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First time on the revised MS layout after they closed the Players Course and combined holes from the two courses (13 from Classic, 5 from Players). Met GKer bnaso for a GK Cup 18 match at noon on Wednesday, 1/12/21 on a mostly sunny, warm day with almost no wind. We went off on time, joined by two younger guys playing the tips, and finished in just under 4.5 hrs.

The course is in good shape overall. Greens were very good – pretty firm, holding well-struck shots, and rolling well at medium+ speed. These greens have a lot of subtle slopes and movement around the pins – especially uphill, even short putts need to be firmly struck. Both of us had problems all day choosing lines from short distances around the holes. One new green was built for the new layout – for hole #16, built on the site of the old #1 tee at Players. It’s vastly different than any of the other greens. From the front of the green around the right side and across the back is a shelf-like area the slopes gently to the left. But from the center of the green a severely-sloping funnel-like area extends to the left edge of the green and beyond. Because the green is so new and used almost immediately, it was sodded in, not seeded, and is very dry and hard. The look is different from any of the other greens.

Fairway lies were generally good, with an adequate cushion to hit from, with some thin areas. Most fairways showed signs of recent verticutting but we had no problems with lies. Sure wish players would use the refill bottles. Rough was cut low and easily playable. Tees were just OK – many of the White tees had a lot of sand on them. (I played White; Brad played Blue.) I was in 1 greenside bunker (#17) and the base was very firm with just a thin playing layer. The course is working on several bunkers at a time, refurbishing them as players are on the course. We saw bunker work in progress on #4 and #18. Several holes had obviously-new white sand, while bunkers not yet reworked had more brownish sand.

I’ve always found pretty solid conditions at MS – too bad they lost half their venue. Large driving range on mats, 2 or 3 putting greens, and a chipping/sand area. No cart girl today, but a snack bar at the turn. The entirety of par-5 Classic hole #18 is just sitting out there – not sure what they plan to do with it.

Kicked off the New Year’s swings with a late morning round at Anaheim Hills at 1130 on Friday, 1/7/22. Still not easy to find reasonable morning tee times these days – AHGC would not normally be a choice I’d seek. Prepaid online for $60, so it was pricey for the product. Lingering fog gave way briefly to sunshine but then more clouds and fog cooled things back down, and overall it was a hazy and cold day. Got paired with a pleasant 3some of friends in my age group, got off on time and kept pace with the horde, finishing in just under 5 hours. Cart was OK, pretty basic but with an interactive GPS system that also showed other carts (but only on some holes?). No starter, just show up at the tee at your time. Did not see any on course staff, but did see the cart girl about 3 times, although she didn’t seem too interested in pushing her wares.

Course conditions were playable but not memorable. After last week’s rain I was glad there was no CPO, but still a lot of hiking up and down slopes and to tees and greens. Greens had pretty good coverage, were firm and hard to hold, and rolled pretty well at medium+ speed, with big differences up and down the canyon – be aware of the overall flow. Greens are fairly small, roundish, and mostly without severe slope or tiering (except at the top of the ear-popping climb to #12). Fairways were tight but generally gave OK lies; rough was mostly dry and cut low. Rough around many greens, especially on the back nine, is thick-bodied kikuyu that is in very scruffy condition, resulting in unpredictable lies and playability. Tees were generally in poor condition – mostly wet, frequently torn up and sometimes uneven (we played White). Markers on several holes were pushed forward to temporary tees. I wasn’t in any traps, but rakes were out and the sand looked to be in good condition. [Shot of the Day – one of my playing companions holed his shot from the greenside bunker on #5 for a birdie.]

Cart paths, especially on the back nine, need attention. The overall vibe here is pretty casual and players come and go with little staff interaction. OK for a casual round, but be prepared for some hiking.
Ah, the joy, the frustration, the anxiety of looking for a reasonable morning tee time in SoCal these days. Was trying to set up a GK Cup match and scratched up a 1020 tee time on Wednesday, 12/15/21, at Westridge GC. Golfnow had me prepay and then my opponent had a medical issue, but I rustled up a high school buddy and we headed for the hills of La Habra. It had rained buckets the day before, but I was hopeful ……….

OK, so gigantic withdrawal shock for course conditions after having enjoyed Ram’s Hill GC a few days earlier! Westrige is built on the side of a hill, but apparently doesn’t drain that well, and the course was completely “path-only” – not the best for my bum knee! The guy in the shop was nice enough to contact the course superintendent directly to get dispensation, but no dice! Meathead Dave decided to go ahead anyway and I’m paying the price on Thursday with a cold pack strapped on the knee! Plenty of up-and-down hiking to and from the ball, and even from cart path to some tees and greens.

It had been ~20 years since I last played here, and the course reminds me of Coyote Hills or Bella Colina. For a course this age, I definitely expected better conditions – established drainage patterns, a solid turf base, etc. Greens were the best part of the course, with good coverage and rolling at medium+ speed. Speeds were consistent through the round. Greens were fairly firm and receptive to shots. Fairways were extremely disappointing, with thin or bare areas outpacing grassy lies. Hitting to the middle of the fairway more often than not resulted in a lie on wet sand with random sprigs of grass. Only occasionally were you treated to a lie on grass. The fairways also exhibited a lot of debris that apparently flowed out across the course after the rain. Hole #6 was especially bad. Fairways and rough closer to greens had better turf in most cases. Tees (we played the Blue tees [5,902/70.4/130]) were generally OK. A few of the traps had recently been refurbished with new white sand, but the majority had a brown sand. All were wet and hard-packed and none had been raked, with a few with standing water in them. We basically played “drop outside”.

Carts were just basic – no cooler, club cleaner, USB, or GPS. No yardage book available. The course has red/white/blue yardage stakes and fairway plates, and some sprinkler heads are marked. Hole drawings on the tee monuments are badly faded and not very helpful for infrequent or new players. Cart paths are starting to need attention to save patrons’ teeth. Basic restrooms after #4 and #15. Most holes are built on a descending series of benches along the hillside, separated by natural areas generally marked as ESA. There is even some in-course OB between parallel holes, which is very unusual – I assume the objective is to discourage players from venturing onto other fairways searching for their ball. There are marked “Drop Areas” near these OB markers – I assume to allow players to drop and keep the pace moving. Again, unusual, and nothing that was noticed by the scorecard or starter.

Staff was friendly all around and graciously agree to give us a shuttle lift back to the parking lot afterward, saving us about 40 vertical steps after the round. As noted before, the shop guy worked to get me a waiver on the cart restriction. We came across a staff member walking the greens and fixing pitch marks with a special tool. He says he does this 4 hr/day, 5 days a week. Eureka! Do other courses do this? He also said other employees are devoted to filling divots around the course. Now we’re getting somewhere! (I did notice that many divots around the course appeared to have been recently filled.) I’m hopeful that this type of staff work is common around SoCal, even though I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone doing this!

Given the state of conditions, I can’t recommend the course at this time.
Made the annual trip to RH to join many other GKers on a perfect golf day on a course I really enjoy. Almost no wind and clear, sunny skies. Met other GKers for the first time (thanks John and Bert, as well as Ailan) and got together with The Hooter and Ohio Rob again after about 6 years! Our group struggled and fell behind after several wayward shots on the first few holes, but righted the ship and got back in position over the rest of the round.

Conditions overall were very good, as they always are here. Not pristine, as we saw scattered thin/bare areas in some fairways. Greens were firm with generally good coverage and rolled well at a very quick pace toward the valley floor. Some greens were firmer than others, and I was surprised as a well-struck 6-iron right at the flag on #16 hit 3 feet from the pin, but then bounded onto the slope behind the green. As the day went on the greens were showing footprints and spike marks quite a bit. Traps had good sand and were very playable. Tees (we played the Blue/White combo) were just fine. Rough was generally pretty lush and challenging to hit from.

Nice, comfortable dedicated room for food service and prizes afterward. Tasty BBQ pork sandwich (slaw on the side, please LOL) and RH chips. Great prizes available due to the generosity of other GKers and sponsors. Love the course and the camaraderie. Likely the last time I’ll be able to make the trip.

Always recommended.
GKer atreitman and I discovered Candlewood CC together for the first time at 1050 on Wednesday morning, 12/8/21, to play a GK Cup 18 match. Man, it’s getting harder and harder to find a morning tee time in SoCal if you aren’t a member somewhere or signed up for some players club. No starter, but we went to the first tee on time. We were paired with another pair of visitors there for the first time, so no benefits from local knowledge. Our group got behind starting on hole #2 and we could see the groups stacked up behind us as we dealt with poor and sprayed shots. Finally caught up with the group ahead on hole #8 and were in position for the rest of the round, finishing in 4.5 hr.

The course plays across mildly rolling terrain with a large unimproved drainage creek running alongside half the holes, and the remainder on slightly higher rolling ground. Several uphill or downhill holes and some blind shots. Most holes with lots of trees alongside. Lots of kikuyu and with rain the day before the course played soft and longer than the card. Only 2 par-5 holes and par of 70.

Conditions were generally pretty good. Greens had good coverage and rolled medium+ fast with generally more break than you saw. Not a lot of green tiering or undulation, but greens are fairly small and most have plenty of sand around them. Greens had recently been sanded and showed some residual material but it didn’t appear to affect roll. Fairway lies were good and rough was not too deep and very playable as the course dried out during the day. We did see scattered thin/bare areas in fairways and rough. Tees were mostly level and par-3 tees didn’t show excessive damage. There were no divot mix containers on the par-3 tees. Traps had a coarse, brownish sand that looked OK and had a fairly shallow playing layer. Rakes were provided so we played the traps down.

Playing partners talked non-stop until we finally asked them to take a break, and on one hole they played Alan’s ball by mistake. No cart girl; there’s a snack shack at the clubhouse at the turn. Didn’t use the on-course bathrooms. Fairly small clubhouse with a separate golf shop. Staff encountered were all very friendly.

We paid $89 on GolfNow. Trying to find a morning time is chancey and this is what you have to pay these days. I hit the ball very poorly and I’m sure that affect my comments. I wouldn’t rush back here, but CCC is a solid play with a variety of holes. You need to be getting off the tee well and hit the ball straight. Many holes are narrowed by treelines and nearby hazards. The par-3 holes are challenging.
Played a GK Cup match against PokerGuy0826 at 1140 on Friday, 12/3/21. Found a killer deal on the GCGC website for $55 each, about half-price for their morning weekday fee! We had a hazy, cool day with bursts of sunshine and very little wind. The GK Guru outing a couple weeks ago reported good conditions, and we also found the Goose in very good shape after having a few more days to dry out after their maintenance. After some initial soft conditions, the course quickly dried somewhat and provided good runouts and firm but receptive greens. The new bunker sand really pops when you see it against the course. Rakes are out but not the water jugs – we saw the cart girl several times. All aspects of the course were in great shape.

We were paired with a scatterbrained pair of friends who were late to the tee, not prepared to play golf, and wild to the point of distraction. They started off playing Blue but moved up to White on #6. The marshal came by on #6 and asked us to try to catch up, as we were 1+ hole behind. Bizarrely, the pair got to the green on #7 while John was taking a drop from the penalty area, finished their putting, and bolted to the 8th tee and played ahead of us the rest of the round. TG for fewer distractions! Not a word or a wave from them, though. Adios! We started on time and finished in 4:10.

Definitely recommended.
Joined GKer t8fish for a GK Cup 18 match on Thursday, 11/18/21, scheduled for 1130am. Course recently came out of maintenance and is visually attractive from a distance. The tee sheet was busy, then we started 30 minutes late and ground into a 5-hour round, with no visible attempt by the course to manage pace. Course conditions contributed to the slow play with the potential for lost balls and difficult recoveries.

Overall, the course is damp and soft – damp, grabby rough eats up offline shots and is a bear to recover from; greens are pretty soft and receptive and most rolled just fine at medium+ speed. Traps that had not been refurbished were hard-packed – fine for fairway bunkers, tough luck greenside. We agreed to play lift/smooth/place, which helped. I only saw rakes out along the refurbished bunkers. I was in 1 such – the front bunker on the downhill par-3 #12 (old #10). Got a funky bounce onto the face of the bunker, which I found to have new, very soft, shifting sand. It was almost impossible just to get up the face to the ball, much less get solid footing to play a shot. It will be some time before this new sand can settle and provide a consistent playing surface. So good news/bad news on the bunker refurbishing.

Fairways were generally fine and not much changed from previous conditions – most have adequate but tight turf that rolls out okay and lets the ball sit well. Most tees were pretty bushy and needed cutting; only a couple were sloping (we played White).

Nice interactive GPS but more often than not the hole location was wrong today, and in some cases even the front/back distances looked to be badly off – check your distances! Cart paths need a lot of TLC. Still no water jugs out there and no cart girl – there’s a snack stand after hole #11.

OQ is one of my favorites but the current course conditions make it a challenging play. We were paired with a father/son duo, and the old guy was definitely on the wrong golf course. He couldn’t hit the ball more than 100 yards, and was almost immobile, and he struggled all day with shots from the heavy rough, walking on the slopes of the holes, and just getting to and from the cart. This guy needed Oak Flat, not Oak Quarry.

Always recommended.
Late review – got out to Destroyer at 1:46pm on Thursday, 11/4/21, joining 3 related folks down from Alhambra who had previously played only the Cruiser course. Off on time on a clear. mild day with a steady light breeze – great golf conditions. We moved along OK before running up against the group ahead of us on #6 – waited on every shot after that.

Overall course conditions were very good. Greens had great, lush coverage and held shots easily (BIG ballmarks). Still too many old unrepaired marks. The rolled well at medium+ speed before starting to show footprints and bumpiness pretty bad in the late afternoon. Fairway lies were good and you got pretty good rollout off the tee. Rough was cut low and very playable; you only got into funky stuff (deep, lush grass or bare dirt) when well offline. Greens are mostly elevated, pedestal greens, sloping B>F, with bunkers fronting. Sand in all the traps we encountered was of very good quality and quantity – only thing missing were the rakes. Tees were level and fine. Par-3 tees were a little torn up (we played White, 6,463/71.1/125), but those tees did provide divot repair mix.

Simple GPS on the cart with hole picture, F/M/B of green, some landmarks, but not interactive or showing other carts. Most holes had yardage stakes and plates available. Saw the cart girl a few times, but snack shack on 8/12 tee was closed. Most of the water fountains were working!!! Lakes on the course are down or dry – many dozens of balls are visible in the drying mud. Refill bottles on carts and several replacement racks scattered around.

One negative was the requirement to have carts turned in by sundown. We were not informed of this ahead of the round – a course marshall drove up and informed us on the 14th fairway that carts needed to be in by sunset, which he stated would be 5:55 pm. You could finish the hole you were on at that time. We had been chugging along behind the groups in front, but there was no effort by the course to manage the pace. After completing hole #16 at 5:47, we moved to the next tee, where two groups were waiting for the green to clear before teeing off, and hole #18 also had several groups on it. We had no chance of teeing off before 5:55, so we bailed and headed in.

A solid play in very good condition. Recommended.
Played with the GK Gurus at Eagle Glen at 1030 on Tuesday, 10/26/21 (hey, it’s my birthday!) and had a GK Cup 18 match against gary00. Thanks to 1RudeDog for refereeing and bringing it off the tee. EG did their maintenance several weeks ago and you can still see some evidence on the greens. After the rain on Monday the greens were pretty long, soft, and held shots easily. They were only medium fast to begin and seemed to get slower as the day progressed. Fairway lies could be thin and tight or lush. Same with the rough. Bunkers were wet and packed and we played them lift/smooth/place. Several bunkers has standing water in them. Tees were generally pretty bushy but OK.

It was ‘path only’ until 11am and on marked holes, and with the slopes at EG my knees were barking with all the walking. We saw scattered erosion damage on some holes after the rains, and some areas were very mushy wet. Approaches to greens were frequently very soggy.

The course wasn’t crowded but the groups in front of us played slowly and we finished in 4.5+ hours. I enjoy the layout here and look forward to the next several weeks when EG should be in prime condition.
Out to OQ to accompany the championship match for GK Cup 17– love OQ under all circumstances. Even pre-maintenance the course hole variety is fun and challenging with the gusty winds we had. Greens were very receptive and fairway/rough lies were fine. Greens were showing some spike marks by noon but easily tapped down prior to putting, and they rolled very nicely (and consistently). Good interactive GPS with Shark Experience available; GPS shows pin location. Not in a bunker but comments from playing partners indicated a thin playing layer a little tough to get through/under. Thanks to OQ for hosting our match play final. Always recommended.
Headed out to Los Lagos with my high school buddy on a sunny, warm Tuesday afternoon, 9/28/21, at 1:15pm with light, steady winds. It’s been maybe 15 years since I played here, but it was pretty much as I remembered. These courses are always busy, and the nonchalant starter was practically pairing people up as they arrived on the first tee. Apparently a few short groups (2s and 3s) went off before us and the result was a very slow and steady progression around the course in just under 5 hours. We were paired with affable low-handicapper Hany and wildly erratic Lou, who spent most of the round looking at his phone.

Conditions were pretty much as expected and very playable. Greens were in good shape, holding shots well and rolling at medium+ speed with some bumpiness. Green speeds were consistent through the round. Fairway lies were usually good but we saw many thin/bare areas, but were firm enough to give pretty good rollout until late afternoon when temperatures dropped. Rough was generally fairly short but occasionally lush, and was sticky enough to require extra clubs and a challenge keeping shots on line. Tees were flat and set very wide. I was in one bunker with good sand.

Saw a cart girl several times but no other on –course employees. Bunkers and greens look like they have been shrunk in size since I last played here. Meat and potatoes golf, good for a casual round.
Played in the combined GolfMoose/GK outing at Morgan Run Resort on 9/20/21, teeing off with the shotgun start at 10am on a beautiful clear, sunny day with light winds. There were several groups of GKers in the event and I didn’t meet any new people, as the setup contributed to a show up/play/leave type of day. Minimal effort by the resort to welcome players, engage participants, extend services, or generate future interest.

Morgan Run is a flat, walkable course set in a broad floodplain; the layout/setting reminded me of some of the older Palm Springs-area resort courses. Overall the layout and surrounds are scenic, with some large older homes set along the margins and higher up on the river escarpment.

Played with Gary, Perry, and Sal, a great group. We were able to commiserate with each other on the sticky rough, steep-faced bunkers, and many putts sliding by the hole. Greens were generally moist and lush, with consistent speed and good coverage; only a couple of random greens were more dry/firm and had thinner coverage. There are plenty of bunkers fronting these greens, with good sand that is usually damp in the bottom. Many greens had soft, wet conditions in the front run-up to the putting surface, not conductive to running the ball on during approach.

Rough was sticky and ate up any roll. Mounding along some holes and areas around green entries had longer, juicy rough – we “found” several balls on these mounds just by stepping on balls other golfers were unable to find. No GPS or book; only difficult-to-see fairway plates and some path markings, so bring your own yardage tools.

The 1-hcp hole (on the North 9) is a brute – >400 yards, an elevated plateau green; heavy rough in a swale area in front of the green; a very narrow ‘ramp’ entry that doesn’t really let you run the ball on; and a deep, sloping green. Easily the toughest hole on the 18 we played. (The East course greens had been sanded and that 9 was closed.)

Plenty of waiting after the first few holes, with the stack-up on the South #6 tee the worst, for whatever reason. POP just over 5 hours.

Great company, pleasant conditions and surrounds, an old-style course without any really interesting holes. Recommended, but not a destination play.
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