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played a round here while visiting the big island, heard good things and reviews about this particular course. got a pretty good rate off a discount website. rack rate is $295. still, i was pretty disappointed. customer service was minimal, felt like there were 3 people working there that day, one person to grab your clubs, one person in the shop, and a starter who was MIA that i had to get the shop person to look for. no one at club dropoff, no beverage cart, no water on course, comfort stations were closed. they did give you 2 bottles of water. range had only 5 or 6 stalls set up, flags with no distances. Course conditions were pretty decent, had no issues with the teeboxes, fairways were generally in good shape with no bare spots. rough was an inch or so, would penalize you a bit but not too bad. greens were pretty slow, but ran well.

the course has a few scenic ocean holes, like #3 and #11, but most of it was inland, most holes were essentially 'hit drive to a narrow landing area with a lot of fairway bunkers and then dogleg it to an elevated green. i didn't find it too challenging nor interesting from the resort tees. it was hot, around 90 degrees, and pace of play was pretty bad. a few groups of older men and women teed off about 40 minutes before us and we caught up to them by 5 and were waiting on every shot after that. no marshal at this resort.

anyway with the heat, slow play, and uninteresting course, i actually gave up and left after 3 1/2 hours and 13 holes. never done that before on vacation. went back to the hotel and spent the rest of the day with family instead. honestly wouldn't play here again. rating is based on course conditions though.
10 Likes.
second round on the monterey peninsula over past weekend.

i had avoided coming here given the high greens fees, but honestly i'm not sure why i waited so long. the course was spectacular and worth it just for the experience alone, even if just once.

practice area is excellent, including the range area and short game area. need to take a shuttle and your clubs with you. the first tee was a bit chaotic as mentioned in a previous review, a lot of people milling around, golf bags everywhere. didn't really seem needed to check in with the shop if you had a time, just let the starter know about 10 minutes beforehand.

course was in very good condition, a step below spyglass but still very nice compared to some pictures i had seen and some videos i had watched prior to coming. tee boxes were flat and mowed to perfection, fairways were well covered and not too lush, not too tight. rough was grown out but was just short enough so that you didn't lose your ball. hit it hard out of there though, really thick and grabbed your club. i was in about oh...12 or 13 bunkers and they were amazing to play out of. hit some really good ones out of the soft sand that you could get under and pop up with good spin. greens were difficult to read, a bit of that bumpy poa made them just a bit unpredictable too. i didn't get a caddie, but it didn't seem to help the putting of others in my group. putts seemed to be either super fast or super slow.

i walked 18, and by the end i was starting to tire a bit. next time probably take less stuff in my bag or just get into d%mn ed shape. still not convinced about a caddie. i'm glad i finally made the trip, and am already scheming as to when i can get back for revenge against the course. the scenery of holes 4-10 made it worth it, honestly the holes coming back are pretty good too. next time instead of staying on property i'll probably just call up a week or two in advance and find an available time.
13 Likes.
made it up to monterey this past weekend to play spyglass and pebble as part of a birthday trip, the centennial package they were offering for their 100th anniversary sealed the deal. started off the first day with spyglass, which in general i've heard is the superior and tougher track. the clubhouse and grill are very small, don't expect any amenities here like at the lodge, just golf. staying on property, i grabbed the shuttle here and i don't think it really mattered to them either day that i checked in at the front desk. they just said to grab a bag of balls and the range was a few steps down the way, see the starter about 15 minutes before my time. range that day was artificial turf.

course conditions were excellent, one of the best i've played. the tee boxes were in excellent condition, mown down perfectly and flat. fairways were more lush, just a few divots here and there but excellent and carpet like. i played at 830am, so it was still moist and got little roll off drives. many uneven lies in the fairway, so a good drive was not always rewarded well. rough was thick and lush, grabbed your club so you would be lucky to get a mid iron out, even a hybrid was dicey. if you could find your ball sitting down there in the first place. i was only in 1 or 2 bunkers, this course really isn't bunkered that heavily. sand was soft, white, and excellent to hit out of. the greens though. running fast and with tricky contours, i had a tough time lagging my putts anywhere near the hole. it felt like if your approach wasn't close, it was a 3 putt.

the course itself was indeed tough, starting with the 5 'ocean' holes, of which i found #2 (fairway) and #4 (green) kind of gimmicky but still enjoyed the spectacular views. the sand dunes and the structures stand in stark contrast to pebble's ocean holes which are perched directly on the cliffs of the peninsula. if you like true parkland courses though, you will love the rest of spyglass hill. running in and out of the del monte forest, each subsequent hole is framed by monterey pines and generally isolated from structures or road. hit the ball straight and take an extra club into the green seems to be par for most of this course. and par will be a good score on any hole here as there are challenging doglegs. strategically placed trees and water, and greens that can punish even the best hit approach shots.

only nitpick was that i felt the par 3s to be a bit of a weakness here, as they felt particularly less challenging compared to the rest of the course. all four play short, 3 of them severely downhill (though #3 is an awesome hole). the two on the back 9 felt like mirror images of one another and felt like an afterthought. Nothing like #5 or #17 at pebble.

though many say this is a superior course to pebble and it probably is, as a recreational golfer i would rather play pebble again. after my round at spyglass, i felt exhausted as if i had been through a battle. had to manage the rough when my drive went astray, or a long uphill approach, and then had to handle the quick, undulating greens. shot about 12 or 13 shots above my usual round. i will make it back again, for sure, perhaps when my game is worthy of the test of golf that is course is.
11 Likes.
Played late morning weekday with a few buddies. I feel like if there's a course I frequent that never disappoints it's maderas. Though a bit out of the way for me, the course, conditions, and service I feel are worth it. Check-in and starter very friendly, range balls included. Course was set up fast. Tees in good condition, fairways mown nice and tight for a lot of roll. Rough was short for the most part but consistent. I was not in any bunkers, cant speak to that. This course is true target golf but I enjoy that and it makes for good scenery. The toughest part though here is the greens... Huge greens but multiple undulations, tiers, and speed is always difficult to judge IMO because the grain seems to affect putts so much more here than most places i play. Pop was 4h15min, too slow for my taste. Still a gorgeous day to play though
9 Likes.
Had a mid morning tee time, had to make use of my last free round on trump's dime before it expired. This place is a trek from orange county, but I still think it's worth the drive for a memorable round. Not sure about paying rack rate though. Warm up balls included with complimentary valet. Conditions were good, but it was damp and they were letting the fairways grow out a bit after overseeding, so the course plays long. In addition, it was CPO for 14 holes due to the 'rain', so it made for a long day walking back and forth from the cart path. Both fairways and rough were a lot longer than when i played here 3 months ago. Rough was long and thick and would grab your club, good luck a) finding your ball and b) hitting it out. Greens were damp and receptive, i had a few plugged approaches. Rolled pretty nicely, not particularly fast, and always breaks toward the ocean. Bunkers had bright white sand, but there was hard pack underneath, so I thinned a few out of the bunker after my club bounced out of there. Got around in 4H. Take a deep breath before your tee shot on 10 and take in the views. Maybe less about the score here than the enjoyment. Still sad about the loss of the waterfalls though...
14 Likes.
Second time out here in two months, course seems in a bit better condition than last time. Played late morning, a lot of members out here as mentioned in the previous review. Not sure I would be quite so scathing regarding the layout though. It's not super memorable, but it's not shorecliffs or something. Tees were cut and all in good condition from the blues. Fairways were fine and tight, but if in the rough your lie would be inconsistent and patchy no thick rough here. Bunkers seem to have some newer white sand in them, but I wasn't in any so not sure how they played. Greens though rolling true were kind of slow/medium. Soft so your approaches would make large ballmarks but surprisingly many were fixed. POP was 4 hours as a foursome. Find a deal or join their membership, don't pay rack.
9 Likes.
Snuck out here for a mid afternoon round after work. Wasn't too busy. Friendly guy in pro shop. Carts are in awful condition and super old. It's painful to ride here as the course is super bumpy and the shocks on all the carts are shot. Bag kept getting bumped out of cart. Better just to walk. Tee boxes are in fair to poor condition, some mounded, most par 3s have divot damage. Fairways are hit or miss, some good coverage, some fair. Rough is patchy clumps with dirt interspersed. Bunkers had some heavy sand that was easy to get out of. Greens were hit or miss, the first 2 had heavy damage and were patchy, pock marked, with some new grass growing in. Some others actually rolled pretty well, but there were still areas being repaired. Pop was 2.5 hrs and that along with the cheap price is the main reason to play here. Have low expectations and you will not leave disappointed.
10 Likes.
played early afternoon in 4H and finished just at sunset. Course is in good condition, fairways are green and full. Important to hit the ball long and straight on this course otherwise it will be a long day. Rough is thick and grabs your clubs hard. The few bunkers I was in were soft and fluffy with good sand. There was some reseeding or growing maintenance on the teeboxes, three of the par 3s were playing 200+ from the blues as a result. Greens were a bit slower than i'm used to here at black gold, just a bit bumpy but were still in very good condition. Challenging layout, undulating greens, always enjoy coming out here.
10 Likes.
Played here mid afternoon, still trying to get game into shape. Check-in was easy, but starter seemed very... slow. Made a lot of mistakes in getting groups out. After getting out there, course was packed and slow. Waited on every shot. Tee boxes were pretty shaggy, needed a good mow. Fairways were tight and in good condition. Not much rough to speak of. Bunkers were somewhat thin IMO, could see the liner on one or two. When I practiced on the putting green, I was excited as it was smooth and rolled fast. But the greens on the course were soft, bumpy, and slow. A fair amount of unrepaired or poorly fixed ball marks. Course is ok, definitely not worth rack rate, but if a member or a discount, maybe worth it in the heart of OC. POP was far too slow at 4h45m. Not sure if I'll be back or not.
11 Likes.
played mid morning in nice weather. trying to play some more to groove some new swing changes. pro shop and starter friendly. course is in fairly good condition. tee boxes were all in good shape, fairways mown tight for the most part. a few bare and muddy spots here and there.

half the greens were punched/sanded, maybe a few days ago? don't think gk knew about it and it was not mentioned on check in. pin was always in the non punched half of the green but they are still bumpy and erratic. definitely missed one birdie that turned left about an inch from the hole due to a huge bump. big dead patch on the green on 17 not sure what happened there. #15 green is closed and temporary green set up there, not sure what they were fixing.

was only in one bunker, which had good sand. rough wasn't too penal in general. fun course with a lot of interesting holes and definitely don't need to use driver a lot, but since it's easy to lose balls, POP slow at 4.5 even though the course was not busy. still a fun track, wish pop was a little speedier.
11 Likes.
played mid-morning weekday. rack rate was something like 275 but not sure if anyone pays that. last time i was here was maybe 5 years ago. complimentary valet and nice, somewhat gaudy clubhouse. starter manny was friendly and made lots of small talk. complimentary small bag of balls for the range (25?) which was fine.

course can be tough if you don't put it out there straight. runs along side of hill mostly and goes back and forth along it, so many holes run parallel with ESA in between. An off center drive may mean a 200+ approach from the rough or a lost ball in the ESA. conditions were very good, with even and uniform thin cut fairway lies, semi-thick rough. played a bit wet, very little roll. Greens were in excellent condition, smooth and receptive. Didn't notice any ball marks. Appears completely recovered from aeration. Putts ran perfectly true, always broke a few inches toward the ocean. Put a good stroke and it did exactly what you would ask it to do. Perhaps I am biased as I only had 24 putts, felt like everything went in. Greenside bunkers generally had good layer of thick sand, one (#4) was kind of thin. Teeboxes were also in good condition.

Views are what you would expect for an oceanside course, in general pretty amazing. holes 10 and 11 are especially picturesque, and if you play the blacks, the tee box on 18 is pretty crazy. i'm disappointed they removed the waterfalls from #1 and #17, those really added to the scenic overload of the course, but still the course stands on it's own. got out in front of a 5!(some) and finished in 3 1/2. i wish fewer holes were cart path only, but i still enjoyed it thoroughly. Definitely recommended at this time.

edit: i just went and looked back at pics from the last time i played trump when they had waterfalls. OMG those things were spectacular. a real shame they are gone IMO. drought and $$$ and all i'm sure.
11 Likes.
got out to glen ivy for a round this afternoon, trying to get back into it. check-in was easy and starter got me out and paired out with a 2some right away. fairways are mostly brown and dormant with occasional clumps of grass. not very visually appealing. drives would roll out forever, 1 and 10 par 5s could easily be reached in 2 with a good drive. it may be winter, but conditions are better elsewhere. rough and fringe was more clumps of grass, just denser and more frequent clumps. teeboxes were okay, some weren't so level but at least they had good evencoverage. bunkers had heavy sand, swing hard to get out. greens putted smooth and medium quick, you need a good strike to stop the ball on short approaches. pop was about 4h after playing through one group. always a challenging layout, but i would wait until some grass grows back to come back here and play.
18 Likes.
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