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Having been forced to venture far outside of LA to get a decent tee time this past weekend, three friends and I went all the way out to Morongo at Tukwet Canyon on Sunday to play the Legends course, one that I had only played once before with Kassper7 and failed to remember how difficult a course it really is upon second visit.

We rode carts from the blue tees with a $75 greens fee+cart with an 8:30am tee time. Check-in was relatively simple but you have to get the carts near the cart barn after filling out forms and there they also give you range balls if you request any during check-in. Range is adequate, perhaps a little bit beat up, but good enough.

The layout of the Legends course is very tricky, especially the first 6-7 holes with lots of elevations, tricky angles and unforgiving OB areas. Some of the corridors require very precise placement, and even after that the greens are very well-guarded and extremely quick.

Speaking of the greens, they're definitely the best part of the course right now. I had trouble figuring out the speed all day long and most chips seemed to very easily run off of them into collection areas. There's no shortage of false fronts and significant slopes to these greens, so be prepared to dial in very quickly. Coverage was good even though not the most aesthetically pleasing right now.

Fairways are in slightly above average shape right now, which is to say they have fine coverage and plenty of solid ground for good shots, but it's also got a few thin areas and the overall coloring is just a little more dour than you would like. Bunkers are the same - they don't look so good, but play just fine. Tee boxes are in fairly good shape but could use some TLC. The rough is mostly fine but the OB areas are very penal and you won't be finding a lot of your own lost balls out there.

Surprisingly there is also still a lot of construction going on around the course (only because that was already going on the first time I played here a few years back), mostly in the form of residential land plots that will someday surround the course, but for now it's a lot of dirt and urban carnage. You would never want to walk this course with some of the long drives between holes here.

Luckily the carts have good GPS and are in nice shape, and the POP was even excellent coming in at just over four hours. We had cart service twice which was also nice on a clear, but cold and windy Sunday morning.

Would I come back here again? Absolutely, although I think I will wait for a nice, warm summer day and this time play the Legends course early and then do 36 by playing the Champions course on the same day. That would be a treat.
Got a late invite for a twilight nine at the Mountaingate North course this past Friday and had a great time. We rode from the blue tees and had some time on the small range ahead of the round where they provide you with a bag of balls (and/or water) upon request.

Course views are always pretty terrific up here, but especially as the light fades and you can see the 405 rat race of brake lights down below. Makes you feel completely insulated from the hectic life down there. Course conditions match that sentiment.

Greens were very quick and very difficult to keep on the dance floor. Only the most subtle of approach shots land and stick, made even more difficult by the steep slopes and tiers on many of the greens here. Some are also very small, like the first hole. A challenge to say the least.

Fairways are in nice winter shape with ample coverage and good lies all around, with the occasional thin spot up around the greens. Rough is deep and lush but fair. Sand traps had very nice sand in them, while the tee boxes were a little bit beat up on some and not always flat and well-manicured - about the only slight knock.

We started very late in the afternoon and finished the last hole with just enough light left to see the final ball drop in the hole, but it was still a very pleasing experience at one of LA's more accessible private clubs. I'm looking forward to finally playing the Lake course if and when I get the next opportunity.
Long weekend second round at Knollwood with three friends, playing from the blue tees and riding with cart for $60 - a very fair price for this great layout and especially when it's not a six-hour round. I've seen conditions better here but it's very playable right now, even though the greens are extremely challenging with their severe slopes and current bumpiness.

Yes, the greens are something else here. They're already extremely difficult to play thanks to the many slopes, false fronts and tricky angles, but with the current speeds added to a number of bumps, it's a real tester without a doubt. Be prepared to watch seemingly solid putts go for a long ride far, far from the pin.

Fairways are playing pretty nicely right now but you're going to find some thin lies as well, and also lots of trouble in the fairways adjacent areas with lots of mulch and just general mayhem. Lots of collection areas too that will make shots difficult. Bunkers looked nice but I only got stuck in one of them, but no complaints from the others, while the tee boxes are in need of some work - not sure if it's from being overplayed or just the shadows making it difficult to keep them in good shape.

No cart service as per usual here (can't remember ever seeing it here) but a super-convenient snack shop at the turn. Carts are very basic. Two-tier driving range is open but practice putting green is still closed. Saw the marshal out there as well moving things along which was nice.

Knollwood remains a super-fun and challenging layout but current conditions make it play even harder than it normally is so be prepared for a strong challenge but a rewarding day.
Finally made it back to Rio Hondo this weekend as it was the location for my monthly golf group's round in February. We played from the white tees and had four groups go out there with a 10:40 tee time on Saturday.

The driving range is open but the practice putting area behind it is not. Why I have no idea.

I was really looking forward to getting back to Rio Hondo as I always have fond memories of a fun, challenging course with some of the better Muni conditions you'll find in Southern California. Sadly that was not the case this weekend.

The fairway have decent coverage but the lies in so many areas were paper thin, and it appears that they have painted some of the fairways to look more lush than they really are? I don't mind that if the surfaces are still good to hit shots from, but that is not the current case. The rough was in good shape, as were the bunkers - very nice, white fluffy stuff greenside. Tee boxes were a mixed bag but mostly of the beat-up variety.

Greens were fairly good but too many ball marks and inconsistent speeds. There aren't really any tricked out greens at Rio Hondo, but lots of bumps and those pesky ball marks make long lag putts a real adventure. Speeds were medium fast but varied from green to green. They are playable but I've seen them much better here.

POP was quite awful as we came in a little over five hours and waited on many holes. It was a very crowded day though so we can let a little of that slide. Cart service came around once I believe but there's a very convenient snack shop at the turn. We paid $60 for the round + cart which is normally very fair here but perhaps a touch over the top right now, but I would come back again expecting to see improvements as the weather improves.

Despite the less-than-spectacular conditions, I think Rio Hondo remains one of the region's best Muni courses and expect they'll have it up to snuff in no time.
A little over a week late with this review but since no one else has posted one in over a year, I thought it was still prudent to post. Met some friends for a quick late afternoon round at the newly-named Westdrift Golf Club (formerly the Marriott Manhattan Beach).

The bones have not changed - still a nine-hole par 3 course, but where there used to be only mats, there are now actual tee boxes as well, one for the men, and one for the ladies. It's nice to have that option. Now with so few entertainment options available right now, this little track is getting tons of play right now and it's showing the wear and tear.

Greens are in pretty miserable shape to be honest. They're damaged, bumpy, lots of coot remnants, and just a general poor look to them that translates into how they putt. The course itself looks rather green and lush, with the exception of the low point on hole 6, but it's a par 3 course so all that really matters are the tee boxes and the greens, and they're not great.

Bunkers were also a little on the thin side so avoid at all costs. Most of the holes are quite short, but you'll surprisingly get a few elevations here and even a perilous lake crossing to a downhill green on the 1 hcp 8th hole. That's a good one.

But overall, for the $30 greens fee (which they'll have no trouble getting at these times and in this neighborhood), it's a bit overpriced. But keep your expectations low in terms of golf, but high in terms of the surrounding area, and you'll be fine.
Recent twilight round out at Indian Canyons (South) and the course is currently in fantastic shape. It's a fun, resort-course layout with lots of water in play, plenty of mammoth sized palm trees and fast, fun greens. We played from the teal markers and, while not super long, it's made up for with the need to make the right club selection to take hazards out of play.

The greens are in very nice shape right now with super coverage, fast speeds and true lines. Some of the patrons are not doing a great job of fixing their ball marks, but that's about the only knock on them right now. The fairways are lush and provide a perfect hitting surface, while the rough is thick and penal but a firm, committed strike will get you what you need.

Bunkers were in good shape with nice sand just a touch below the perfect fluffy stuff, while the only knock on the place were some of the crowned and sloping tee boxes on a good number of the holes. Makes no sense, but they're there. Really hope they get those fixed.

Carts are nice but no GPS so it's helpful to have your own, especially on blind holes like the par 5 3rd. There are five par 3s on this course, five par 5s and eight par 4s, so it's a good mix and always keeps you on your toes. POP was a fine four hours for the afternoon, getting done just as cool breezes picked up after the sun dips behind San Jacinto.

Really well organized and taken care of course so don't miss it if you're in the area.
Was scheduled to play River Ridge on Sunday but found a much closer tee time late on Friday for Lakewood and jumped at the chance for an earlier return home after my round. Played with two friends from the blue tees, two riding, one walking, with a $47 greens fee.

I've seen Lakewood in better shape years previous, but it's certainly far from its worst right now. You're going to find plenty of good lies during the day, but you're also going to contend with some thin ones - in or out of the fairway - and no shortage of dried out, unrepaired divots. There were also some soggy areas out there, but not too bad. Tee boxes were adequate and the bunkers (I was in LOTS of them) actually had good, playable sand, but not the fluffy stuff.

The greens were running pretty quick but so many unrepaired ball marks out there that it made it tougher than it should have been to sink relatively easy putts. They did hold good approach shots well though and looked to be healthy, but it appears that most of the damage is poor-golfer-etiquette-inflicted. Perhaps individual responsibility in terms of course maintenance is simply tied in with the cost one pays to play.

POP was pretty good throughout the beautiful February day as we closed out the round in four and a half hours. No cart service anywhere on the course but a nice snack shop at the turn and en route from the 2nd to the 3rd hole tunnel. Carts are basic with no frills and the mask protocols are heavily enforced at the pro shop and driving range.

Super Bowl Sunday is always one of my favorite days to play and this past one was no exception. While I would not tell you that Lakewood is in premium shape right now, it's a more than enjoyable round with a fun layout that gets the blood pumping.
Had the pleasure of playing We-Ko-Pa Saguaro course yesterday and it was every bit as enjoyable as my last trip here two years ago. What a fabulous track!

Conditions are near perfect in every regard right now, with super fast and true greens, lush green fairways and dormant rough where every shot plays nice and easy, bunkers with quality sand in them (and even rakes!), and perfect tee boxes (we played the purple tees) to kick off every stunning hole.

This daunting Coore-Crenshaw design in not for the faint of heart as it challenges you on just about every tee shot. There are lots of decent forced carries and you will test your club selection skills without a doubt. The only soft hole? Maybe the short par 3 9th. Other than that, every hole is desert bliss.

Carts are nice and have GPS and we had plenty of cart service all day long. The range and other warmup facilities are excellent, as are the clubhouse facilities and service. Everything here is top notch so it's no doubt this is one of AZ's most respected and liked public courses.

Bring your A game and have an absolute blast here. It just doesn't get any better than this.
In Phoenix for a work trip and we took a day to play the Arizona Biltmore Adobe course. It's an old classic William Bell design with some gorgeous and impressive homes surrounding it, along with some nice mountain views, all while essentially being in downtown Scottsdale area - quite unique.

In truth, the course is not very difficult despite the big name architect attached to it. It was designed in 1928, and it appears they moved some of the holes around, but it's quite straightforward with some narrow fairways but plenty of room on adjacent holes to spray balls. There are some water features that come into play for sure, but it's going to be a good day to go low if you're even remotely on point.

In terms of conditions, very nice right now, and we caught it on a perfect 80 degree day. The greens are in excellent shape, running fast and straight, but very firm and difficult to keep any approach shots on. Nothing too tricked out but some of the greens are quite small so they were difficult to navigate. But very solid.

Fairways were nice and green and found good lies all day long. The rough is lush but not too penal, while the bunkers I was in were in good shape. Found a few rounded tee boxes (we played from the whites) but for the most part they were just fine. Nothing really to complain about in terms of conditions whatsoever.

The driving range is in an interesting spot where you have to drive past the first tee to get there (not visible from the starter/pro shop area), and there's a nice little snack shot there to get whatever you need. Warmup facilities are good but the range does play next to first hole and some others so range balls can make finding your own tricky if you're playing a yellow one.

Really enjoyed the experience despite playing a very poor round on a course I should have played much, much better. I would like to return for a future work trip and give it another shot, but also play the more challenging Links course here as well.
Having just started playing golf in 2013, the Cimarron Boulder course was one of my earliest 'big' challenges, and I was of course not up to the task. So when I knew that I was coming back again for the first time in a very long time, I was very excited, and the course did not disappoint.

This is not your typical Palm Springs course loaded with strategically placed palm trees on every hole, tricked-out water features and manicured cart paths. It's a little more rugged and bare-boned than that, but still has its own aesthetic, mostly in part due to some of the best snow-capped mountain views in the Coachella Valley. There are no trees, only one hole where water comes into play, and a large wash bisecting the course that can easily tractor beam your wayward shots right into it.

But don't let that scare you off. The course is still a very fun challenge, and right now the conditions are very, very good. You will have some intriguing options off the tee and will be using every club in your bag as you navigate the bunker-pocked fairways squeezed by the wash and OB pathways lining the course's perimeter.

Fairways are great with super lies all day long, and the rough is thick and challenging. Tee boxes (we played the blue tees) were in fine shape, as were the bunkers with good sand but did find a small smattering of small rocks in some, but not unlike the wash area - rocks are pretty prevalent there so consider shots wisely.

Greens were really great. Speed was tricky and seemed to speed up later in the day, but very firm and not at all gimmicky. Very few awkward tiers to deal with, but no shortage of knee-knockers when chipping or pitching on as the ball seemed to roll forever and be very difficult to stop near the flags. But good putts rewarded - as it should be.

POP was fine all day as we were behind the other Guru group and playing our GK Cup match, which also made the round even more fun because of the good company and compelling match. We had cart service as well throughout and warmup facilities were very convenient and more than adequate.

All in all it was a great day with pleasant weather and super fun golf. Worth the two-hour drive and worth your business. They're taking good care of Cimarron right now and it shows.
Got a nice last-minute tee time at Los Amigos through a buddy on Sunday after flying home from vacation on Saturday. We caught the perfect window of cold, but clear weather with a 10am tee time that had allowed the previous day's rains to dry out a bit.

Unfortunately it didn't do much for course conditions. And $60 for a round here + cart is way out of bounds. Right now the course should not be more than $45, but demand is high so they're going to do what they're going to do. Our choice to play here or not.

Right now, the greens are really terrible. Completely bumpy, inconsistent speeds, aesthetically disappointing and no confidence in any lines as they make their way towards the hole in whatever fashion they like. Fairways are slightly less than good but playable if you're good with picking the ball up from thin lies. Rough is even worse. Bunkers are good as always, and the tee boxes are good enough to find a level spot, although some are beat up good.

POP was not too bad except on a few holes, but the parking lot was fairly empty so we expected an even faster round. Great little snack shop kiosk at the turn that's wildly convenient and will get you what you need. But there's no way this place should be charging that much for a round in this condition.
Quick review of Costa Mesa (Los Lagos) from last Friday just before heading down to Mexico for vacation for a week (no golf planned). Easy check-in and cart retrieval ahead of a 12:30pm start time with a buddy and two other singles from the blue tees.

Course is in pretty good shape right now with good greens that are medium fast and ample coverage in the fairways but not quite 'lush.' Rough is varied throughout the course and the tee boxes and bunkers are in good shape.

POP was a bit slow and we just finished the 18th hole in the last rays of daylight. Challenging but fun course that's always a good test of golf but can feel somewhat repetitive and of course the POP issues here are not uncommon.
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