and very playable, with longer penal growth only further offline. You could get into bare areas far afield under the larger trees. Tees were some of the best I’ve played in a long time – engineered rectangles, dead flat and nicely grassed. Some had been recently punched and some were very firm, but in general all were near-perfect. There are lots of bunkers on the course and all could use a helping of sand – in general they are pretty firm with a thin playing layer. Some of the bunkers have very high lips all around which makes access difficult. Rakes were out and sand bottles were on the carts.

Carts were very comfortable with plush seats. Carts have an interactive GPS system which gives distances to features and pin location, but today the pin locations were all incorrect, so your own tools were needed. The GPS also does not show the locations of other carts on the hole. Several small short-game practice areas are scattered around the front nine on club land off the lines of play. Maintenance crews were working all over the course, including crews that were verticutting fairways on holes 4-7. They had no hesitation driving close to where you were hitting or continuing their work while you were teeing off. Saw the cart girl a couple times on the back nine, and it looked like there was a snack bar at the clubhouse. I didn’t get into the pro shop to see if a yardage book was available, but there are some distance plates in the fairways.

I hit the ball as poorly as I can ever remember, and apologized to my playing partners for my ragged play. I would definitely play here again, given the opportunity to try to score a little better on this interesting and challenging course.
11 Likes.
Got out to Meadowlark GC on a windy Thursday afternoon, 4/14/22 at 1pm, after not touching a club in 3 weeks. Pretty ugly, both in terms of conditions and results. Course didn’t look busy when I drove up but the lot was packed and a steady stream of golfers were going off the numerous tees near the clubhouse – the routing brings a lot of traffic back into the immediate area of the starting area. The course aerated about a month ago – you could still see the punch holes in the practice putting green, while on-course greens were somewhat better. Pace was generally pretty good and we finished in ~4.5 hr.

Conditions were typical – all-around kikuyu and small-course conditioning. Fairways were generally OK but could be thin/bare. Rough was the same but more likely to be very dry and thin. Too far offline and you were hitting off bare dirt. Traps were raked but the playing layer was thin/none, except the front bunker on #18 which had pretty good sand. Tees were horrible (we played Blue) – sloping, humped, torn up. Greens are generally small, firm, and bumpy. Many are domed and seem to repel approaches and chips. We saw very few ballmarks due to the firmness of the greens.

Saw the cart girl a few times and there’s a snack shack after #2, #6, and #9. Rakes in the bunkers. Basic carts. We didn’t use the driving range (mats) or chipping area. Course uses a red/white/blue pin rotation – holes 4, 7, 13, and 16 are the 4 par-3s, so all 4 were blue flags today – total lack of imagination by the course. OK for a casual round.
9 Likes.
THE COURSE IS RUINED - THEY’VE CUT DOWN THE BIG TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF #9 FAIRWAY!! Shop says it was diseased. Hope they replace it – that was an iconic feature of the course.

Played in an SCGA qualifier at 8am on a sunny, warm Monday, 3/21/22, on a great day for golf with very little wind. A little cool to start but it warmed up quickly. I wasn’t crazy about the $25 cart fee the course charged – hey, it has GPS, the shop says. I must admit I didn’t look at the small GPS unit all day.

Playing in these SCGA events is getting tougher for me as they generally start early and can be in remote locations. At the GK event at San Vicente last year gary00 and I got lost and wandered around eastern San Diego before finally finding the course. This time I took the Highway 78 Death Road from Escondido – a deep canyon on one side, cliffs on the other of a two-lane, winding road with maniac commuter drivers racing to work. And a face full of blinding sunrise to boot – as Mark often says, Good Times! Then you wander thru Ramona hoping to find the course, because there is NO signage anywhere and the course won’t come up on my car GPS.

Good Times!

Off on time at 8am and we found conditions to be less than optimal on fairways and rough. Both were very dry/thin and patchy, even being reduced to bare spots in many areas. Conditions did make for pretty good runout. Lies were tight and the ball frequently sat down. Many tees were noticeably sloping behind a right-handed golfer – we played White. Bunkers were in very good condition – we saw staff hand-raking them ahead of the round, and they had consistent heavy, damp sand that was easy to play from.

Greens were in very good condition with complete coverage and consistent turf. However, they were very firm, not really holding anything but short, high shots, and fast to the point of silly. Anything above the hole was “wave the putter over the ball” and hope the ball wandered down near the hole. I don’t care for this type of condition, as I think golf should be played where you feel you actually have a chance to make a putt. And while I know this is operator error, I got to tick “6-putt” off my to-do list. These types of greens also contribute to slow play. We had a couple of very deliberate markers/alignment/practice strokers in our group, and combined with the green speeds and missed comebackers we were berated for being 12 minutes behind on hole #5! Managed to kind of catch up as the round continued, but weirdly we didn’t see the group behind us for the next nine holes. So they were having their own problems. Wound up playing in about 4¾ hours – not too bad for an SCGA event.

The course uses an “entry/exit” gate system which I think helps manage cart wear on turf margins. Practice putting green was stupid fast and a harbinger of the stress to come. Drink cart was out, and a snack shack at the turn. I like the layout here and would like it better in more playable conditions. I played in the GK event at Goose Creek the day before, and so I got pretty gassed by the latter part of the back nine. With the long and difficult trek out here, not sure how many more times I will visit. But I would recommend to others.
7 Likes.
Played the GK Plays event on Sunday 3/20 with Lindsay, Perry, and Wendy and enjoyed their company. I admit I was a bit flustered by the very windy conditions, and trying to knock the rust off after not playing in 5 weeks was difficult enough. But an enjoyable time in the round and seeing old faces afterward, including my guardian angel CPennbo.

Conditions have been thoroughly described by other reviewers and are consistent with my review of 2/16 – GCGC always seems to be in great condition and now is no different. Thanks to Johnny for setting up this outing. Always recommended.
7 Likes.
Played a GK Cup match with GKer FirstFlightFX-101 at 1130 on Wednesday, 2/16/22, on a mild, sunny day with variable winds. Joined by a younger male and female golfer and we wound up on 3 different tees – we played III. Started on #10 for reasons passing understanding. The course is in very nice condition with quick, firm greens, great lies in the fairways, pretty benign rough, and fluffy sand that really pops to the eye and plays great. The outer margin of all greens have been sodded/seeded? with a darker grass variety about 3 feet wide that really provides a sharp color contrast. Tees were good. Rakes are out, but still bring your own water. Marshalling that can be pretty aggressive here was rarely seen, except when the guy parked himself 200 yards out along the right side as we were teeing off at #17. Practice area was crazy busy with golf team/tournament activity as we finished. Solid practice area with large putting and chipping greens and a nice range, but GC seems to be using the range mats quite a bit. Very overpriced breakfast burrito. No GPS on carts, but sprinklers marked, rocks and plates in fairways, and a yardage book available. Removal/loss of trees has really opened up the sightlines on the course and allowed the wind to be more of a factor in play and conditions.
11 Likes.
I had booked MSGC for a GK Cup match but my guy had truck trouble and never made it. We had been messaged on the site by GKer lkmckin that he wanted to join us – as I was already there we went out as a twosome at noon, following a foursome. I was going to play Whites (6,071) in the match but joined Lindsay on the Blues (6,554) on this very blustery day, and spent the round hitting lots of long irons and hybrids and failing to reach greens. Most greens had pretty wet run-ups, whether from watering or the bit of rain we had the night before. Greens themselves were pretty firm and often showed almost no marks from approaches, while a few were softer and recently watered. Greens rolled at medium+ speeds and could be crazy quick downhill. Fairway lies were good, rough was generally low but could be clumpy, and tees were fine. Most of the bunker renovations have been completed – the new white sand is very soft and heavy – you need to make a strong pass at the ball to get out of the bunker. The sand should continue to settle in over the next couple months. Played in just over 4 hours. Recommended.
9 Likes.
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