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I heard the South course had maintenance issues. Well, whatever they were they have been fixed. The greens were in great shape. The bunkers were to. The fairways were ok. I saw lots of bare spots on the fairways and rough. I enjoyed this course more than I expected. An easy course like this one can disappoint. Expect too much and golf has a way of humbling you. If you are in the area they have nice waterproof golf shoes on sale.
If the banquet, buffet, or feast is equivalent to a Pebble beach or even a Sandpiper this course is the scraps, and morsels. But these leftovers were perfect for me to enjoy today's golf while keeping thrift and frugality virtuous. (These virtues made Calvin Coolidge a great president...) I enjoyed this course thoroughly. The greens were amazing!! Some putts had several feet of break. But they were not to too hard to read. The greens at Los Verdes are harder to read in my opinion. It was tough to rate the fairways because I was never in them. Fortunately, there is not one demanding tee shot. The 4 times I did hit the fairway, I had a good lie. To me, the signature hole is number 13. A gorgeous downhill hole from the tee box with the Pacific on the right and visible through the trees behind the green.
The General is a very difficult course right now. The entire course needs to be softened and aerified. It is very easy to miss a green out here. The will often roll forever and not where you want it to leaving difficult chips and pitches. Problem is if you have a pitch good luck trying to keep it on the green. A solution that worked well for me was to putt even from places well off the green. The fairways are awful. Clumps of grass and bare spots abound. The greens did putt fast and smooth. I would rate them even higher if they weren't so unreceptive.
I always say a silent Thank You when I hear a gun salute from the cemetery next door honoring men and women who served our country and strove to make the world a better place. Or Thank You to that family member who spent a lot of time wondering if their loved one would come home in a time of war.
Wow! There are more gopher holes here than craters on the planet Mercury. Fairways do not exist. I feel bad for those who have put money into course over the last 25 years only to lose the battle with the methane gas. The greens are a whole different mouse trap. They are near immaculate. You get a very true roll not too fast and not too slow. The contrast between the condition of the greens and the rest of the course is probably not matched by any other course on this planet, including Mercury. Don't forget 1 million sun block if you want to play there....
Taxi!!!!! Hit a House!!!! I have never played a public course under 50$ with green speeds like they were today at Encino and Balboa. Encino? Balboa? Yes!!! For 36 holes I had 8 3 putts including many where I used a putter just off the green. Both courses humbled me today. The ground is very hard on the rest of the course. While you get a lot off roll, it is difficult to hit it crisp off of semi-hardpan to hard-pan lies. A crisp strike was necessary to hit and hold these very fast greens today. With rain in the forecast soon things should soften up a bit.
Chester is the kind of course where you think you should score well based on your initial look of the scorecard and the look of the course not having many hazards and OB. But don't let that fool you. The postage stamp size greens surrounded by nasty velcro like grass forces you to be accurate of the tee so that you can be precise with your approach. For over 30 years I have walked off this course many times thinking I could have played better while shooting the same mediocre score. The course today had great fairways. The greens were decent but a little too bumpy. On the back 9 you must take into account that putts tend to break towards El Segundo Blvd. I noticed some fairway bunkers have been added to the course. This has made the longer par 4's even tougher.
I know I just reviewed Alondra. But after having played it today since my last review the course has is even more dry and the greens are worse than before. They are slower and bumpy. There are strangely, spots on the course where the grass has grown quite thick. The course in its usual pattern will probably be in nasty shape until we can get more rain.
This is simply the best condition I have ever seen Rancho Park in. My only complaint is the one bunker I was in on No. 6 that didn't have enough sand in it. Undulating topography, large unforgiving trees, and doglegs where ball position is vital make this course more challenging than your typical muni course. I want to play here tomorrow!!!
On July 4th I went to practice and after hitting several chips realized how few people were teeing off. I took advantage and played instead of practice. The greens are still in good shape. The rest of the course is drying out. This is typical for July. I even saw cracks in the clay based soil. The July 4th festivities in the park were packed with people. The next day, today, I heard they might turn the golf course into an expanded from what there is now, park. If they do this public golf on a per capita basis would safe to say would be the worst in the nation. Seeing how crowded it was in the park, I see their point. But, to eliminate a revenue (even though it is down) producing facility would be a big mistake. Rancho Park and Los Verdes are still very crowded. Where would you go? Victoria, with its methane soaked fairways? Yeah right! Chester L Washington would turn into a Rancho Park. Weekday fees would soar to 45$ to walk. Keep Alondra open!!!!!
The contrast between good and bad out here is striking. Good:.The staff are very nice.Greens are med. fast and roll true. The fairways are outstanding. This is a great course to play if you are a junior golfer. You need shotmaking, accuracy, course management, and the chance to deal with well bunkered sloping greens. A low or mid handicapper here would defeat a low handicapper say at a Woodley Lakes or Encino almost every time. The Bad: The rough too thick. Maybe they are letting it grow for a tournament? The clientele are a bit odd. They are not nearly as friendly as the staff. Golf just takes too long out here in the afternoon. The traffic is horrible on the 110 going home. I will stick to Alondra even though it is not nearly the caliber off these two great courses.
These courses (Balboa Encino) are just close enough to my parents house that I don't quite go crazy sitting in traffic going to or from them. I have really enjoyed playing here on and off for the last several years. The greens, like now are in good shape. They are not fast. Balboa right now may be slightly faster than Encino. I rarely hit a bump on the green or find a bad lie in the fairway. It is easy to get out as a single. They have replay rates. The driving range is much much improved compared to about 2 years ago. They have an extensive chipping area and nice putting green. Even though both courses boast easy layouts you still have to golf your ball to score well.
I love these 2 courses. There is a perfect blend of difficulty and playability. The atmosphere here is so relaxing. The greens were awesome. They don’t break very much. I missed a lot of putts thinking the ball would break. If I have a complaint it would be the closely cut fairway and fringe surrounding the greens. You have to clip it just right to get solid contact. I used my putter a lot from off the green. The seniors, almost everybody, who probably like this to enable run up shots.
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