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Got to experience VCC for the first time 7/28 where I had my GK match with Johnny GK himself at a Guru outing. The place is close to immaculate. Long, level, green tee boxes. Not a brown or thin spot to be found on the fairways. With a couple of exceptions they are on the generous side. Rough was is good shape, predominantly green and varied from easily recoverable to some thicker stuff that would challenge the recovery shot. Bunkers were generally good and clean with some firmer than others and nothing especially fluffy. Green complexes we're in good shape for short game and the greens themselves were very clean and smooth, running at a nice quick pace. There is some altitude change down from the clubhouse area so where there is slope, it can be pronounced, but the balance of the course is pretty level.

All of it has a spacious yet private feel to it as there is limited evidence of the outside world when you are on the course. It feels like a retreat. While both nines are lovely, I rate the front nine as probably the more visually interesting of the two, but the back compensates with an especially expansive and dramatically contoured par-5 finishing hole. The carts are basic, had no screens and you frequently had to hunt around for markers posting yardages to pace it off. In a time where a lot of people have range finders or yardage apps of their own, I would think this is not an issue but be advised and come prepared if it is important to you. The practice facilities are excellent, so everything you need to warm up properly is there for you. The cart girl came around twice and the staff was polite and low key. Thanks to Johnny for the match and putting it all together, and to Pete and Ron for their company. Bottom line, a beautiful, classic course in excellent condition. (Note: while utilized by the author in the compiling of this report no shankopotami were injured in the process, although one Canadian goose will be filing charges against Johnny.)
Went out Friday, 7/23 as a twosome around 2:30. Conditions are usually pretty consistent here so for brevity, I am only going to comment as a supplement to 24hourgolf's latest review.

While the fairways are fine in the main, there are definitely thinned dry patches distributed about. There were also a few muddy spots of overwatering, although these were rare and only on a couple of holes — first and 17th fairways come to mind. The greens were softer than usual, took deep pitch marks, and ran medium which is fine but a bit sluggish compared to the norm here. The overwatered spots and green conditions both probably the result of extra watering to beat the heat and atypical.

The foursome ahead of us generally kept a good pace so there was minimal waiting. The pro shop is now open but requires masks currently. The service here is excellent and they were very accommodating when my buddy was late for our original tee time.
Got to play Spanish Hills for the first time on 7/19 as part of a scramble "tournament" outing for the Ventura County Contractors Association. Conditions were excellent. Coverage was very nice from tee boxes to the greens with the tee boxes being level throughout. The immediate rough was generally green and playable with some areas a little thicker and potentially a little more costly. Further off and you were into frequently heavy brush and wild coverage. The bunkers generally seem pretty firm although I was in one very firm and another that was drier, less compacted, and played more normally. The greens were in very nice shape, probably running around 10/11 with some subtle breaks on top of the more obvious contours.

The course is built around the crest of a hill and you eventually get the 360º view as you play your way around it. With the bit of altitude, you get some beautiful views of the area and local mountain ranges. The course itself is sinuous and on the narrow side with a healthy mix of some altitude changes. For all practical purposes I don't see it as a walking course. I thought the display performance in the carts could have been a little better thought out but that is a minor quibble from someone who rarely uses carts or the readouts. The carts themselves performed and handled nicely and had generously cushioned, stitched leather seats. Nicer than anything I've experienced on a golf course. While there is a sense of being narrow, the course is not particularly long so the vectors and distances needed to get into position are reasonable. What makes it seems narrower is that once off the fairway and green rough you are frequently into fairly dense vegetation and underbrush. A healthy slice or hook usually didn't deserve a second thought as to whether it merited a search, so more than the usual quota of lost balls can be expected. There is a target golf aspect to it that has you considering your shot placement but I found it enjoyable and adding a little challenge without being excessive. The clubhouse is on the grand side and the staff was helpful and pleasant. Bottom line, as an interesting, scenic and reasonably challenging course in very nice condition, if you are offered a chance to play here, take it.
Played Friday 7/16, 1:33 tee off with a buddy, accompanying the Roarksown1 vs. Mpisarski01 GK match. Conditions were pretty solid all around. Teeing grounds here are pretty level with sufficient coverage. Fairways were generally well covered, a touch on the tight side with decent rollout and the occasional harder/thin patch. I don't recall having to over-think any fairway shots due to the conditions. Rough on average was not punitive, but there were both thicker patches and hardpan areas that could come into play off the fairways. Bunkers were pretty clean but firm. Comparing the results from the two bunkers I visited, I had better success picking the ball with a chip than splashing out. Greenside conditions were good for chipping but skewed tighter than fluffier. The greens were in good shape and running a good medium quick — much better than the last visit here and a good speed for this course.

Upon arrival, it was surprisingly quiet around the clubhouse for a Friday afternoon — a few people on the range and no one on the putting green. Pace was good on the course with minimal waiting and I'd guess to the tune of something under 4.5 hours. It was a warm afternoon but some breeze made it not so bad. The snack bar closed right before we sat down for a post-round libation, but beverages were available to be purchased from the starters office. The course has enough playing interest and some nice views. It was a good round with good company and the course is recommended in its current state.
PokerGuy0826 (John) and I played a 11:40 GK match at Hansen Dam Wednesday, 7/7 with another two-some. All are conditions are good. Teeing here is never an issue — level with adequate or better coverage. Fairways were in good shape with good lies. The par-4 fifth hole had more than its share of burnt and thinner patches relative to the rest of the course, but otherwise I just didn't notice too much of that. Rough was OK, generally not long and mostly playable. Missing the fairway within reason didn't usually cost you anything. I was in one bunker, it was in decent shape and I escaped without any issues of note. Green-side areas were generally good for chipping. The greens showed small trace holes from aeration but putted fine at a medium pace. I say that as someone used to mixing up my courses, many times munis, and adapting to pace where medium or medium quick is a good minimum. The holes suggest there is some healing left and perhaps hope for more quickness eventually. John struggled with getting the ball to the hole often because he had been playing better and quicker greens more regularly lately, so there was an adjustment factor for him which is understandable. So be advised. I misjudged some longer putts and gagged on a few short ones, it was me, not the greens.

The day was warm but tolerable with some breeze to offset the heat. Pace was somewhere around 4.5 and it was our group's pace because we really only had any kind or wait at all on two holes. No cart service but the cafe section is now open to grab drinks and food. A solid muni in solid shape. Recommended.
Part 2 of my buddy's visit from NY was Harding and an impromptu GK outing of me playing a GK match with Kviser joined by GK member mswhsu (Willie) who we were meeting for the first time. Overall conditions were very nice. Teeing grounds were level with coverage to an appropriate length. Fairways were very nice, also with good green coverage and no bare of hotspots come to mind. The rough was generally green, varied in grass and length, and so offered varying results. Where it was kikuyu on the shorter side, it could actually tee the ball up, but a little longer, or if the ball settled down even in the same length kikuyu, it could be a challenge to advance. This dynamic was on display in the closely mown areas around the green which were mostly kikuyu. The odd bounces and club grabbing that the species is famous for came in to play as well as the setting up of the ball for clean shots on other occasions. Bunkers were on the firm side and mostly in reasonable condition. The greens themselves were pretty clean, a medium pace and generally putting well and true enough.

Range, putting and chipping areas are all open. It was a warm day but a little breeze helped offset that through most of the day. Most, not all, of the fountains I encountered on the course were working. Pace was pretty good at around 4.25 hours and the company was excellent. I hadn't been out to Harding for a while and it was a very enjoyable experience to be back.
Played with my buddy visiting from NY plus a single, first off twilight at 2:00 on 7/1. There are a number of positive recent reviews and descriptions lately so I won't go into great detail on them here. Conditions overall were very nice from tees up to the greens. Bunkers were OK if a little unkempt and pitching/chipping areas were good. The greens were worth special mention because many of them had splotchy brown areas. I couldn't figure out if it was a form of fungus, or random areas of fertilizer that had been compressed into the surface. It wasn't attractive, a little disconcerting, and while it didn't seem to affect the putts overly much these areas seemed more sparse as to coverage and a touch bumpy. The worst case was the par-3 fourth hole where I had a long putt across the green on which the brown areas were predominant and I wasn't sure how my putt would react to the surface. Otherwise the green were pretty quick and playable in the bigger picture. I wouldn't avoid the course because of the mottling on the greens, but I think it helps to be aware and anticipate it.

All in all, a beautiful, challenging and occasionally dramatic course. We all enjoyed it as a special outing. The small range area is open to those with tee times and the putting/chippig green has holes but no flags. The pro shop operates from an exterior setup and you can't go in. They will fetch it from within if you need something. The restaurant is open to purchase and sit outside to eat. There may have been some inside seating but I honestly don't recall. Outside was preferable anyway.
Played a GK match with Sandrail05 on Saturday 6/26, joined by a single who fit right in. It's almost not worth getting into the particulars because the course is in excellent shape. I recall no issues with the teeing grounds, the fairways have good coverage and offer a nice hitting surface. The rough is fair and not particularly punitive unless you get further off into the more natural areas. I was in one bunker and it was clean but on the firm side. The short approach areas were well groomed, frequently on the tight side but more often a nice lie for wedging. The greens were very nice: clean, true and running consistently medium quick — there was some zip but nothing overly testy. I really liked the speed.

The pace was good for a Saturday, and with some occasional waiting it took us a bit over 4.5 hours to get it done. In addition to the current conditions, I recommend this course as a fun layout that provides some variety and contour in the mix. The beverage cart patrolled regularly and the covered patio behind the clubhouse is a comfortable place to linger after a round. It might be out of the way for some, but if you've never played there, it is worth a look. Highly recommended.
Went out 6/24 at 2:00 as a two-some with my buddy. The round was a birthday gift to him from my wife and I and his first time there. We played the Creekside and Ridgeline 9s from the white tees. Conditions were excellent. It was a beautiful, cloudless day with a 2-club breeze through most of it to factor in. With one minor exception coming to mind, the teeing grounds were level with nice coverage. Fairways are in beautiful shape, offering consistent lies throughout. If there were thin or browned patches, I don't recall them. The rough near the fairways is well kept and length ranged from little issue to impacting advancement. Further off the fairway you can get into serious trouble with some deep natural growth and rugged terrain. I was in two bunkers and found them well groomed and playable. Sand was a bit granular, firm but not overly and the ball tended to sit up. Green-side areas were well groomed and set up the short game well. The greens' surfaces were very clean with a minimum of ball marks, running a brisk, medium quick — fast but not twitchy and you could play from above the hole. I think the practice green may have been a bit quicker but not radically.

My buddy was not striking it well and was finding the course particularly challenging for his first look. On a better day he would probably be OK here, but all three nines have their challenges and I would not recommend it to high handicappers. There are a lot of altitude changes and forced carries to deal with. But the altitude changes mean there are great views all around the course. The driving range and practice facilities are all you could ask for. The clubhouse has a very nice, but not stuffy, private course feel to it and the staff is friendly and well organized. I like the challenge, conditions and facilities and enjoy the rare playing opportunities I get here. Great back patio to hang out for food or a drink. It feels special. Recommended.
I played in the foursome with Gary and Andrew so there is little I can add in terms of detail about the course conditions in general. The consensus seems to be that the greens were on the quicker side of medium and I agree with that — a pace with which I'm normally comfortable. I did feel it worth mentioning the practice green, as clean and spacious as it is, I found pretty quick. Consequently it had me calibrated for a whole different level of pace when I got on the course and to an extent it stuck with me through the round. Not a complaint, but something that one might want to be aware of when anticipating and trying to dial one's touch pre-round. Some courses match up well with their practice greens more than others and its good to be aware of where it falls on the spectrum.

I have only played the course a few times in its current layout. I lived in Ventura for a while years go when I played it in its original configuration. To say the redesign is improvement is an understatement and I have found the course growing on me each time I play it. In addition to the conditioning, there is a nice blend of visual interest, challenge and options that keep your interest without unduly forcing the issue. It is playable on first exposure but definitely rewards local knowledge. As I think of it now, there is a Rustic Canyon-esque quality to the strategizing, even as they have very different micro-climate characters. I like that many of the holes reveal themselves as you play them rather than seeing it all in a straight shot. It doesn't hurt that it is a pretty easy course to walk without it feeling overly flat or monotonous. Very reasonably priced for what it offers, I wish it was a little closer.
Got out yesterday, 6/1 at 9:40 as part of the kassper7 (Perry's) GK meet and play foursome. Overall conditions are good here. Tee boxes pretty consistently level with adequate coverage. Fairways are predominantly green with good coverage and more often than not the rough was easy to play from. One of two bunkers I was in was firm with damp sand while the other had dry, firm-not-hard sand that interacted well with my club face. In both cases, the ball perched up with little or no settling. Area around the greens was grown in and cut down to a suitable length, but you have the kikuyugrass factor to create some uncertainty. As mentioned in the previous review, the greens are in late recovery and still look it, but they are definitely playable. I found the speed was pretty consistent and better than expected — call it medium. I didn't have any noticeable issues with balls bouncing or not holding their lines. If there was any residual sand I just didn't notice it. They are not pristine but neither are they a reason to stay away. As they finish healing, and with additional pace, they should round into pretty nice shape.

The weather was unexpectedly warm, but a 1-club breeze came up that kept it reasonable. Pace was OK with occasional delays for most of the round, but with more waiting on the last few holes. I think the end result was 4.5+ hrs. (a guess). I like the course and the group was all good company, so it was a good outing. Recommended.
Teed off out Friday, 5/21 around 1:40 with Robert (roarksown1) as a two-some on a beautiful but windy afternoon. I was surprised there wasn't a more recent review since early February. I was there last around that time but only got 13 holes in before dark. Short story is really nice general conditions and greens that need work. Teeing grounds here are typically level and the coverage is adequate — no problems there. The fairways were the biggest surprise in a pleasant way. I can't remember the coverage being as well grown in and lush than it was on the day. We were hard pressed to find a brownish area, much less a thin one throughout the round. Rough overall was well grown and green in but not overly long and generally playable. Bunkers on the whole were clean and on the firm side, some more so than others. I was in the front bunker on the par-3 15th that had a deceptively soft but thin top layer over a hard underlayer and it cost me. The surrounding areas were in good shape for short shots to the greens. The greens were the counterpoint to the rest of the conditions. A little bumpy at times but definitely slow. It straightened out your putting lines but it was easy to leave putts just short or have then decelerate and turn at the last moment. They weren't awful, but weren't fun and they required adapting to. A more reasonable medium speed or better would have made the day that much more enjoyable. That said, they were serviceable enough that the golf gods bestowed Robert a 60 foot par putt on the 9th.

We started out with an open course and caught up by the 6th hole, but things moved along well enough for a little over a four hour round. The course has enough contour, visual interest and challenge as well as views of the local mountains. It really was a nice day with enjoyable conditions, even with the wind which was a factor but not overwhelming. As long as you know what to expect with the greens, I would still recommend the course for its overall conditions right now. The practice green is consistent with, and maybe a touch slower than what you find out on the course, so there is a chance to get acclimated before you go out. If they can get the greens smoothed out with a more playable speed, the course will be in as good a shape as I've seen it.
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